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Spring 2014 Newsletter

KSUA Wine Degrees Newsletter
Spring 2014


Spring 2014 Graduates

Please join us in congratulating three students who received their Associates in Applied Science during the Kent State University Ashtabula commencement ceremony on May, 9, 2014. 

Jeff Cline (A.A.S. in Viticulture and Enology)

Nancy Evans (A.A.S. in Enology)

Shane Oiler (A.A.S. in Viticulture and Enology)

It has been a pleasure getting to know each of your on your journey to become enologists and viticulturists. Best of luck in your future careers!


"Weekend College" Arrives at KSUA V&E in Fall 2014

We are excited to announce that the KSUA Wine Degrees Program format will change beginning with the Fall 2014 semester to a "Weekend College". Our goal is to continue bringing you a quality education, now packaged in a format that will better fit our students' busy schedules. Most courses will now be offered in a 'hybrid' format -- classes will meet online weekly, and students will come to campus only two weekends during the semester to participate in additional classroom style lectures and complete hands-on work with the instructor in the lab or the vineyard. This format will give more of our students an opportunity to have a traditional classroom experience mixed with some online coursework.  Students continue to have the option to take fully-online courses through the VESTA program to complete their degrees.

Fall 2014 Course Offerings

The following classes required for Viticulture and Enology majors will be offered in Fall 2014:


  • VIN11100 – Introduction to Viticulture and Vineyard Establishment: Introduces students to current practices for establishing a commercial vineyard and maintaining its health and productivity once established. Topics covered include varietal selection, site preparation, equipment, site selection, first season establishment, vine growth development and training, trellis systems, vine propagation, weed control and vine disease control. Field practicum sessions consisting of 16 hours of hands-on experience are scheduled in area vineyards. Prerequisite: none. 
  • VIN14600 – Introduction to Enology: Targets people who became interested in home winemaking with possibilities to grow into the small business opportunity, as well as cellar employees interested in a winemaking career. During this course, students build proper basic understanding of winemaking which alleviates common home winemaker's errors. Prerequisite: must be 21 years of age.
  • VIN148Winery Sanitation#: The basic science and technology of winery sanitation that includes an introduction to wine microbiology. Covers all methods used for winery sanitation including premises, tanks, pumps, filters, oak barrels and sampling equipment, including but not limited to chemical agents, reagents and thermal treatments leading to sterile bottling. Environmental issues and compliance are also addressed. Prerequisite: VIN 14600. #Offered online only through VESTA
  • VIN21000 – Introduction to Wine Microorganisms*: Introduction to the basic principles of wine microbiology and the variety of microorganisms frequently encountered in the wine making process. Yeasts, bacteria and molds play vital roles in the production of wine, both beneficial and harmful. Students become familiar with the morphology, reproduction and sensory attributes of wine microorganisms in order to understand their influence on winemaking and to be able to manage them effectively. Prerequisite: VIN 14600. *Traditional class
  • VIN25792 – Fall Wine Production Internship: This course is designed for the individual anticipating a career in the wine industry.  This course (internship) is designed to provide a student who has completed major course sequences with an intense level of practical and realistic winery operation experiences, sufficient to equip him/her with sufficient skills and work experience for an entry-level position in the wine industry. Students involved in this program will participate in a full time Crush Season internship at a supporting winery, and are expected to use the time and opportunities to further their understanding of the winemaking process and common winery operations.
  • All Ohio students are encouraged to complete your internship course by registering for the KSUA course. This gives you the opportunity to better leverage our Program Director and her connections in the industry to provide you with an industry partner best suited to your future goals. Also, this helps you to accumulate the necessary 15 credit hours of required coursework at KSUA, in order to receive your degree from Kent State University.
  • BSCI16001 – Horticultural Botany**: To provide students with an understanding of the basic anatomy and physiology and growth characteristics of plants. With the option of online lecture. Prerequisite: None. **Traditional class


August 8, 2014:                 Fall Registration Deadline (5:00pm)

August 15, 2014:               Program Orientation at KSUA 11:00am – 3:00pm (KSUA Campus, see below)

August 25, 2014:               Classes start

October 17-19, 2014:      VIN11100 (8hrs) and VIN14600 (4hrs) on-campus weekend

December 5-7, 2014:      VIN11100 (4hrs) and VIN14600 (8hrs) on-campus weekend

December 7, 2014:          Classes end

December 8-14, 2014:    Fall 2014 Final exams


Save the Date: Program Orientation

For those new to the KSUA Wine Degrees Program, we will be holding a mandatory Program Orientation on Friday, August 15, 2014 from 11:00am to 3:00pm. This orientation will guide students through the process of logging into Blackboard and Flashline, reviewing the student handbook, and generally becoming familiar with the program and the new format.

Fall 2014 On-Campus Weekends

1st Weekend:     Saturday, October 18, 2014 to Sunday, October 19, 2014

2nd Weekend:    Saturday, December 6, 2014 to Sunday, December 7, 2014

Spring 2015 On-Campus Weekends

1st Weekend: Saturday, March 7, 2015 to Sunday, March 8, 2015

2nd Weekend:  Saturday, May 2, 2015 to Sunday, May 3, 2015



Ohio Wine Competition

In May, the Wine Degrees Program at Kent State Ashtabula was proud to host the Ohio Wine Competition for the first time since the competition's inception 40 years ago. The competition provided a healthy summary of the Ohio wine industry, by including highly qualified and experienced judges from all over Ohio and the United States. Wine competitions can help wineries promote their best wines, and we are thrilled to be a part of the process. KSUA and VESTA Wine Degrees students, faculty, and staff volunteered to organize and assist in the logistics of the competition. Students who volunteered agreed that this was an excellent opportunity and look forward to helping again next year. The results of the competition are posted on our blog


Did you catch KSUA Wine Degrees on Fox 8 News?

Yes, it's true. You DID, in fact, spy the Program Director of the KSUA Wine Degrees Programon the Fox 8 news on April 24, 2014. And on the Fox 8 website. And on our FB page. We are so grateful to have been lucky enough to catch Enrique Correa's attention while he was working on another Kent State story: The Communications office on KSU's Main Campus called me up and said Mr. Correa was interested in doing a piece on our little program, and the timing was just right. I'd planned to take my class outside for some work in the vineyard, and the weather was gorgeous.

Wine Degree 1

A still of KSUA Wine Degrees students pruning in the Concords at the OSU viticulture research station (AARS).

The students enjoyed the time outside and gaining some more experience pruning top wire cordon, spur pruning in VSP, and cane pruning in VSP. We also worked on identifying dead cambium versus live cambium (see below) in trunks and canes to assess vine mortality and develop vineyard management strategies.

Wine Degree 2

Cambium health can be assessed through longitudinal slices through the trunk or wood of a vine. Dead cambium, as seen on the right, is necrotic, or black/brown. Live cambium, as seen on the left, is a light tan or beige. After severe winters, such as the one we had this year, it is important to evaluate whether trunks remain alive to support any remaining live buds.

The interview was fun, and Mr. Correa was friendly and affable, so everyone was relaxed and enjoyed themselves. We are a Viticulture and Enology Program, and our students get loads of hands-on experience before they finish their degrees. The beauty of our program is our flexibility for students who want to earn a degree, but are currently employed full time. Classes are online, with only minimal (twice/semester) on-campus, yet plenty of in-vineyard and in-winery, time.

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