Ashley Hoehn (center) started what has become her career choice at the Putnam County Science Fair. She has come full circle, from being a science fair participant to being a science fair judge. Hoehn and Sr. Marcille Liebrecht (right) listened to Sydney Eickholt, an eighth grade student at Continental, present her project, “Color v. Color.” The 60th Annual Putnam County Science Fair was held Saturday at Glandorf Elementary School. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
Ashley Hoehn (center) started what has become her career choice at the Putnam County Science Fair. She has come full circle, from being a science fair participant to being a science fair judge. Hoehn and Sr. Marcille Liebrecht (right) listened to Sydney Eickholt, an eighth grade student at Continental, present her project, “Color v. Color.” The 60th Annual Putnam County Science Fair was held Saturday at Glandorf Elementary School. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)

GLANDORF — Ashley Hoehn, a 2010 Ottoville High School graduate, launched her career at the Putnam County Science Fair. When she was in the eighth grade, Hoehn started a project, “The Effects of Cinnamon on Diabetes.” Her hypothesis was that people who suffered from diabetes would benefit from taking a daily dose of cinnamon. The youngster provided 20 subjects with a capsule containing one gram of the spice, which they took for three months. Hoehn was able to conclude that the cinnamon was effective, as the subjects’ blood sugar was reduced by 20 percent.

Over the next five years, she refined and modified the venture. During her junior and senior years of high school, she was invited to present her project at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). She was one of 1,600 winners of various science fair competitions from 70 countries that participated in a week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math. Hoehn traveled to Reno, Nevada and San Jose, California, to share her knowledge. “It was a fantastic experience,” she recalled. “I got to see what students from other countries were doing. I felt insignificant because they were finding cures for cancer or making prosthetic limbs from household items.”

She was awarded $250,000 in scholarships as a result of her project. “I didn’t take a penny—I didn’t want to attend those schools,” she declared.

Hoehn is now a senior at Ohio Northern University, majoring in pharmacy. “My project definitely helped me choose my career,” she said.

In December 2012, Hoehn and her academic advisor, Amy Stockert, published a paper, “The Effects of Cinnamomum Cassia on Blood Glucose Values are Greater than those of Dietary Changes Alone,” on the National Center for Biotechnology Information web site.

This year, Hoehn came full circle and was a judge at the 60th Annual Putnam County Science Fair on Feb. 8. This year’s event took place at Glandorf Elementary School.

“It was a great experience,” she related. “It reminded me where I was at that age. I love seeing students take an interest in something scientific.”

She also was a featured speaker prior to the awards ceremony.