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June 17, 2021

Chris de Hoyos

USDA Selects 2021 Class of E. Kika De La Garza Fellows

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities applauds the selection of 25 fellows from Hispanic-Serving Institutions for the 2021 Class of the E. Kika De La Garza Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program serves as an important platform for collaboration between USDA and Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

This summer fellowship program offers experiences in policymaking and research through direct interaction with every USDA agency. The program helps to build awareness of USDA services, resources, and employment opportunities within the Department and the agricultural sector in general. The fellowships, awarded yearly since 1998, recognize highly accomplished staff and faculty at Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

“HACU congratulates the Fellows selected to be part of the 2021 E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program,” said HACU President and CEO. “HACU is grateful to USDA for recognizing these HSI leaders and providing valuable professional development experiences that allow them to share with colleagues and students at their home institutions.”  

The selection was based on the compatibility of the individual interests with USDA mission areas, as well as the value their experiences will add to their institutions' educational capacities. Most of the fellows are from HACU-member institutions (noted in bold).

The 2021 E. Kika De La Garza Education Fellows are:

  • May Patiño - Humboldt State University, Arcata, California
  • Nickolas Trujillo - West Hills College, Coalinga, California
  • Annette E. Levi - California State University, Fresno, California
  • Maral Kismetian - California State University, Fresno, California
  • Mariaelena Marcano - California State University East Bay, Hayward, California
  • Sarah Naumes - University of California, Merced, California
  • Derek Madden - Modesto Junior College, Modesto, California
  • Krista Vannest - Modesto Junior College, Modesto, California
  • Rosa Lamas Serratos - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California
  • Reagen Dozier - Porterville College, Porterville, California
  • Mario A. Flores - Mission College, Santa Clara, California
  • Oluwarotimi Odeh - California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, California
  • Carrie Peterson - Woodland Community College, Woodland, California
  • Zena L. Buser - Adams State University, Alamosa, Colorado
  • Cyndia Morales Muñiz - University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
  • Aziza Darwish - City Colleges of Chicago, Olive-Harvey College, Chicago, Illinois
  • Roberto Vela Cordova - Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas
  • Anna Villarreal - Alamo Colleges District, San Antonio, Texas
  • Merritt Drewery - Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
  • Xijun Shi - Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas

The 2021 E. Kika De La Garza High School Education Fellow is:

  • Noelle Coronado - Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, Chicago, Illinois
  • Jaime Jay Alejandro - Edcouch-Elsa High School, Edcouch, Texas
  • Habraham Lopez - Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Pharr, Texas

The 2021 E. Kika De La Garza Science Fellows are:

  • Ammar B. Bhandari - Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas
  • Susan Agolini - Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia