LEADERS Program :: Learning, Enhancing & Developing Experiential Research Skills
LEADERS Program :: Learning, Enhancing & Developing Experiential Research Skills
LEADERS Program :: Learning, Enhancing & Developing Experiential Research Skills
LEADERS Program :: Learning, Enhancing & Developing Experiential Research Skills
LEADERS Program :: Learning, Enhancing & Developing Experiential Research Skills
LEADERS Program :: Learning, Enhancing & Developing Experiential Research Skills Home Students Research Activities
Activities
  The LEADERS Program includes a variety of activities that will improve student success through professional development opportunities. In addition to their research projects, students will participate in other activities, such as professional meeting attendance, internships, a ‘university exchange program’, educational tours, and mentoring.

Professional Meetings
Upon completion of their research project, LEADERS will present their findings to the scientific community. Students will attend meetings that will contribute to their professional development, such as American Society of Animal Science regional or national meetings, Plains Nutrition Council (which uniquely combines academia and multiple animal industry partners), and others (Texas A&M University ‘Pathways Symposium’ or NMSU Graduate Research and Arts Symposium). Students will also be encouraged to attend leadership development workshops, such as those hosted by Agriculture Future of America. Students from TAMUK and NMSU will be encouraged to attend the same meetings to increase the student networking opportunities. During the Fall 2013 semester, select students attended the Latinos in Ag conference and Agriculture Future of America. Students will also attend the Plains Nutrition Council meetings in April 2014 and the American Society of Animal Science meetings in July 2014.

Internships
To provide exposure to career prospects within the field of animal science, students will be given the opportunity to participate in summer internships. A variety of internship choices will be made available, such as those in private industry, state/federal government, and academia, to permit flexibility to students interested in different career options. Internships will be made available to students through established programs or personal relationships. Many of these internships will focus on animal-based research.

University Exchange Program
Students interested in pursuing advanced degrees (M.S. and Ph.D.) will be able to participate in research with the collaborating institution. The goal is to create a pipeline of students between TAMUK and NMSU. Creating relationships with faculty and friends, participating in different types of research, and gaining a familiarity with the region as a result of the exchange program may contribute to successfully recruiting underrepresented students to complete an advanced degree at TAMUK or NMSU. New Mexico State University students will visit the TAMUK campus on April 14, 2014 to explore research opportunities available in South Texas.

Educational Tours
Educational trips to research and production agricultural sites are planned to support career awareness and exploration. LEADERS will tour regional USDA and state agency worksites. Site visits will educate students about the work conducted at these sites and emphasize the need for a college degree. Tours will give students a deeper appreciation for course content when they see application outside the classroom.

Mentoring
Students involved in the LEADERS program will be mentored by both faculty and peers. Mentoring of students by faculty will be enhanced from the personal relationships that develop through open lines of communication and one-on-one interaction outside the classroom. Collaborating faculty have experience mentoring minority. Informed faculty will be positioned to provide more timely assistance to struggling students, resulting in improved retention rates.

Exposure to the breadth and depth of occupations in food, agriculture, and natural resources, while emphasizing animal related positions like those with USDA, state agencies, and private industry, will create a sense of purpose for education. Activities such as the ‘University Exchange Program’, educational tours, summer learning opportunities, and trips between universities will further enhance the collaboration between faculty and students at both institutions. Students will benefit from educational and professional networking opportunities, develop relationships, and acquire social capital that can lead to opportunities, such as graduate school, internships, and job placement.
 
     
Kim McCuistion • Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Phone: 361-593-3690 • Email: kim.mccuistion@tamuk.edu
Clint Loest • New Mexico State University
Phone: 575-646-1714 • Email: cloest@ad.nmsu.edu
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