CASNR set to launch new Senator Robert Duncan Scholarship Endowment
Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources announced today (Oct. 22) the establishment of the Senator Robert Duncan Texas Legislative Internship Endowed Scholarship. Created by the Tech agricultural economics alumnus and newly appointed Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, funds generated by the endowment will be used to give scholarships to students participating in the long-running CASNR government internship program. Specifically, recipients of this scholarship will intern for Texas' 28th Senatorial District.
"We're very excited to have this endowment," said Cindy Akers, CASNR's Associate Dean for Academic and Student Programs. "It helps assure that this wonderful educational opportunity continues for our students."
Duncan, a distinguished alumnus from Tech's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (1976), was approved as Chancellor in June during a specially called meeting by the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System. He began his duties as the system's fourth chancellor in July.
"When we initiated this program early in my Senate career, our goal was to expose students to the broad set of issues challenging West Texas legislative leaders and provide them with an opportunity to actively engage in a process aimed at developing workable solutions," Duncan said. "As a graduate of the college, I am excited that this endowment will solidify a partnership between Senate District 28 and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and will continue for perpetuity a program that has sought to seed future leaders for the State of Texas."
While completing his undergraduate degree at Tech, Duncan served as student body president. He went on to receive his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law in 1981. He was elected to District 84 in the Texas House of Representatives in 1992. In 1996, he won a special election to the Texas Senate. During his more than two decades in the Texas Legislature, Duncan crafted major legislation impacting public and higher education, water rights, health care transparency and affordability, the integrity of public investment funds, eminent domain, and the efficiency and effectiveness of the civil justice system.
Established in 1998, the CASNR government internship program has turned out to be one of the most significant programs the college has ever put into place. Since its inception, more than 100 students have served as interns in congressional and legislative offices in both Washington, D.C. and Austin.
Michael Galyean, Dean of CASNR, said the government internship program is a great way for students to gain real-world and political experience. "The experience gained during a semester as an intern is invaluable to our students," he said. "They not only learn about the legislative process, but their experiences and the connections they make as interns will have lifelong benefits."
Among the outstanding internship alumni of the Texas' 28th Senatorial District office are:
- Drew DeBerry (1999) Texas Deputy Commission of Agriculture. He received his bachelor's degree in agricultural and applied economics in 2000.
- Brandon Lipps (2001) Chief of Staff for the Office of the Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. He received his bachelor's degree in agricultural economics in 2002 and his law degree from Tech in 2009.
- Katie Yates Day (2002) Former District Director for Senator Robert Duncan, focusing on water, agricultural and natural resource concerns for his office for five years. She now helps run the Day Ranch and Day Show Cattle with her family in Meadow. She received her bachelor's degree in agricultural and applied economics in 2003.
- Jessica Price Louder (2003) Engineer Technician with Kinder Morgan. She received her bachelor's degree in agricultural and applied economics in 2004.
- Blake Moore (2004) Former District Chief of Staff for State Representative Larry Phillips. He received his bachelor's degree in agribusiness in 2004.
- Missi Currier Barton (2007) Legislative Coordinator for the Texas Tech University System. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural communications in 2008 and 2009, respectively. She is currently working on a doctorate in agricultural communications.
- Rhea Lynn Leonard Kaufman (2007) High school English teacher with Artesia Public Schools. She received her bachelor's degree in agricultural communications in 2009 and her master's degree in agricultural education in 2011.
- Laramie Adams (2008) Director of Public Affairs for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He received his bachelor's degree in agricultural communications in 2009.
- Jennifer Spraberry (2009) Executive Assistant with Shahan Guevara Decker Arrott. She received her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary agriculture in 2009 and her master's degree in agricultural education in 2011.
- Laila Hajji Down (2010) National Account Executive with Meredith Agrimedia. She received her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary agriculture in 2011.
- Jade Keith (2010) Premium Account Executive for Spurs Sports and Entertainment. She received her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary agriculture in 2010.
- Cash Langford (2011) Received his bachelor's degree in agricultural and applied economics in 2011. He is currently working on a master's degree in landscape architecture at Tech.
CONTACT: Michael Galyean, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1023NM14 / Editor's Note: For more information on contributing to the Senator Robert Duncan Scholarship Endowment, click here
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