Kennedy, Akers receive President's Exemplary Engaged Scholarship Award
By: Norman Martin
Two academic pioneers from Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources have been selected to receive this year's Texas Tech University President's Exemplary Engaged Scholarship Award for their efforts in leading the CASNR Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement (MILE) Program.
Lindsay Kennedy, an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications and MILE Program Director, and Cindy Akers, Associate Dean of Academic and Student Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, will be presented the honor during a keynote luncheon at the 2020 Regional Engaged Scholarship Symposium later this year at the McKenzie Merket Alumni Center.
Officials with Tech's University Outreach and Engagement note that the award recognizes Texas Tech faculty for a longer-term project or initiative that demonstrates a significant and sustained commitment to addressing a community need or larger social issue through active collaboration with community partners. In addition, it recognizes the depth and scope of the university-community partnerships involved in the project or initiative as well as the profound resulting impacts on both the community and the university (faculty, staff or students).
In 2018, CASNR began an innovative program to engage promising young adults with outstanding leadership in agricultural policy, natural resources, industry relations, and entrepreneurship. In an effort to address the increasing need for emerging leaders to fully understand the diverse issues, challenges and opportunities affecting agriculture and rural America, the MILE program was designed to give CASNR undergraduate students a unique, high-impact learning experience.
MILE is a competitive, 14-student, three-semester leadership and professional development program that seeks to develop participants' personal and professional skills while exposing them to key issues affecting local, state and national agriculture. Engaging MILE students with industry and community leaders is the program's primary focus.
In the program's two years, MILE has partnered with agricultural and livestock organizations, financial institutions and non-profit groups who are providing funding and programming opportunities to enhance students' leadership development. But not only that, the knowledge-sharing that occurs between the leaders in these organizations and Texas Tech students creates a unique, high-impact experience that will propel them into their careers.
MILE is making a positive impact on students and communities alike by creating a pipeline of trained, young leaders who are equipped with skills, knowledge, and understanding of the issues facing rural communities and the agriculture industry.
Established in 2015, Texas Tech's Office of University Outreach and Engagement provides innovative, collaborative, and strategic leadership and support for the university's strategic priority of engagement with communities across the region, state, nation and the world. Officials note that engagement crosses three missions – research, teaching, and service – and ties to the work of faculty, staff and students.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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