Texas Tech University

Texas Tech welcomes inaugural Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program cohort

Robert Stein

June 11, 2019

Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program 2019-2020 cohort

The diverse group of 12 education leaders and professionals includes members from Austin, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, Midland and San Antonio.

Texas Tech University is pleased to welcome the inaugural cohort of the Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), a professional development initiative housed in the College of Education that seeks to recruit and engage a diverse and collaborative community of strategic leaders to promote equitable education policy.

The 2019-2020 cohort is made up of a diverse group of 12 leaders and professionals from public school districts, a charter school, institutions of higher education, a STEM certification program and non-profit organizations. They represent the many different regions in Texas; members of the cohort are based in Austin, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, Midland and San Antonio.

The fellows are joining a prestigious nationwide network that includes sites in 16 other states and the District of Columbia and thousands of alumni across the United States. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend leadership and policy events in Austin and Washington, D.C. They will also be able to interact with the Texas commissioner of education and senior leaders of non-profit education organizations in Texas.

"Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program is excited to collaborate with this group of emerging leaders and help facilitate their efforts as agents of change in their communities," said Rebecca Hite, Texas EPFP director and an assistant professor in the College of Education. "Specifically, EPFP provides opportunities to uniquely engage in public policy and how it is made, introduces fellows to key players in the education policy arena, and improves and develops leadership skills. As a result, our state is enriched with knowledgeable, skillful and networked policymakers, educators and leaders."

The 2019-2020 Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program fellows are:

  • Tamara Anderson of San Antonio, associate director of student success at Alamo Colleges District
  • Alyssa Benavides of El Paso, associate managing director of clinical informatics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso
  • Whitney Dove of Houston, manager of professional learning design and technology at National Institute for STEM Education
  • Karla Duran of San Antonio, industry liaison at Alamo Academies
  • Stacy Ybarra Evans of San Antonio, director of student engagement at Catch the Next
  • Ray Hernandez of San Antonio, director of high school programs at San Antonio College
  • Ashauna Lindo of Houston, virtual school facilitator at Aldine Independent School District
  • Ryan Litsey of Lubbock, associate librarian and head of document delivery at Texas Tech University Libraries
  • Catherine Nutter of Lubbock, senior director for University Advising at Texas Tech University
  • Cameron Petty of Austin, communications director at Texas Aspires
  • Tamira Samuel of Houston, dean of instruction at YES Prep Northline
  • Kellie Wilks of Midland, chief technology officer at Ector County Independent School District

To read fellows' biographies and leadership statements, please visit https://www.depts.ttu.edu/education/outreach-and-research/epfp/meet-the-cohort.php.

Texas EPFP is a state-based site of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) and coordinated by faculty in the College of Education. The program is a ten-month learning experience for professionals who have demonstrated leadership and interest in Texas education issues. Fellows will meet regularly from September 2019 through June 2020 and will participate in IEL's Washington Policy Seminar and a fall leadership retreat at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Held in Washington, D.C., the Washington Policy Seminar is a capstone event that brings together fellows from all EPFP sites to engage more deeply with the national discourse on education policy. A summer graduation event for the Texas cohort is planned for June 2020 in Lubbock.

EPFP boasts 9,000 alumni in all 50 states, including state legislators, university presidents, school superintendents, state teachers of the year and leaders of nonprofits and foundations.