Texas Tech University

Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program welcomes 2020-21 class

Robert Stein

July 1, 2020

The 2020-2021 Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program cohort

The 16-member group includes education leaders and professionals from across the state.

Texas Tech University is pleased to welcome the second class of the Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program (TX-EPFP), a professional development initiative coordinated by the College of Education for individuals who seek to enhance their knowledge and develop their skills in leadership and public policy.

The 2020-2021 class is made up of 16 leaders and professionals from all sectors of education, including nonprofits, K-12 and higher education. The class represents Texans from across the state; members live or work in Dallas, Bryan, El Paso, Houston, Irving, Lubbock, San Antonio, Sunnyvale, Tyler and Waco.

"The 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, TX-EPFP director and an assistant professor in the College of Education. "Specifically, TX-EPFP provides opportunities to uniquely learn and engage in education policy, including how it is made and enacted in our state. By connecting these fellows to the key players in the education policy arena, they gain vital networks and grow in their leadership skills. As a result, our state is enriched with knowledgeable and empowered policy influencers, advocates and leaders."

The members of the 2020-2021 class of TX-EPFP fellows are:

Phillip M. Anaya of San Antonio, Digital and Open Educational Resources Coordinator at Alamo Colleges District
Ramon Benavides of El Paso, science teacher at Ysleta Independent School District and adjunct instructor at El Paso Community College
Kimberly Burks of Houston, doctoral student in curriculum and instruction at Texas Southern University
Stacy Ybarra Evans of San Antonio, director of student engagement at Catch the Next
Edward L. Franklin of Dallas, president and CEO of Voice of Hope Ministries
Kristine Harper of Irving, behavior specialist at Irving Independent School District
Gencie Houy of Lubbock, Instructor of family and consumer sciences education at Texas Tech University
Lisa Du Bois Low of Lubbock, assistant professor of practice of public relations at Texas Tech University
David Mapps of Houston, special education coordinator at Spring Independent School District
Viet Nguyen of Lubbock, master's student in higher education administration at Texas Tech University
Kayla Northcutt of Lubbock, teacher at Frenship Independent School District
Kyle Penn of Sunnyvale, assistant superintendent of finance and operations at Sunnyvale Independent School District
Deidra Perry of Houston, Department Business Administrator at University of Houston
Sherrilyn Smith of Bryan, licensed specialist in school psychology at Bryan Independent School District
Kaley Stringfellow of Houston, educational diagnostician at Southeast Texas Cooperative
Amberly Walker of Waco, coordinator for federal programs at Education Service Center Region 12

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

TX-EPFP is a 10-month, intensive professional development program for emerging and mid-level leaders in education and education related-fields. The program provides rich and robust experiences to both educate and empower participants in their work for sound education policy and practice in Texas. Fellows participate in a variety of activities to enhance their knowledge of education policy, build leadership skills and expand professional networks. The program features leadership and policy events, where fellows have the opportunity to interact with top education officials.

TX-EPFP operates under the auspices of the national Education Policy Fellowship Program of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, D.C., which oversees fellowship programs in 17 states and the District of Columbia. In Texas, the program is coordinated by the College of Education at Texas Tech. The EPFP site at Texas Tech was established in 2019 and graduated its first class in June.

The 2020-2021 class of TX-EPFP fellows will meet regularly from October 2020 through June 2021 and will participate in IEL's Washington Policy Seminar. Fellows will also join a network of 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.