Texas Tech University

Education Policy Fellowship Program welcomes 2021-22 cohort

Robert Stein

September 7, 2021

Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program 2021-22 cohort

The 23-member group includes emerging education leaders from across the state.

Texas Tech University is pleased to welcome the 2021-2022 cohort 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 networks in public policy.

The group of 23 fellows comes from all sectors of education, including nonprofits, K-12 and higher education. The cohort contains members from across Texas who live or work in Abilene, Corpus Christi, the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, El Paso, the Houston area, Lewisville, Lubbock, Pharr, San Antonio and Texarkana.

"The Texas Education Policy Fellowship Program is excited to introduce its 2021-2022 cohort, a diverse and passionate group of people who are ready to dive in to the education policy process," said Rebecca Hite, TX-EPFP director and an assistant professor in the College of Education. "We look forward to collaborating with this dynamic group of fellows as they grow their policy knowledge, professional networks and leadership skills. Texas will be rewarded with more knowledgeable and empowered policy influencers, advocates and leaders."

The members of the 2021-2022 cohort of TX-EPFP fellows are:

  • Leslie Anaya of Abilene, teacher at Abilene Independent School District
  • Julie Baker of Dallas, teacher at Dallas Independent School District
  • Braden Becknell of Corpus Christi, director of workforce development and continuing education at Coastal Bend College
  • Jose Bolivar of Houston, academics program manager for EMERGE at Houston Independent School District
  • Jesse Bulluck of North Carolina, attorney and Ph.D. student in educational leadership policy at Texas Tech University
  • Lowell Butler of San Antonio, college pathways manager at UP Partnership
  • Kelly Coke of Texarkana, program director and instructor of adult education and leadership studies at Texas A&M University-Texarkana
  • Chris DeWitt of Austin, director of system support at Texas Education Agency
  • Sergio Estrada of El Paso, teacher at Ysleta Independent School District
  • Amanda Gonzalez of San Antonio, executive director of Blue Cares and Ph.D. student in educational leadership policy at Texas Tech University
  • Jessica Gonzalez of Pharr, teacher at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District
  • Gabby House of Houston, director of districts at EMERGE Fellowship
  • Amber M. Joyce of Lubbock, assistant principal at Lubbock Independent School District
  • Danica Liriano of Irving, master's student in public administration and policy at American University
  • Sarah McCaslin of Austin, Texas tutoring grant specialist at Texas Education Agency
  • Jessica Nadzam of Arkansas, founder and developer of Passion to Progress and Ph.D. student in educational leadership policy at Texas Tech University
  • Delyla Ovalle-Bowyer of The Woodlands, teacher at Spring Independent School District
  • Hermann Pereira of Waco, chief program officer at Prosper Waco 
  • Anthony C. Perez of San Antonio, director of admissions processing at Texas A&M University-San Antonio
  • Miguel A. Reveles of El Paso, assistant principal at Canutillo Independent School District
  • Shawn Sheehan of Lewisville, director of government relations at Lewisville Independent School District and former Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow
  • Jennifer Stimpson of Dallas, science teacher at The Hockaday School and former Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow
  • Jasmine Torain of Austin, teacher at Austin Independent School District and Ph.D. student in educational leadership policy at Texas Tech University

Fellows' biographies and leadership statements are available to view on the TX-EPFP website.

The 2021-2022 cohort of TX-EPFP fellows will visit Austin on Sept. 9 through Sept. 11 for a fall retreat, where they will meet with the graduating 2020-2021 TX-EPFP cohort. The new cohort will meet regularly from October 2021 through May 2022. In the spring, fellows will travel to Washington D.C. and participate in the Washington Policy Seminar sponsored by Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL).

TX-EPFP is a nine-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. Fellows 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. 

TX-EPFP operates under the auspices of the national Education Policy Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C., which is sponsored by IEL and oversees fellowship programs in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The Texas site is coordinated by the College of Education at Texas Tech and was established in 2019.