Texas Tech University

TTU Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement program selects 3rd cohort

Lindsay Kennedy

February 7, 2022

TTU campus

Fourteen undergraduate students from the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources at Texas Tech University have been selected for the third cohort of the Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement (MILE) Program.

MILE is a three-semester leadership and professional development program that exposes students to key issues affecting local, state, and national agriculture while developing advanced personal and professional skills. The third cohort began in January 2022 and will finish in May 2023.

Davis College Interim Dean Cindy Akers said the MILE Program is a transformative experiential learning opportunity for students who want to be impactful leaders when they enter in the workforce.

“The MILE Program is creating problems solvers,” Akers said. “Our industry demands knowledgeable, trained young leaders who are equipped with the skills necessary to be effective difference makers. This program is another example of the many ways the Davis College at Texas Tech is striving for excellence.”

MILE Program members go through an extensive application and interview process and are selected by the MILE advisory committee, which is comprised of agricultural industry representatives and Davis College faculty and staff.

The program uses industry engagement, networking, leadership curriculum, and travel experiences to give students a competitive edge when entering the agricultural workforce. The MILE experience includes both on- and off-campus workshops and tours as well as trips to Austin and Washington, D.C. to meet with government representatives about agriculture and public policy.

MILE students also enroll in three academic courses focused on the personal, service and community aspects of leadership and are required to complete a professional internship. Each student will receive a leadership certificate upon graduation from the program.

MILE Program Director, Lindsay Kennedy, said MILE provides a high-impact learning experience for Davis College students interested in developing their leadership and professional skills.

“These students want to be leaders in the agriculture industry and in their communities,” Kennedy said. “With each new cohort, MILE is developing highly qualified students who can go into industry with the training and experiences necessary to address the big issues facing agriculture and rural America.”

The following students represent the third MILE cohort:

  • Jenne Arrott, Agricultural Education & Communications, San Antonio, Texas
  • Sara Garcia, Plant & Soil Science, Houston, Texas
  • Kourtney Gibson, Agricultural Communications, Haskell, Texas
  • Phelan Graham, Agricultural & Applied Economics, Sanger, Texas
  • Breely Huguley, Agricultural Communications, Olton, Texas
  • Kade Miller, Animal Science, Panhandle, Texas
  • Blake Mills, Plant & Soil Science, Center Point, Texas
  • John Owen, Agricultural & Applied Economics, Sealy, Texas
  • McKenna Pavelock, Agricultural Communications, Anderson, Texas
  • Kloe Walker, Agricultural Communications, Celeste, Texas
  • Kielee Whitewood, Animal Science, Sanger, Texas
  • Carlye Winfrey, Agricultural Communications, Seminole, Texas
  • Kenndy Wood, Animal Science, Levelland, Texas
  • Isabella Yoder, Animal Science, Lindale, Texas


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.