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Texas State's Drewery, Shi named 2021 USDA E. Kika De La Garza Fellows

Featured Faculty

Jayme Blaschke | June 21, 2021

composite of headshots
Merritt Drewery and Xijun Shi

Two Texas State University faculty members have been selected to participate in the 2021 United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship program. 

Merritt Drewery, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Sciences, and Xijun Shi, assistant professor in the Ingram School of Engineering, were named fellows. The 2021 program will be conducted virtually June 21-25.

Drewery’s research program focuses on the identification of novel feedstuffs to enhance livestock production. She is currently working on insects and insect products as feed for beef cattle.

Shi's research interests focus on cementitious materials containing recycled aggregates, multifunctional construction materials for smart infrastructure, concrete durability and sustainable, high performance fiber-reinforced construction materials.

The De La Garza Fellowship Program offers faculty and staff from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) the opportunity to work collaboratively with the USDA to gain insight and understanding of the federal government. This uniquely tailored experience brings together HSI staff and federal executives to address the spectrum of challenges faced in the development of a well-prepared Hispanic workforce.

The program was established in 1998 as part of the USDA-Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Leadership Group’s efforts to advance USDA’s relationship with participating institutions. The program is designed to enhance fellows’ professional growth while fostering workforce diversity and strengthening the nation’s capacity to provide high quality education and increased opportunities for Hispanic-Americans.

Through the program, fellows will increase their understanding of the USDA and other federal agencies, particularly at the national level, and be able to identify mutual collaborative interests to build and complement USDA programs. USDA staff will become more knowledgeable about the participating institutions in order to develop thorough collaborative approaches to provide appropriate support to HSIs.

As a result, fellows, HSIs, the USDA and other federal agencies will create a strong partnership that is connected and flexible in its response to Hispanic students and their community needs. Participating fellows are expected to return to their respective institutions and share networking information with colleagues, students and other interested individuals.

For more information, visit https://hsiusda.wordpress.com/usda-e-kika-de-la-garza-fellowship-program/.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922