By: Mollie Lastovica
An extended period of vision and planning cumulated Oct. 18 with the first meeting of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications advisory boards. The Internal Advisory Board and Development Advisory Board are each comprised of influential contributors to and former students of the department.
“The Internal Advisory Board was assembled to help us develop curriculum, to help spot areas to be added in order to help students prepare for careers,” Alumni Relations Coordinator Ambrya Baldwin said. “They are helping us find new opportunities for high impact experiences. They will meet with people from individual and corporate connections that we may not have the opportunity to reach out to otherwise.”
The IAB is made up of Galen Chandler, Ed.D., Chester Fehlis, Ed.D., Steve Johnson, Ed.D., Dan’l Almy, Ruben Saldana, Ed.D., Corey Rosenbusch, Katie Rosenbusch, Ed.D., Cindy Schnuriger, Amy McDonald, Laurie Bedord and Bud Force. They are all industry experts in the leadership, education and communications fields.
“I chose to participate on the board so that I can make suggestions and offer ideas to make the department stronger with higher quality students,” Chandler said. “I volunteered to chair [the committee] because I have the time and want to be involved in leading the group.”
The IAB came to fruition after Almy met with Baldwin and Associate Department Head Tracy Rutherford, Ph.D. and presented the idea of focusing on curriculum and academics in the department.
While the IAB is charged with curriculum and high impact experience development, the DAB is focused on fundraising for the department.
“Through the board’s network and experience with fundraising, the Development Advisory Board was assembled to help us achieve development goals for the department,” Baldwin said. “They offer new prospective and can help provide better opportunities than we could find on our own.”
Tom Curl, Leroy Shafer, Kelly Tidwell, Marcus Hill, Wynn Rosser, Ed.D., Ty Warren, Bucky Lamb, Thomas Randle, Ed.D., Larcel McGhee, Ed.D. and Tim Martini are members of the DAB.
“Texas A&M University changed my life and allowed me to turn my ‘big dreams’ into reality,” said Lamb, CEO of Rodeo Austin. “Now, as a member of the ALEC Development Board, it’s my chance to give back. I hope to help other Aggies see their dreams come true.”
Baldwin notes that the development-focused board has been a goal of the department for quite some time.
“I worked with Dr. Elliot and Debbie King to lay down the framework for the boards and also met with faculty in all areas of the department to suggest names of those who should serve,” Baldwin said. “The board members we got were really the cream of the crop.”
This set of board members will serve two, three and four year terms and after that cycle, each future member will serve for three years. The boards will meet twice annually, in person in the fall and virtually in the spring.
“Both boards are excited to collaborate and work toward our big goals,” Baldwin said. “It is taking the ideas we’ve had and have been developing and seeing them come to fruition with these board members. They are creating a lot of momentum and moving quickly.”