Dr. Joe D. Townsend ’67 ALEC Leadership Fellows
For more than 30 years, Townsend, known as “Dr. Joe” to many students, served as associate vice president for student development and as associate dean for student development in addition to teaching in the College. He touched the lives of countless current students and former students, often helping them become leaders in agriculture. His career culminated with the establishment of the Dr. Joe Townsend ’67 Leadership Fellows Program in 2008, which supports the advancement of undergraduate study in leadership theory through the activities of a select cohort of students.
The Leadership Fellows Program is a prestigious, rigorous, and unique environment where selected students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences enhance their leadership skills in an arena – beyond the university — that supports the fellows’ trials, errors, and successes.
The Fellows learn to develop their leadership potential and broaden their understanding of the world by traveling to key locations and interacting with public and for-profit leaders. The Townsend Fellows Program provides selfless acts of service, volunteering their time to delivering services to underserved populations, offering support to our returning veterans, and conducting sophisticated community development campaigns that benefit local communities.
The Townsend Leadership Fellows seek to change the world through enhanced leadership capacity and positive relationships with the global community.
Applications are due November 1 of each academic year. To apply for the program, students must meet the following requirements:
- Sophomore, junior or senior interested in enhancing knowledge and experiences in leadership
- Student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, Leadership Studies or a Leadership Minor
- Completed a minimum of 45 credit hours by the time of application
- Overall GPA of at least 2.5 (Transfer students or students with extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration)
The Leadership Fellows Program will contribute to the world through graduates with enhanced leadership capacity for positive relationships in the global community. The program is organized to explore five pillars of leadership competency: Expanding One’s Vision, Developing Self and Others, Serving Organizations and Reinforcing Positive Values.
Expectations of Fellows
The students selected for the Townsend Leadership Fellows Program represent those who excel and/or have a keen desire to enhance their global leadership skills. The selected fellows demonstrate a(n):
- Desire to increase leadership knowledge and experience
- Service orientation
- Passion for excellence
- Willingness to work in teams
- Sense of responsibility
The Leadership Fellows register for a 3-credit hour spring semester class, ALED 401: Advanced Professional Leadership Development where fellows contribute their thoughts, inquiries, and ideas during these critical sessions to help grasp and apply course concepts. The fellows also participate in high-impact experiences, where they develop an executive leadership approach and formalize a marketable leadership philosophy and portfolio. Some high impact experiences, opportunities and outcomes, include:
- Weekly guest speakers
- Fellows retreat
- Field trip to visit several leadership-oriented organizations
- Group service project
- Mentorship opportunities
- Shadow an outstanding leader
- Study a leader of the student’s choice
- Formalized team bonding development
Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Joe
In July 2021, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences family grieved the passing of Dr. Joe Townsend, but shared in the joy of remembering the lasting impact he left in Aggieland. Townsend had a passion for developing students into advocates and one of the guiding leaders who helped develop an agricultural leadership degree in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. His memory lives on through the Leadership Fellows.
Interested in Being a Fellow?
If you’re interested in the Dr. Joe D. Townsend ’67 ALEC Leadership Fellows, we encourage you to reach out to the program coordinator.