United States Department of Agriculture: Grants for Hispanic Serving Institutions

Past USDA Projects

Wheels of Change

'Wheels of Change' is a consortium aimed at amplifying the agricultural narrative among the STEM careers by promoting and strengthening the ability of the participating Hispanic Serving Institutions to enhance their educational programs to reach, inspire, train, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation's food, agricultural, and natural resource scientific and professional work force.  The 'Wheels of Change' model is an integrative model that provides educational, research, leadership and experiential learning opportunities to traditionally underserved students in the areas of renewable energy, and natural resource management.

Consortium Institutions:

  • The University of Texas-El Paso
  • New Mexico State University
  • Texas A&M University-Kingsville
  • El Paso Community College
  • Dona Ana Community College
  • Galveston College

Our project advances the goals of the HSI Education Grants program through the development and implementation of the innovative "Wheels of Change" model which has the potential to become an exemplary educational model for other institutions that serve underrepresented students, at the regional or national level.  Specifically, we plan to:

  • Recruit, train, retain and graduate at least 50 UG students, 5 MS students and 1 Ph.D. student in the areas of Sustainable Energy and Natural Resource Management.
  • Enhance the quality of postsecondary instruction through innovative teaching methods that promote access to powerful collaborative learning through real-life problem solving.
  • Amplify the agricultural narrative among the STEM careers.
  • Increase College Opportunity for minority students by providing guidance and support needed to transition to a 4-year institution.
  • Provide opportunities and access to agricultural, renewable energy, and natural resource management careers.
  • Involve students and faculty in Persistent Engagement (PE) activities that support the academic development and career attainment of underrepresented students.

Upcoming Events

Past Events

  • Summer Career Experience (Internship) Presentations open to public (September 19, 2018; 3:00-6:00pm; Wildlife Center)
  • Summer Career Experience (Internship) Presentations open to public (September 20, 2017; 5:00-7:30pm; Kleberg Ag Rm 102)

Summer 2019

Student Name---Career Experience Location

Arianna Cantu---Vet Clinic-Linn, TX
Nora Carrillo---ARS-Beltsville, MD
Shelby Davis---Texas Zoo-Victoria, TX
Juan Elissetche---USFWS/Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge-Alamo, TX
Gabriela Garcia---AgriLife Extension IPM-Port La Vaca, TX
Daisy Gonzales---University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
Richard Hernandez---AgriLife Extension-Weslaco, TX
Kaitlyn Hessek---Trailmark Equine Clinic-Pilot Point, TX
Autum Hooker---Namibia, Africa
Bradley Johnston---Oregon State University
Kayla Milam---APHIS-Laredo, TX
Leanna Morin---Oregon State University
Daniela Nieves---ARS-Beltsville, MD
Pablo Ramos---AgriLife Research-Corpus Christi, TX
Isabel Valdez---Crosspoint Veterinary Clinic-Taft, TX

Summer 2018

Student Name---Career Experience Location

Jeanette Casanova---AgriLife-Weslaco, TX
Crisantos Casares---AgriLife-Weslaco, TX
Jacqueline Cruz---TAMUK
Kendrah De Leon---ARS-Beltsville, MD
Guadalupe Garza---AMS-Lexington, NE
Matthew Garza---Citrus Center-Weslaco, TX
Joe Gonzalez---APHIS-Fort Collins, CO & Vermont
Nathanael Hernandez---APHIS-Galveston, TX
Hyden Kovar---APHIS-Wildlife Services-Fort Collins, CO
Lupita Leon---Taft, TX
Marco Urive---Texas Parks & Wildlife
Loerena Villanueva---ARS-Beltsville, MD

Summer 2017

Student Names---Career Experience Location

Alexandrea Almazan---ARS-Beltsville, TX
Andrea Castillo---New Braunfels, TX
Hallie Davis---AgriLife-Raymondville, TX
Ashley De La Torre---ARS-Beltsville, MD
Gabriella Garcia---APHIS-Florida
Perla Liscano---Farm Bureau-Austin, TX
Raelene Mendez---Citrus Center-Weslaco, TX
Kassandra Montes---NRCS-Edinburg, TX
Spencer Smith---NRCS-Robstown, TX
Dagan Teague---AgriLife-Weslaco, TX
Matthew Townsend---TAMUK
Shelbie van Beveren---Poplar Hill-Scandia, MN

Summer 2016

Student Name---Career Experience Location

Issac Atkinson---TAHC-Beeville, TX
Rosa Badillo---Citrus Center-Weslaco, TX
Mathew Cantu---NRCS-San Benito, TX
Pedro Casares---APHIS-Los Indios, TX
Alejandra Flores---FS-Dubois, WY
Shanelle Haralson---ARS-Beltsville, MD
Raelene Mendez---TAMU-College Station, TX
Kassandra Pena---ARS-Beltsville, MD
Illiana Rodriguez---NRCS-Texarkana, TX
Alejandro Trevino---NRCS-Laredo, TX