published on July 1, 2016 - 7:36 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Mary Willis, coordinator of internships and professional experiences in the Jordan College Advising and Career Development Center at Fresno State, was one of 13 professionals from across the country chosen for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program.

The program is dedicated to E. Kika De La Garza, who served six terms in the Texas House of Representatives and 32 years as the first Hispanic U.S. Congressman from Texas’ 15th district. He was the co-founder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and chaired the Congressional Agricultural Committee for 13 years.

The program selects faculty and staff from Hispanic-serving institutions to collaborate with the USDA over two- to four-week sessions. Over 45 percent of undergraduate students at Fresno State identify as Hispanic.

At the end of the program, fellows can expect to gain an understanding of the USDA and other federal agencies, and build a partnership among the establishments to mutually benefit Hispanic students and their communities.

“I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge of the USDA and the opportunities, both internship and career, that can be available to our students,” Willis said. “By having my boots on the ground at the USDA, I anticipate being able to more effectively communicate options and opportunities to our students.”

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