Bedard selected as E. (Kika) de la Garza Fellow


james bedard image

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program office announced the 21 members of the 2011 class of E. (Kika) de la Garza Fellowship participants, including Adams State College Dr. James Bedard, assistant professor of biology.

Bedard said it was an honor to be selected and a privilege to represent Adams State and the San Luis Valley. He believes the fellowship will make him more effective in motivating students to achieve their career goals and encourage high expectations around readiness, achievement, and success.

The 21 fellows, highly accomplished staff and faculty members at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) from across the nation, were selected based on the compatibility of their research interests with USDA mission areas, as well as the value their experiences will add to their institutions' educational capacities during the fellowship.

"I anticipate that ASC and the residents of the San Luis Valley will benefit greatly from the opportunities that will follow from our gain in knowledge of the USDA's various divisions, internships and career options for students, along with our increased understanding of the federal government and the USDA's position within it," Bedard said.

HSIs are accredited and degree-granting institutions of higher education with a full-time Hispanic student enrollment of 25 percent or more. Through partnerships fostered by the fellowship program, USDA and HSIs are better prepared to address educational challenges faced by the Hispanic community and to promote services and employment opportunities offered by USDA agencies while diversifying the Department's workforce.

The 14th class of the E. (Kika) de la Garza Fellowship is divided into three categories, each specially tailored to meet the fellows' interests and provide them with an enriching experience. Bedard is an Education Fellow. The Education and High School Fellows experience first-hand the policymaking process by meeting with USDA personnel and connecting with federal agencies such as the Department of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and the National Science Foundation. The science fellows collaborate with leading scientists from USDA's Agricultural Research Service--one of the world's premier scientific organizations--and learn about state-of-the-art agricultural research that solves problems affecting the Hispanic community on a daily basis.

For more information on the E. (Kika) de la Garza Fellowship program, including a complete listing of other fellows, visit USDA HSI Fellowship.