Northeastern Illinois University professor won agriculture fellow

In an effort to recognize leaders from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) annually awards fellowships to faculty and staff who demonstrate excellence in their field. For example, Laura Sanders - professor of earth science at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) - was named an E. (Kika) de la Garza Science Fellow by the USDA.

As a result, Sanders had the opportunity to help the USDA with research initiatives that address the challenges that are faced by the Hispanic workforce.

"As a science fellow, I will learn about ongoing scientific research of the USDA and will share what I learn with the NEIU community," Sanders said. "This will help connect NEIU students with new scientific ideas, new research opportunities and new pathways to careers with the USDA or other scientific agencies."

Sanders spent one week at USDA headquarters in Washington, DC, where she met other fellows. She then spent time at the Soil Drainage Research Unit in Columbus, Ohio, where she studied irrigation technology.

Julio Puentes, USDA-HSI regional director for the Midwest, said that Sanders has been supportive of the program and curious about the opportunities it offers.

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