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New Mexico State University

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NMSU faculty, staff member selected for prestigious USDA fellowship

The United States Department of Agriculture has selected a faculty member and a staff member from New Mexico State University to participate in its E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program, which offers faculty and staff from Hispanic-serving institutions the opportunity to work collaboratively with the USDA to gain insight and understanding of the federal government.


Man sitting in a lab.
Efren Delgado, an assistant food science and technology professor at New Mexico State University, is one of two NMSU representatives selected to participate in the United States Department of Agriculture’s E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)
Man standing in front of a computer lab.
Director of Student Affairs Anthony Marin is one of two representatives from New Mexico State University who will participate in the United States Department of Agriculture’s E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. later this month. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)

Efren Delgado, an assistant food science and technology professor at NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in the Family and Consumer Sciences department, was selected to participate in the program’s science fellowship, and Anthony Marin, director of student affairs, was selected for the program’s education fellowship. Of the 17 fellows selected nationally, NMSU is the only institution with two participants. The program will begin June 17 in Washington, D.C.

Following a week in Washington, D.C., Delgado will then spend two weeks at a USDA research location focusing on plant proteins. Fellows are expected to share their experiences and networking information with colleagues and students upon their return.

“This is a great opportunity for NMSU to intensify our relationship with the USDA and expand possibilities for faculty to help open doors for students,” Delgado said.

Marin said he is honored to be selected for the fellowship.

“Eligio Kika de la Garza was a true advocate for Hispanic-serving institutions. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance our knowledge base of career pathways and internship opportunities for our students,” Marin said. “The strengthening of the university’s long-standing partnership with USDA and enhancement of our relationships across government agencies is key in securing federally funded programs.”

The fellowship is named after Eligio “Kika” de la Garza II, who served as the U.S. Congressman for Texas’ 15th district from 1965 to 1997. He served as chairman of the Congressional Agriculture Committee from 1981 to 1994, and played a large role in overhauling the agricultural lending system, implementing federal farm crop insurance and commodity futures reform, reorganizing the USDA, and providing numerous aid packages for American and international agriculture. He also co-founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. De la Garza died in March.