Fellows Honored at APLU Meeting

The Food Systems Leadership Institute Fellows Honored by Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)

Twenty-two Fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) were honored during a ceremony at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in Austin, TX. The Fellows were recognized for their accomplishments in completing the FSLI executive leadership development program and for contributions they have made to their individual organizations and the broader higher education and food systems.

The FSLI is a 2-year program designed for experienced leaders in academia, government, and industry. Through a dynamic curriculum that includes three executive style residential sessions, individual coaching, mentoring, and personal projects, the FSLI seeks to enhance personal leadership ability, develop skills and knowledge for organizational change, and broaden perspectives on integrated food systems.

Fellows report that the FSLI experience has had a significant impact on their leadership abilities. Leadership growth can be measured in many different ways, and more than a third of the Fellows have experienced promotions, selection to lead high-profile initiatives, election to university-wide leadership posts, and other recognitions. Other Fellows are using their enhanced leadership and broader food systems perspectives to lead change from their current positions.

The FSLI is a program of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. It was created with financial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is operated in a partnership between North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. More information on the FSLI is available at www.fsli.org.

The Fellows honored include:

Robert T. Burns, Associate Dean for Agriculture, Natural Resources & Community Economic Development, The University of Tennessee Extension

Nick Cellar, Section Manager, R & D Operations, Abbott Nutrition

Gour Choudrhury, Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Shawn Donkin, Assistant Dean & Associate Director of Research and Graduate Education, College of Agriculture, Office of Research, Purdue University

Kim Dooley, Assistant Dean for Academic Operations and Professor of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University

Carolyn Dunn,
Department Head, Agricultural and Human Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University

Montserrat Fuentes, Dean of the College of Humanities & Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, formerly the Department Head, Statistics, North Carolina State University

Valerie Giddings, Interim Associate Dean for Research, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences North Carolina A & T State University

Edwin Jones 
Associate Dean and Director, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech

Gregory Lardy, Department Head Animal Sciences and Associate Vice President for Agricultural Affairs, North Dakota State University

Nina Lilja, Associate Dean, International Agricultural Programs, College of Agriculture, Kansas State University.


Nathan McKinney, Assistant Director, Agricultural Experiment Station, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas


Ina Metzger Linville, Program Director, MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development, University of Missouri


 Pamala V. Morris, Assistant Dean/Director, Multicultural Programs, College of Agriculture, Purdue University

Ian Munn, Associate Dean, College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University

William Nganje, Professor and Chairman, Agribusiness and Applied Economics, North Dakota State University

Nick Place, Dean and Director for Extension, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, University of Florida


Michelle Rodgers, Associate Dean & Director Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware

Clint Rusk, Head of the Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University

Ryan Schmiesing, Assistant Dean and Senior Administrative Officer, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University

Jurgen Schwarz, Chair Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore


Todd See, Department Head Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University