CNM Biology Instructor Awarded Prestigious Fellowship for Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Sierra Netz was selected for the E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship, which brings faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions to Washington, D.C. to build awareness of USDA services, resources, and employment opportunities
July 06, 2023

Sierra Netz has been teaching Biology at CNM for 10 years and is always looking for new ways to serve her students. That’s why she applied for and recently received the E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship.

The fellowship, named after former Texas House Representative and Chair of the Agriculture Committee E. Kika De La Garza, was created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to connect college faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions with USDA leaders. The fellows then learn about the various USDA agencies and available career opportunities to share with their institutions, students, and communities.

“It’s a real privilege to get to know my students and see all of the things they’re capable of, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what opportunities I can add to the table for them,” Sierra says.

As a native New Mexican, Sierra knows making these connections with the USDA will not only be beneficial for her students, but for the entire state.

“New Mexico is a very vulnerable state when it comes to agriculture, and it will only become increasingly challenging over time because of climate change and other factors,” Sierra explains. “By making these connections, I’m hopeful that more of our students will be inspired to work for these agencies and represent New Mexico’s needs at the federal level.”

As she gets ready to head to Washington D.C. on July 9, Sierra is ready to make the most of this opportunity and bring back a new world of possibilities to share with her students.

“The USDA spans so many different areas and there are so many career opportunities at the federal level,” Sierra says. “I’m just so honored and excited to participate in this fellowship and provide students with an expanded idea of what kind of opportunities are out there”