‘Exceptional Students’ Announced for 2020 WT Leadership Program

Chip Chandler Aug 10, 2020
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‘Exceptional Students’ Announced for 2020 WT Leadership Program

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — Twenty-four West Texas A&M University students will join the University’s elite leadership program for 2020.

The students, whose majors range from agribusiness to sports and exercise science, are the latest cohort of the Dyke and Terry Rogers LEAD WT program. The Leadership Education and Development program launched in August 2012 thanks to a grant from the Texas Pioneer Foundation and was endowed in 2014 by the Dalhart philanthropists.

In the two-year program, students take special leadership theory courses, team up for service projects and work in internship programs, among other requirements.

“Our program challenges these exceptional students to develop their leadership potential in ways that give them confidence and prepare them for exceptional employment after graduation,” said Missy Macon, program director.

Students are selected through an intense application and interview process, and evaluated on attitude, work ethic, ability to work with others, and desire to grow both personally and professionally, Macon said.

The program reflects several key principles of WT’s generational plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World, including leadership and service.

The 2020 cohort, listed by hometown:



Jessie Castillo, finance

Ireland Kirkpatrick, political science

Briss Graham, sports and exercise science


Boulder, Colo.

Reilly Dhaliwal, equine industry and business



Lani Belle Vanlandingham, pre-nursing



EnRico Hawkins, finance and accounting


Crawford, Colo.

Tessa Gore, agricultural business


Daytona Beach, Fla.

Ustina Guirguis, animal science


Fowler, Colo.

Tressa Reed, elementary education


Hooker, Okla.

Arianna Stadler, elementary education



Allan Baltazar, criminal justice: policing



Natalia Ezquivel, computer science


Las Vegas

Mia Davis, biology with specialization in pre-veterinarian sciences



Courtney Reed, nursing



William Ingersoll, animal science



Kelsey Shields, animal science with specialization in pre-veterinarian sciences



Alberto Garcia, management — human resource management specialization


Plymoth, Ind.

Hannah McLochlin, agribusiness



David Reyes, sports and exercise science


Roswell, N.M.

Aubrey Freese, biology



Frey Diaz, plant, soil and environmental science


Universal City

Dylan Cole, plant, soil and environmental science



Silvestre Perez, pre-med biochemistry



Gracen Key, psychology


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 38 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.