Robin Shepard honored by Food Systems Leadership Institute

Robin Shepard, professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication and Assistant Dean and State Program Leader for Extension, was one of 20 Fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute who were honored during a ceremony at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.The Fellows were recognized for their accomplishments in completing the FSLI 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 demanding curriculum that includes in-person learning, executive coaching, mentoring, and personal and group 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 group has 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.

At the annual meeting the Fellows also released the results of a year-long group project examining drivers of change in food systems. Working individually and in teams, Fellows engaged more than 100 stakeholders around the country, in a discussion of how food systems are changing and what the land grant university system must do to remain an important partner in creating future food systems.

The FSLI is a program of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.