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Miami Dade College North Campus Professor Named a USDA 2013 E. Kika De La Garza Fellow

Prof Ritter L

Prof. Steven Ritter

Miami, July 1, 2013 -

Miami Dade College (MDC) North Campus Biology Professor, Dr. Steven Ritter, has been selected to be part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2013 E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship class. Dr. Ritter is one of only ten applicants chosen nationally, and the only one from a college/university in the eastern region of the country.

The prestigious fellowship program selects highly accomplished staff, faculty, and administrators at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) from across the nation, were selected based on the compatibility of their interests with USDA mission areas, as well as the value their experiences will add to their institutions' educational capacities. HSI Fellows are provided with opportunities to work collaboratively with USDA to gain insight and understanding of the federal government and to help address the spectrum of challenges faced in the development of a well prepared Hispanic workforce.

The program is divided into two categories – Education and Science – offering faculty and staff the opportunity to spend two to three weeks at the USDA and other federal agencies in Washington, D.C. to increase their understanding of the agency and identify mutual collaborative interests. As a Science Fellow, Dr. Ritter will collaborate with leading scientists from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to learn about state-of-the-art agricultural research: a program that was especially designed to meet the science fellows' interests and provide them with an enriching experience.

Dr. Ritter holds a doctorate in biology and two master’s degrees in agriculture and horticulture. He has been a full-time professor at the North Campus since 2004 and is a past MDC Endowed Teaching Chair. His vast knowledge of plant science has allowed him to collaborate with professors and graduate students at other institutions, which led to his cultivation of plants and the addition of palm species at the North Campus. He was instrumental in the inception of the Palmetum which has over 400 species of palms at the North Campus.

“Dr. Ritter is an outstanding professor and scholar fully dedicated to the academic wellbeing of his students,” said Dr. José A. Vicente, president of the North Campus. “He has been very instrumental in the development of the Palmetum.”  

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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