CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials at West Texas A&M University announced that Dr. Guillermo Marcillo was one of 20 educators from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) around the country selected for a fellowship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Marcillo is an assistant professor of agricultural statistics in WT’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and, according to WT officials, Marcillo was named this month as an E. Kika De La Garza Education, High School and Science Fellow.

“There is a pool of hundreds of applicants from all over the country for this very prestigious fellowship,” Marcillo said. “What this represents is an enormous opportunity for institutions like WT that serve a Hispanic population, and it also allows me to develop future collaborations with scientists at the federal level.”

Marcillo is set to spend a week in Washington D.C. beginning on July 11, where officials added that “he will interact with USDA leaders on national and regional issues and policy.” Marcillo will also spend a day with scientists in Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research Unit at the USDA Agriculture Research Service lab at Mississippi State University.

“We are very proud that Dr. Marcello was selected for this prestigious recognition,” said Dr. Kevin Pond, dean of the Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. “His selection underscores WT’s success and commitment in serving all people.”

Officials stated that the program included faculty and staff from Hispanic serving school districts, which are K-12 school districts with a Hispanic student enrollment of 25% or more.

According to the university, the fellowship will help Marcillo continue “his research using artificial intelligence and big data streams from experiments, sensors and historical observations to predict impacts of sustainable agricultural practices.”

“We’re in the midst of a data revolution, and my mission is to set up research and teaching programs using digital and precision technologies to help crop and livestock producers optimize their operations,” Marcillo said. “I also want to help this new generation of students gain skills in data processing and analysis to help them further their future career prospects.”

In addition, Marcillo explained that he will conduct seminars with fellow instructors in WT’s Department of Agriculture to pass along what he learned along with connecting students to paid internships and research opportunities.