CANR Alumni Board Spotlight: Alexis Horton

Alexis Horton, a 2015 MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) graduate, has been the young alumni representative for the CANR Alumni Association since 2016 and served as board president for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Alexis Horton
Alexis Horton, Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association president 2018-19

Alexis Horton, a 2015 MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) graduate, has been the young alumni representative for the CANR Alumni Association since 2016 and served as board president for the 2018-2019 academic year.

“I spent a lot of time in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,” Horton explained. “From my time during high school years studying programs such as the ANR Institute for Multicultural Students (AIMS) and Multicultural Apprenticeship Program (MAP) to the time I walked across the stage in 2015 on a warm Saturday evening, my memories at MSU have been some of the most magical and life changing experiences of my life.  When that chapter ended, I longed for a way to stay connected with the college and university. I volunteered to come back to speak at the same summer camps that sparked my interest in Ag and Natural Resources and worked with faculty members to get their students research and internship experiences. When the opportunity came to join the board, knowing I had another pathway to connect to the college instantly pulled it to my attention!”

I was nominated to serve on the alumni board by a mentor and former faculty member of the college,” Horton continued. “I accepted because I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to give my time towards serving students and the college.

She explained that as a student and an active leader in the Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS) student organization, she reached out to the CANR alumni association for funding support to attend professional development conferences. She feels that this experience helped her to understand the value of committing the time to help provide others with the same opportunities that she had.  

As board president, Horton strived to increase alumni board engagement with current MSU students.

“I would love to see the CANRAA Board get more active with current students at all levels at various points in the year. We exist and are here to serve the students, so any opportunity we can get to connect with them better would be great,” she said. “I want future young alumni to know that there is something else to look forward to along with getting that awesome degree, there’s a whole alumni family ready to welcome you to the next step!”

Horton claims the best part of being a CANR board member is learning about all the amazing happenings within the college.

“One of my favorite times of the year is when we have the opportunity to hear from the department chairs on all of the student numbers, interests, faculty updates and research updates. Having access to such a wealth of knowledge, provided first-hand, is incredible because it helps me do my job better as a board member! I love to help tell the wondrous stories of our students and faculty because they are so brilliant and contribute to the overall success of the college and university.”

Outside of her CANRAA role, Horton serves as the diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. In this role, Horton is responsible for diversifying the workforce and expanding opportunities for all.

“My favorite part of my work is connecting resources and programs with such passionate people. My work takes me all over and I get to meet the most dynamic individuals in the state!” Horton said. “A goal of diversifying a workforce and expanding opportunities for our user base to include all those representative of Michigan is a tall order, and I could not lift that on my own. I work with people who are experts at serving their communities, leading organizations and universities, creating jobs and forging pathways for a more diverse and stronger future for Michigan’s natural and cultural resources. Working alongside those people every day is incredibly rewarding.”

“Serving on the alumni board is like no other. My fellow board members are so great and we have a blast working together to further the mission of the college.  This is another chapter in my MSU journey that I am very much enjoying and has opened my eyes to all of the ways I can continue to be connected with MSU.”

 “I love campus in summertime, it’s absolutely gorgeous.  I live close so I go on long walks throughout campus, making my way to the 4-H Children’s Gardens and then down the Red Cedar to the library. There’s a stillness about campus in the summer that I appreciate a lot more than the rumbling of campus at other times. I think it takes me back to my first steps I took at MSU as a high school student staying for months in the summer. Go Green!”

Learn more about the CANR Alumni Association.

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