Manuel Piña, Jr. is an Associate Professor in the Department
of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications. He teaches a graduate
course in grant writing and is Associate Director of the Mexican American
and U.S. Latino Research Center (MALRC), responsible for its financial development.
Prior to joining MALRC, he was Assistant Vice Chancellor for Special Programs
in the Agriculture Program, Texas A&M University System. In this capacity
he raised over $8 million between 1994 and 2005 for projects improving access
to higher education for Hispanic youth. An example of such work that continues
to date is the Hispanic Leadership Program in Agriculture and Natural Resources
that is supported by the USDA at $750,000 annually. He was also program director
with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for four years, a training director with
the International Potato Center (Lima, Perú) for 11 years and a communications
specialist with Texas Cooperative Extension for five years. He is a Vietnam
veteran, reaching the rank of Major in
the U.S. Marine Corps.