"She comes from generations of farmers and ranchers and knows all too well the hardships of working the land. That’s why Shalin Lawson Pinkerton knew from a young age that she wanted to be the voice for agriculture. Her voice will be heard when West Texas A&M University honors her as its 2017 Intern of the Year for her work as the communications intern for the National Sorghum Producers/United Sorghum Checkoff Program.
Pinkerton, a senior in agricultural media and communication from Plainview, will receive a $750 scholarship for the spring semester, courtesy of Phillips 66, at a special reception at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Her name also will be submitted for the national Cooperative Education and Internship Association’s Academic Intern of the Year award.
This year’s award marks the fifth time for WTAMU to recognize an Intern of the Year. The award is designed to honor an outstanding student who has participated in an internship and made a significant contribution to the employer. Pinkerton was selected for the honor from a field of 28 nominees.
Pinkerton began working with the National Sorghum Producers/United Sorghum Checkoff Program in May. She works with the communications staff, helping with social media, the weekly Sorghum Notes as well as the organization’s quarterly magazine. She’s also blogged for the website, helped with graphic design jobs and many other duties that promote the sorghum industry.
“I am so glad I took this internship because it truly changed my life in so many ways.” Pinkerton said. “Today, I am confident in my strengths, aware of my weaknesses and discovered how I can use my passion for writing to help modern agriculture. I am better equipped to bridge the gap between the producer and the consumer. I learned how to interact with people in a real work environment and how to apply skills learned in college to my career.”
The internship has given Pinkerton invaluable experience in all facets of communication. In addition to creating content for the weekly newsletter and blogging for the website, Pinkerton also designed a coffee table album as a retirement gift, wrote several producer profiles and designed a two-page spread that appeared in a national magazine. In addition to the internship, Pinkerton also serves as an agribusiness special correspondent for KGNC and a social media manager/blog composer for Harman Farms.
“She was a pleasure to work with each day and always showed kindness to others,” Jennifer Blackburn, external affairs director for National Sorghum Producers, said. “She added energy to our office, and the camaraderie that existed between her and the other interns was that of a tight-knit family. She is an outstanding representative of an upcoming leader and the type of student employers want to hire.”
Pinkerton is a candidate for May graduation. In addition to classes and the internship, she is the president of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, an Agricultural Ambassador, a former President’s Ambassador and a Roger’s LEAD WT Scholar. Her community involvement includes volunteering for Canyon’s Snack Pak for Kids, church and participation in the A-21 Campaign to raise awareness for human trafficking. She is a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholar, San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholar and an Outstanding Agricultural Media and Communication Underclassman.
“Shalin’s commitment to her profession has been the driving force behind her academic success,” Dr. Tanner Robertson, assistant professor of agricultural sciences, said. “I have never met a student who is as passionate about improving agricultural relations than Shalin. Her success in the classroom is evident she wants to excel in her professional pursuits.”
The 28 nominees for the 2017 honor are listed by major and internship.
Josh Daniel, sports and exercise sciences—University of Texas at Austin
Kord Davis, agricultural media and communication—Horny Toad Harley-Davidson
Lee’Anthony Dawson, criminal justice-policing—University Police Department
Brian Freas, agriculture—Blue Creek Ranch/Turner Enterprises, Inc.
Abbie Fred, computer science-software engineering—CGI
Kristina Geiser, accounting—Lemert Holder & Ohm, PLLC.
Kaitlin Gustave, broadcast journalism—Spin to Win Rodeo Magazine/The Team Roping Journal
Todd Handley, corporate communication studies—Campus Evolution Villages
Zane Jenkins, plant, soil and environmental sciences—Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Ram Llani, computer science—BMC Software
Matt Marrs, finance—Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.
AJ McCormick, English—Panhandle-Plains Historical Review and Center for the Study of the American West
Ben Mendez, mechanical engineering—Celsius Mechanical Limited
Terra Morris, corporate communication—Amarillo Inn & Suites
Kyla Myers, agriculture media and communication—American Quarter Horse Association
Saru Pahari, computer information systems—Computer Services, Inc.
Lindy Pasley, biochemistry, Opportunity Plan, Inc.
Shalin Pinkerton, agricultural media and communication—National Sorghum Checkoff Program
Samantha Rayos, marketing—Sam’s Club
Kathryn Ann Salcido, agricultural sciences—Cowley Livestock
Jordan Schulte, agribusiness—Monsanto Company
Romy Simeu, accounting—Wawa, Inc.
Cutter Smith, agribusiness and economics—Bar G Feedyard
Miguel Soto, communication—National Orientation Directors Association
Madison Stanley, accounting—Connor McMillon, Mitchell & Shennum, PLLC.
Josh Tarrant, computer information systems—Herring Bank
James Welbaum, biochemistry—Long Wooden Spoon Brewing
Sydney Westin, studio art—Amarillo Museum of Art"
-West Texas A&M University