Meet The Team
Levon T. Esters, Ph.D. Project Director
Dr. Levon Esters, Project Director, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. He has degrees in Agricultural Business (B.S., Florida A&M University), Agricultural Education (M.S., North Carolina A&T State University) and Agricultural & Extension Education (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University). Dr. Esters’ research expertise focuses on the STEM career development of underrepresented minorities (URMs), and the mentoring and human capacity development of women & URMs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture & Math (STEAM) disciplines. A major goal of Dr. Esters' research is to develop the career readiness of the STEM workforce pipeline for the STEM-based agricultural and life sciences industry.
Mentoring@Purdue - MAP Director
Associate Professor Youth Development & Agricultural Education
Email Dr Levon Esters
Neil A. Knobloch, Ph.D.
Dr. Neil Knobloch, Project Co-Director
Dr. Neil Knobloch, Project Co-Director, is an Associate Professor of Agricultural and Life Science Education at Purdue University. He is chair of the Graduate Program in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education. He teaches Research Design for Social Sciences and Methods of Integrated STEM Education. He develops teachers, graduate students, and professors and helps them transition their teaching strategies to be more engaging for their students. Using the learner-centered teaching model, he studies student learning and motivation. He has conducted curriculum and faculty development projects to enhance human capacity at Land-grant Universities (LGUs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and has served as project director or co-project director of 42 grant-funded projects (cumulative amount of $7.4 million). He is passionate about helping faculty and students develop more engaging educational experiences that will enhance the STEM education and career pipeline.
Mentoring@Purdue - MAP Co-Director
Associate Professor Extension Education
Mentoring @ Purdue - Coordinator of Strategic Planning, Partnerships, and Development
Torrie A. Cropps is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics and her Master of Science Degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Torrie has four years of professional experience in education. She taught secondary Agricultural Education courses for one year and taught science at the middle and high school levels for three years. She also has eight years of experience working with various summer enrichment programs. Torrie's interests include college and career readiness; enrichment, outreach, and mentoring programs; and human capacity development of women and underrepresented minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Math (STEAM).
Mentoring @ Purdue - HBCU Outreach Coordinator
Dottie Vollmer is a Master's student from Covington, Indiana. She is a recent graduate of Indiana University, where she received her Bachelors of Science in Applied Health Science majoring in Youth Development and minoring in Counseling. Dottie has leadership and mentoring experience through various agencies including The Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development as a FASE Peer Mentor and The Office of Financial Literacy as a Peer Financial Coordinator at Indiana University. She also has five years of professional experience interning with Purdue Cooperative Extension Service in Fountain County, Indiana. Dottie’s research interests include career development, positive youth development, and 4-H Youth Development Programs.
Mentoring @ Purdue - Campus Activities Coordinator
Brandon is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. His research interests include Higher Education Policy, diversity and inclusion, and 1890 Land Grants Universities. Brandon serves as the Social Media and Marketing Coordinator for M@P Program. He has presented at conferences on evaluations of the M@P program workshops and seminars and on diversity and inclusion mechanisms in higher education. Additionally, he serves as President of Tecumseh Club Toastmasters International, served on the planning team that developed the course "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Social Justice and Inclusion" and currently teaches AGR 201 online course "Communicating Across Cultures."
Mentoring@Purdue - Social Media and Marketing Coordinator
Quintana “Quincy” Clark
Quincy Clark is a first year Ph.D. student in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Management of Information Systems from the University of San Francisco and Master of Science Degree in Technology Education from Purdue University. Quincy has several years of professional experience with STEM programs at higher educational institutions where she developed and managed STEM programs, recruitment activities, and mentoring initiatives. Currently, Quincy serves as the Graduate Research Assistant for the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative used to significantly increase the number of domestic students persisting to doctoral degrees in STEM. Quincy’s research interests include emerging technologies for teaching and learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics (STEAM), human capacity development, and mentoring of underrepresented minority populations.
Mentoring@Purdue - Coordinator of Research Initiatives
Trinity Johnson is a second year M.S. student in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences with an emphasis in Plant and Soil Science from Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Trinity has several years of leadership and mentoring experience. Trinity’s research interests include using the concepts of STEM with an agricultural context to solve real world problems such as food security, land management and resource depletion.
Mentoring@Purdue - Evaluations Coordinator
Maurina Baker is a senior majoring in Agricultural Communications in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. She served as the Office of Multicultural Programs Outreach Intern. She is the current President of the Purdue chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science (MANRRS). She is currently working with the Purdue LGBTQ Center to implement a peer mentoring program.
Mentoring@Purdue - Evaluations Coordinator
Liz Alexander is a first year Master’s student in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Animal Sciences from Purdue University. Liz has several years of leadership and mentoring experience through a variety of organizations, including the College of Agriculture Dean’s Scholars Peer Mentor program and Boiler Gold Rush Orientation Program. Liz’s research interests include informal adult education, community engagement, women in agriculture, international food security, and sustainable agriculture.
Mentoring@Purdue – Campus Activities Coordinator-in-Training