In addition to being named a 2018 Outstanding Young Alumni recipient by Ferrum College in a September 22 ceremony, Samantha Smith-Herndon ’12 has been selected as a Middle Border Forward Fellow and invited to participate in the Leadership Southside program through the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce.
As an October 2018-September 2019 MBF Fellow, Smith-Herndon will participate in “a year-long leadership development program designed to introduce emerging leaders to the opportunities and challenges within the Middle Border region, encourage civic engagement and create a network of grassroots leaders poised to make a change where they live and work,” according to MBF’s website.
Smith-Herndon will also take part in the September 2018-April 2019 Leadership Southside class which will focus on developing leadership skills and strengthening roles of individuals, professionals, and community members. She was one of 18 chosen participants.
A 2012 Ferrum College graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture, Smith-Herndon is currently employed by The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research as a research associate. She volunteers at Southern Virginia Career Choice Expo where she actively engages more than 4,000 students to career choices in the Southwest Virginia communities. She is a remote pilot-section 107 licensed agriculture drone operator with a passion for UAV technology, horticulture, plant sciences, agriculture and education. Additionally, she spent several summers with Ferrum College’s Water Quality Program as an associate of the Virginia Department of Health’s Marina Education Program, an initiative which seeks to educate recreational boaters regarding the detrimental effects negligent boating practices have on public waterways. She is currently working on her master’s degree at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, with hopes to continue her studies of conservation practices in Appalachia.
Mark Gignac, executive director of The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research stated, “We proudly congratulate Samantha on her achievements and appreciate the talent, professionalism and passion she brings to her work day in and day out. We benefit tremendously from her leadership of our drone program, which positively impacts precision agriculture as part of our regional economic transformation efforts.”
Read more about Smith-Herndon’s achievements here.