External Advisory Committee
Francisco Cerda was appointed Texas State Monitor Advocate in Austin, Texas January 1998. As the State Monitor Advocate for Texas, Francisco is responsible for overseeing and ensuring migrant and seasonal farmworkers receive the same equitable services to those that are provided to non-MSFWs throughout the state of Texas.
Francisco serves as Civil Rights Compliance Investigator on complaints filed by MSFWs through the Employment Service system and observes the working and living conditions and coordinates with state and federal enforcement agencies as well as legal entities and farmworker advocacy groups throughout Texas and the United States of the many labor statutes that affect MSFWs.
Francisco has been instrumental in working with many agencies and farmworker organization. He has been associated with numerous organizational committees throughout his career as well.
Francisco has been employed for almost 24 years with the Texas Workforce Commission. Prior to joining the Texas Workforce Commission, Mr. Cerda worked several seasons in the watermelon fields and later began working on his family ranch and surrounding ranches after school and during summer months as a ranch hand in the South Texas area while attending high school and Southwest Texas State University and Texas A&I University.
Jennifer Conner, DrPH
Jennifer Conner is a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for Chicot County in Arkansas. She earned her doctorate degree in public health with an emphasis in leadership. She also has training in biostatistics. She will offer expertise to the Center in motivational interviewing, evaluation and provide access to extension agents in Arkansas and across the nation.
Robert Hagevoort, Ph.D.
Robert Hagevoort, a native of The Netherlands, earned his bachelor’s degree in tropical animal production from the Deventer College for Tropical Agriculture. He received a master’s degree in range nutrition and a doctorate in animal nutrition from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining NMSU as an Extension Dairy Specialist in November of ’05, Hagevoort served for 10 years as an independent dairy management consultant and nutritionist, primarily in California’s southern and central Valley. As a an Extension Specialist he has been working closely with the Dairy Industry in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest on providing information, regulatory issues, and any other fires that may erupt within the industry. In 2011, Dr. Hagevoort was appointed to New Mexico State University’s $1 Million Endowed Dairy Chair.
Cornelis de Hoop, MBA, Ph.D.
Corneils (“Niels”) de Hoop is an Associate Professor at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, where he has worked since 1992. Prior to obtaining his PhD at Texas A&M University, he worked twelve (12) years in the forest products industry, mostly in logging supervision and timber procurement, in Canada and eastern Texas. He also worked a year with the U.S. Forest Service in Kentucky and 1 ½ years with the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife. He has a Master of Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Kentucky. He teaches courses in timber harvesting and procurement. His research activities have included expert systems for diagnosis for problems with veneer lathes, assessment of cut-to-length harvesting, stormwater runoff from log yards, wood supply for chip mills, wood residue supply and demand, accidents in the forest products industry, and biomass energy. He is a regular contributor to The Louisiana Logger magazine with articles on logging safety, teaches in logging safety workshops, and is the Technical Editor of the International Journal of Forest Engineering.
Kevin Moore, PhD Candidate, ChE, MBA
Kevin Moore worked as an engineer for eight years and then joined Oklahoma State University as an administrator within the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. He recently returned to school to complete his PhD in Biosystems Engineering. Mr. Moore served as the PI for a feasibility study funded by the SW Ag Center in 2014 that measured the forces experienced by the body during grain entrapment and rescue. This project helped lay the groundwork for his career in safety and health research. He will offer advice as it relates to feasibility program management and engineering solutions.
Matt Nonnenmann, Ph.D., CIH
Matt Nonnenmann is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with extensive experience in field aerosol exposure assessment and exposure control in agricultural health and safety. His research focus has been on the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses in agriculture. In the previous cycle, he led a project focused on the broiler industry and novel exposure assessment methods. Dr. Nonnenmann gives the Center national perspective and a helps to maintain a close working relationship with other Ag Centers.
Steve Shelton, MBA, PA-C
Steven R. Shelton is Assistant Vice President for Community Outreach at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He combines over thirty years of experience as a primary healthcare physician assistant, health professions educator, and administrator of programs such as the East Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to improve the health of individuals and communities. Mr. Shelton’s interests and expertise include an in-depth understanding of health workforce development issues, local health system challenges and opportunities, health literacy and the needs of both rural and metropolitan underserved populations. His work includes activities to promote a deeper understanding of the psycho-social and economic root causes of health disparities as a means to address the need for better health for all through principles of equity and social justice. He is active in community service, and has served in numerous leadership roles at the regional, state, and national level. He is an alumnus of Angelo State University, and the University of Texas Medical Branch, and holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake.
Mark Shirley, M.S.
Mark is a Marine Agent in the Vermillion Parish Extension Service Office in Abbeville, Louisiana. He conducts educational programs dealing with crawfish production, alligator farming, fish pond management, and other aquaculture topics in southwest Louisiana. He also works with fishermen and landowners on coastal issues. Mr. Shirley is a respected member of his community and an invaluable member of the SW Ag Center External Advisory Committee. Mr. Shirley has been instrumental in participant recruitment for the project, Innovative Approaches to Worker Health Protection Among Shrimp Fishermen of the Gulf Coast, led by Dr. Jeffrey Levin. He also helped make local connections for a feasibility project that assessed ergonomic considerations for crawfish farmers. Recently, Mr. Shirley was honored with the Extension Excellence Award for his dedication to helping people in southwest Louisiana protect and earn a living off the marshes and waterways in his community.
Francisco Soto Mas, M.D., Ph.D.
Francisco Soto Mas, MD, PhD has more than twenty years experience in medicine and public health as a practitioner, researcher and academician. He received his medical training at the University of Granada School of Medicine in Spain and his doctorate degree in health, physical education and recreation from the University of New Mexico. His areas of expertise include chronic disease prevention and control, program planning and evaluation, health behavior theory, Latino health issues, bioterrorism, and health communication/health literacy. He currently is Associate Professor of Public Health in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico.
James Wright, DVM
James Wright worked with the Texas Department of State Health Services serving in many capacities, including Deputy Regional Director of Region 4 & 5N, regional Meat Safety and regional Zoonosis Control Veterinarian. Dr. Wright received the Texas Veterinary Medical Association President’s Award in recognition of his developing A Veterinarian’s Guide to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. As the Center continues to address livestock safety, Dr. Wright will be invaluable as an expert in zoonosis.
Internal Advisory Committee
The IAC is comprised of Center faculty and staff who represent each of the internal Cores and a principal investigator from each area of research.
Center Faculty and Staff
Dr. Levin Chairs the IAC. He facilitates the meetings, determines necessary actions and assign tasks. Dave Douphrate, PhD represents Intervention projects. Basic/Etiologic research projects and Feasibility Studies are represented by Vanessa Casanova, PhD. Amanda Wickman, MBA represents the Planning and Evaluation Core. Outreach program activities are reported by Nykole Vance, MS, CEP, CHES. See this page for their bios.
Ann Carruth, RN, DNS
Dr. Ann Carruth is a Professor and Dean at Southeastern Louisiana University’s School of Nursing. She represents the Translation Research category as PI for the project “Risk Factors Associated with Shrimp Fishing in the Gulf: Heat Stress, Fatigue, Recovery and the Role of Cooling Materials on PFD Adoption.” Dr. Carruth is qualified to advise the Center on community-based research, effective educational strategies, social marketing and the commercial fishing industry. Dr. Carruth is also sensitive to cultural and gender differences among worker populations, having performed extensive research with Vietnamese fishermen, women and children.
Eva Shipp, PhD
Eva Shipp, PhD is a Research Scientist at the Center for Transportation Safety at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. She represents Surveillance and is the PI for the project, “New Approaches for Monitoring Morbidity and Mortality in Agricultural Workers.” She offers guidance on research with farmworkers, organization of research teams, the collection of primary data and field epidemiology, data management and analysis, and how to disseminate findings to the scientific and study community.
Sharon Newbill, PhD
Sharon Newbill, PhD participates on the IAC and advises the Center on Evaluation program efforts. She is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico- Albuquerque and the lead investigator for Center program evaluation. She has been engaged in evaluation for over 23 years, founding Folkstone Evaluation Anthropology consulting firm in 1998. She will provide updates on evaluation efforts and ensure that advisor recommendations are considered and activities move the Center closer to achieving its overall aims.
Tim Struttmann, MSPH
Tim Struttmann, MSPH, has been associated with the SW Ag Center for over a decade; prior to that he worked closely with the research team at the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention. He was also the principal investigator of the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation project and investigated over 40 tractor over turns.
His educational background is in public health. He received his Bachelor’s and Masters degree from the University of Kentucky. Mr. Struttmann’s current focus is in detecting adverse events from the administration of the anthrax vaccine among military personnel. He is conducting a large scale retrospective medical record review to determine if there is an association between anthrax vaccine administration and long term negative health outcomes. He also manages a team of medical coders and data processors on behalf of the National Health Care Surveys at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Mr. Struttmann remains a strong advocate for agricultural safety and health and is acutely interested in agricultural aviation both from a safety and health perspective as well as a homeland security issue.