2017 Club Leadership

img_0012President: Nick Reale ’11

Nick Reale is originally from Michigan, but calls Texas his second home. Nick holds a B.A. in Spanish and minors in health sciences and psychology from Michigan State University. He then earned his Master of Public Health degree in health policy and management from the Texas A&M School of Public Health in 2011. While at A&M, Nick served as president of the school’s student association and on the school’s external advisory board. He was selected as a fellow to the chief health policymaker in the Texas Legislature and later worked in Texas Medicaid program management. In 2014, his health policy career led him to D.C. He has worked for the National Governors Association, done independent consulting, and now works in the Office of the Director for the D.C. Department of Health. As First VP, Nick helped expand the professional networking activities of the D.C. Aggies and increased collaboration with the Texas State Society. Nick, his wife Jen, and their rescue dog Mia live in Cleveland Park, D.C.


img_8223First VP: Erika Schultz ’08

Erika M. Schultz ’08 grew up in Donna, Texas, a small town in the Rio Grande Valley. She started at Texas A&M University and received a B.S in agriculture leadership and development. During her first year at A&M, she was part of the student program Aggie Access Learning Community and became a mentor soon after. Before graduating, Erika came to Washington, D.C., as part of A&M’s ANRP internship program, interning with Congressman Ruben Hinojosa. After graduation, Erika started her career as a government employee in Arizona. In 2014, a job promotion gave her the opportunity to return to Washington, D.C. Erika previously served the D.C. Aggies as the Deputy Director of Student Outreach.


laurenVP of Finance: Lauren Pitts ’15

Lauren Kyla Pitts ’15 is originally from Washington D.C. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in environmental science and policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduating, Lauren became a Soil Conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. After three years of meaningful conservation, she came to Texas A&M under a National Science Foundation fellowship to study and research soil science. Her research at Texas A&M took her to Ghana, where she conducted sustainable agriculture experiments. While at Texas A&M, Lauren joined a diverse network of graduate students, played with the rugby club, and was an active member of the Black Graduate Student Association. She now works in Washington, D.C., as an Environmental Scientist of HGS Engineering, Inc. As VP of Finance, Lauren maintains the club’s books, taxes, and financials.



saraVP of Communications: 
Sara Kangas ’14

Sara Kangas ’14 was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but also lived in Durham, North Carolina, and Davenport, Iowa, before finding her way to Texas. She attended school in Denton and became a loud, proud member of the Class of 2014 at Texas A&M, where she majored in entomology with a minor in English. During her time at A&M, Sara volunteered with MSC Hospitality and Fish Camp, serving as the Director of Operations for the largest student-run extended orientation program in the nation. Sara moved to Washington, D.C., as a member of A&M’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy internship program, working as a Government Relations Intern with National Farmers Union, and immediately became involved with the D.C. Aggies, joining the Muster Committee. Currently, Sara works as the Communications and Operations Coordinator for the National Association of Conservation Districts. Sara manages the website, mailings, social media, and monthly newsletter for the D.C. Aggies.


img_0010VP of Activities: Jerry Salinas ’09

Jerry Salinas ’09 is originally from Kerrville, Texas.  He was raised in the Hill Country and went on to major in agribusiness with a certificate in international trade and agriculture. While on campus, Jerry was an active member in Beta Theta Phi Fraternity and Texas A&M Flying Club.  After graduating in August of 2010, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. After four and half years with the USDA, Jerry now works for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a Contracting Officer. Jerry coordinates events such as our Howdy Hours and Game Watch Parties.


ernieDeputy Director of Activities: Ernesto Garcia ’01

Ernesto (Ernie) Garcia ’01 is originally from Houston, Texas, and a former communications officer in the U.S. Air Force.  At A&M, he majored in information and operations management and was a member of Company K-2 of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets.  Upon commissioning in August 2002, Ernie served on assignments in South Carolina, Germany, Honduras, and Belgium; as well as deployments to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Afghanistan. After eight years with the Air Force, Ernie went on to earn a Master of Arts in international relations from Tufts University and now works for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP on their International Public Sector team. Ernie helps coordinate events such as our Game Watch Parties and the Big Event.


img_8230VP of Professional Development: Mary Christina Riley ’14

Originally from Newnan, Georgia, Mary Christina considers Texas her second home. She graduated from the A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service in ’14 with a Masters in Public Administration. While at A&M, Mary Christina participated in SGA and was a Bush Foundation Ambassador and host for all Foundation events. She also enjoyed volunteering for BCS Habitat for Humanity, the Bush Library, and as a Texas A&M Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Alumni Advisor. Mary Christina currently works as a Senior Legislative Assistant to a Georgia Congressman. As the VP of Professional Development, Mary Christina plans career networking events to utilize the great Aggie Network!


img_8225Deputy Director of Development: Rachel Mallison ’14

Rachel Mallison ’14 hails from beautiful Fort Worth, Texas. To quote Willie Nelson, she has “Texas in her soul.” Rachel graduated in five years with a B.A. in political science and a MPSA in public administration from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. While at Texas A&M, Rachel worked to combat human trafficking through multiple on campus organizations, and it is this drive for justice that brought her to Washington, D.C. In addition to her social justice work, Rachel studied abroad with the A&M Arabic department in Meknes, Morocco, and held leadership positions in Sigma Phi Lambda, Impact, and the Conference of Student Government Associations (COSGA). Rachel now works as a proposal writer at IDS International in Arlington, Virginia.


img_8231VP of Student Outreach: Robby Smith ’14

Robby Stephany Smith ’14, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M and master’s degree in public service and administration from the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. Robby, a College Station native, wrote and edited for the Battalion and volunteered for Breakaway Ministries while at TAMU. In her undergraduate studies, Robby studied abroad and focused on international relations and transatlantic security policy. While at the Bush School, Robby focused on nonprofit management and global governance. Robby works on defense and foreign policy for the United States Senate, and also currently serves as Secretary of Bush School Former Student Network. As the Vice President of Student Outreach, Robby coordinates student outreach and professional development initiatives for current Aggies interning in the Washington, D.C., area, including professional development night and the Developing Connections with Aggies Program (DCAP) mentoring program.

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