Meet the 2021-2023 High Council

High Chancellor Ricki Schroeder

Growing up on a small farm in rural northwest Oklahoma, Ricki developed a passion for agriculture at a young age. He also developed a love for leadership and service through his involvement in the Oklahoma 4-H program. Naturally, Ricki carried these passions for agriculture, leadership, and service with him through his time at Oklahoma State University (OSU) where he was involved with the Oklahoma Chapter of Alpha Zeta, the College of Agriculture Student Success Team, Collegiate 4-H, and the Student Alumni Board.

During his time in Alpha Zeta, Ricki served as the Censor and Co-Censor of the Oklahoma Chapter. In addition, he also served as co-chair of the 2017 National Agricultural Leadership Conference Planning Committee – where he was elected to serve as Censor on the High Council. After graduating from OSU with a B.S. in Agribusiness and a B.S. in Agricultural Leadership, Ricki moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in agricultural policy. He currently serves as Legislative Assistant & Member Services Coordinator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture under the leadership of Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway.

Location: Washington. DC
Term Expires: March 2025

High Censor Lauren Fessler

Lauren Fessler is an alumna of the Cornell Chapter of Alpha Zeta. Lauren graduated in 2017 with a BS in Biological and Plant Sciences and currently works as a research associate in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Tennessee. Her future aspirations are to attend graduate school in the field of plant pathology and to work in research and development at an international agricultural company. Lauren became a member of Alpha Zeta in spring of 2014 and has previously served as Chancellor and Recruitment Chair of her chapter and Alumni Representative and High Chronicler of the High Council. As a member of the High Council, Lauren hopes to give back to and improve the organization that she has benefited so much from.

Location: Knoxville, TN
Term Expires: March 2023

High Treasurer Kellen Habib

Kellen Habib served as the past Treasurer and Chancellor of the California Epsilon Chapter at California State University, Fresno. He is a recent graduate of Fresno State with his B.S. in Animal Science with a Pre-Veterinary option. Kellen became an Alpha Zeta member in Spring 2015 and immediately became heavily involved in the chapter.

Recently, Kellen earned his Ph.D. in genetics with a focus on infectious disease in livestock animals from Kansas State University. In addition to Alpha Zeta, Kellen has served two terms as the President of the California State FFA Conference Committee and worked as a professor’s assistant for the agriculture ambassadors program and research assistant in the Department of Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education. Kellen is also a member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau, ASAS, and holds the American Degree as an alumnus of FFA.

Location: Fresno, CA
Term Expires: March 2023

High Scribe George Stack

George Stack is an alumnus of the Cornell Chapter of Alpha Zeta.  He graduated in 2019 with a B.S. in Plant Sciences and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell. After completing his Ph.D., George hopes to work as an applied plant breeder or research scientist.  George pledged Alpha Zeta in the spring of 2016 and served as the Chancellor and New Member Educator of the Cornell Chapter. 

Location: Ithaca, NY
Term Expires: March 2025

High Chronicler Catherine Johnson

Catherine Johnson is the past social chair of the Delaware Chapter at the University of Delaware. She received a B.S. in Food and Agribusiness Marketing and Management with a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies and a certificate in New Product Development.

Catherine recently accepted a position as a Regulatory Research Analyst on the document team at FMC Agriscience in Newark, Delaware.   While there she worked with many Delaware AZ members and alumni.  Catherine worked for three and one-half years as an undergraduate research assistant at University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.

She planned her pledge class’ service event during which the chapter made over 200 sandwiches to donate to the Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room.   Catherine joined AZ in 2018 during the spring of her freshman year. She attended the AZ National Leadership Summit in 2019 as the only representative from the Delaware Chapter.

Catherine is beyond excited to share her love of Alpha Zeta with the rest of High Council.

Location: Newark, DE
Term Expires: March 2025

Student Representative Kristina Phelps





Location: Raleigh, NC
Term Expires: March 2023


Alumni Representative Cassandra Hiner

Cassandra Hiner is a California Eta Chapter Member at California State University, Chico. She came to Chico State hoping to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian, but has changed her plans a few times since. She is currently pursuing her B.S. in Spanish, with a minor in Animal Science and Mathematics. While she is no longer an agriculture major, her love for agriculture remains, which is why she has kept her Animal Science minor, which she hopes to use in her future. She became an Alpha Zeta member in Spring 2013 and served as Chancellor during the 2014-2015 academic year.  

She is aspiring to be a high school math/ag teacher, with the possibility of becoming a Principal further down the line. She is currently getting ready to apply to the credential program, and plans to further her education with a masters degree. Since joining Alpha Zeta, Cassandra has attended the last two NALCs and hopes to continue her involvement at the local and national level.

Location: Chico, CA
Term Expires: March 2023