These stars are rising

John Lawrence’s message from Aug. 20, 2018

ISU Extension and Outreach has cultivated another fine crop of Rising Star Interns. Twelve Iowa State University students served northwest and southeast Iowa from mid-May through early August. As they lived and worked in local communities, they experienced what their future could hold as extension professionals. They determined needs in their communities and then designed and implemented projects to meet those needs. Many times, their projects were team efforts and multi-disciplinary. Rising Stars have the opportunity to take skills learned in the classroom and apply them in the real world. Few internships offer this much opportunity and freedom. Did you know?

  • ISU Extension and Outreach sponsors the program in partnership with the Colleges of Design, Human Sciences, and Agriculture and Life Sciences, and with county extension councils.
  • Forty-eight students have participated in the program since 2014. All students accepted into the program have completed the internship.
  • Regional directors supervise the interns, with mentoring assistance from program specialists and county staff. In 2014, the program started in two regions (10 counties). This year, four regions provided the program, serving 19 counties.
  • Over the years, interns have raised the awareness of local foods and healthy living as they have assisted communities, schools, underserved audiences, producers, farmers markets, and community and economic development entities.

Thanks to the Rising Star Internship Program, Iowa State students have a greater understanding of the land-grant mission and our extension program areas. They’re also gaining an understanding of rural Iowa’s strengths and challenges. The internship may have a role in ISU Extension and Outreach’s succession plan, as well. Since 2014, two Rising Star alumni have accepted positions with county extension districts, and one ran and was elected as a county extension council member. If you are interested in the 2018 interns’ experience, read their blog or check their Facebook page. If you are interested in having Rising Star Interns work in your county in 2019, contact your regional director.

More notes

  • Congratulations to the extension professionals who will be participating in the inaugural year of Cardinal Women, a professional leadership development program at Iowa State: Jeannette Mukayisire, Human Sciences; Christine Knight-Gipe, Extension Finance; and Hanna Bates, Iowa Water Center.
  • My next round of visits begins next week, with sessions in Region 5, Aug. 27; Region 6, Aug. 28; and Region 12, Aug. 29. I hope to visit all 20 regions by mid-October.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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