A galaxy for extension’s future

John Lawrence’s message from April 8, 2019

With enough Rising Stars, you can build a galaxy – and a bright future for ISU Extension and Outreach. That’s the plan behind our Rising Star Galaxy Club, our continuing relationship with our former Rising Star Interns as they move on from our internship program. If they’d like to begin an extension career, the Galaxy Club connects them to job openings in the counties, on campus and in other states. If an extension career isn’t their path, the Galaxy Club is a way to stay connected and become an advocate for ISU Extension and Outreach. Either way, we hope these young people will remain engaged with our land-grant mission. Did you know?

  • Our Rising Star Internship program began in 2014. Frankie Torbor served during the first year. He says the experience “lived up to the expectation listed in the job description,” providing professional responsibility with both scheduled tasks and self-directed work so he could tailor the internship to his interests. Frankie’s experience is currently featured on the Rising Star Galaxy Club webpage.
  • Evan Fritz also was in the first group of interns. He went on to serve as a member of the Winnebago County Extension Council, gaining experience that helped prepare him for the next phase of his career.
  • Some former Rising Stars have joined ISU Extension and Outreach. Mackenzie DeJong is a human sciences program coordinator in northwest Iowa. Cassie Odland is a family life and nutrition educator in Polk County. Breanna Miller is a program assistant with our Community Food Systems program. In addition, Emily Bormann is a 4-H youth program assistant with Nebraska Extension.

These are only a few of our many Rising Star success stories. And by the time you read this message, we either will have or be close to having all 12 interns hired for this summer. Orientation for our 2019 Rising Star Interns is April 12-13. In mid to late May they will begin their work in Regions 1, 3, 5 and 20, continuing until August. During their internships, our Rising Stars raise awareness of local foods and healthy living as they assist communities, schools, farmers markets and economic development entities across the state. Through the Galaxy Club, we want to help them continue their relationship with ISU Extension and Outreach for the rest of their lives.

More notes

  • Happy ISU Extension and Outreach Week, April 8-13. It’s a good time to thank the many volunteers, community leaders, organizations, agencies and other partners who support our work. It’s also Forever True Week, April 8-12, celebrating the impact that Iowa State’s generous alumni and friends have made on the university.
  • We just turned in our federal report to USDA NIFA on April 1. Thank you for all your good work. Every data point you provide is used in at least one report and often several, as well as staff success stories, research journal articles and grant applications. Reporting helps us tell our story to make sure our stakeholders, partners, funders and all Iowans will continue to support our work for a strong Iowa.
  • Read the April program update from the leadership team for current examples of what is happening across our programs.
  • Mental Health First Aid training can help you learn what to do, what to say, and how to offer support and resources to help Iowans who may be experiencing a mental health related problem or crisis. This evidence-based, 8-hour course will be offered April 25, May 23, Sept. 26 and Nov. 7. You can register through the Professional Development website.
  • “Building Awareness: The Military Community and ISU Extension and Outreach” is May 8 at Iowa State. Register for the symposium, which is open to anyone interested, including the military community at Iowa State, local Veterans groups, agencies and individuals who support the military community, county Veterans service officers, and extension faculty, specialists and county staff.

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

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