John Lawrence’s message from Dec. 9. 2019
This week County Services begins interviewing students for Rising Star internships and plans to hire 16 interns for 2020. Each summer our Rising Stars live and work in rural Iowa communities, addressing real-life projects based on local needs. When the internship ends, our interns come back to Iowa State, but did you know? Our Rising Stars’ impact continues in rural Iowa.
When Region 3 Director Donovan Olson met with Latimer Development in 2016, the group was interested in revitalizing their downtown, addressing housing needs and attracting new development. Donovan helped them gain access to two ISU resources that were critical for their success. First the group worked with CyBIZ to study community needs and create a strategic plan to commercialize the downtown. The plan was completed and presented to the group in June 2017.
Then the Rising Star interns created a strategic implementation plan to help Latimer Development move forward on opportunities identified by CyBIZ. The Rising Stars simplified the options into two projects. The first was a plan to revitalize the downtown by developing a lot that the group owned. The second project laid out the steps to develop an independent living facility for seniors in the community. The Rising Star interns completed and presented their plan in August 2017.
This fall Donovan heard from Matt Hardy of North Iowa Cooperative, who said the Latimer Development group has made significant progress on the two projects. First, the group is working toward an agreement with Franklin General Hospital to construct a new clinic in downtown Latimer. Second, the group is assembling a list of community members interested in occupying senior housing and is working on acquiring the land to build a new multi-unit senior living facility. Latimer Development credits CyBiz and the Rising Stars with helping them identify a way forward and demonstrate that they were prepared to improve and expand their community.
ISU Extension and Outreach connects communities with resources they need. This Latimer example shows how our interns can have a lasting impact when they engage Iowans in solving today’s problems and preparing for a thriving future.
Internal Communications: County visit notification reminder
Back in July I shared how we would address two Internal Communications Task Force recommendations about informing county staff when you will be visiting or working in the county. I’d like to remind everyone about a simple action that will go a long way in improving communication within our organization. Visitors, send an email ahead of time explaining where you’ll be and why, and locals, acknowledge you received the message. For more information, please review my original update.
- Registration is open for the 2020 Professional and Scientific Council Professional Development Conference, Feb. 13 at the Scheman Building. Register by Dec. 20 to get the early rate of $100. The regular registration rate will be $120 from Dec. 21 through Jan. 31.
- Iowa State will reduce services for a partial campus shutdown during the week of Dec. 23-27. During this time campus staff may take vacation, work from home or work in their cold offices. (The university turns down the heat in many of the buildings to reduce energy costs.) Extension units, like other university offices, will have procedures in place to manage incoming messages or handle emergencies. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 30-31, are regular work days and Jan. 1 is a university holiday.
- The Extension Information Technology office will be closed with minimal staffing during the university partial shutdown through Jan. 1. EIT will monitor networks, servers, and the EIT Hotline (515-294-1725) for critical issues and emergencies but will not be handling routine issues (though you still can send those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org). The EIT office will reopen on Jan. 2.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach