Each year, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service hosts a summer intern program. The program allows college students to work in a professional role for 12 weeks and gives students insight into Extension as a career option. This year, five students from the School of Human Environmental Sciences completed the internship program. This story provides a brief chronicle of their summer adventures in Extension.
Andrea Johnson, a dietetics major, worked with Theresa Scott, Family and Consumer Sciences agent in her home county, Floyd County. During her internship, Andrea took part in many new experiences. These included attending meetings, going on field trips with the quilt guild, and participating in health fairs and other community-based events to help spread knowledge about nutrition and wellness. Andrea’s special intern project was “Wildcat Way to Wellness with Senior Citizens.” In this program, she visited senior citizen’s centers in Floyd County and gave lessons on low-fat diets, fiber, and low sodium diets. After presenting her nutrition lesson, she provided handouts, goodie bags, and interacted with the seniors. Over the course of the summer, Andrea met many new and wonderful people and explored the towns within her home county.
Erin Gibson, a dietetics student, utilized her knowledge during a summer internship with Debra Cotterill and the Nutrition Education Programs staff. A typical day for Erin consisted of assisting with office work, preparing for meetings, and preparing food to test for the 2014 Food and Nutrition Calendar. She met many current and retired Family and Consumer Sciences agents and learned about their Extension careers. Erin co-taught a track at the 4-H Teen Conference. Her special project included writing new lessons for the Literacy, Eating, and Activity for Primary (LEAP) curriculum. She picked two new books to incorporate into the curriculum and wrote lesson plans and support materials. Erin chose the recipes that would correlate with the new curriculum she created.
Kameron White, a self-proclaimed “city-girl” from Louisville, Kentucky, had the opportunity to work with Shelia Fawbush, the Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Shelby County. Kameron is majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. She assisted in Extension programs like “Kids in the Kitchen,” prepared for the county fair, led a lesson at the adult daycare center, and met many community members. For her special project, she decided to do a spin on UK’s Weight: The Reality Series. In this project, participants received weekly nutrition classes and kept weekly food journals and physical activity charts. A weekly weigh-in tracked any changes. Through the summer, Kameron learned that Extension is about going out into the community and offering education that can help clients improve their lives and the lives of people around them.
Mollie Dawahare interned in her home county, Pike County. Working with Leslie Workman, Pike County Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Mollie put her dietetics knowledge to good use. Her summer highlights included: giving cooking demonstrations at the Farmer’s Market, assisting in hosting cooking classes, preparing for various meetings, and participating in kid-friendly programs focused on nutrition. For her summer project, Mollie created and offered a cooking class for parents who wanted to learn new and healthy recipes for their families. Using her dietetics background, she demonstrated the chemistry components of cooking and how each main ingredient affects the body and our nutrient needs. Mollie found that Extension is all about community and building relationships within the community.
Sarah Holbrook, a native of Lexington, Kentucky worked in Magoffin County with Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Brooke Jenkins-Howard. Sarah is studying family sciences. As an intern, she prepared and assisted in meetings, made valuable contacts in Extension and the community, participated in community-based events, and created relationships that will extend past the internship. Some of the events she was involved in were Relay for Life, a bread-making workshop, and featuring a lesson on healthy breakfast foods for the local television channel. Sarah’s summer project involved creating and facilitating a summer camp at the Extension office. She chose an adventure camp theme filled with a presentation by a local member of the muzzleloaders society, scavenger hunts, and water games. The lessons that she learned during her summer in Extension exemplified a strong and committed community that cares about the betterment of themselves and future generations.
From these five profiles of Family and Consumer Sciences interns, it is easy to see that the impact of Extension goes beyond 12 weeks. The internship offered many great opportunities to learn and become involved with the communities they served. Interns were able to use the knowledge they gained at the University of Kentucky and continue to learn about improving the quality of life for families across the state of Kentucky. Let’s congratulate these interns, their supervisors, and Extension on continuing to be a positive force in our communities and lives!