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Iowa State University Extension

November 2013 -- From Cathann Kress

Cathann Kress speaking with community leaders

This fall Extension and Outreach announced our new Rising Stars Internship Program, which we hope will make a difference for Iowans. This cooperative effort among the colleges of Design and Human Sciences, Extension and Outreach, and county extension councils will result in summer internships focused on regional food systems for exceptional ISU students. We’re piloting the program and in October I had the opportunity to talk about it with community leaders in Fort Madison.

This fall regional directors Cheryl Heronemus and Bob Dodds attended an Iowa State career fair to share the program with potential interns. The interest far exceeded our expectations and our expectations were very high. Cheryl and Bob received resumes from students in culinary science, event planning, communications and marketing, dietetics, kinesiology and design. 

President Leath has said we need to educate our students not only in the classroom, but also outside of the classroom. Rising Stars exemplifies this approach as well as Iowa State’s land-grant mission. The program will bring talented students with new ideas, enthusiasm and energy to Iowa communities. And local leaders will serve on advisory councils in both regions to help these “rising stars” shine.

-- Cathann

Companies use CIRAS, Iowa State Structures Lab to test products

testing product design

When Iowa companies need to test the structural performance of new product designs, they can turn to the Extension and Outreach Center for Industrial Research and Service for assistance. For more than a decade CIRAS, in partnership with Iowa State’s Structural Engineering Laboratory, has conducted preliminary structural engineering tests for internal company use. The tests help companies determine whether they need to adjust their product design or if the product is ready to be launched.

“CIRAS is easily accessible and easy to work with, and they give the testing results back in a good turnaround time,” said Jeff Ingels of XL Specialized Trailers. See the story in CIRAS News.

Extension, DNR educate communities on flooding

Flooding in Iowa

Flooding in Iowa” offers a close look at floodplains, flood risks and ways to mitigate possible future losses from flooding. The web-based educational videos are suitable for local officials as well as the general public. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources contracted with ISU Extension and Outreach to develop the videos.

Extension planning and development specialist Gary Taylor pulled together a diverse team of ISU College of Design students from community and regional planning, architecture, landscape architecture and biological/pre-medical illustration for the project. The IDNR Floodplain Management Division provided guidance and expertise in developing the content.

Iowa State University a partner for cleaner waters

cover crop

Extension and Outreach through Iowa Learning Farms hosted multiple field days this fall to increase farmers’ understanding of the costs and benefits of growing cover crops. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy identifies this practice as one way to help protect Iowa’s water quality.

Iowa State University hosts the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy website, where the plan details are available. The Iowa strategy is a coordinated approach for reducing nutrient loads discharged from the state’s largest wastewater treatment plants, in combination with targeted practices designed to reduce loads from nonpoint sources such as agriculture.

Iowa State intern keeps 4-H culinary competition fresh

Kaitlyn Romitti

Kaitlyn Romitti’s summer internship with Extension and Outreach gave the Iowa State junior a jumpstart on achieving her career goals. The dietetics and family and consumer sciences major served as events coordinator for 4-H’s “Cook This!” culinary competition at the Iowa State Fair.

Romitti was selected for the internship because she brought a unique perspective to the position with her academic background and passion for 4-H. She said the summer internship helped her prepare for a future career by giving her a new set of skills and real-world professional experience that she could not get in a classroom.

Extension workshops offer ‘Smart Choice’ about health insurance

Smart Choice health insurance

With the opening of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, many Iowans are taking an active interest in their health insurance options. ISU Extension and Outreach is offering workshops to build Iowans’ health insurance literacy so they can make informed decisions.

Smart Choice Health Insurance workshops are being offered throughout Iowa. The research-based program is designed to help consumers understand health insurance concepts and terms, evaluate their own health insurance needs, examine insurance plans and select a plan that fits their needs and budget.