Rising Star Internship

Rising Star crew 2023Applications are closed for summer 2024. 


See how Iowa State University students make a difference in Iowa. Every summer is different.

Watch the Facebook Livestream from Aug. 3, 2023.

Read the Rising Star Blog, a weekly journal from interns.

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What is the RisinBecome a Rising Star Facebook videog Star Internship Program?

Make a difference in Iowa communities during the summer. The ISU Rising Star Internship is a paid internship for eligible Iowa State University students working under the supervision of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach regional directors and staff from mid-May to early August ($16/hour, approximately 480 hours). *Housing or living allowance is provided.  

The intern teams support local communities by tackling needs they may not have the time or resources to address. Interns may do this by developing and leaving a sustainable plan or carrying out a previous plan. The internship gives students real-world opportunities that helps them prepare for careers after graduation and introduces them to career possibilities with Cooperative Extension.

*Some experiences and work may be virtual. For in-person experiences, you will be reimbursed for mileage at the rate defined by the IRS. Meals are reimbursed while on the road.

ISU Student Eligibility 

You must be in good academic standing to apply for and participate in this internship. An accumulative GPA of at least 2.5 is required.

You must be an Iowa State University undergraduate sophomore, junior, or senior in the fall semester following the summer internship in the Human Sciences, Agriculture, and Life Sciences or Design colleges.

You may receive academic credit providing this has been arranged with your college. These arrangements are your responsibility. You will pay the appropriate tuition for academic credit if the internship is completed.

Letters of intent must be signed and returned. You must pass the necessary background screenings. This process is done as soon as a letter of intent is signed. 

When applying, be prepared to submit a resume and cover letter addressing your reasons for applying, what your past experiences will bring to the internship (employment, education, volunteer work, etc.), what you hope to gain from the internship, and how this internship will support your professional and educational goals.

Read what former interns accomplished as a Rising Star

2023 Rising Star Internship Report

2022 Rising Star Internship Report

2021 Rising Star Internship Report

2019 Rising Star Internship Report 

2018 Rising Star Internship Report

2017 Community and Economic Development Plans:

You'll apply and integrate your academic knowledge and theoretical concepts in a work setting. You'll develop and increase your knowledge about your abilities, goals, and career interests. Take greater responsibility for your education and life by developing more self-reliance, personal styles, values, and beliefs in a manner consistent with becoming a responsible and productive individual. You'll expand your awareness of the world beyond the ISU campus by exposing you to various careers available through ISU Extension and Outreach. 

Questions? Ask one of the ISU Extension and Outreach regional director supervisors

Sarah Merrifield - Region 4
Cell 641-751-8112  merrifie@iastate.edu

RaeAnn Gordon - Region 11
Cell 319-350-1046  raeannb@iastate.edu

Terry Tornenten - Region 13
Cell 712-371-2312 ttorn@iastate.edu

Donovan Olson - Region 17, Story County
Cell 641-512-1750  donovano@iastate.edu

Former Rising Star Intern? Be part of the elite Rising Star Galaxy Club. See who's featured plus links to job opportunities and more.

The internship is possible through partnerships with and investments from the Iowa State University Colleges of DesignAgriculture and Life SciencesHuman Sciences, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and county extension districts. Locate an ISU Extension and Outreach county office.