Rising Star Internship

What is the Rising Star Internship Program?

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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 mid-May to early August ($12/hour, approximately 480 hours). *Housing is provided.  

Immersed in Iowa communities, multi-disciplinary teams of ISU students apply their academic skills and knowledge to real-life community needs. Teams collaborate with non-profit organizations, local food systems, extension offices, and/or community and economic development organizations. Portions of the work may be developing communications, promotions, social media content using Iowa State's branding and editorial standards. Some projects may develop community garden designs or other types of strategic plans. 

  • Read the blog from the current Rising Star interns and what they are doing in Iowa communities.
  • Watch the 2021 Facebook Livestream presentation of summer 2021 accomplishments. 

*Some experiences and work may be virtual. For in-person experiences, you must have access to dependable transportation. You will be reimbursed for mileage at the rate defined by the IRS. Meals will be reimbursed while on the road.


Become a Rising Star Facebook videoFind our table at fall career fairs! 

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.

ISU Student Eligibility - Summer 2023

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

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

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

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

Printable Brochure


Read what former interns accomplished as a Rising Star

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 a greater responsibility of 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 a variety of careers available through ISU Extension and Outreach. 


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

Cheryl Heronemus - Region 1
Cell 712-240-2472  hero@iastate.edu

Molly Hewitt - Region 6
Cell 712-539-1059  hewittm@iastate.edu

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

Sherry Ford - Region 18
Cell 641-660-1553  slford@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 Rising Star Internship program is a cooperative effort between Iowa State University Colleges of DesignAgriculture and Life SciencesHuman Sciences, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Locate an ISU Extension and Outreach county office.