New Family and Wellbeing Program Coordinator Announced

ALTOONA, IA (August 02, 2023) – Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach in Polk County announces Virginia Atwell as the new Family and Wellbeing Program Coordinator. Atwell was most recently the Polk County 4-H and Family Life Educator, a hybrid position within the county, however with their new role Atwell will now entirely focus on human sciences programming and education. 

“Virginia is a committed Extension professional and has proven skills in program implementation and coordination,” said Paul Gibbins, regional director of ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County. “In their new position, Virginia will continue to play a critical role in supporting Polk County through specific family wellbeing education that elevates individual wellbeing, supports healthy relationships, and nurture early literacy among Polk County’s youngest residents.”

Atwell will be charged with developing partnerships and collaborations with agencies, associations, and organizations to implement program activities. Additionally, Atwell will actively recruit participants for youth and family programs as well as conduct community outreach events.

“In this position I will work with ISU Extension and Outreach's Human Sciences specialists and Polk County's current Family Wellbeing Program Coordinator to promote early literacy, safe and relatable parenting resources, and wellbeing for neurodivergent individuals and families,” said Atwell. “While I will greatly miss all of the 4-H adventures, I look forward to focusing on family wellbeing in Polk County, especially the opportunity to serve more diverse communities in our county." 

Prior to this transition, Atwell served the county in a hybrid position working with both 4-H and Human Sciences, and before that as youth nutrition educator where they engaged elementary-age children in hands-on nutrition lessons. Atwell joined ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County in 2021. Before their work with Extension, Atwell pursued a variety of professional experiences including nonprofit capacity building, food insecurity research, interfaith education, and mental health advocacy. Atwell graduated from Simpson College and received degrees in religion and philosophy.


About ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County 
For over 100 years, ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County has served its residents by connecting them to research and resources developed by Iowa State University. Knowledge and programs offered through the ISU Extension Polk County office have been specifically tailored to represent, enhance, and meet the needs of Polk County residents and community. For 2023 ISU Extension in Polk County will focus on local issues including:     K-12 youth outreach; family and food; and agriculture and the environment. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County is a part of a 99-county campus backed by research to serve all Iowans to create a strong Iowa.