Hi! My name is Alyssa Benoit and I am interning with Sustainable Food Systems Educator Jiff Martin through UConn CAHNR Extension. I am a rising senior at UConn majoring in Allied Health Sciences, and in the Fast-Track program for a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) through the Department of Public Policy. I help with communications on the initiatives Heart CT Grown, Put Local on Your Tray, Taste of Mansfield, and a project for Northeastern CT direct-to-consumer farm sales. In my free time, I enjoy trail running, rock climbing, and gardening!
Hi! My name is Marlena Takes and I am excited to be an intern with Windham County 4-H and contribute to youth development and STEM programs this summer. I am an upcoming junior at UConn studying Allied Health Sciences and minoring in Spanish. While at UConn, I enjoy volunteering, especially with the Windham Heights After School Program where I tutor and mentor students. This experience has prepared me to create STEM content for 4-Hers virtually this summer. I am involved with the development of activities and videos explaining STEM topics and providing opportunities for students to experiment with them while using resources at home. Some of these activities have been shared with local libraries, including activities relating fairytales to simple machines, and others are available online, including calendars with a task or experiment to complete each day. In my free time, I love spending time outside and gardening, which is something I have been able to incorporate into these summer activities. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for science with others and connecting with 4-H members, staff, and local libraries through the county’s programs this summer!
Hi everyone! My name is Kirsten Krause and this year I am the Tolland County 4-H summer program intern! I am currently a junior attending UConn Storrs as an Animal Science major on the pre-veterinary track, with hopes to attend veterinary school after completing my undergraduate degree. At UConn, I am heavily involved in many livestock clubs, including Block and Bridle, the Poultry Science Club, and the Dairy Club, which I will be serving as the president of for the 2020-2021 school year. I am also involved on campus as a student ambassador for CAHNR, a herdsman for the animal science department “Little I” livestock show, and as a volunteer student worker in various livestock research studies.
This internship is very near and dear to my heart, as I grew up as a 4-H youth in Tolland County and have spent the last 11 years immersing myself in county, state, and national 4-H activities. I have served on the county fairboard as a youth director for 5 years, 2 of which I held the position of president and 1 year as a junior advisor. At the state level, I have participated in various leadership forums and have been a member of the Teen Leadership Planning Committee. At the national level, I have attended 3 national 4-H trips, as well as being selected as a CT 4-H youth representative to attend the 4-H CS Pathways grant training in Utah last spring. Additionally, I was the Tolland County 4-H program intern last year, and in previous years I have worked closely with the past program intern through my fairboard committee, which is what prepared and inspired me to pursue the position as the program intern.
This summer, I have been working extensively on developing a virtual platform for Tolland County 4-H youth to exhibit their projects in place of a live, in-person fair. I work closely with other members of the county fairboard, prospective judges, as well as other 4-H counties’ youth and interns to compile appropriate resources for 4-H youth to have the same opportunity to participate in a fair this year, despite the transition to being entirely virtual. Additionally, I have served as the primary contact for virtual 4-H fair related inquiries. I am thankful that although the fair will be very different this year, I am still able to contribute to positive youth development and network with other students, 4-Hers, and interns through my position.
Hi everyone! My name is Klaudia Sowizral and I’m the Sustainable Turf and Landscaping intern. I’m a rising junior here at UConn pursuing a double major in Environmental Science with a concentration in Sustainable Systems, as well as a major in Sustainable Plant and Soil Science, and a minor in creative writing. My interests include sustainable agriculture and development as well as invasive species control and conservation. I’m currently developing written means of communication on sustainable land practices and invasive plant control for land and turf managers in the state of Connecticut. I have a background working with invasive aquatic plants as well as sustainable land management. I play D1 for the UConn Women’s Volleyball team, and outside of school I love the arts and make plenty of pottery and ceramic art.
Hello! My name is Prabhas KC and I am the Extension Marketing intern for Summer 2020! I am a rising junior, double majoring in Economics and Consumer Behavior. I am involved in numerous organizations throughout campus, such as Camp Kesem and the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. I am working on many creative projects this summer, while at the same time learning more about interpreting analytics and data!
At UConn, I am studying Psychological Sciences with a minor in Spanish. During my two years working in the Community Outreach Program Jumpstart I had the opportunity to work with preschool children teaching them topics like science, world cultures, and language. Through my role as a research assistant at the UConn Cognitive Development Lab, I gained experience using a coding software for three different games. These experiences taught me about the development of young children, research methods, and project management. Eventually, I hope to work in human resources. My other interests include running, baking (especially pastries), and video games.
This summer, I am working with my supervisor on a financial game that will teach students and young adults how to manage their money. I hope to gain more experience in project management and to create a fun, educational experience for college and high school students. I am also creating animated videos for the Connecticut Saves social marketing campaign to promote saving among young adults.
Hello! My name is Lindsey Kollmer and I am honored and excited to be the Connecticut River Estuary Aquatic Invasive Plant Steward Intern for the summer of 2020. I am a rising Junior at UConn currently pursuing a double major of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Molecular & Cellular Biology. I am a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society at UConn and enjoy crocheting comfort objects for babies in the NICU as a part of the Knit for NICU club.
As part of my internship this summer I am focusing on protecting the lower CT River from two aquatic invasive species in the CT River Estuary: Water Chestnut and Hydrilla. I am working to raise public awareness about these plants and how destructive they can be to the local ecology, public enjoyment, and economy of the river. After just a short time learning about these plants, I am alarmed at the destruction they bring (and their potential for a lot more!). This ignited even more motivation in me to help inform people about the simple ways they can prevent the spread of aquatic invasives to protect our valuable resources and favorite outdoor places.
To enrich my internship experience, I am volunteering with the Friends of Whalebone Cove to “paddle and pull” or hand-pull Water Chestnut from local coves off the river. It is so rewarding to see the difference in a location before and after pulling Water Chestnut. (Catch me on the UConn Extension Instagram at a Water Chestnut pulling event!)
I am so lucky to be making a difference so close to home and to be working with such knowledgeable mentors from CT Sea Grant, Judy Preston, and Nancy Balcom. Every day I am learning something new and cannot wait to continue my internship journey!
Hello everyone! My name is Erin Korowotny and I am very excited to be the intern for New Haven County 4-H this summer! I am a rising senior in UConn CAHNR, studying Agriculture and Natural Resources. Currently, I serve as the Treasurer of the UConn Agriculture Advocacy Club. After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in either Extension education, or become a high school agriculture teacher. I was an avid FFA member in my 4 years of high school, but never got involved in 4-H, so I am excited to learn more about what it has to offer to its members. This summer I am working on virtual ways for our 4-H members to celebrate their annual fair and their accomplishments, as well as activities that can be done from home to keep members engaged and busy.
To see more of what I’m doing with New Haven County 4-H, check out our new Instagram page: middlesexnewhaven4hfair
I am a Senior undergrad environmental engineering major and ecology and evolutionary biology minor with a passion for entomology. This summer I will be working as a vegetable entomology intern through UConn’s Extension Internship Program. I work closely with Professor Legrand to develop an informational entomology website and outreach educational materials. Other than web development, I am creating informational and fun content for Bug Week, developing a social media presence for the IPM entomology lab, as well as collecting and rearing various insects. Through this internship, I am excited to continue learning about entomology and the various aspects of integrated pest management.
Hi! My name is Autumn Blasi, and I’m one of the summer interns with UConn CAHNR Extension. I’m currently working in clinical and community nutrition with organizations like the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), and the Human Resource Agencies (HRA) of Bristol and New Britain. At UConn, I major in Nutritional Sciences, with a concentration in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), and have a minor in Food Science. Also at UConn, I’ve been involved with various volunteer programs. I have been a member of both the Boston Understanding Homelessness and the New Haven Urban Food Insecurity alternative break trips, in addition to working with SOS Food Recovery. This involvement in volunteer work has greatly influenced my outlook on health and nutrition, as I have had the opportunity to learn first hand how limited resource populations are impacted by food insecurity. Beyond volunteer work, I’m also a peer educator for UConn Students Helping to Achieve Positive Esteem (SHAPE), and will be the secretary of UConn Nutrition Club beginning this fall. Currently, I also work as a dietary aide at Foxhill Center, a nursing home and rehabilitation facility.
Thanks to this experience, I have been able to begin my internship with a diverse background in food and nutrition subjects. Currently, I am helping to co-create and teach a summer nutrition education course through HRA. Additionally, I’m working on recipe and meal kit development, and have been attending clinical nutrition webinars. As the summer progresses, I hope to do more with clinical nutrition, and look forward to continuing my work with my amazing internship supervisors. Through this experience, I’ve already learned so much, and have found new ways to connect with those experiencing food insecurity. If you would like to learn more or support those experiencing food insecurity, check out the UConn EFNEP web page, or contact your local food pantry!
UConn EFNEP Website: https://efnep.uconn.edu/