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!
Meet Kirsten Krause: Tolland County 4-H Intern
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.
Meet Bianca Castelan: Financial Literacy for Youth and Young Adults Intern
Hi, my name is Bianca Castelan and I am the Financial Literacy for Youth and Young Adults Intern for summer 2020 with the UConn Extension Financial Education Program.
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.
Meet Lindsey Kollmer: Connecticut River Estuary Aquatic Invasive Plant Steward Intern
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!
UConn 4-H August Activity Calendar
UConn 4-H has created an activity calendar for youth for the month of August. Participate in STEM-related activities with us all month long!
A printable PDF is available at: UConn 4-H activity calendar-Aug 2020
Meet Ryan Morais: Vegetable Entomology Intern
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.
Meet Kyle Stubbs: Web Development Intern
Meet Will Carta: CLEAR Intern
My name is Will Carta and I am interning with CLEAR through UConn CAHNR Extension. I am going to be a senior at UConn and I am majoring in Natural Resources with a concentration in Water Resources and Climate. Before transferring to UConn I spent two and a half years at Manchester Community College. I love fitness, fishing, and playing basketball with friends whenever I get the chance. I am currently working on updating CLEAR’s “State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut“ story map. Many of the links to various regulations throughout this story map are out of date, which I am in the process of updating. I have found that many of the towns that did not have a specific document for their Stormwater Management Plan when the story map was first created, now have one. This is great to see because it shows that more and more towns in Connecticut are acknowledging the importance of Stormwater Management as well as Low Impact Development and putting out regulations to deal with it. Along with the LID Story map, I will also be working on updating UConn’s Virtual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Campus Tour. This virtual tour highlights the University’s leadership role in addressing the impacts of stormwater runoff on water quality.
Learn more about the State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut at http://s.uconn.edu/stateoflid and the Virtual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Campus Tour at http://s.uconn.edu/gsitour
Meet Megan Davenport: Hartford County 4-H Intern
Hi everyone! My name is Megan Davenport and I am Hartford County’s 4-H Intern this summer! I am currently a junior at UConn in Storrs, CT and am double majoring in Animal Science (ANSC) and Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) and minoring in Agriculture Outreach and Learning. At UConn, I am heavily involved in the Dairy Club and the Block and Bridle Livestock Club and enjoy introducing UConn students and community members to the agricultural operations on campus. Before UConn, I was a proud 4-H member for 8 years where I showed dairy cattle for my project and I also served as a State FFA Officer among other leadership roles through my extensive involvement with FFA. Through all of my time in FFA, 4-H and my extensive experience in the dairy industry, I realized my true calling lies in the education and communication of agricultural operations and programs. I am excited to educate youth about agriscience and to inspire them to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in their community.
Due to COVID-19 and the virtual transition of 4-H programs, I will be finding creative ways to connect, engage with and educate 4-H members about the world of 4-H and agriculture online. This summer I will be focusing on social media engagement with 4-H youth and community members as well as creating educational videos for UConn 4-H members to utilize on topics such as but not limited to… animal restraint, dairy fitting and topline clipping, dairy judging, milking procedures, giving oral reasons, leadership skills, resume building and professional networking. Tune in on our various social media accounts (@uconnhartfordcounty4h) for our “Fun Fact Fridays” and “Mindful Mondays” and be sure to check out these educational videos on the UConn Extension YouTube channel!
Meet Sara Tomis: New London County 4- H Intern
Greetings! My name is Sara Tomis and I am working as an intern for the New London County 4-H Office. I am majoring in Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Connecticut, and I intend to pursue a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education upon the completion of my undergraduate degree. I aspire to combine my passion for animal science and horticulture with my passion for outreach to develop a successful career in agricultural education.
I am involved in FFA as a member of the CT State Association Executive Committee, and I currently serve as a board member on the New London County Agricultural Extension Council. In addition to my internship in the New London County 4-H office, I work as a social media specialist in UConn CAHNR Extension and assist in UConn social media outreach for the National Healthy Homes Partnership. This past spring, I had the pleasure of drafting and speaking in an #AskUConnExtension video detailing healthy hygiene when interacting with animals. This opportunity enabled me to expand on my writing skills, content delivery skills, and impact while spreading a message that is close to my heart.
This summer, I am assisting in the delivery and preparation of our virtual 4-H Summer Library Program. I am working to tie agricultural concepts into our program content to increase agricultural awareness in New London County youth. Additionally, I am assisting in the facilitation of the UConn 4-H Ozobot Club, which brings 4-Hers together from across our state to learn about robotics and technology. I am also working to prepare our New London County Virtual Exhibition which will take the place of our traditional fair and highlight proficiency, knowledge, and growth in New London County 4-Hers. I am excited to be working to produce accessible education and growth opportunities for youth in my community!