Hi there, I’m Molly Taylor. I grew up in The Dalles, and I’m currently a student at Oregon State University, where I just finished my third year. I’m majoring in nutrition with a dietetics option and a minor in public health. Once I finish my bachelor’s degree I hope to complete a dietetic internship/master’s program and become a registered dietitian. Right now, I picture myself doing clinical work in a hospital and potentially becoming a diabetes educator, so I’m excited to work with OSU Extension and learn about the strategies used to educate the public.

This summer I’m interning with Lauren Kraemer in the Extension Family and Community Health Program at the Extension offices in Wasco and Hood River counties. It’s my first time working as an intern with extension and I’m looking forward to seeing all the different tools and strategies Extension utilizes to reach different populations in the local communities. My impression right now, with only two weeks under my belt, is that Extension goes out into the community and provides more accessible and equitable learning opportunities that some communities may not have had without Extension services.

4-H cooking camp

This summer I will be doing a variety of things such as food demonstrations at local farmers markets, handing out snacks at day camps, demonstrations at food pantries, along with helping out with some 4-H cooking camps and potentially helping to create a cookbook using Food Hero recipes for seasonal migrant workers and their families who make Wasco and Hood River counties their home for the summer.

Last week I got to see Extension in action when I helped out with a 4-H cooking camp. The camp taught kids how to cook a three-course meal using Food Hero recipes which are balanced, easy-to-make and affordable. The camp also allowed the kids to develop food safety skills and measuring techniques which got them excited about what they were eating because they had a part in creating it. There were also some MyPlate activities where we went over the MyPlate illustration with the kids and then had them build their own meals using pictures of different foods. It was fun to see the kids get excited about food and put their MyPlate knowledge to work by brainstorming different meals using some of their favorite foods while trying to incorporate all the food groups in order to have a balanced meal.

I’m excited to continue working and learning from all the opportunities and experiences that come with this internship!

Hello everyone, my name is Yolanda Diaz, and I am from the town of Nyssa in Malheur County. I’m a student at George Fox University, on my way to a bachelor’s degree in social work. I aspire to pursue a master’s in social work and then become a licensed clinical social worker. One of my main goals is to have my own counseling practice for families and children.

I’ve been involved in OSU Extension 4-H Teens as Teachers and other programs where I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and network with many STEM professionals. This summer, I’m working alongside my supervisor, Barbara Brody, associate professor of practice and 4-H educator. So far, I’ve had the opportunity to plan cooking camps for youths, learn about aviation services, promote physical activity around our county, and develop engaging activities at the farmers market.

Yolanda Diaz poses for a picture in front of an Oregon State University Extension Service farmers market booth with coloring supplies and coloring sheets available for youth
Yolanda Diaz at the OSU Extension table at a farmers market.

The process of planning and delivering “Kids in the Kitchen” was a new and exciting experience for me. I’m grateful that our team is able to host summer camps in order for youths to gain essential skills regarding cooking and baking. Seeing them understand concepts and apply them to their work throughout the summer is truly rewarding. Our team has also gotten the chance to visit different schools in our county and teach lessons related to food and nutrition.

Yolanda Diaz handing out sliced fruit to a little girl for making smoothies.
Yolanda Diaz (right) hands out ingredients for making smoothies.

One of my favorite parts of this internship is working in makerspace events. I contribute by helping students learn the process of laser engraving, vinyl cutting, T-shirt and sticker-making, and 3D printing. With the rapid advancement of technology, I believe it’s crucial for youth to learn 21st-century skills. One of the best things about makerspace is that it provides a chance for students to stay determined and creative through the process. The makerspace even won a national teamwork award this year!

Planning educational activities for families at the farmers market is one of the most rewarding parts of this internship. It’s an exciting time to meet families and share resources with them. This year, all of our activities are focused on bringing awareness regarding what bees do for our environment. Engaging with youth about this topic, while building fun crafts, is a beneficial way to inform children about the agricultural setting we live in and how it contributes to our daily lives. The farmers market really helps Extension reconnect with our community and remind them what we are all about.

A valuable lesson I’ve gained from working in Extension this summer is the importance of community partnerships. Involving different organizations is very beneficial. Networking with professionals that may have a different background than yours brings another insight into the subject matter and it also strengthens our community. I’m looking forward to the upcoming events that we have planned. I am thankful to be doing such meaningful work in my community and to grow as a leader, student and intern.

Hello, this is Kanar Shaiban. During my internship for the OSU Extension office in Jackson County, I learned how to be self-sufficient and obtain information and awareness by seeking answers independently. My experience also strengthened my ability to think by encouraging me to look for evidence and generate effective solutions. Furthermore, it taught me how to address the community’s challenges through my projects.  

I also learned how to perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis as a skill in my report about unmet housing needs in Jackson County. This internship was also helpful because it seemed like an environmental scan that covered every aspect of the community. Most significantly, my internship experience and projects taught me how to connect my public health major to the general well-being of the population and community. 

I want others to realize how valuable OSU Extension is to the community and how it seeks to provide information, resources, and expertise to solve local issues and help everyone thrive. 

Extension also promotes positive change through initiatives that make everyone feels secure and welcome. For example, when working with Jackson County during my internship, I realized that Extension is dedicated to serving all those in need. 

In my job, I assisted undocumented survivors who were primarily impacted by last September’s wildfires but were ineligible for federal housing assistance. While doing so, I realized what my career is all about and how it strives to engage with the community to address unmet needs and challenges, resolve them, and develop innovative solutions. I realized how OSU Extension could be linked to my public health major. It helped me comprehend what my degree is all about, it served me put what I learned into practice, and it allowed me to appreciate what my career entails even more. 

In general, the OSU Extension experience taught me the value of serving the vulnerable and those in need, and I realized how vital my profession is to society. This internship is something I would strongly suggest to other OSU students. It’s hard to determine a favorite aspect of my internship experience because I liked every aspect of it. However, the most satisfying element was exploring solutions to assist those in need and identifying methods to address their challenges. 

Hello Everyone! 

This summer I have been interning with OSU Extension Communications and my experience thus far has been great! Primarily, I have been working with our social media team to create content promoting Extension’s resources and local impact, and coordinating and publishing the posts on this blog. Doing this has grown my understanding of how Extension is influencing our community. While my internship has been remote, I have been able to read about the work other interns are doing in counties in their blog posts. Being a part of the blog process this summer has been a really insightful part of my internship. It is awesome to hear how the interns are seeing their internship goals being met and fulfilled by their involvement with various Extension programs and work. I am excited to read more about the work and accomplishments of our interns as the summer comes to an end. 

Since beginning my internship, I have been able to learn so much about Extension and how Extension is represented through social media. One project I worked on is helping launch the OSU Extension service Instagram account. The process of starting the account involved meeting with other faculty and staff from other Extension programs. I was able to meet with the social media managers for the OSU Master Gardeners, the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and the social media strategist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Speaking with other social media coordinators was very helpful and gave me insight into the goals and planning tools other programs use in order to share their resources with their audiences. I realized how important online media can be to share the story of Extension and how it can positively influence the lives of many Oregonians. 

To prepare for the launch of the OSU Extension Instagram I designed graphics, including an infographic about what farmers can do make to prevent fires and a graphic about how wildfire smoke can affect animals. I hope to create more educational graphics in the future and am eager to see their impact on our audience. 

Our Instagram launched this past weekend and I am excited to see what the last few weeks of my internship hold! 

Hi all! I’m Brady Monteith, reaching out from sunny Klamath Falls. I’m on a bit of a different schedule down here at the OSU Extension office in Klamath County, and I’m quickly approaching the end of my time here before I pack up and head down to Arizona. It’s been an eventful 12 weeks, and I’m so grateful for all the learning opportunities I’ve had.

My main project this summer has been Double Up Food Bucks at our local farmer’s market. We worked with the market coordinator and our local vendors to create programs that encourage more people to use their SNAP-Ed benefits for local produce. Each week, we had a different “Featured Food” that we tried to line up with what was in season. At our booth we would have various Extension Food Hero resources such as recipes and informational handouts about our Featured Food. We put together a market tour, which was essentially a short scavenger hunt with some sample questions that encouraged shoppers to explore the market and communicate with local growers. We also collected information and put together profiles on our local vendors, still with the hope that we can help shoppers get to know the people who grow their food.

Another project I’ve been working on is the delivery of the Cooking Matters class, both in-person and virtually. The last three weeks I’ve been helping Paolina Mulleneix, Extension’s Farm to School outreach program coordinator in Klamath County, deliver the Cooking Matters for Families class virtually. We’ve had about five families join in Zoom each week and we all cook a meal together. Just this last week, we taught the Cooking Matters For Teens class in-person out in Chiloquin. On the first day of class only two kids showed up, but the last day we had seven. We spent an hour with the kids each day, talking to them about how to eat healthy and be safe in the kitchen. By the end of each day the kids went home with a delicious meal they had prepared themselves.

This internship has been incredibly insightful and has allowed me to see nearly every aspect of our local food system. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been meeting with people who play a part in our food system, from growers to policy writers.  The experiences I’ve had have been so valuable, and I can’t wait to see how I will be able to apply them in my future studies.

Hi everyone! My name is Annie Keene and I am going to be graduating this fall at Oregon State University. I am from Thousand Oaks, California, and I’m currently doing a remote internship with OSU Extension Communications in Corvallis. I am majoring in nutrition and dietetics and will be applying for a dietetic internship this year to hopefully become a registered dietitian. In the future, I hope to use my education to help people in my community improve their health and wellness through nutrition education and medical nutrition therapy.

Some of my interests include cooking, hiking, and exploring different coastal towns and coffee shops. Since living in Oregon, I have been able to see some beautiful places and trails. Most recently, I enjoyed visiting the Cape Perpetua lookout and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This summer, I hope to do some more hiking at Smith Rock and trails near Mt. Rainier.

During my internship, I will be working in Extension Communications on social media coordination and publishing intern blogs on this site. I will be working closely with the social media team to draft, schedule, and upload content onto OSU Extension’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. I will also be working on launching an Instagram account for Extension with the help of our social media team and staff. I’m looking forward to meeting with other social media managers of other Extension programs and OSU staff to gain insight into their experience and expertise with running multiple social media platforms.

Prior to this internship, I did not have a lot of experience with OSU Extension and am still very new to learning about what Extension has to offer. I had some experience with Extension through my role as a student outreach assistant for Oregon SNAP-Ed’s Food Hero program. Working with Food Hero has connected me with other Extension staff from Family and Community Health programs and gave me some insight into some of their work in the community.

This summer, I am excited to continue learning about Extension and sharing its resources through my work with the communications team!

Hello everyone! My name is Brady Monteith, and I’m a sophomore at the University of Arizona, studying nutrition and food systems. Although I go to school Arizona, I grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I’m back home for the summer, so I’m interning with the OSU Extension office in Klamath County. Klamath is a very ag-centric community, so I’ve grown up surrounded by agriculture. My family owns and operates a commercial farm, and my first job was to drive tractor and rake hay, so I’ve always felt quite connected to that side of the food system. 

During my internship I will be working under the supervision of Patty Case. My goal through this internship will be to better understand the Klamath food systems and the many people who play many diverse roles in it. I will be doing this through a few different projects. The main project I will be working on will be Extension’s role at the local farmers market. We will be working with the market director to provide nutrition education and help people to use their SNAP-Ed benefits to purchase local produce. I will also be assisting Extension Master Gardeners in their role at the farmers market. In addition to these projects, I will be assisting with the Cooking Matters program, to further expand on the nutrition education side of things. 

Before starting this internship, I really didn’t know much about OSU Extension. I had heard of Master Gardeners, but only knew that some people used them to test their soil. I came into the internship with pretty much no knowledge of what I would end up doing. However, the wonder people at Extension were quick to help get me oriented and have given me every tool I need to be successful.  

Joseph O’Brien recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.

I would like to start by saying I’m very grateful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to work as a student intern through the OSU Umatilla County Extension Service. Throughout these past 10 weeks, I’ve worked on countless projects, interacted with community members, and grown personally.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, this internship has proved me wrong again and again. For instance, obtaining knowledge about the programs, resources, and workshops offered to everyone in the nearby communities of Umatilla and Morrow counties.

Toward the beginning of this internship, I was encouraged to create two personal objectives. Here is what I came up with: Grow within a professional work environment/improve my work ethic skills, and provide educational content about community health to young adults and youth in nearby communities.

One way I’ve incorporated these objectives into this experience is through the STEM Saturday experiments for kids that my fellow intern Ruben and I have been working on throughout this entire internship. An example would include a water tension experiment. I explained that when you dip dish soap into pepper-covered water, the water tension is disturbed. Therefore, the pepper is pushed to the edges of the plate. One way I related this to my community health objective is washing your hands. This allowed the kids to imagine that the pepper is dirt, bacteria, or any other bacterium/infective agent and explaining how important it is to wash your hands under warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. I felt this was especially important to include considering the global COVID-19 pandemic.

During this process, Ruben and I created “Take and Make” sheets and a lesson plan for these six different water-based experiments. This part of the project really incorporated both objectives I created by allowing us to provide knowledge, collaborate with each other and relay information to our supervisor, and educate others while still having fun!

On the occasion that I was asked what my internship entailed, I made sure to tell them about how I was able to connect with community members, help at workshops, take projects head on, grow professionally, and develop skills that are not offered many places. Additionally, I would like to encourage those who seek challenges, a variety of tasks, and who want to learn more about the community they reside in to research this internship opportunity.

None of this would have been possible without my amazing supervisor, Anna Browne or fellow intern and friend Ruben Lopez. When I look back at this internship experience and my involvement with the OSU Extension Service here in Umatilla county, I would not change anything.

Stay safe everyone and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask!

Joseph O’Brien is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.

In mid- to late July, I had the chance to work with community members from Umatilla and Morrow counties at Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs Workshop Camp (NBT), a two-week day camp with 10 new students each week. During this camp, my role was to put on a team-building activity each weekday for at least 15 to 30 minutes for the middle schoolers attending – sixth through eighth grade – and help throughout the day. The purpose of NBT camp was to educate the youth about the workforce positions available within the Port of Morrow located in Boardman as well as positions available in Hermiston, and also teach them about apprenticeships, how to be entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, and get them to start thinking about their future, all while following state safety regulations. Examples of workforce jobs we talked about included electricians, food manufacturers, diesel mechanics, etc.

Umatilla Electric Cooperative provides electrical circuit activity for youth at the NBT camp.
Umatilla Electric Cooperative provides electrical circuit activity for youth at the NBT camp.

One thing I took away from this camp was not only are these jobs going to be around for a very long time, but also, it is up to Generation Z to make sure that these jobs are filled. None of this would have been possible without Kalie Davis, workforce training manager at Port of Morrow and her two interns; Leah Harris at the Port of Morrow, Anna Browne, my internship supervisor and the 4-H/Juntos Latino outreach coordinator and acting Umatilla County Extension Service agent; Ruben Lopez, an Extension intern in Umatilla County; educators from Blue Mountain Community College and Pendleton School District, and workforce presenters from Umatilla Electric Cooperative and Boardman Foods.

Another interesting job I had was being part of the OSU TRACE-COVID-19 project in Hermiston. I thought this would be an important experience to provide my services and share with you. A commonality between the TRACE-COVID-19 Project and Extension Service is providing the community with resources that may not be present. In this case, OSU provided free COVID-19 tests for residents whose addresses were randomly selected. My role as research assistant was to help a team leader by driving to houses, collect materials and tests needed, and organize and distribute forms.

OSU TRACE-COVID-19 Project vehicle
OSU TRACE-COVID-19 Project vehicle.

From my many work tasks and experiences, I can say that OSU Extension in Umatilla County exceeded my expectations. From providing hands-on experience in the wood shop to youth to providing educational/medical resources to nearby communities, I am truly blown away. I’ve learned that the Extension Service is not only here to help with the Umatilla County Fair, but it provides so much more than I ever thought.

In the beginning of this internship, I feared that my main tasks would revolve around helping with the 4-H program and I would have very little room to explore my interests of community health and education within the surrounding communities. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I am glad that these experiences have proved otherwise. With that said, I am disheartened that my internship experience may not be all that I wished it could have been due to COVID-19. When I say that, I am referring to the return of Umatilla County to baseline status, meaning we were restricted to traveling outside our homes only for necessary travel. This prevented Ruben and I from being able to record videos for our STEM Saturday series that we have been working on this entire internship. This is only another roadblock and based on all the opportunities I have encountered; I am determined to make the most of my remaining weeks working remotely.

Stay safe everyone and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask!

Daniela Valle recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Wasco County.

Since my last blog post, I have been steadily gaining confidence in my skills as an intern during a public health crisis. My first project was to learn about health communications. Communicating effectively with large groups of people is essential, especially when the information you share can save lives. I’ve learned how to make information clear, easy to access, and culturally appropriate. I made a PSA about COVID-19 that was shared in our community and shared with Extension partners statewide. Knowing that social media plays a significant role in health communications, I formatted these PSAs into Facebook and Instagram stories and posts. They’ve been provided to OSU Extension employees for their social media accounts.

COVID-19 PSA

 

One of the highlights of my days is seeing how the Extension mission is met in the Gorge. Extension is like a bridge that connects communities to abundant resources and knowledge to improve the lives of the youngest children and the oldest adults. I have been amazed to see how my community tackles such a critical health crisis with strong partnerships and cooperation. As I sit in on migrant and seasonal farmworker virtual task force meetings, my peers are a diverse group of health experts, business owners, faith leaders, and volunteers. Although we may all hold different job titles, our desire to serve this community is the same. At the beginning of this journey, I felt underqualified and intimidated by the daunting crisis. Since then, my colleagues have helped me become more comfortable sharing my perspective and engaging in different projects. 

 

Distributing PPE to local growers for their farm workers. PPE is crucial for keeping our farm workers healthy.
Distributing PPE to local growers for their farm workers. PPE is crucial for keeping our farm workers healthy.

My first in-person outreach as an intern was a success. In partnership with the local health departments, I distributed over 500 masks, bandanas, and hand sanitizer for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. That hour was extraordinarily hectic but equally gratifying. It’s true that if you choose a profession you are passionate about, the hard work becomes easy. I was happy to be able to provide these vulnerable populations with the supplies they need to stay safe during the upcoming harvest. As I near the end of my internship, I hope to continue gaining valuable experiences and reflecting on the many lessons I’ve learned so far.