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Experiential Scholars Program (ESP) is a paid 9-week summer internship program for
undergraduate juniors and seniors interested in working in the areas of water/soil
conservation, food health/nutrition/safety or community development.
Water & Soil Conservation
Explore water and soil conservation efforts to protect and sustain water resources
including agricultural water quality and use, nutrient management, watershed management,
and soil health.
Health, Nutrition, & Food Safety
Develop, evaluate, and disseminate education programs, emphasizing healthy lifestyles
to prevent and/or reduce adult and childhood obesity and other diet related diseases.
Community & Economic Development
Explore four areas of community and economic development: economic viability and sustainability;
entrepreneurship; civic engagement; and quality of life/place.
In a nine-week summer program (May 20 through July 19, 2024) students will:
The primary location for internships is central Arkansas. If needed, housing options
may be available. Please contact Lisa Davis, (501) 519-5472, email@example.com, to discuss.
Each scholar will receive an hourly rate of $12.50 ($4,500 for a nine-week appointment)
during the summer months of May - July.
Each scholar will be assigned a focus area mentor. Mentors will train, provide hands-on
learning opportunities, and will work with interns to develop a special project such
as a field demonstration, organizing a public meeting, or other related task as part
of the internship.
Student ActivitiesInternships will be focused on Extension education with three major thrusts:
The scholar will assist the mentor or designee in their day-to-day activities as a
means of simulating what Extension education is all about in terms of technical programming,
building trust through relationships, serving a partner, serving clientele, facilitating
meetings, conducting field demonstrations, farm visits, planning, evaluation etc.
Scholars will keep a journal of daily activities to document their growth and understanding
Secondly, ESP participants will participate in a total of six leadership seminars
via Zoom where students will interact with each other, share their experiences, and
learn leadership skills as applied in Extension.
Finally, each scholar will work with their mentor to select an Extension project that
the scholar will conduct, evaluate, and complete an impact report. Mentors will provide
guidelines as to the appropriate scale of a project that can be completed in nine
weeks and that targets a need in the county or state.
Arkansas Discovery Farms (ARDF) Program includes 12 privately owned businesses on
which water quality research is being conducted. ARDF has emerged as a unique, important
educational platform that has been successful in addressing water quality, water use
efficiency, and improving soil health.
Scholars will learn to use state-of-the-art water quality monitoring systems installed
at the C.A. Vines 4-H Center to document environmental impacts and to demonstrate
the potential of Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS)-approved conservation
In addition, Scholars will work with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Stream
Team to learn how advocacy impacts conservation of Arkansas water resources.
This research focus area will be led by Dr. Mike Daniels, professor of crop, soil,
and environmental science.
Scholars will complete the online food safety course, Serv Safe and attend training
on how to conduct a food demonstration including nutrition education and food safety
This training would cover how to do demonstrations in various situations including
a live audience, a videoed presentation such as for a television spot, and virtual
presentations such as Zoom and how to conduct demonstrations in various areas such
as a space with no kitchen facilities and if a pop-up space is used.
Scholars will also participate in the Home Grown and Homemade video series funded
by Arkansas Farm Bureau demonstrating safe food storage and recipes using locally
This research focus area will be led by a team of Family and Consumer Sciences mentors
for a wide variety of training and experiences.
Rural areas in Arkansas have been greatly challenged over the past several decades
by economic and demographic changes and now find the loss of businesses and continuing
migration of youth and talent to urban areas of critical concern.
Scholars will be educated about information provided in the 2021 Rural Profile, a
publication that describes important social, demographic, and economic trends. This
data may be useful in developing strategies to build strong communities and support
entrepreneurship and broadband access, which will stabilize and reverse some of the
negatives experienced by rural communities.
There will be three ongoing community-based projects in this focus area that students
can participate in. These include:
The research focus area will be led by Dr. Hunter Goodman, assistant professor, Tabatha
Duvall and Brandon Mathews, program associates, community, workforce, and economic
ESP will begin on May 20, 2024 with a three-day orientation at the C.A. Vines Arkansas
4-H Center in Little Rock, Ark. Participants will then work with their mentors in
their focus areas for the duration of the program. One and a half hour virtual seminars
in leadership development topics will be offered weekly. The program will culminate
on July 19, 2024.
See tentative schedule here.
Who can apply?Junior or senior-level undergraduate students who are citizens or permanent residents
of the U.S. currently enrolled in any U.S. institution are eligible to apply. Priority
will be given to students from traditionally underserved minorities, first-generation
college students, and students from institutions with limited research opportunities.
Complete online UADA application. Submit the following.
We recommend that you carefully develop your personal essay. All documents should
be provided as PDF files with your first and last name included in the file name.
Application DeadlineApplications are due at midnight on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Decisions will be
made by Friday, March 1, 2024.
APPLY THROUGH UADA JOBS.
Participating Scholars, along with approximately 20 other undergraduate students,
are invited to participate in the third annual Future Ag Leaders Tour. This one-week experience will enhance students’ leadership and employability skills,
provide first-hand networking opportunities with potential employers, and highlight
the vast resources, services, and careers available through Arkansas’ agriculture
industry including Extension.
Participants spend the first day engaged in team building exercises and learning about
networking, resume writing, social media presence, professionalism, and interviewing
in preparation for their whirlwind tour around the state. Participants can interact
with farmers, producers, vendors, and many others including Extension agents that
support the agricultural industry in Arkansas.
The goal of this tour is to better prepare and inform new graduates. The tour helps
participants discover jobs across the state, keeping homegrown talent in-state, and
local. Participants are housed in local lodgings with all meals and transportation
QUESTIONS? Contact Dr. Julie Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lisa Davis, email@example.com.
A nine-week summer internship program supported by USDA-NIFA Award 2023-68018-40315.