Summer 2023 Intern Spotlights

Extension Interns Share Their Experiences

Romina Flores Diaz

Romina Flores Diaz

Latinx in Conservation Intern | Major: Political Science & History, '26 CLAS

Working with Dr. Mayra Rodríguez González on developing programming for Latino Conservation Week has been the opportunity of a lifetime! The impact I have seen the program create and the outreach we have been able to provide has been incredible, truly a showcase of the impact of inclusivity in environmental outreach. We commonly reach communities that have been traditionally cut off from opportunities to learn about environmental topics by issues as simple as a language barrier.

Through this internship, I have been able to utilize my Spanish speaking skills to communicate with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and build my networking skills, not only in English, but in Spanish as well. A lot of my work has been centered around translating factsheets and media posts to help connect the Spanish speaking community to events in their areas.

My future plans include pursuing a law degree. This internship has helped me to narrow down which fields I am most interested in. I look forward to learning more about environmental law and its intersections with social justice issues. Thanks to Dr.Rodríguez's support, I am eager to see where the rest of my internship will lead!

Aliza Ebora

Aliza Ebora

UConn School and Family, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education Program (SNAP-Ed) Intern Intern | Major: Allied Health Sciences, '24 CAHNR

I am an intern for Healthy Family CT, a SNAP-Ed program that provides nutrition education to low income residents in the state. Throughout the summer, I have taught lessons on topics such as hydration, food safety, fruits and vegetables, and plant based proteins at sites such as preschools, senior centers, health centers, grocery stores, and food access sites across the Greater Hartford Area. I have enjoyed being able to make connections over food across a wide range of demographics. My favorite part of this whole experience is seeing people get excited for healthy eating!
Mike Fenton

Mike Fenton

Fruit Production Intern | Major: Sustainable Crop Production, '24 CAHNR

This summer I am working with Evan Lentz and Connecticut fruit growers monitoring insect pests and diseases. Over the course of a week I visit 13 different farms all across Connecticut and record data on 11 different economically important pests in fruit production. This internship has a great mix of lab and field work! My favorite part of working with Extension is the sense of community and connection with others that are also in fruit growing. I believe it to be necessary for UConn to support the state's agriculture through services like this and I am very proud to be a small part of that.
Laurel Humphrey

Laurel Humphrey

Plant Diagnostic Lab Intern | Major: Biology, '24 CLAS

This summer I am working with Dr. Goltz at the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab (PDL) where we help diagnose plant problems for homeowners and growers in the community. The PDL receives samples from people across New England who need help identifying plant diseases, pests, or abiotic concerns and advice on how to manage these issues in their gardens. Dr. Goltz has taught me many skills so far that will be useful for working in a lab setting after graduation. In order to identify plant diseases I have learned to observe pathogens under the microscope, perform lateral flow assay analysis, as well as tissue and bacteria culturing. One of my favorite parts of this Extension internship is that it allows me to apply the science I have learned in a practical lab setting, while also helping people in my community and making connections with others who share the same interests. Overall, this internship has given me valuable work experiences related to my major that will serve me well in the future, and helped continue my passion for learning about nature and the environment.
Maggie Mahoney

Maggie Mahoney

UConn School and Family, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education Program (SNAP-Ed) Intern Intern | Major: Nutritional Sciences, '25 CAHNR

As an intern with the SNAP-Ed team at UConn I have been able to develop a deeper appreciation for community nutrition through outreach and education. There is a rewarding feeling at the end of each day that comes from helping people in the community. Our team has been working in New London County at senior centers, libraries, senior housing communities, farmers markets, and mobile food pantries. We educate various populations on the importance of nutrition, and how they can achieve optimal nutrition for health when they might not have sufficient income or funds. We have been able to share social media posts and knowledge on how to access more resources than we might be able to provide in one quick conversation.
This UConn Extension internship has been a valuable experience for me as an undergraduate student studying nutrition. It helps me to practice what I have learned while getting a glimpse at what my career could look like in the future. Having the opportunity to work with a team of dietitians has been wonderful, and it has given me a chance to explore community nutrition outside of the classroom.
Eli Moskowitz

Eli Moskowitz

Fairfield County Community Nutrition Intern | Major: Nutritional Sciences, CAHNR

One of my favorite programs through this internship was when I helped teach and prepare lessons with the Norwalk Health Department at the Growing Gardens, Growing Health which is at Fodor Farm in Norwalk. We provide eight different classes during this program. I led a youth group and taught them about the negative effects of sugary drinks and better alternatives for healthy beverages. I presented physical demonstrations of how much sugar is in some sodas and the participants were shocked. I also showed them how to read serving sizes as well as sugar in grams. In fact, yesterday when I was teaching one of these programs, a young child told me how much sugar was in her drink and she told me whether it was healthy or not. This gave me a sense of pride and happiness in both my students and in myself. I was glad to see that they were taking my lessons and applying them to their lives!
Alexandra standing in front of a stream holding a dog

Alexandra Sirko

UConn 4-H Middlesex County Intern | Major: Nutritional Sciences, CAHNR

I have always been interested in the concept of healthy living and hope to make a meaningful change in this space while educating others on how to live their ideal, healthy, and happy lives. This internship has given me a platform to channel my personal interest into an educational program specifically designed for youth.

Not only was I excited about contributing to the healthy living aspect of 4-H workshops, but I also wanted to learn more about 4-H. I have enjoyed learning about the program and meeting the youth and families involved in 4-H. It is clear how passionate they are about what they do, and the positive impact this program has on their lives.

In this internship, I have had the opportunity to take an active role in promoting healthy living. I plan on running a plant potting booth at the fair, and handing out seeds to families so they can grow their own fruits and vegetables at home! Additionally, I will be organizing and hosting an open house event alongside the intern from New Haven County, where we will give those interested in 4-H a “backstage tour” to introduce them to the program firsthand and answer any questions they may have. I have also been able to increase outreach for 4-H through flyers, and soon at farmer’s markets & local libraries with engaging activities. This internship has allowed me to build new skills such as marketing, leadership, and communication which I am grateful for. 

It has been a pleasure working alongside the parents, youth, volunteers, and staff within UConn Extension’s 4-H program. I look forward to seeing all their hard work showcased at the fair this summer!

Moazzam Sultan holding a cat

Moazzam Sultan

UConn 4-H New Haven County Intern | Major: Financial Management, '24 Business

My enthusiasm for discovering new experiences is one characteristic that best describes me. As a result of this, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the UConn 4-H program. I had never been to a 4-H fair before my internship, but the idea of the 4-H program had always interested me.

During this internship, I practiced working on projects autonomously, demonstrating my ability to make decisions and manage my time effectively with minimal guidance. These projects include working on the 4-H database, form creation, and data entry. In addition, I will be collaborating with the intern from Middlesex County to organize and host an open house event, during which we will provide people interested in 4-H with a backstage tour. Furthermore, I will engage in outreach activities for 4-H by distributing flyers at local farmer's markets and public areas throughout my city. This internship has taught me new skills like leadership, outreach to my community, collaboration, and project management. These newfound skills will undoubtedly contribute to my future professional growth, which I am grateful for.
Matt Syrotiak

Matthew Syrotiak

UConn 4-H Hartford County Intern | Major: Animal Science, '25 CAHNR

Throughout this summer I have the opportunity to learn about the various camps, fair activities and programs that take place throughout UConn Hartford County 4-H. Learning about the differences and similarities between county programs and helping in creating forms, input data and understanding data are just a few of the many jobs and opportunities I have.

One of my largest tasks for the summer is working with a local youth program and providing 4-H education in the areas of healthy living, STEM, and agriculture. This programming will help students discover the 4-H program and the opportunities within it.

I am interested in pursuing a career in agricultural education so this internship is a great opportunity to impact 4-H youth and get a behind the scenes view on what is required in the job. I cannot wait to see what else I can get done through this internship!
Sophia Tung

Sophia Tung

UConn 4-H New London County Intern | Major: Allied Health, '25 CAHNR

Throughout the summer, I am given opportunities to explore my creativity but also improve upon skills that I would need post graduation. I have contributed on a variety of activities, ranging from assembling kits to coming up with my own activity that I’d like to share with the students. As someone who knew nothing about the 4-H program when I first started, I have been taught their principles and goals, and learned how much care goes into this program.

I am interested in going into perfusion school and the attention to detail that I have to put to practice at this internship supports that.

One of the best parts of working at this internship is the people I work with. My supervisors are extremely supportive and I look forward to learning more as the summer continues.

Abby Wilber

Abigail Wilber

Salesforce and CRM Intern | Major: Agriculture and Resource Economics

I’m glad I had the chance to develop these skills in this type of role and in an area [agriculture] I love. 
Read more about Abby's internship on UConn Today.
Gabby sitting on a pillar looking down at the camera

Gabrielle “Gabby” Wincherhern

4-H FANS Fitness and Nutrition Course Intern | Major: Undeclared; Emerging Interest in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, '26 CLAS

My internship is focused on marketing a 4-H curriculum. The curriculum teaches healthy living to upper-elementary school kids through nutrition and gardening education, which I think is pretty important. What I do is figure out how to promote the curriculum via digital media, mainly videos. I do research, note down the most important points to talk about, script videos, storyboard them, and then put everything together. Researching the curriculum and talking with my coworkers have also helped me learn quite a bit about nutrition education and outreach, even though I'm not directly involved with any of it. All in all, it's a pretty great gig. I love the video creation process, I genuinely believe in my work, and I'm surrounded by coworkers who believe in what they're doing too.