Extension Scholar Program

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Video: Extension Scholars: A summer of experiential learning: youtube.com/watch?v=RuSzXJ9EEZE

What is an Extension Scholar?

Our Extension Scholars program offers UD students a unique, hands-on 10-week summer experiential learning environment under the guidance of extension agents or specialists.

During this summer internship, students will follow Cooperative Extension's service learning model, implemented through one of extension's four program areas: 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, lawn and garden, and agriculture and natural resources.

Any current undergraduate, in the summer following freshmen year and beyond, or graduate students at UD are eligible to participate and opportunities are available in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. 

While this program does provide a stipend for participants, interns will be expected to provide their own transportation, and mileage to and from work is at the intern’s expense.


Interested in becoming a 2023 Scholar?

View the 2022 information below to get an idea of what the program entails and what positions you may be interested in. While these are subject to change each year, the positions are often similar in topic and scope. Then check back here after the new year for the updated timeline and 2023 applications. 

We look forward to another summer of excellence!


2022 Extension Scholar Position Descriptions

ES22:1 Plant Diagnostics

Department: Agriculture and Natural Resources

Location(s): Townsend and Worrilow Hall, Newark campus

This scholar will assist with processing of plant diagnostic samples, reporting results, and outreach activities. This position offers an opportunity to learn about plants, plant diseases, and plant and soil health in Delaware landscape plants, vegetables, and crops. The scholar will help with laboratory triage, plant diagnostic techniques including microscopy, culturing fungi and bacteria from plants, Elisa testing, and PCR/sequencing to diagnose pathogens.

ES22:2 Environmental Quality

Department: Agriculture and Natural Resources

Location(s): Kent County

This Extension Scholar will work with the Environmental Quality Extension Specialist to support an initiative to bring Cornell Extension's Climate Smart Farming (CSF) program to Delaware.  The scholar will aid in creating outreach materials on CSF practices appropriate for Delaware and signage for demonstration areas across the state.  The scholar may also assist with coordinating training on CSF tools for technical service providers and farmers.

ES22:3 Ornamental Entomology

Department: Agriculture and Natural Resources

Location(s): Mainly NCC but may travel to NJ, VA, MD and the rest of DE

Learn about Integrated Pest Management, interact with green industry professionals, and assist with various entomology related projects throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Projects include non-target effects of mosquito applications, management of nursery or greenhouse pests and insects that attack stressed trees.

ES22:4 EXCITE: Extension Collaboration on Immunization Teaching & Engagement
Family and Consumer Sciences

Location(s): New Castle County office

Nationally, Cooperative Extension is being funded to address health disparities among rural and underserved communities. The purpose of this project is to address vaccine hesitancy, and to strengthen vaccination education and outreach. In Delaware, we are collaborating with University of Maryland (College Park) to reach essential agriculture workers, farmers, healthcare providers. We are particularly focusing on learning what health messages related to COVID-19 vaccine resonate with our target audience in selected rural counties in Maryland and Delaware as well as their needs for information.

Responsibilities of this project include:
• Research updates on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine
• Keep UD Extension website up to date with COVID-19 content and information
• Research appropriate vaccination (all vaccines; not limited to COVID-19) information to share with community members
• Develop educational resources/materials for vaccine hesitancy and vaccination education
• Assess and analyze educational resources and provide feedback for potential edits of material to ensure cultural competency and understanding for the target audience
• Attend state and multi-state meetings (most will likely be virtual)
• Organize and help facilitate vaccination events/webinars

ES22:5 4-H Youth Development

Department: 4-H Youth Development

Location(s): New Castle County & some statewide

We would like this scholar to create a 5-part Financial Literacy program that can be taken to out of school settings (ex. day camps, afterschool programs, boys & girls clubs etc..). We would like them to find those sites and facilitate those programs at the sites throughout the summer. They will need to have reliable transportation. We would also like them to do a pre and post evaluation to assess knowledge of topic. We would also like them to assist with other 4-H programming throughout the Summer. Which could include but not limited to day camp, state fair, pulling curriculum together for fall programming at county funded clubs.

ES22:6 Vegetable and Fruit Program

Department: Agriculture and Natural Resources

Location(s): Carvel Research and Education Center, Georgetown, DE

In collaboration with the Emmalea Ernest, Scientist with the Extension Vegetable and Fruit program, the scholar will develop educational videos and factsheets about small fruit production and collect data, images and video from a small fruit demonstration plot established in 2021. The crops currently grown in the demonstration area are blueberries, red raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries, seedless grapes, currants, gooseberries, honeyberries, hardy kiwis, elderberries and aronia. Factsheets and videos will cover recommended establishment practices, pruning and training, irrigation systems and climate change adaptation strategies. The scholar will assist with demonstration plot care and help to plan and host a workshop in the demonstration area.

ES22:7 Delaware Fit Biz Extension Scholar
Family and Consumer Sciences

Locations: Primary Location: Sussex County Secondary Location: Kent County (Milford - 1 day/week)

Funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed), Delaware Fit Biz is not just another worksite wellness program, but a menu of health behavior change strategies designed to create a culture of health within Delaware worksites. Through the implementation of policy, systems and environmental changes (PSEs), supported by technical assistance, marketing and coordinated educational programming, Delaware Fit Biz will ensure that the healthiest choice is the easiest choice for Delaware employees!

Extension Scholar Responsibilities:
Update website and create social media posts as needed and requested.
Assist with the implementation of site-based worksite wellness strategies.
Assist with the development of a system to monitor worksite wellness strategies.
Assist with the development and manage the administration of worksite wellness surveys.
Coordinate and attend live weekly health fair events focusing on worksite wellness topics (including but not limited to: Nutrition, physical activity, tobacco prevention, hydration, social/emotional wellness, farmers markets, breastfeeding/lactation, National Farmer’s Market Week). Health fairs will occur weekly at each Perdue Farms Milford and Perdue Farms Georgetown. Curriculum has been developed and the Extension Scholar will be working with onsite wellness staff, Nutrition Assistants and/or other Extension Staff at the Health fairs.
Attend Delaware State Fair events (4-H Foods Judging, Healthy Kid’s Day, etc.)
Attend meetings as requested.
Reliable transportation is necessary as travel within Kent and Sussex Counties will be required.

ES22:8 FCS & 4-H

Department: Family and Consumer Sciences

Location(s): New Castle County/remote

This position will work with both the Family and Consumer Science team and the 4-H team to engage youth as Health and Wellness Ambassadors. While this position will be based in New Castle County, the activities impact youth and teens throughout the state, which may include some evening hours. Specific activities to include:
- Assisting with monthly health and wellness ambassador meetings.
- Helping ambassadors develop health and wellness programming
- Assisting with planning and implementation of teen-based events for health and wellness to include, but not limited to: 5Ks, cook-alongs, art-focused events, etc. with community partners.
- Assisting with teaching of programs to younger youth at sites such as summer camps and summer feeding sites
- Assisting with the development of web and social media content for youth and teens.
- Collecting, entering, and analyzing data for events and education programs

ES22:9 Envision

Department: Agriculture & Natural Resources

Location(s): New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties

Envision is a three-year undergraduate research experience focused on generating the next generation of Agricultural Scientists. As minorities are underrepresented in these disciplines and research target areas, this project was developed to address this disparity.

The Envision Extension Scholar will document the summer experiential learning of the cohort and come to understand how extension outreach is vital in the transference of university research to the public. The scholar will receive video production training and present this work at both public (Delaware State Fair) and scientific (UD Symposium) audiences. The summer includes training in video equipment, editing and storytelling, industry trips, laboratory and safety training, and participation in team-building activities. The student will be mentored by a faculty member from Animal and Food Sciences

2022 Program Details

The Cooperative Extension Summer Scholar Program connects university knowledge, research and resources with the public to address youth, family, community and agricultural needs. 

The goal of Cooperative Extension is to help individuals, families and communities make informed decisions that can enhance their lives. The organization generates and disseminates research-based information, provides focused educational opportunities and builds relationships that create effective solutions



Current undergraduate (rising sophomore) or graduate students at the University of Delaware.



The Extension Scholars program is designed to follow the service learning model whereby scholars will have an opportunity to become fully engaged in organizational service experiences that:

   —Are integrated into the academic curriculum

   —Meet the needs of a community

   —Provide structured time for reflection

   —Help to foster civic responsibility



Extension Scholars expand their knowledge and participate in the delivery of Extension programming.  Scholars have the opportunity to develop leadership and interpersonal skills, to learn about careers in Extension, and to apply knowledge gained through university coursework. Summer scholar experiential learning may include: videography and marketing; participate in conducting a needs assessment; designing and delivering educational programs; evaluating program impact; working with volunteers; fostering partnerships; pursuing funding. These can be updated based on agent request to reflect actuals! View position descriptions below.


Location — Cooperative Extension Offices:  

New Castle County Extension, Newark DE

Kent County Extension, Dover, DE

Sussex County Extension, Georgetown, DE



   —The Summer Scholar Program is a full-time 10-week session: June 6 – August 11, 2022.  

   —The program commences on June 6 with a required Orientation. 

   —Scholars may be required to participate in the Service Learning Symposium held the last week of the session (August 11) which requires a poster or oral presentation 

   —Scholars are required to provide their own transportation.


Application Process and Deadlines:   

1. February 11, 2022: Online application due. 

2. February/March 2022: Selection committee will conduct personal interviews.

3. March 23, 2022: Awarded Scholars will be notified via email. 



Summer Scholars will receive a student stipend in the amount of $4,500.


If you need further information, please contact:

Michelle S. Rodgers, Ph.D.

Associate Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension and Outreach

University of Delaware

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

113 Townsend Hall

Newark, DE 19716-2103

Via Alison Brayfield, Business Administrator; e-mail at alisonb@udel.edu; by phone at (302) 831-2504

Engaging with the community is fulfilling work. It makes us better researchers and better teachers. And being able to share this passion with students so that they grow to be engaged with their communities as well… that’s a wonderful story for the University to tell.

Michelle Rodgers associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of the University’s Cooperative Extension

Engaging with the community is fulfilling work. It makes us better researchers and better teachers. And being able to share this passion with students so that they grow to be engaged with their communities as well… that’s a wonderful story for the University to tell.

Michelle Rodgers associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of the University’s Cooperative Extension