Is it just me, or is summer FLYING by?! It’s almost the 4th of July, and the Young Professionals group has already had some awesome events and meetups! Our next big get-together is this Saturday, June 28th. We’ll be meeting at Arnold’s Park Public Beach at 2pm for a sand volleyball/beach day! Bring your volleyball and sunscreen for lots of summer fun! We’ll be sending out an email with more information, and there’s also information on our Facebook page. Email me at email@example.com if you’d like to join our Facebook group!
This week’s Young Professionals Spotlight features a Corridor intern who is also a dear friend of mine. Mary Halbur is a 22-year-old University of Iowa graduate from Ames, IA. Mary and I have been friends for over 12 years, and we were also college roommates! Although we are not from the same area, Mary’s family and my family have become close friends because of our shared love of the Iowa Great Lakes!
“I’ve been coming to the lakes for about 12 years, and it’s always been a place for my family to get together with great friends and family. The lake is our place to relax and rewind, and I have really come to appreciate the time I’ve spent in the Corridor. I can’t imagine a summer where I’m not at the lakes for at least a little bit of time.”
Mary graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Speech and Hearing Science, a minor in Human Relations and a certificate in Disability Studies (busy girl!). Mary will attend St. Cloud State University next fall to receive her Masters in Applied Behavioral Science, however she is interning this summer at the Iowa State Extension and Outreach Office of Clay County in Spencer as their K-3 STEM Programming Intern. I asked her why she chose St. Cloud State University, and her answer made me smile!
“Minnesota is the land of lakes, and I could tell that the atmosphere there mimicked the Corridor environment. Being around lakes and being surrounded by such great people will be familiar and nice. It’s not the same as the Iowa Great Lakes, but I’m excited to be close by for 2 years.”
Mary stays busy this summer with her internship at the Iowa State Extension and Outreach Office, and she was really excited to talk about all the programs she’s helped plan for the summer!
“Right now, I have been planning, coordinating, and facilitating the “World in Motion” programs. The first week’s topic was “Engineering Inspired by Nature”, and after that we did a “Rolling Things Challenge”, where the kids studied toy cars and determined their performances based on their weight and other aspects. All of the camps are very “hands-on”, and it’s fun to watch the younger kids learn from the older kids and vice-versa.”
I asked Mary about the difficulties of working with young children, however Mary said the kids keep her job interesting and gratifying.
“Working with K-3rd grade kids is always really fun and provides an upbeat environment to my job. During the workshops, I have to make sure to keep the kids on their toes and change things up all the time. They all bring different personalities and aspects to the program, so each day is different and exciting.”
Mary will also work together with the Extension Office team on the Achievement and Communication Fair for kids to qualify for the state fair before they head back to school in August, as well as helping with the Clay County Fair, and other Extension and Outreach events.
“During the Achievement Fair, kids from the Corridor can get their projects in the human science fields judged to potentially qualify for the state fair, so we’re really excited about that! The fair will take place on July 22nd, and anyone who’s interested can find more information on our website (click here!).”
I asked Mary if she would ever consider coming back to the Corridor to live here full-time, and she was optimistic about all the opportunities here in her field.
“I will hopefully be working with kids in the “early intervention” stage, and I think there is a great need in Iowa for this particular area. I’m definitely open to returning to the Corridor. I don’t know where I will be after graduation, however I’ll definitely consider the need for my field in the area once I’m done. I would love to come back to Iowa because I would already be familiar with the area and I could continue to build a network of people in my field here.”
Mary just recently joined our Young Professionals group, and she said she’s excited to meet new friends in her field here and also learn more about other Young Professionals in the Corridor.
“I’m excited to go to Young Professionals events. I’ve never worked in Spencer before and I didn’t really know people from this area that live here full-time, so I’m excited to expand my network. I’m a big believer that when people from different areas of expertise work together, everyone will leave with a more impactful experience, so that’s something that makes the Young Professionals group so important.”
I couldn’t agree more! When Mary’s not working, she mentioned she loves spending time on the water, hanging out with friends on the end of the dock and spending time with family.
“I love the Corridor because everyone is so friendly. The Corridor has such a positive environment here. It’s nice and refreshing to see so many people who want to grow and prosper here, but also have fun doing it. I always feel like I’m in a good mood at the lakes.”
Thank you Mary for being our first YP Intern interviewee! I can’t wait for Saturday’s beach day, so feel free to stop by anytime after 2pm to play a game of sand volleyball! Have a a great week!