Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meet NAAE Intern (and new PSU M.S. Student) Amanda Forstater!

Amanda Forstater a new grad student at PSU

Amanda Forstar, an avid horse lover and NAAE (National Association of Agricultural Educators) intern, enjoyed her time interning in Kentucky this summer. She found the internship on the NAAE website and applied in December 2012. Her application included a letter of interest, resume, three letters of reference and a portfolio of writing examples to show her skills and experience in communications.  Amanda was a Student Assistant for the New York Ag in the Classroom last year and used articles that she had written for that position. After submitting her application, she had to wait for NAAE to pick applicants for phone interviews in February/March. A few weeks later Amanda was informed that she was chosen to be one of the two Communications interns.

Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville
that the interns visited on a weekend trip
Throughout her internship, Amanda was responsible for reading the agricultural teacher award applications and writing the press releases for the state and regional award winners. She gained experience using PowerPoint and Prezi as she made scripts and presentations for the National NAAE Convention, created the National Teach Ag Campaign invitations for the National Teach Ag Day event and edited the NAAE website as well as other projects. She shared the responsibility with the other intern in regards to updating NAAE’s social media updates on Twitter and Facebook. The two interns may also have the chance to help out at the Teachers’ World during the National FFA convention and they are helping out at the National NAAE Convention in December, which Amanda is excited about as she will be able to meet the teachers she wrote about all summer.

Amanda learned a lot during her internship, from gaining experience in Photoshop, editing websites and learning about new social media outlets -- she had never used Twitter before this internship. Amanda believes the greatest thing she gained from her internship was all the networking opportunities. NAAE is located at the University of Kentucky and she was able to talk to all the professors on a daily basis and hear about their experiences from different outlets in the agricultural education realm.  CASE teachers were around to share their experiences as college students and teachers which gave Amanda a motivating and realistic point of view.

Churchill Downs racetrack that the interns visited a couple of times. 
Through reading all of the award applications Amanda learned a lot about programs all over the country in both rural and urban areas, which lead to brainstorming sessions for her and the other intern.  The interns talked about ideas and different things they could do in their future programs. They were able to find ideas for their future programs everywhere – driving past a tobacco field, visiting a brewery, seeing a horse farm, and visiting the Louisville slugger factory. Amanda really enjoyed being surrounded by people who were directly involved with agriculture! She said “I learned so much from everyone I met and I think it was those personal contacts I’ve forged that will continue to impact me the most.”

Amanda is very happy and satisfied with her internship experience and thinks that it was a great transition for her as she finishes her time at Cornell as an undergraduate and transitions to Penn State as a graduate student this fall.  She is excited to be part of the 2015 Student Teaching Cohort at Penn State!

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

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