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2013 Interns

2013 Interns 

Left to Right: (Back Row) Bonita Gill, Franklin County; Joy Groves, Sumner County; Mary Wortham, Lauderdale County; Shelby Summarell, Grundy County
(Front Row) Cedric Williams, Lincoln County; Rutendo Nyamusamba, Wilson County
(Not pictured is Alexandria Dirl, Haywood County)

Alexandria Dirl ​Alexandria Dirl
Haywood County
Alexandria is a Junior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville majoring in Food and Agricultural Business. As a high school student in Fayette County, she was top twenty in her class, a member of Ladies of Intelligence and Future Business Leaders of America. She was awarded the Fayette County Alumni and Fayette County Workforce Investment Act Scholarships​ at the University of Tennessee. Alexandria volunteers with the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachian, is a member of the Theta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Society and Women Empowering Knowledge and Nurture. She also participated in the University of Tennessee's UT LEAD program. Alexandria is also following in her brother's footsteps as he was a UT Extension intern in Haywood County several years ago and is currently employed with Tennessee State University as an Extension Agent in Rutherford County.
Bonita Gill Bonita Gill
Franklin County

Alabama A&M was the choice of schools for Bonita Gill. Bonita is currently completing an MS degree at the Normal, Alabama land-grant school in Plant Science with a program in Forestry, Ecology and Wildlife / Agribusiness concentration. Her bachelor's degree was in English with an Art History minor. Her master's project is entitled "Woodland Educational Needs of Socially Disadvantaged Forest Landowners in Alabama's Black Belt."

Bonita has been honored with participation in a National Network of Forest Practitioners "Leadership 360 Program". In her spare time she enjoys being an advocate for landowners, travelling, gardening, and participating in conversations.

Joy Groves Joy Groves
Sumner County

​Joy Groves was another top 20 student in her high school. She was a peer leader, a cross country athlete and a Green Hospital volunteer. She is currently working on a Master's degree at Tennessee State University majoring in Agricultural Education. Her Bachelor's degree was also completed at TSU in Animal Science. College honors and activities include Dean's List and memberships in Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), Tennessee Louise Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP), the pre-vet club, Block and Bridle Club. She also participated in the Summer Enrichment Reinforcement Program (SERP) at Tuskegee University.

Joy's hobbies include bowling, singing in the Choir, gardening, relaxing, playing with her son, travelling, and cooking. She enjoys doing demonstrations for outreach programs on-farm in the areas of Artificial Insemination, Meat Goats, and Animal Health Management.

Rutendo Nyamusamba Rutendo Nyamusamba
Wilson County

​Winning the distinction of coming the most distance to participate in the program this summer is Rutendo Nyamusamba. Rutendo is finishing up a PhD program at South Dakota State University in agronomy where her dissertation is entitled "Crop Canopy Effect on Kochia Scoparia Population Dynamics." Rutendo also completed an agronomy MS degree at South Dakota State University where she was "Evaluating the Impact of Crop Sequencing in Complex Crop Rotations." She has also completed a certificate in Childhood Obesity Prevention.

Rutendo says, "I love Extension." During some Extension assignments Rutendo says she began to realize the gap that exists sometimes between Research and Extension. This was one thing that motivated her toward graduate studies. She also had the experience of leading a team that introduced the Floating Tray System of tobacco seedling production to farmers in Zimbabwe. Rutendo worked with farmers by creating demonstration sites and conducting farmer training workshops.

Ms. Nyamusamba is working in Wilson County this summer.

ShelbySummarell Shelby Summarell
Grundy County

​Shelby Summarell is working on a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. While she will be a Junior in the fall, Shelby has already made an impact in her major and in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR). She frequents the Dean's list, has been named Outstanding Freshman and Sophomore in Agricultural Education, and was the Outstanding CASNR Sophomore in 2013. In addition, she has received the 4-H New Member Award (2012).

Activities for Shelby include CASNR Ambassador, Collegiate 4-H and FFA memberships, Block & Bridle Club, TribeOne, just to name a few. Shelby also worked with the Operation Military Kids program in the State 4-H Office this year.

Grundy County is the host of Shelby's internship experience this summer.

Cedric Williams Cedric Williams
Lincoln County

​Alabama A&M University is where Cedric Williams is a Senior majoring in Agribusiness. Cedric holds a distinction of being on the Dean's List and Honor Roll all 4 years of his collegiate experience. He is also active in the Forestry Club, has been a History tutor, and played on the football team for three years. In addition to football, Cedric enjoys playing basketball and baseball, hunting and fishing, tutoring, reading, travelling and being a mentor to those of the younger generation.

One day, Cedric wants to help small farmers and small business owners in rural areas to prosper. He says that helping individuals is something he has a calling for. Much of his desire to help others from rural communities goes back to his upbringing where someone was instrumental in helping him. Cedric says, "I would love to give back what I have learned."

Cedric is spending the summer working in Lincoln County.

Mary Wortham Mary Wortham
Lauderdale County

​Mary Wortham expects to graduate from the University of Tennessee at Martin this fall with a major in Agriscience Agricultural Communications. At UT Martin, Mary is an officer in Collegiate FFA, a member of the History Club, Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority, UTM Student Cattleman's Association, UTM University Singer's Choir, Vanguard Theater and participated in a travel study experience in London and Paris. She was on the 2012-2013 UTM Livestock Judging Team. FFA honors include the American Farmer Degree, State Proficiency winner in Beef Entrepreneurship, and was a member of the 1st Place Quiz Bowl Team in 2012.

In addition to these activities, Mary volunteers at the Greenbriar Meadows Assisted Living center, with Millington Veteran's Association, St. Jude's "Up till Dawn" and Relay for Life. Mary has lived on her family's Polled Hereford farm since she was one year old. Her farm and Extension experiences as she grew up have influenced her to participate in this summer's internship program in Lauderdale County, not far from her family farm.

In addition to farm activities, Mary enjoys gardening and sharing home-grown produce with others, singing, fishing and other outdoor activities.