Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content

UTIA Family, please refer to for the latest updates and student information. For UTIA-specific resources, including event information and county office status, please visit


2014 Interns

Left to Right: (Back Row) Kayla Wilkins, Cannon County; Herb Byrd, Extension Evaluation and Staff Development; Omauri Whitlow, Giles County;
(Front Row) Darnell Towns, Maury County; Marisa Alston, Knox County; Elizabeth Sanders, DeKalb County; Nicole Marrero, Putnam County

Marisa Alston
Knox County
Marisa Alston is a Junior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, majoring in Food and Agricultural Business. Along with her studies, Marisa enjoys technology and works as a computer lab assistant to resolve computer problems that other students are having. Some of her strengths include being organized and neat, learning new computer software programs and delivering fast and respectful service to customers. She creates an open environment where customers feel welcome to come back. Marisa is working in the Knox County Extension Office this summer.

Nicole Marrero
Putnam County
Nicole Marrero is in her Senior year at Tennessee Technological University, majoring in Animal Science. Nicole is a self-proclaimed “thrifty traveler” having visited 35 states and 11 countries. She also enjoys up-cycling bottles and furniture. Among her honors and activities she has volunteered with the Honduran Family and Child Institute, Mission Honduras, Ag in the Classroom, and Newman Campus Ministries. She was most recently a Conservation Education Presenter intern with Animal Kingdom. Putnam County is the host county for Nicole this summer.

Elizabeth Sanders
DeKalb County
A Junior at the University of Tennessee at Martin, Elizabeth Sanders is majoring in Child and Family Studies. She is interning in DeKalb County where she was an active 4-H Member, serving as Tennessee State 4-H Council Representative at Large and President of her DeKalb County 4-H Club. She has also served as a student voting member of the Tennessee 4-H Foundation. Elizabeth is active in the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature and has held various offices in that organization as well as serving as a Senator at Large in UT Martin’s Student Government Association. She has recently worked on the UT Extension Health Rocks Mentoring grant.

Darnell Towns
Maury County
Darnell Towns is soon to be a three-time graduate of Tennessee State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2010, and her Master of Science degree in AgriScience in 2012. She will soon complete her Doctorate degree in Agricultural Education and Leadership Extension (Curriculum Planning) from TSU. Darnell says that since her twin sister was an Extension Intern a couple of years ago, she has wanted to participate as well. She is looking forward to putting the Agriculture education skills she has learned to practical use in Maury County where she is interning this summer. Darnell has travelled to China and South Africa during her studies. Honors include the TSU Presidential Scholarship, TSU Honors Program graduate, Pilot Center for Academic Excellence in Intelligence Studies Scholarship, Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Honor Society (former President), and International Food and Nutrition Conference Global Fellow. She is also a Big Brothers / Big Sisters mentor and enjoys gardening, working out, and recreational games such as volleyball.

Kayla Wilkins
Cannon County
Kayla Wilkins is a Senior Nutrition major at Middle Tennessee State University. She is working as an intern in Cannon County this summer. Kayla is certified in Food Safety, volunteers with service projects with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Student Dietetic Association. She has been a volunteer in Rutherford County working with Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Kayla enjoys cooking and volunteering with Special Kids, Youth and Young Adult Choir (Middle Baptist Church, Memphis).

Omauri Whitlow
Giles County
Omauri Whitlow is from Tuskegee, Alabama and attends Alabama A&M University. He is a Junior, majoring in Agribusiness Management. Ultimately, Omauri hopes his agricultural studies will help him in pursuit of a law degree. He is active in a number of organizations and service projects including Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS); is a Harbor Chase Retirement Home Project and Boys and Girls Club volunteer; and is a Youth Collegiate 100 Mentor. He is an A&M Student Ambassador as well. Among honor roll and Dean’s list honors, Omauri received a Natural Resource and Conservation scholarship and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society. He enjoys dancing, creative problem solving, computer applications and learning. Omauri will be working in Giles County.