Sunday, January 23, 2011

Student Reflection: Kendra Dickinson

I met Kendra during her on-campus interview for a Fulbright Scholarship. I was struck by her high level of Spanish, maturity and intellect.  It is so nice to meet students who are true learners, going out of their way to inform themselves about intellectual, cultural and policy issues.  So when she told me she needed a faculty advisor for her capstone project, I agreed. I know I will learn more about the environment and Extension's projects through her blog posts this semester, and I hope others will, too. [Ann Abbott]

by Kendra Dickinson


My name is Kendra Dickinson and I am senior studying Spanish and Environmental Studies. This being my last year at the university, I have put a lot of thought into how best make use of the incredible knowledge that I have gained over the past 3.5 years as a student. This semester, I will be working on a project that combines what I have learned in both of my plans of study, as well as giving me the opportunity to use the skills that I have gained at the University to affect the community at large.

This week I started working at the University of Illinois Office of Extension and Outreach, in the division of Hispanic Programming. The overall goal of the Illinois Extension is to put to work the research and the knowledge gained by the members of the University to benefit people of Illinois, the United States and internationally, through a variety of educational programs on topics such as environmental stewardship, food production and sustainability, and youth, community and family well-being. You can visit the Extension website ( for more details. The division of Hispanic Programming focuses on bringing these types of programs and information to Spanish-speaking individuals and communities here in Illinois, and around the world. During my time working with Extension, I am going to be working on a variety of projects, for example:

·         A Water Survey, interviewing Spanish-speakers living in urban areas in the Midwest about the sources of their water and their water quality
·         Translating and adapting 4H materials into Spanish
·         A local Spanish language radio show
·         A trip to Perú for students and faculty to visit important archeological sites

I am very excited to help with these projects. At my time here at the University, I have had the opportunity to be part of vibrant learning community that offered me so many resources to continue education and enhance my knowledge. Therefore, I am very happy to be a part of the University’s goal of sharing its knowledge and resources with local communities and creating practical applications for its research that benefit the community at large.  Stay tuned for updates about the projects that Hispanic Programming Office will be working on this semester, and for ways that you can get involved!

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