The ASPIRE Project engages undergraduates in agricultural-related internships in research, extension, and teaching, with mentorship from faculty in LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture.
The goals of this 10-week paid summer internship program include:
Students from all ethnicities and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Placement is open to everyone, and the program prioritizes recruiting and mentoring underrepresented and disadvantaged students.
The internships focus on six Farm Bill priority areas:
Partner institutions include LSU Alexandria, LSU Eunice, Southern University, Delta Community College and Baton Rouge Community College.
Interns participate in an orientation training, focused on communication strategies, leadership, and personal branding strategies. After the initial orientation training, the interns disperse around the state to their respective internships - each student intern is placed with a trained expert mentor in either a research or extension internship for a 10-week internship. These internships vary in subject matter, but all include specialized training, research (or testing or experimentation) experiences, industry job shadowing, and one-on-one weekly professional evaluation meetings with mentors. Students are required to keep a professional journal and to take photos and video footage during their internship. At the end of the internship experiences, students reconvene as a group to reflect on their internship experience.
Rising juniors and seniors from LSU and partner institutions with at least a 3.0 GPA are most competitive. Second year students and those with a minimum 2.5 GPA are also eligible and encouraged to apply. Each internship’s GPA requirements may vary. Twelve students will ultimately be selected through a competitive application, review, and interview process, and priority will be given to those applicants who will enhance the number and diversity of individuals entering the agricultural workforce. At least 50% of the participants will be chosen from outside the host institution. Students terminating early will be replaced using a waitlist of alternates derived from the initial application pool.
Submit completed application, resume, cover letter, transcript and two letters of recommendation (at least one from a current or former professor) by April 23, 2021. Any questions can be directed to Christina Zito Hebert at firstname.lastname@example.org.