Student combines passions for agriculture and communications during internship

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series about Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications students completing summer internships.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Some of the most successful students at Penn State show up on campus with a plan, and then they find ways to complement, execute and improve their approach as they build a strong foundation for their careers.

Count Dana Nunemacher among that group.

Nunemacher was focused when she stepped on campus and now, just a few months from graduation, she has skillfully combined her passions for agriculture and communications — making her dream of working for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in a communications role more likely every day.

“It’s always been my passion, a combination of my experience and my interest,” she says.

Nunemacher, an enthusiastic senior advertising and public relations major, grew up in Montrose, Pennsylvania, on a small family farm with 10 heifers and a handful of horses. “When the cows were ready to calf, they would go to the dairy farm and milk there,” she says. “We had horses growing up too. It was great fun.”

Nunemacher combines her upbeat approach with an unrelenting work ethic. This summer she’s completing an internship with the Harrisburg-based Center for Dairy Excellence. Her duties include working on newsletters and social media as well as supporting the group’s benefit dinner.

Nunemacher works five days a week and travels a lot, crisscrossing the commonwealth from State College, where she’s living this summer, for outreach visits to camps, groups and family farms. She’s putting a lot of miles on her Chevy Cruze and she’s enjoying every minute of it.

“She’s doing great, and brings a really positive energy, diving into everything,” says Emily Barge, communications and marketing manager for the Center for Dairy Excellence. “She has a strong and varied skillset, too. She’s been able to do all we ask — email marketing, social media posts and meeting people and helping to get testimonials from farmers who use our programs, as well as students who are supported by our foundation.”

Nunemacher will return to an internal position at the Berkey Creamery on the University Park campus when the fall semester begins at Penn State.

She also serves as public relations director for the Penn State Homecoming, works as a live video board production assistant for Penn State Athletics, as well as a staff writer for Onward State. The plan she’s honey includes a big dose of busy, and quality as well.

“She’s a go getter. She’s always looking for more work or things to do, and she wants to do well. Plus, she’s invested and wants to learn about the business,” says Lauren Hassinger, a marketing strategist for the Berkey Creamery. “She’s my first intern in my position at the Berkey Creamery and we knew when we interviewed her she was a great fit because of her love of everything agriculture and dairy. She’s setting a high standard. We want her to help find our next intern.”

With the Creamery, Nunemacher has helped with email marketing and social media content. She also drafts content for rack cards, takes pictures and helps with special efforts, like the Creamery’s successful launch of plush cows.

With Nunemacher’s December graduation getting closer every day, the Penn State part of her plan seems almost ready to come to completion. She’s proud of what she’s done so far (no doubt her parents, Joan and Dwight, are as well.) And, not surprisingly, she’s ready to do even more.

That’s the plan, after all.

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