Joy Koonin, a native Californian, came to Texas to attend Texas A&M University, and while here, decided being a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent is where her passion lies. She will begin as the family and community health agent in Hansford County on June 10.
“Joy has demonstrated a strong work ethic and great effectiveness as an educator, and we are excited to have her join the team,” said Brandon Dukes, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension district administrator, Amarillo.
“I have seen firsthand the significant impact that Extension work can have on community members and am passionate about continuing to positively impact people through education,” Koonin said.
She first learned of all AgriLife Extension offers when she volunteered at the agency’s office in Brazos County and with the Southwood 4-H club while she was a student at Texas A&M.
“While volunteering, I was constantly amazed at how many ways AgriLife Extension programs benefit the community,” Koonin said. “I developed a passion for the work during my time helping with a wide range of events, from a jam-making seminar, sewing sessions and 4-H food shows to the Brahman showring at the Brazos Valley Fair and Rodeo and helping kids fill out their hard-earned livestock scholarship forms.”
Koonin earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies from Texas A&M and a master’s in international affairs from the Texas A&M University System’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. Upon completing her degree, she returned to California, where she volunteered with the Claycord 4-H club.
Growing up as a 4-H member in California, Koonin said she was involved primarily in the sewing projects. But as a volunteer, other projects she helped teach and facilitate were cooking, quilt-making, candle and soapmaking, goats, preserves, journalism and animal husbandry.
“I am passionate about education and am excited to learn about whatever is needed to better help and serve the local community,” Koonin said.