MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — The Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) Program announced on March 2 that it has named Marisa Larson as its new vice-president and assistant director.

Larson, a 1993 Kansas State University (KSU) graduate, double majored in political science and international relations and journalism. Most recently, she worked for MJL Editing and Research in Overland Park, Kansas, U.S. as a writer, editor and researcher and for UHLIG LLC as an editor and writer in Lenexa, Kansas, U.S.

From 1995 to 1997, Larson lived in Tafraout, Morocco while serving in the Peace Corps as an animal husbandry extension specialist. She spent 12 years at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., U.S., as a National Geographic Magazine research editor and Middle East regional editor, and as a National Geographic Channels International researcher and associate producer.

“We are very excited to have Marisa in this new role of assistant director of the KARL Program,” said Clark Boyer, KARL chairman of the board. “Her international work, organizational ability and genuine enthusiasm for leadership development combine for a unique skill set. I know all KARL alumni and all of our agriculture and rural stakeholders welcome Marisa to the KARL family.”

The new KARL vice-president has served as a mentor and tutor to inner city youth and as an English-as-a-Second Language tutor for Spanish-speaking students. She served as a member and officer in the Kansas Junior Hereford Association, FFA and 4-H.

As KARL vice-president and assistant director, she will work on fundraising and KARL class recruitment and will assist with the coordination of seminars.

“The addition of Marisa Larson to the KARL staff allows for us to continue to grow and expand the leadership education efforts of the overseeing organization, KARL, Inc.” said Jack Lindquist, president of KARL, Inc. and director of the KARL Program. “We have expanded KARL into a life-long-learning experience offering continuing education to our alumni and this opportunity will grow considerably over the years.”

“This April, KARL will have a roster of 300 participants representing 10 past classes, an energetic network of trained leaders from 98 Kansas counties,” Lindquist said. “The alumni greatly missed the wisdom-building seminars and from that demand grew the KARL Graduate Program. We have conducted an entrepreneur’s workshop, a winter conference on economic literacy and an international tour to Ireland to date. The demand for this pay-as-you-go self-sustaining addition to KARL is catching on more quickly than our limited staff of 1.5 people could handle. Marisa will allow us to greatly expand these efforts well into the future.”

Each KARL class, comprised of emerging leaders in the agricultural industry and rural communities of Kansas, spends 52 days during a two-year program participating in state, national and international seminars and tours. KARL, Inc. is now recruiting for Class XI – its 20th Anniversary class. Applications close April 15.