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Giese, Mary

Published onMar 12, 2021
Giese, Mary

Mary Giese, 2016

Commissioned by University Museums and the Office of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach. U2017.110

MARY GIESE (BS.‘68 child development/elementary education) is rooted in the land-grant university principles of education and service.

This retired teacher and school administrator from Marshalltown embodies the 900 Iowans elected to county councils throughout the state who work with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Their shared goal: to provide education and build partnerships designed to solve today’s problems and prepare for the future. Giese was elected to the Marshall County Extension Council in 2010. She’s now in her second term, which continues through 2018.

“I was active in 4-H as a young person and later served as a club leader when our sons were in 4-H,” Giese said. “My father, George Boehnke, was an extension area director for many years, and I thought being on the council would be a good way to honor my father and to continue his legacy of support for quality ISU Extension and Outreach programs and services,” she said.

Giese also represents council members from Boone, Story, Marshall, and Hardin counties on the board of the Iowa Extension Council Association, which aids networking among extension councils, Iowa State and government leaders to promote and strengthen all local and statewide ISU Extension and Outreach programs. She served as board president from 2015-16.

Growing up in Ames, Giese said she’s thankful for the quality education she received at Iowa State.

“I believe this strong foundation helped me to be successful as an elementary teacher, educational consultant, and school administrator during my career,” she said. “My involvement in extracurricular activities both during my college years and afterward has enriched my life significantly.”

Currently, she is a member of the Iowa Cultural Trust board, Rotary, Twentieth Century Club, P.E.O., and Marshalltown Public Art Committee. She has helped organize the Linn Creek Arts Festival, Main Street Art Walk, and Bach In A Day events.

Her special interests are in music and photography. She sings with the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble and her church choir, and plays violin in a string quartet.  She also is active in the Central Iowa Camera Club and recently created a line of greeting cards as a fundraiser for a local historic home.

She and her husband David raised two sons and they have four grandchildren.

It’s not surprising that her personal philosophy is familiar to many: “I try to live the 4-H motto:  Make the best better.”

Interim Vice President of ISU Extension and Outreach, John Lawrence: Mary Giese, Marshall County Extension Council member, exemplifies the 900 Iowans elected to county councils throughout the state who work together with ISU Extension and Outreach.

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