Young people are often referred to as the leaders of tomorrow. Katie Heller, an aspiring leader and student at West Virginia University, created a logo design as part of a class project that helped inspire the official WVU Extension Service 100-year celebration logo.

The centennial-year emblem will help recognize the University’s land-grant roots and help set the path for the future.

This year, WVU Extension Service joins the nation in celebrating the 100th birthday of Extension. To commemorate this milestone, the organization sought a logo design that conveyed to West Virginians, and beyond, the steadfast advancements and improvements the organization has brought to youths, communities, families and towns over the past century.

Heller, a native of Pleasants County, and a senior at WVU helped bring that logo to life through work completed in her Public Relations 319 course, which covers creative strategy and design.

Twenty students in the P.I. Reed School of Journalism’ Strategic Communications major worked with WVU Extension Service during the fall semester and created everything from advertisements to logo designs.

The goal for the project was to celebrate how WVU Extension Service was created by the Smith-Lever Congressional Act, which was signed into law in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson. The act’s primary purpose was to make University research more accessible to people in the states they serve.

Heller, who is double majoring in strategic communications and political science, created a logo design and mantra that inspired the official WVU Extension 100 Year Anniversary emblem.

“I was surprised and excited to find out that my design and slogan were the inspiration for the official WVU Extension 100 logo, and I’m thrilled I was able to contribute to this landmark year for WVU Extension,” she said.

Before the class projects, Heller didn’t know much about WVU Extension’s role in the state, but says her research and time spent with WVU Extension’s representatives helped her learn about the organization’s outreach efforts.

“I didn’t realize the scale of WVU Extension Service,” said Heller. “Friends of mine have always been a part of 4-H and I’ve always associated Extension exclusively with agriculture and 4-H clubs but was surprised to learn it’s much more than that.”

It wasn’t until after researching more about WVU Extension did Heller learn how integrated the organization is with communities across the state of West Virginia.

“I’ve learned WVU Extension is 4-H, agriculture, and so much more,” Heller remarked. “The organization spans across the state and helps communities with a number of resources that offer ‘progressive solutions’ to make their lives better.”

WVU Extension Service’s Communications and Marketing Manager Cassie Waugh serves as the adjunct instructor for public relations course. She said that working with the students helped to give the campaign a fresh feel and provided opportunities to educate the students on the land-grant system.

“I’m always so impressed with the quality of work the students at WVU produce,” Waugh said. “We were not only able to see elements of Katie’s design that could be used in our professional logo, but we were able to teach each student about the importance of a land-grant institution, Extension and our service mission.”

When Heller is not in class, she takes part in numerous extracurricular activities, organizations and clubs, and pursues many student leadership positions at the University.

She works alongside administrators on West Virginia University’s Higher Learning Commission as the student representative for the Accreditation Communications Committee and serves on the Student Government Association Board of Governors.

Heller also serves on the Student Government Association Board of Governors, takes an active role in the University’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter, and holds the office of vice president for the WVU Campus’s Young Democrats organization.

After graduation, Heller plans to pursue a master’s degree in political management.

To learn more about WVU Extension Service’s 100th anniversary, visit, or contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service.



CONTACT: Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension Service

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