Linda Holmquist

Honored by:East Central Area Extension Staff
Brick location:A:27  map

Linda Holmquist is an Iowa State University graduate, earning a BS in 1973 and a MEd in 1986. She began her career with the Extension program for Iowa State University in 1979 in Davis County. She also served as a county team member and County Director in Marion and Lucas counties before moving to Scott County in 1992. Her focus on education for building resilient families and leadership development included many successful program efforts. Her leadership skills helped develop strong teams to extend valuable resources through volunteers. One effort that exemplified this strength was the Nutrition Promoters of Marion County. Made up of individuals from the surrounding area interested in nutrition education, the team made a difference in providing opportunities for children, youth and families to learn about strategies that would strengthen their health. For her work on tourism in Lucas County, she received the Governor’s Volunteer Award in 1991. In Scott County as County Director, responsible for all extension program areas, her strength in systems analysis resulted in the development of strategies to improve the work environment, meet staff goals and build functional support systems to enhance program delivery. Holmquist was appointed to serve on the National Extension Committee on Personnel and Organizational Development in 1993. As a part of the work of that committee, she helped develop and present a white paper about University Engagement and Extension’s Role at the first Galaxy Conference for all Extension professional organizations.

In 1994, Holmquist became the leader for Iowa State University Extension in East Central Iowa. Her key accomplishments were the facilitation of opportunities for staff in building personal accountability, understanding ethnic, gender and generational diversity, managing transitions, and strengthening leadership. Her main objective was to provide Extension staff with the resources they needed to increase engagement between Iowa State University and the people of Iowa. Throughout her career with Extension, Holmquist focused on helping people invest in themselves and learn skills to improve the ability of their families to navigate transitions in a changing world.

Along the way there were numerous awards and recognitions. At the end of her career with Iowa State, she received the Continuing Excellence Award from the National Association of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences in 2001.

Holmquist continued her career as the Coordinator for the Career Learning System in Garden City Kansas. A move she made when her husband, Dr. Norman Klocke, took a research appointment with Kansas State University, investigating limited irrigation on the high plains. She worked jointly for Garden City Community College and area school systems. She jokingly said her role was to keep them talking to each other! The focus of her effort was to develop strategies to help public school and college personnel strengthen career development opportunities for students. Her favorite effort was known as GEMS, Guys and Girls in Engineering Math and Science. Working collaboratively with area institutions, industries, and colleges, she formed a coalition to help all students better understand how careers connected to their education. Under Holmquist’s leadership, the Career Learning System received the National Association for Tech Prep Leadership’s award for Promotion of Tech Prep.

Linda Holmquist is the daughter of Paul and Eulalia Holmquist of Newton, Iowa. She graduated from Newton High School, where she participated in debate and played the violin. One of her favorite groups was the International Club. At Iowa State as an undergraduate, Holmquist was a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Home Economics and participated in the SPAN, Student Project for Amity among Nations, studying the relationship between adult children and their aging parents in Japan. Holmquist is now retired and lives in Topeka, Kansas. She enjoys traveling, gardening, sailing, and spending time with grandsons, Andon and Brody.