Conference/

Engaging Nebraska, Impacting Communities, Transforming Students

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2013 Summary Faculty from various departments in the College of Architecture will develop transformational curricula with civic engagement at its core by establishing a robust service learning program embedded in the specific courses. The courses will establish …

Teaching & Engagement, 2013


Summary

Faculty from various departments in the College of Architecture will develop transformational curricula with civic engagement at its core by establishing a robust service learning program embedded in the specific courses. The courses will establish educational programs for students, promote leadership through engagement, foster and promote inclusive environments, and advance responsible design in rural communities.

Impacts

Twelve existing courses were transformed and new courses and programs developed to engage students in service learning projects across the state of Nebraska. These courses have been sustainable beyond the project and continue to be offered to UNL students.

Over 52,000 volunteer hours have been logged in projects with 19 communities/neighborhoods, 51 non-University organizations, and 22 University organizations.

As a direct result of these service learning courses, over $124,000 in additional funding to further service learning projects was realized.

Project Team

  • Jeff Day (PI) University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Landscape Architecture
  • Lindsey Bahe, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Interior Design
  • Bret Betner, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Landscape Architecture
  • Tim Hemseth, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
  • Peter Hind, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
  • Sharon Kuska, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
  • David Karle, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
  • Sarah Thomas Karle, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Landscape Architecture
  • Yunwoo Nam, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Community & Regional Planning
  • Zhenghong Tang, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Community & Regional Planning

 

Partners

Communities/Neighborhoods

  • Lincoln
  • Red Cloud
  • Nebraska City
  • Council Bluffs, IA
  • Pilger
  • Arlington
  • Waterloo
  • North Loup
  • Omaha
  • David City
  • Elkhorn
  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Elk Point, SD
  • Orleans
  • South Sioux City
  • Saddle Hills Neighborhood, Omaha
  • TV Tower Neighborhood, Omaha
  • Benson Neighborhood, Omaha
  • Eden Neighborhood, Lincoln

Groups/Organizations

  • Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation
  • Council Bluffs Water Works
  • Main Street Council Bluffs
  • EcoStores Nebraska
  • Green Arena, PBA
  • Lincoln Berean Church
  • Lincoln Community Crops
  • Lincoln Public Schools
  • Malone Center- honors & Strengthens African American Community in Lincoln
  • People’s City Mission
  • Trago Park
  • City of Omaha Storm water Program
  • Clean Solutions for Omaha (CSO) Program at the City of Omaha, Nebraska Forest Service
  • Gold Coast Neighborhood Historic Home
  • MAPA
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • St. Vincent de Paul Store
  • Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center
  • Center for Great Plains
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Heartland Center for Leadership Development
  • Neighborhood Works- Lincoln
  • Nebraska Energy Office
  • Nebraska Game and Parks
  • Urban Development Department of the City of Lincoln
  • Willa Cather Foundation
  • 2013 “A Missouri River Vision” Stakeholder Group
  • 9/11 National Day of Service
  • Arbor Day Foundation
  • Back to the River
  • Cheney Lawn Care
  • Corp of Engineers
  • David City Recycling Center
  • Dundee Community Garden
  • F.O.E. Eagles Club
  • Fletcher Acres
  • Indian Hills Elementary School
  • Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Iowa West Foundation
  • Knights of Columbus
  • National Parks Service Lewis and Clark Headquarters
  • National Parks Service Mid-West Regional Office
  • National Safety Council
  • Noah’s Assistance Dogs
  • Norris Institute
  • NPS Homestead National Monument
  • Olsson Associates
  • Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District
  • Salvation Army
  • School Neighborhood advisory committee
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument

University Organizations

  • African Student Association
  • Alpha Rho Chi DeFloat
  • Campus Sustainability Summit
  • Food Day- Sustain UNL
  • Go Green for Big Red
  • Green UNL
  • HSS Energy Battle
  • Phi Kappa Psi
  • Prairie Pines
  • Stream Cleanup- Sustain UNL
  • Students Today Leaders Tomorrow
  • University Lutheran Chapel
  • University of Nebraska Storm water Team
  • UNL Bike Valet
  • UNL Engineering Ambassadors Network
  • UNL Environmental Sustainability Committee
  • UNL Nebraska Brownies
  • UNL Outdoor Adventures Center
  • UNL Recycling
  • UNL Sustainability Coordinator’s Recycling Campaign
  • UNL Unplugged
  • UNL’s The Big Event

Publications

 

Presentations

  • Nebraska Extension Eureka Conference
    Nebraska as a Classroom: Students Engaged in Community, With Community
    April, 2016 | Lincoln, NE
  • 2015 ESRI User Conference
    Collaboration to Enhance Sustainable Community with Mobile GIS
    July 20-24, 2015 | San Diego, CA
  • UNL Research Fair, 2015
    Lincoln Community Assessment Project
    April 14-15, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska Extension Eureka Conference
    Engaging Nebraska, Impacting Communities and Transforming Students
    April, 2015 | Omaha, NE
  • MEEA Annual Meeting
    Nebraska as a Classroom: Students Engaged in Community, With Community
    April, 2015 | Kansas City, MO
  • Nebraska Annual Planning Conference
    Using Volunteered Geographic Information: An Alternative Solution for overcoming the Chasm between Stormwater Management and Community Participation
    March 19-21, 2014 | Kearney, NE
  • Water for Food Conference
    Using Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) System to Promote National Grassroots Engagement in Stormwater Management
    May 5-8, 2013 | Lincoln, NE

Awards

  • ASLA Central States Conference, Student Honor Award
    Flood Resiliency: A Green Infrastructure Vision for Council Bluffs
    April 11, 2014 | Omaha, NE
  • ASLA Central States Conference, Student Honor Award
    Eden Park Master Plan, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos
    April 11, 2014 | Omaha, NE

 

Additional Funding

  • Architecture faculty have received funding from:
  • Woods Charitable Fund — $75,000
  • Back to the River — $30,000
  • Nebraska Game and Parks — $5,000
  • Community of Nebraska City — $3,500
  • NPS, Scotts Bluff Monument — $4,500
  • NPS, Lewis and Clark Headquarters — $2,000
  • Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation — $4,000

 
Contact: Jeff Day, jday@unl.edu

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Rural Community Serviceship Program

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2013     Summary The Rural Community Serviceship project is a mash-up between service-learning and a professional internship. Through the serviceship program, college students have the opportunity to serve as an intern for a community as opposed …

Teaching & Engagement, 2013


 

 

Summary

The Rural Community Serviceship project is a mash-up between service-learning and a professional internship. Through the serviceship program, college students have the opportunity to serve as an intern for a community as opposed to a company. Students are sent out in groups of two to rural Nebraska communities to help local community leaders execute a locally identified project. Students are also expected to participate in community service activities outside of their serviceship project.

This program delivers an interdisciplinary, partnership delivery system that focuses on issues identified by the community coupled with the infusion of innovative, entrepreneurial student teams tasked with building workable solutions in concert with university faculty and specialists alongside community leaders and mentors. The combination of discipline, community engagement, and leadership training/experience creates human capacity and opens the door for active recruitment of new graduates and young professionals into the fabric of a rural community.
 

Impacts

Since 2013 when the Rural Serviceship began, 40 University of Nebraska students have been placed in communities across Nebraska to complete 21 projects. In 2018, the project has ramped up and 27 students will be placed in rural communities working on 14 projects.
 

Project Team

  • Thomas Field (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program
  • Lindsay Hastings (co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Human Resources Institute
  • Reshell Ray (co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Student Involvement

 

Partners

  • Linda Major, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Office of Student Involvement
  • Linda Moody, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Center for Civic Engagement
  • Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program
  • Nebraska Human Resources Institute
  • College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR)
  • Milan Wall, Heartland Center for Leadership Development
  • Kurt Mantonya, Heartland Center for Leadership Development

 

Publications

 

Presentations

  • RFI Rural Regional Forum
    Rural Community Serviceship Program
    Sept. 22, 2016 | West Point, NE
  • RFI Rural Regional Forum
    Rural Community Serviceship Program
    October 14, 2014 | Scottsbluff, NE
  • RFI Rural Regional Forum
    Rural Community Serviceship Program
    October 9, 2014 | Broken Bow, NE
  • Heartland Campus Compact Conference
    Rural Futures Serviceship and Internship Project
    October 2-3, 2014 | Lincoln, NE

 

Media Coverage


Contact: Thomas Field, tfield2@unl.edu

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Juvenile Re-entry to Nebraska’s Rural Communities

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2013 Summary The Juvenile Reentry Project is a service learning project that matches student mentors to youth who typically do not get matched via traditional mentoring programs. It is often difficult to match these youth because they …

Teaching & Engagement, 2013


Summary

The Juvenile Reentry Project is a service learning project that matches student mentors to youth who typically do not get matched via traditional mentoring programs. It is often difficult to match these youth because they reside in a rural area of the state and they are considered higher risk. We recruited University of Nebraska (UNL and UNK) students who have an interest in the juvenile justice field. We then matched students to youth who were returning to a rural community and had been committed to YRTC in Geneva (females) or Kearney (males). Students worked with the facility for a few months, and then continued to work with youth post release, often helping their mentees obtain jobs or attend drug treatment or school.

Impacts

Between January 2013 and June 2015, a total of 98 young people were matched to a University student mentor. Roughly half of these youth (44) were from Lancaster County and were served under a federal grant; the remaining youth (54) were returning to a rural location. For the majority of this report, we focus on the rural matches.

Very few mentoring programs in the state of Nebraska, or nationwide, serve this high risk population. Through the Juvenile Reentry Project we learned that reentry youth benefit from and enjoy having a college-aged mentor. Student mentors also benefit tremendously, with many of them reporting they “learned things about juvenile justice that they could never get from a textbook.” There are also exponential benefits to the state of Nebraska, as the program develops a professional, experienced workforce and reduces recidivism rates among juveniles. Additionally, our program has received national attention. In January 2015, we were invited to participate in a nationwide mentoring study being conducted by Portland State University. We will continue to participate in this collaborative research.

Additional funding from the Sherwood Foundation allowed this project to continue beyond the two-year grant period.

 

Project Team

  • Anne Hobbs (PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Julia Campbell (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Criminology
  • Gregory Hoff, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Information Science & Technology

 

Partners

  • Deborah ODonnell Neary, Midlands Mentoring Partnership
  • Jenna Strawhun, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Research Graduate Assistant
  • Johanna Peterson, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Juvenile Services
  • Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, Kearney
  • Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, Geneva
  • Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association

 

Publications

 

Presentations

  • Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association Conference
    Evidence-based Nebraska!
    May 6-8, 2015 | Kearney, NE
  • Nebraska Community Aid and Juvenile Justice Conference
    Evidence-based Nebraska!
    October, 2014 | Lincoln, NE
  • Heartland Campus Compact Conference
    Service Learning in Criminal Justice: Focus on Juvenile Reentry
    October 2-3, 2014 | Lincoln, NE
  • Midlands Mentoring Partnership Annual Youth Development Summit
    Mentoring Youth Reentering Our Communities
    March, 2014 | Omaha, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Anne Hobbs, ahobbs@unomaha.edu

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The Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Project

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2013   Summary The goal of the Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Projects was to introduce undergraduate students to public health through a transdisciplinary research project under supervision of a faculty member with the hope of …

Teaching & Engagement, 2013


 

Summary

The goal of the Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Projects was to introduce undergraduate students to public health through a transdisciplinary research project under supervision of a faculty member with the hope of ultimately increasing the number of public health professionals serving rural Nebraska. The research projects addressed identified rural public health priorities and needs in partnership with a community-based organization. The projects integrate teaching and professional services, in addition to reflective activities structured to link the service experience with the learning of the student. In addition, the representation of undergraduate students provides a forum for expression of rural youth voices.

Impacts

This project represented a great opportunity for collaboration between UNMC, UNK, the Nebraska State College system, and diverse community-based organizations that has led to strengthened relationships on all fronts. For instance, the Wayne State College survey on barriers and opportunities for addressing behavioral health issues in rural Nebraska has led to further opportunities for graduate students to incorporate findings from this study into their capstone project which can inform policy makers on this topic.

The CHANCE Initiative, a partnership between Peru State College and Nemaha County Elementary schools was funded through a planning grant form ServeNebraska in the amount of $17,880.49 to expand its efforts into neighboring Otoe County.
 

Project Team

  • Patrik Johansson (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health
  • Sonja Russell, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health
  • Jill Mack, Chadron State College, Physical and Life Sciences
  • Kyle Ryan, Peru State College, Health, Physical Education & Recreation
  • Peggy Abels, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Health Science Programs
  • David Peitz, Wayne State College, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

 

Partners

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Chadron State College
  • Peru State College
  • Wayne State College
  • Nemaha County Elementary Schools
  • The Center for Rural Affairs
  • Nelson Physical Activities Center
  • Two Rivers Public Health Department

 

Publications

  • Johansson, P., Blankenau, J., Tutsch, S., Brueggman, G., Afrank, C., and Lyden, E. Barriers and Solutions to Providing Access to Mental Health Services in Rural Nebraska: Perspectives from Non-prescribing Mental Health Providers. Submitted to National Rural Health Association’s Journal of Rural Health. (In progress.)

 

Presentations

  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Rickettsia Rickettsii Prevalence in Dermacentor Variabilis in Dawson County, Nebraska
    April 17, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Comparison of Infectious Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Anaplasma Species of Bacteria in American Dog Ticks from Upland and Lowland Areas of Dawson County, Nebraska
    April 17, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Prevalence of Disease Causing Bacteria in Dermacenter Variabilis Ticks in Buffalo County, Nebraska
    April 17, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society of Microbiology Annual Meeting
    Rickettsia Rickettsii Prevalence in Dermacentor Variabilis in Dawson County, Nebraska
    March 26-28, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society of Microbiology Annual Meeting
    Risk-Assessment for Tick-borne Diseases in Buffalo County, Nebraska
    March 26-28, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Risk-Assessment for Tick-borne Diseases in Buffalo County, Nebraska
    April 11, 2014 | Lincoln, NE

Contact: Patrik Johansson, pjohansson@unmc.edu

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Ecotourism & Agritourism Development in Nebraska

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2013 Summary The long-term goal of this project is to increase knowledge that enables Nebraska’s rural landowners and communities in increasing economic and community capacity by developing successful ecotourism ventures that enhance environmental sustainability. Innovative entrepreneurial tourism …

Teaching & Engagement, 2013


Summary

The long-term goal of this project is to increase knowledge that enables Nebraska’s rural landowners and communities in increasing economic and community capacity by developing successful ecotourism ventures that enhance environmental sustainability. Innovative entrepreneurial tourism ventures will contribute to the economic, social and environmental viability of rural areas and provide economic opportunities for young people.

The short term goals of this project are to teach UNL students principles of ecotourism, tourism marketing, visitor services and entrepreneurship and empower them to assist rural Nebraska communities in developing successful ecotourism plans and businesses.

Impacts

A new service learning course at UNL, “Ecotourism & Entrepreneurship Development in Nebraska” was developed to teach students principles of ecotourism, tourism marketing, visitor services and entrepreneurship.

Project Team

  • Lisa Pennisi (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, School of Natural Resources
  • Nicole Wall (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, School of Natural Resources
  • Michelle Kang (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication
  • Tom Field, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program

Partners

  • Twyla Witt, Nebraska Tourism Commission
  • Caleb Pollard, Valley County Economic Development, Ord Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Rick Edwards, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Center for Great Plains Studies
  • Janell Anderson Ehrke, GROW Nebraska
    Community of Ashland

Publications

  • Pennisi, L., Wall, N., Field, T., Kang, M. (April, 2015). Ashland, Small Town, Big Opportunities: A case study of tourism assets and opportunities.

Presentations

  • Rural Futures Institute National Conference
    Ecotourism and Agrotourism Development in Nebraska
    October 21-23, 2015 | Lincoln, NE

 

Contact: Lisa Pennisi, lpennisi2@unl.edu

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Students Engaged in Economic Development of Rural Areas

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2013 Summary This project engaged undergraduate students directly with rural community economic development activities. Undergraduate students from rural communities returned to their hometowns and interviewed local stakeholders with the goal of identifying viable economic opportunities in those …

Teaching & Engagement, 2013


Summary

This project engaged undergraduate students directly with rural community economic development activities. Undergraduate students from rural communities returned to their hometowns and interviewed local stakeholders with the goal of identifying viable economic opportunities in those communities that could benefit from a seed grant. All of the proposals developed were ranked and the top two projects each year were awarded seed grants to implement the project. This community engagement project demonstrated to the undergraduate students their ability to develop plans that benefitted their local communities and an ability to make a difference.

Impacts

The undergraduate students involved were empowered through the service learning process. Students gained a deeper appreciation for their own communities as they learned about the people and capacities of their communities.

Two seed grants were awarded each year to the top two proposals. In total, four seed grants of $2500 each was awarded to four winning community projects.

Project Team

  • Kaye Sorensen (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Mathematics
  • Marc Albrecht (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Biology

Presentations

  • Rural Futures Institute National Conference
    Students Engaged in Economic Development in Rural Areas
    November 3-5, 2013 | Lincoln, NE

Media Coverage

UNK students award Rural Futures Institute grants to new businesses | UNK Newsroom
Professors pay it forward to business owners | Kearney Hub
2 UNK profs share grant bounty with rural small businesses | Omaha World Herald

 

Contact: Kaye Sorensen, sorensenkm@unk.edu

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Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2013     Summary The viability of rural communities in Nebraska depends upon economic growth. Economic development is a policy objective of local governments. Business recruitment has been the primary strategy for most government officials and economic …

Research & Engagement, 2013


 

 

Summary

The viability of rural communities in Nebraska depends upon economic growth. Economic development is a policy objective of local governments. Business recruitment has been the primary strategy for most government officials and economic development professionals since at least the 1950s. This study looks at an alternative strategy that has been successful for some communities.

The Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development research project was designed to determine if an alternative form of economic development could be successful. The alternative form would continue to recognize the importance of primary employment but it would suggest that branch plants are not the only path to primary employment. It would also assert that secondary businesses are important to the health and quality of life of a community. In an Internet age, communities will come to rely on attractive secondary businesses to keep a community together by contributing to its quality of life.

Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development (EBED) is a study of 16 Nebraska communities. Six micropolitan communities (10,000 to 50,000 population) were studied and 10 smaller communities. These communities are distributed across Nebraska so that they represent similar communities in Nebraska and in other high plains states. The study sought to determine the differences in success of communities in encouraging employer small businesses in both primary and secondary industries. Employer small businesses were defined in the study to be businesses with at least five but fewer than 50 employees.
 

Impacts

Seven communities were found to have statistically significant success in encouraging the growth of employer small businesses. These included three micropolitan communities (Columbus, Kearney and North Platte) and four small communities (Hartington, Holdrege, Imperial and O’Neill). It is widely believed that location near Interstate 80 is necessary for economic development success but Columbus, Hartington, Imperial and O’Neill are not near Interstate 80.

All 16 of the communities studied were found to have similar taxation levels, utility costs, professional resources, bank branches, labor costs and real estate costs. The available resources and costs of doing business, then, could not explain variance in the success of encouraging employer small businesses.

Those communities that did not have a robust and growing base of employer small businesses were found to have lost the dynamic of local land use speculators and local economic growth-dependent ownership. Many communities have the problem of absentee ownership as a result of inheritance of commercial buildings. These owners are necessarily not as involved in promoting the growth of the community. Successful communities have occupancy rules that require periodic reinvestment in the physical infrastructure or that encourage new developments that move the commercial core of the community.

Communities with at least one bank headquartered in the local market did better than other communities. It is presumed that this is because commercial lending is important to employer small businesses. Commercial lending is not a central concern of most banks. Commercial borrowers at multi-state banks are competing for funding with other businesses over a wide geography.

Communities that used LB 840 specifically to support employer small business development did better in encouraging those kinds of businesses than did communities that used LB 840 funds for business recruitment.

Owners of employer small businesses were most likely to have developed their interest in business ownership as a career choice because of the influence of a parent or mentor. Many of the most successful and stable small business employers were in the second generation of ownership. The second generation owners may be but are not always within a family. Some businesses were passed down to employees or persons looking to invest in a small enterprise. Communities need to facilitate business transition.

Based on the findings of this research, the U.S. Small Business Administration provided funding of $58,416 to conduct an on-site business consultation project in Lexington, Nebraska. The on-site project occurred in October 2016. It involved nine businesses in Lexington. A report and strategic plan was provided to each participating business. A final report was provided to the Dawson Economic Development Corporation, the Lexington Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lexington.
 

Project Team

  • Robert Bernier (PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Business Administration
  • Roni Reiter-Palmon (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Psychology
  • Erin Pleggenkuhle-Miles (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Business Administration
  • Brian Mennecke (Co-PI), Iowa State University, Management Information Systems
  • Anthony Townsend (Co-PI), Iowa State University, Management Information Systems
  • Don Macke (Co-PI), Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
  • Sarah McMillan (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nebraska Business Development Center

 

Partners

  • Alexis Winder, Main Street Beatrice
  • Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Connie Hancock, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Marilyn Schlake, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Travis Haggard, Ogallala Economic Development
 

  • Sharon Hueftle, South Central Economic Development District
  • Rose Jasperson, Nebraska Enterprise Fund
  • Glenna Phelps Aurich, Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce
  • Rex Nelson, McCook Economic Development Corporation
  • Michael Burge, Valentine/Cherry County Economic Development Board

Publications

  • Bernier, R.E. (2015). “Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Nebraska.” Policy Briefs, Nebraska Legislative Planning Committee 2015 Report, December 2015.
  • Bernier, R.E., McMillan, S., Pleggenkuhle-Miles, E., Mennecke, B., Townsend, A., Macke, D., and Bhatt, P. Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development: A report to the Rural Futures Institute. February, 2015.
  • Bernier, Robert, “Small business and entrepreneurship in Nebraska” (2015).White Papers. 9.
  • Bernier, R. E. (2014). “Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development, A Conceptual Framework.’ Proceedings, United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, September 2014.

 

Presentations

  • United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference
    Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development
    January 24, 2015 | Tampa, FL
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development
    October 14, 2014| Scottsbluff, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development
    September 30, 2014| Nebraska City, NE

Contact: Robert Bernier, rbernier@unomaha.edu

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Marketing Hometown America

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2013    Impacts Numerous community-specific successes (check out examples on the program page >>>) Expansion across the region—Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota International attention >>> Research within this project has demonstrated that confidence, capacity-building …

Research & Engagement, 2013


 

Impacts

Research within this project has demonstrated that confidence, capacity-building and behavior can be increased in community-based leadership through a series of study-circle-based community-wide conversations facilitated by trained coaches. More details on the program webpage >>>

History

Marketing Hometown America (MHA) is an educational program focused on recruiting and retaining new residents. It engages communities through small groups, called study circles, to get more residents involved and more voices heard. Designed as a tool to create dialogue that moves toward action, it can be the spark to help a rural community look at itself and the recruitment and retention of new residents in a new way.

The RFI-funded project originally started in 2013 in three states: Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The project has continued beyond the 2015 grant time frame, and in 2016 the Minnesota Extension was interested in offering the program in their state, so a train-the-trainer program was established to allow those participating to become full partners in program development, implementation and evaluation. In October of 2017, Iowa State Extension requested the same training.

Project Team

  • Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel (PI), Nebraska Extension
  • Randy Cantrell (co-PI), Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
  • David Olson (co-PI), South Dakota State University Extension
  • Kathy Tweeten (co-PI), North Dakota State University Extension
  • Kenny Sherin, South Dakota State University Extension

Publications

Awards

  • “Innovative Program Winner” (Marketing Hometown America)
    National Community Development Society
    2014
  • “Excellence in Teamwork Award” (Marketing Hometown America)
    National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals
    2014

Presentations

  • North Atlantic Forum
    Rural New Resident Recruitment: A Critical First Step Toward Sustainability
    September, 2017 | Bo, Norway
  • North Central Region Center for Rural Development Webinar
    Marketing Hometown America
    December 1, 2016 | Placemaking Webinar Series
  • Heartland Center for Leadership Development National Conference
    Rural New Resident Recruitment: Marketing Hometown America
    October, 2016 | Jackson Hole, WY
  • International Rural Sociological Conference
    Ripple Effect Mapping
    August, 2016 | Toronto, Canada
  • National Association of Development Organizations
    A New Twist on Rural New Resident Recruitment: Marketing Hometown America
    August, 2015 | Denver, CO
  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference
    Did it make a difference? Ripple effect mapping & Marketing Hometown America
    May 17-20, 2015 | Little Rock, AR
  • Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference
    Attraction and Retention: Marketing Hometown America
    April 19-20, 2015 | McCook, NE
  • Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards
    Marketing Hometown America
    January, 2015| Lincoln, NE
  • Rural Sociological Society Annual Conference
    Marketing Hometown America: An asset-based community development approach to rural new resident recruitment
    Summer, 2014 | New Orleans, LA
  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference
    Marketing Hometown America
    June 22-25, 2014 | Grand Rapids, MI
  • International Association for Community Development Conference
    Marketing Hometown America
    June, 2014 | Glasgow, Scotland

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, cburkhartkriesel1@unl.edu

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Communities Creating Their Own Innovation & Entrepreneurship

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2013 Summary ECAP is a holistic facilitative process with the goals of attracting and retaining working age population and creating entrepreneurial environments that lead to community vitality. The ECAP project will engage community members to provide feedback …

Research & Engagement, 2013


Summary

ECAP is a holistic facilitative process with the goals of attracting and retaining working age population and creating entrepreneurial environments that lead to community vitality. The ECAP project will engage community members to provide feedback and identify benchmarks which can be used to measure the changes occurring in their community. The ultimate long-term goal of this project is to help rural communities build capacity for long-term sustainable change through the implementation of entrepreneurial strategies related to the eight characteristics of entrepreneurial communities. The eight characteristics are:

  • Community Vision
  • Culture of Change
  • Leadership
  • Sense of Place
  • Infrastructure
  • Digitally Connected
  • Education/Workforce IQ
  • Entrepreneurial Support Systems

 

Impacts

The ECAP process brought together leaders and community members. Over 300 people participated in conversations to determine seven communities’ futures. Additionally, over 2200 people provided input through the discovery tool process. In each of the communities efforts/projects were identified to become more entrepreneurial. By engaging in ECAP, communities position themselves for success.

Communities identified efforts/projects to become more entrepreneurial. Examples include:

  • Development of 308 Networking that brings young adults together to network and connect to the community.
  • Community wide web portal launched that brings together 8 governmental and community organizations to increase communication by sharing information, calendars and events.
  • Seed funding identified to create an economic development corporation.
  • Community-wide vision created.
  • Youth identified county-wide sand volleyball league for all ages to encourage unity.

Good organization is important to the success of the ECAP process. Keys to success that were identified by the communities include:

  • Forming a Steering Team
  • Using an Outside Facilitator
  • Getting People to the Conversations
  • Creating and Sharing a Vision
  • Keeping People Engaged
  • Documenting the Process
  • Maintaining the Momentum
  • Celebrating Success

Bringing together diverse community leaders through the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process builds capacity in eight vital areas of community development. Starting with the ECAP Discovery Tool, community members engaged in conversation, identified priorities and created action plans. ECAP was successful at engaging communities in conversation that in turn led to community ownership. The overall process was strengthened through continual community feedback.

Project Team

  • Charlotte Narjes (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Connie Hancock (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Phyllis Schoenholz (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Nancy Eberle (Co-PI), (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Diane Vigna (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Education & Human Sciences
  • Dennis Kahl, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • David Ulferts, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Rebecca Vogt, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Economics
  • Carroll Welte, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Jessica Jones, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension

Partners

  • Christina Bartels, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
  • Mary Emery, South Dakota State University, Sociology and Rural Studies
  • Gary Hamer, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
  • Maxine Moul, USDA Rural Development
  • Roger Meeks, USDA Rural Development
  • Rick Nelsen, Nebraska Public Power District – Economic Development
  • Keith Ellis, Nebraska Public Power District – Economic Development
  • Tim O’Brien, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
  • Milan Wall, Heartland Center for Leadership Development
  • Odee Ingersoll, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nebraska Business Development Center

 

Publications

 

Presentations

  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference
    Exploring Community Readiness to Build Capacity
    June 11-14, 2017 | Big Sky, Montana
  • Michigan Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference
    Creating Entrepreneurial Communities
    October 5-6, 2016 | Port Huron, MI
  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference
    Creating Resilient Communities through the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process
    June 26-29, 2016 | Burlington, VT
  • Nebraska Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference
    Creating Entrepreneurial Communities
    April 19-20, 2016 | McCook, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute National Conference
    Creating Hope and Inspiring Vision in Communities through the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process
    October 21-23, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Communities Creating Their Own Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    September 30, 2014 | Nebraska City, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Communities Creating Their Own Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    October 9, 2014 | Broken Bow, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Communities Creating Their Own Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    October 14, 2014 | Scottsbluff, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Charlotte Narjes, cnarjes1@unl.edu

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Rural Interprofessional UNMC Student Rotations

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2015 Summary The proposed bold, creative and transdisciplinary rural rotation, grounded in public health, will allow students to work interprofessionally in teams under the supervision of a public health practitioner. During the three-week rotation students will engage …

Teaching & Engagement, 2015


Summary

The proposed bold, creative and transdisciplinary rural rotation, grounded in public health, will allow students to work interprofessionally in teams under the supervision of a public health practitioner. During the three-week rotation students will engage in team-based, service-learning-based activities that align with the East Central District Health Department Community Health Improvement Plan. By taking part in this rotation, students should become stronger and more effective leaders in advocating for the sustainability of rural Nebraska communities.

 

Impacts

A pre-post design survey was employed to examine student changes in knowledge and attitudes related to their perceived ability as a member of an interprofessional team to: engage diverse health care professionals, communicate as a member of an interprofessional team, choose effective communication tools and techniques, integrate knowledge and experience of other professions, and to manage disagreements. Students indicated the following benefits from participating in the rotation: the ability to engage diverse healthcare professionals and develop strategies to meet specific rural population health needs, and an increased understanding of the need to embrace cultural diversity.

This is a great project that has allowed students from all colleges at UNMC to work in an interprofessional rural setting, focused on public health competencies and interprofessional learning. This program provides invaluable experiences for the students and the PI was successful in securing permanent Program of Excellence funds to permanently continue this interprofessional rotation opportunity.

 

Project Team

  • Patrik Johansson (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Rural Health Education Network
  • Rebecca Rayman (Co-PI), East Central District Health Department

 

Partners

  • UNMC College of Dentistry
  • UNMC College of Medicine
  • UNMC College of Nursing
  • UNMC College of Pharmacy
  • UNMC College of Public Health
  • UNMC College of Allied Health Professions
  • East Central District Health Department
  • Good Neighbor Community Health Center

 

Publication

  • Johansson P., Grimm B., Tibbits M., Maloney S., Siahpush M., Nickol D. (Manuscript under Review) Outcomes from an interprofessional, population health-oriented, practice-based health profession student rotation in rural Nebraska. Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice.

 

Presentation

  • Rural Futures Institute Forum
    Rural Interprofessional UNMC Student Rotations
    September 22, 2016 | West Point, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Patrik Johansson, pjohansson@unmc.edu

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Rural Community Diversity Action

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2015 Summary Utilizes a service-learning approach to link University of Nebraska–Lincoln students to rural communities that are experiencing demographic shifts. The project will work in close partnership and collaboration with the Center for Rural Affairs to identify …

Teaching & Engagement, 2015


Summary

Utilizes a service-learning approach to link University of Nebraska–Lincoln students to rural communities that are experiencing demographic shifts. The project will work in close partnership and collaboration with the Center for Rural Affairs to identify and facilitate productive connections with key communities and agencies and assist in working with students as they enter the field. Students will gain a deeper understanding of themselves as leaders and how their beliefs, values, perceptions and assumptions have shaped their understanding of and approach to leadership.

Project Team

  • Gina Matkin (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Leadership, Educations & Communication

Partners

  • Center for Rural Affairs

 

Contact: Gina Matkin, gmatkin1@unl.edu

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Rural Community Career Development

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2015 Summary The original intent of this project was to use an established curriculum that had been piloted in one community and replicate it in additional communities. The goal was to familiarize students with the entrepreneurial concepts …

Teaching & Engagement, 2015


Summary

The original intent of this project was to use an established curriculum that had been piloted in one community and replicate it in additional communities. The goal was to familiarize students with the entrepreneurial concepts to help their rural communities maintain or rebuild their economic viability. The end goal was to sustain rural communities, thereby slowing the decline of population. The partnering of students with mentors within the community before leaving for college exposes students to career opportunities and the potential for returning upon completing their education. The curriculum helped students discover a positive outlook on the future and explore the changes they may encounter as an owner or manager in their home community.

 

Impacts

During the first year, the Rural Community Career Development course was taught at Bertrand High School. During this time, the original Principal Investigator on the project resigned from NCTA, creating a delay in the completion of the second year of the project.

A new NCTA faculty member was recruited to continue the work of the project. The new PI modified the project to focus more directly on entrepreneurship in an attempt to combat a challenge many rural communities face – that of youth departing to attend college and not returning. Project Economic Gardening (PEG) was offered at Maywood High School and then the course culminated by attendance at a day-long Entrepreneurship Camp at NCTA.

Special focus included:

  • Developing knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurial spirit
  • Providing experience in developing strategic partnerships
  • Developing strategies and methods for leveraging nexus between innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Engaging the youth to build leadership and fostering philanthropy

Project Team

  • Mary Rittenhouse (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
  • Krystle Friesen (former PI), formerly at Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture

Partners

  • Karl Shaddock, Nebraska Community Foundation
  • Bertrand Community Foundation
  • Bertrand High School
  • Paxton Schools
  • Maywood High School

 

Contact: Mary Rittenhouse, mrittenhouse2@unl.edu

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Volunteer Program Assessment: Bridging Rural & Urban Concerns of Non-Profit Organizations

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2015 Summary This project’s intent was to offer a partially internet-mediated service learning course for undergraduate students from multiple disciplines that will involve students in learning how to assess quantitatively and qualitatively the experiences and satisfaction of …

Teaching & Engagement, 2015


Summary

This project’s intent was to offer a partially internet-mediated service learning course for undergraduate students from multiple disciplines that will involve students in learning how to assess quantitatively and qualitatively the experiences and satisfaction of volunteers working for the Foster Grandparents Program (FGP) in Gering, Neb., and Beatrice, Neb. The Foster Grandparent Program is part of Senior Corps, a network of national service programs that provide older Americans the opportunity to put their life experiences to work for local communities.

The project’s short-term goal was to provide information to allow volunteer coordinators and other staff to make better decisions to improve the experiences of rural volunteers. One of the project’s long-term goals is to help retain volunteers and hence contribute to the economy in rural Nebraska through an improvement of volunteer experiences and retention.

Impacts

A new service learning course for undergraduate students from multiple disciplines was developed that provided the opportunity to learn about volunteerism, nonprofit organizations, and consulting in rural Nebraska by assessing the experiences and satisfaction of volunteers working for the Foster Grandparents Program. The course is cross-listed in psychology and management.

Through the course, students are able to:

  1. Understand the nonprofit sector and issues regarding volunteer management
  2. Understand how intergenerational volunteering efforts contribute to local communities
  3. Learn how to use surveys to provide consultation services to clients
  4. Increase knowledge of professional business etiquette and presentation skills

Project Team

  • Joseph Allen (PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Community Engagement Center

Partners

  • Sonja Workman, Beatrice Foster Grandparent Program, Blue Valley Community Action, Inc.
  • Mary Parker, Omaha Foster Grandparent Program, Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging
  • Cathy Schumacher, Panhandle Foster Grandparent Program, Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska

Publication

  • Trent, S.B., Galvin, D., Hosmat, V., Jantz, D., & Allen, J.A. (2017). Volunteer Program Assessment at UNO Data Analytic Report: Foster Grandparents Program. Gering, NE: Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska.

Presentations

  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Burnout and Recruitment
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: The Volunteer Program Assessment Survey Results
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Perception of Volunteer Voice
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Ongoing Training Ideas
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Satisfaction with Volunteer Colleagues
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Addressing Burnout and Recruitment
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE

 

Contact: Joseph Allen, josephallen@unomaha.edu

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Developing A Model for “Quality of Life”

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2015 Summary This project is designed to: Examine the factors that are relevant in determining “quality of life” (QOL) among ethnic minority populations in rural communities; and To develop educational tools that will help community responders in …

Research & Engagement, 2015


Summary

This project is designed to:

  • Examine the factors that are relevant in determining “quality of life” (QOL) among ethnic minority populations in rural communities; and
  • To develop educational tools that will help community responders in integrating findings into their work to better respond to the needs of rural minorities.

The study involves focus groups and surveys of rural ethnic minorities, as well as interviews of key informants in five regions across Nebraska. The ultimate long-term goal of the project is to understand and improve the well being of minorities in rural Nebraska, consequently increasing the likelihood of their retention and their active contribution to the economic, social, health, and overall vitality of rural communities.

 

Impacts

Qualitative research data generated from focus groups and key informant interviews was analyzed to determine thematic patterns and to help guide the quantitative data plans. After initial data analysis of archival data (e.g., census, CDC data) was completed, publications and other information for dissemination (e.g., GIS maps, fact sheets) were created that have been used in presentations to depict various aspects of diversity and inequity. This includes such aspects as geographical spread with regard to income, mapping of number/percentage of ethnic minorities by county, and others. Some of these maps have already been used by various entities within Extension (e.g., in a grant application).

Knowledge generated from and analyzed in this project were utilized in the successful application for additional funding from USDA to continue research related to youth retention in rural communities, including quality of life factors.

 

Project team

  • Maria Rosario T. de Guzman (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Child, Youth & Family Studies
  • Rodrigo Cantarero (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Community and Regional Planning
  • Jill Goedeken (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Jackie Guzman (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Soo-Young Hong (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Child, Youth & Family Studies
  • Lee Sherry (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Yan Ruth Xia (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Child, Youth & Family Studies

 

Partners

  • Randy Cantrell, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Economics
  • Gustavo Carlo, University of Missouri, Human Development & Family Studies
  • Miguel Carranza, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Sociology
  • David Drozd, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Public Affairs Research
  • Platte Valley Literacy Association
  • Asian Cultural and Community Center
  • RMC Research and Central Regional Educational Laboratory at Marzano Research
  • Office of Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Services

 

Publications

  • Taylor, S., Garcia, A., de Guzman, M., Cantarero, R., et al, “Exploring Conceptions of ‘Quality of Life’ in Rural Ethnic Minorities”, Society for Cross Cultural Research Conference, (2018).

Presentations

  • Society for Cross Cultural Research Conference
    Exploring Conceptions of ‘Quality of Life’ in Rural Ethnic Minorities
    February 21-24, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV
  • Society for Cross Cultural Research Conference
    Mapping Quality of Life in Nebraska: Nebraska’s Migration Rates
    February 21-24, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV
  • Society for Cross Cultural Research Conference
    Mapping Quality of Life in Nebraska: Population Distribution by Race, Ethnicity, and Age
    February 21-24, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV

Awards

To extend the work of this project, the PI, in collaboration with two other RFI-funded projects – one focused on youth entrepreneurship (Kim, de Guzman) and another focused on systems-thinking and STEM (Guru, de Guzman et al.), applied for a USDA-AFRI grant that draws elements from the 3 RFI projects. The proposal “Leveraging Community Connections, Local Issues, and Youth High Tech Entrepreneurship Education to Nurture Rural Economic Opportunities” was funded in 2018 in the amount of $493,560. Details >>

 

Contact: Maria Rosario T. de Guzman, mguzman2@unl.edu

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Translating Evidence-based, Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program for Adoption by Rural Communities

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2015 Summary National data have clearly documented a fourfold increase in childhood obesity during the past four decades. Pediatric obesity is associated with a plethora of health risks, yet obesity treatment programs are scarce in Nebraska and …

Research & Engagement, 2015


Summary

National data have clearly documented a fourfold increase in childhood obesity during the past four decades. Pediatric obesity is associated with a plethora of health risks, yet obesity treatment programs are scarce in Nebraska and generally unavailable in rural America. With US medical health care services changing to population-based health and evidence-based medicine, physicians are searching for tested and proven referral programs to provide health education and weight loss programs for children and adults, which achieve positive health outcomes.

The objective of this proposal is to enhance rural access to our locally successful, evidence-based, family-based, pediatric obesity treatment program, Building Healthy Families. Program translation will utilize distance learning technologies (synchronous and asynchronous) to allow rural community members in Greater Nebraska, where currently available resources and expertise are limited, to participate in the 12-week program.

Impacts

The project was deemed a success because a tremendous amount about video conferencing delivery to include rural families in an intensive family based obesity treatment program. The team was able to evaluate what worked, and what did not work, and developed ideas of how to take next steps to enhance reach and modify delivery. The team was able to collaborate with new investigators from UNMC who have experience and expertise with evaluation of community interventions. The ability to better analyze the data facilitated the development of a proposal for external funding.

The objectives for the pilot study in Broken Bow and McCook included evaluation of passive and active recruitment from pediatricians and public schools in an effort to reach more potential families. The secondary objective compared the traditional Building Healthy Families program to a workbook control that was delivered to the rural communities. It is anticipated that the workbook control will experience weight loss, although not as much. However, the workbook control allows reach into rural communities where resources are not present. We are awaiting completion of the final data to determine the effectiveness of the program delivery to rural communities.

Two additional funding sources of $18,000 and $150,000 have allowed this project to expand. While a proposal to NIH for $3.3 million was not funded initially, the project is addressing reviewer critiques with plans to resubmit the proposal in the fall of 2018.

Project Team

  • Kate Heelan (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Todd Bartee (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Nannette Hogg, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Communications
  • Bryce Abbey, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Matthew Bice, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Allan Jenkins, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Economics
  • Ron Konecny, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Management

Partners

  • Myra Stoney, Southwest Public Health District
  • Jesse Goertz, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Kaiti George, Hy-Vee Dietician
  • Nancy Rogers Foster, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Psychology and Pediatrics
  • Jean Mandernach, Grand Canyon University, Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching

Presentations

  • American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting
    Attenuation of Excessive Weight Gain One Year Post Pediatric Obesity Treatment Initiation
    May 29, 2018 | Minneapolis, MN
  • American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting
    Public Health Impact of a Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    May 29, 2018 | Minneapolis, MN
  • Nebraska Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference
    A Community Approach to Pediatric Obesity Treatment: Kearney Public Schools and Building Healthy Families
    April 20, 2018 | Lincoln, NE
  • International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference
    Adaptation of a Family-based Behavioral Weight Control Treatment Program for Rural Midwest US Families
    June 7-10, 2017 | Victoria Canada
  • International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference
    Interventions for Community Implementation: Process and Outcomes
    June 7-10, 2017 | Victoria Canada
  • American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting
    Self-Monitoring as a Predictor for Weight Loss in a Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    May, 2017 | Denver, CO
  • Central Nebraska Child Obesity Conference
    Signs of Progress: Kearney Public Schools & Building Healthy Families Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    December, 2016 | Hastings, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Forum
    Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program for Adoption in Rural Communities
    September 27, 2016 | North Platte, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Kate Heelan, heelanka@unk.edu

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Rural Sourcing

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2013 Summary The concept of “rural sourcing” relates to existing and start-up companies strategically locating operations in rural areas to reduce labor costs and increase employee reliability. This project built on a successful “cross-sourcing” model to recruit …

Research & Engagement, 2013


Summary

The concept of “rural sourcing” relates to existing and start-up companies strategically locating operations in rural areas to reduce labor costs and increase employee reliability. This project built on a successful “cross-sourcing” model to recruit University of Nebraska alumni back to rural Nebraska in targeted professional service occupations. Alumni from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Kearney campuses were sent several emails and one postcard regarding the opportunity. The first phase of this project was guided by existing research exploring the lifestyle expectations and career preferences of alumni who moved back to the western/Panhandle region of Nebraska. Interviews were conducted with several alumni who have moved back to rural Nebraska to understand their process and motivation. Secondary and primary data collected from this research directed the communication campaign content for alumni who opted in to receive information related to current job openings.  Several central Nebraska employers were engaged as partners to describe and promote their professional opportunities with limited success related to filling job vacancies. The project received significant regional and national press coverage and formed several new relationships with employers, two University Alumni Associations, and University outreach staff.

Xpanxion designed the platform for accessing the Alumni Association data, sending related content, and allowing subscribers to opt-in for receiving future messages. Xpanxion assigned marketing, web-site, and software engineering staff to design and host the online platform and manage the testing during the project.

Impacts

The results from this project were less than expected as none of the rural employers filled vacant professional positions as a result of the system. The project investigators planned and implemented an innovative program never attempted at this level of a statewide public-private collaboration. The innovative concept received significant national, regional, and local media resulting in positive awareness for the key organizational collaborators (i.e. Xpanxion, the Nebraska Alumni Association, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and the Rural Futures Institute/funder).

This project was well suited as a seed, or pilot, grant funding recipients as partners were unaware of the best methods for implementation or what some results might reveal. Several major lessons were learned through the process, including the need to engage more partner companies as employers before any promotional campaigns to alumni were implemented. The initial promotional campaign should still be a personalized postcard as the target audience of working professionals receive many forms of electronic correspondence each day.  Collaboration with other secondary education institutions serving rural populations may also expand the reach and potential of this concept.  The project served its purpose as a pilot program as it engaged the public and private sector on a meaningful and innovative level and an overall good use of public funds.

Project Team

  • Shawn Kaskie (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Center for Rural Research and Development
  • Paul Eurek (Co-PI), Xpanxion Technologies LLC
  • Shelley Zaborowski (Co-PI), Nebraska Alumni Association
  • Randy Cantrell, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Odee Ingersoll, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nebraska Business Development Center

Partners

  • Dena Beck, Center for Rural Affairs, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project
  • Mary Findlay, Nebraska Department of Labor

Presentations

  • Nebraska Extension Eureka! Conference
    Rural Sourcing
    March 17, 2015 | Omaha, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Rural Sourcing
    October 9, 2014 | Broken Bow, NE

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Shawn Kaskie, kaskiesc@unk.edu

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Measuring the Impact of Youth Leadership Development

November 17, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2015 Impacts The successful replication of the RCAP Program from UNL to the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus is evidence the program can be replicated at other institutions. This achieved the engagement goal for the project …

Research & Engagement, 2015


Impacts

The successful replication of the RCAP Program from UNL to the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus is evidence the program can be replicated at other institutions. This achieved the engagement goal for the project of creating a collegiate program template for youth civic engagement that can be replicated at other institutions across Nebraska, the Great Plains, and even the world. A manual to facilitate the replication of the RCAP program was created and is available for others to use.

During this project, 105 Undergraduate Fellows at UNL and UNK have engaged with over 450 middle and high school students to complete 36 youth civic engagement projects at multiple school locations. Evidence suggests that the middle and high school students who participated in the RCAP program are more confident in their capacity to engage in community work in the future.

On the research side, data from 836 youth have been collected and are currently being analyzed to help create a psychometrically sound measure of positive youth leadership identity. Through this RFI award, partnerships have formed between researchers and leadership development programmers to improve the capacity to assess youth leadership development.

 

History

The purpose of this collaborative research study is to develop a psychometrically sound measure of youth leadership (including its developmental aspect) and examine its relationship to community outcomes, such as retention, civic engagement, entrepreneurial activity, and community attachment.

Youth leadership development, to date, has not been examined for its predictive value in influencing community outcomes. This project requires the transdisciplinary synergy of scholars and practitioners in youth leadership, community development, civic engagement, and organizational behavior and will engage youth participants in place-based civic leadership development (Rural Civic Action Program—RCAP) and strengths-based leadership mentoring (Nebraska Human Resources Institute—NHRI).

This program expands the RCAP project – a 2014-2015 RFI Teaching & Engagement project that has been sustained beyond the two-year project and will also be expanded to include UNK undergraduate students, which would allow for middle and high schools within 60 miles of Kearney to be included in the program. This expands the reach of the program to include significantly more communities across the state of Nebraska.

 

Project Team

  • L.J. McElravy (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication
  • Lindsay Hastings (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication
  • Matthew Mims, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Counseling & School Psychology
  • Fred Luthans, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Business
  • Adam Morfeld, Kelsey Arends, Kent Day, Civic Nebraska
  • Milan Wall, Heartland Center for Leadership Development

 

Partners

  • Civic Nebraska (formerly Nebraskans for Civic Reform)
  • Heartland Center for Leadership Development
  • Amherst High School
  • Ashland-Greenwood High School
  • Auburn Public School
  • Crete High School
  • East Butler High School
  • Elm Creek High School
  • Johnson-Brock Middle School
  • Johnson County Central High School
  • Kearney High School
  • Pleasanton High School
  • Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca High School
  • Weeping Water High School
  • Weeping Water Middle School
  • Wilcox-Hildreth High School
  • Wood River Middle School
  • Cardinal Union at Crete High School
  • United Church of Christ in Crete
  • Sack Lumber, Brainard
  • First National Bank, Weeping Water
  • Meeske’s Hardware & Houseware, Weeping Water
  • Tribal Kitchen, Weeping Water
  • Weeping Water city office and mayor

 

Publications

  • Hastings, L. J., McElravy, L.J., Sunderman, H., & Bartak, J., (2017, October). Building a Theory of Positive Youth Leadership Identity. International Leadership Association Global Conference, Brussels, Belgium.

 

Presentations

  • International Leadership Association Global Conference
    Building a Theory of Positive Youth Leadership Identity
    October, 2017 | Brussels, Belgium

 

Awards

  • Strengthening Democracy Award as “outstanding community partner” presented to Dr. L.J. McElravy and the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication department at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, received April 30, 2015.

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: L.J. McElravy, lj.mcelravy@unl.edu

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Using Crowdlearning for Leadership Development in Rural Communities

November 17, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2013 Summary Developing the next generation of leaders is critical for the success and survival of organizations and communities. Rural communities experience additional challenges due to limited populations and geographic dispersion. In Nebraska, leadership demand is high, …

Research & Engagement, 2013


Summary

Developing the next generation of leaders is critical for the success and survival of organizations and communities. Rural communities experience additional challenges due to limited populations and geographic dispersion. In Nebraska, leadership demand is high, as one out of six adults hold a leadership role. To address these challenges, our research team created a case-based learning curriculum for developing leadership skills.

The focus of this project was to deliver leadership training using open source collaboration technology to provide an accessible, engaging, and useful leadership development program, and created opportunities to connect leaders throughout Nebraska. A nine-month, e-training program was developed for emerging leaders in Nebraska. The training program focused on soft skills (e.g., feedback delivery) embedded in case-based scenarios. The participants collaboratively worked on skill building assignments, and the participants showed significant increases in their meeting effectiveness and feedback delivery skills.

Impacts

The need for leadership development opportunities in rural communities is clear. The goal of this project was to address this need by creating a virtual leadership development program for emerging leaders in rural Nebraska using a crowdlearning platform. We recognized how advances in technology makes it possible for leaders in rural areas who cannot easily meet to come together in an online setting to share experiences, ask questions, and learn from one another. We paired this technology with case-based learning methods to develop both creative problem solving, and interactional skills. We created the cases based on actual situations rural Nebraskan leaders have faced. Each case focused on one of the creative problem solving or interactional skills we aimed to develop. Participants engaged in discussion about each case once per month. Similar cases were provided before and after each session to assess changes in skill development.

Overall, participants showed gains in development for each skill except one.  Results and feedback from participants showed greater gains and more enjoyment from the sessions on interactional skills. Most notably, results from pre- and post-assessments showed participants’ leader identity, leader self-efficacy, and motivation to lead all significantly increased. Thus, the program was deemed successful, however, we also noted ways in which it could improve. In the future, we would like to make improvements to this program by offering more avenues for discussion (e.g., including asynchronous discussion boards) and by including different skills. We would also like to compare differences in learning in a face-to-face setting compared to a virtual setting. We also believe we would see more significant results from analyses if we had a larger sample of participants. A larger sample would also allow us to analyze results at the group level.

Project Team

  • Roni Reiter-Palmon (PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Collaboration Science
  • Gina Scott-Ligon (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Collaboration Science
  • Douglas Derrick (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Collaboration Science
  • Lynn Harland (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Collaboration Science
  • Gert-Jan de Vreede (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Collaboration Science
  • Susan Jensen (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, College of Business & Technology
  • Robert Bernier, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska Business Development Center

Publications

  • Mitchell, K. S., Harland, L., Reiter-Palmon, R., Ligon, G., Derrick, D., Sands, S., Kocsis, D., & Alothaim, A. (2017, July). Soft skills training can work: A collaborative training program for leadership development. Poster presented at the twelfth annual conference of INGroup, St. Louis, MO.
  • Scheller, E., Royston, R., Reiter-Palmon, R., Sands, S. J., Kocsis, D., Alothaim, A., Ligon, G., Harland, L., Derrick, D. C., de Vreede, G. J., & Jensen, S. (2017, April). Leadership development though virtual teams and case-based discussion. Poster presented at the 32nd annual Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology Meeting, Orlando, FL.
  • Reiter-Palmon, R., Sands, S., Kocsis, D., Alothaim, A., Ligon, G., Harland, L., Derrick, D., de Vreede, G.J., & Jensen S. (2015, Aug.). Self-perception of creativity and creativity training. Paper presented at the 123rd American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Jensen, S., Reiter-Palmon, R., Harland, L., Sands, S., Scott-Ligon, G., Derrick, D., de Vreede, G.J., Alothaim, A., & Kocsis, D. (2015, March). Tough Love…or Killing a Dream? Case study presented at the MBAA Society for Case Research Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Reiter-Palmon, R. (2015, Oct.). Using crowdsources for leadership development in rural communities. Paper presented at the Rural Futures Institute Conference, Lincoln, NE.
  • Sands, S., Kocsis, D., Reiter-Palmon, R., Alothaim, A., Ligon, G., Derrick, D., Harland, L., Vreede, G.J. de, & Jensen, S. (2013, Nov.). Using case-based learning for leadership development in rural communities. Poster presented at the annual Rural Futures Conference, Lincoln, NE. Poster received honorable mention in poster competition.

Presentations

  • Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research Annual Conference
    Soft Skills Training Can Work: A Collaborative Training Program for Leadership Development
    July 20-22, 2017 | St. Louis, MO
  • 32nd Annual Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference Leadership Development Through Virtual Teams and Case-based Discussion
    April 27-29, 2017 | Orlando, FL
  • American Psychological Association Annual Convention
    Self-perception of Creativity and Creativity Training
    August 6-9, 2015 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • MBAA Society for Case Research Conference
    Tough Love…or Killing a Dream?
    March 25-27, 2015 | Chicago, IL
  • Rural Futures Institute National Conference
    Using Crowdsources for Leadership Development in Rural Communities
    October 21-23, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute National Conference
    Using Case-based Learning for Leadership Development in Rural Communities
    November 3-5, 2013 | Lincoln, NE

 

Contact: Roni Reiter-Palmon, rreiter-palmon@unomaha.edu

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2013 RFC Concurrent Sessions

September 10, 2013
Building Vibrant Communities Through Entrepreneurship Rural community stakeholders, practitioners, students, and faculty will explore the many ways entrepreneurship can positively affect the future of rural communities. Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas about how the Rural Futures Institute, …

Building Vibrant Communities Through Entrepreneurship
Rural community stakeholders, practitioners, students, and faculty will explore the many ways entrepreneurship can positively affect the future of rural communities. Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas about how the Rural Futures Institute, Extension and other university/higher education programs can collaborate with rural communities to build an entrepreneurial culture within businesses, organizations and communities. Innovative approaches will be shared along with updates provided from funded proposals in the first round of RFI grants.

 

The Essential Conversation: Linking Communities and Higher Education
This interactive session will challenge rural community stakeholders, practitioners, faculty, and students to be creative in designing synergistic partnerships that address unmet community needs. Participants will be asked to reflect on various models used for community organizing and for developing trusting partnerships. Best practices from students, faculty, and communities participating in the first round of the RFI Teaching & Engagement grants will also be shared. Participants will contemplate “big” questions throughout the session regarding the identification of community needs and communication challenges, as well as defining the roles and functions of partnerships and boundary issues.

 

Governing the Land: Maximizing Rural Places Locally and Globally
Are rural lands being used to their best potential? How do government, law, and policy influence landowner decisions about optimal and sustainable land use? This highly interactive session will incorporate the expertise and experiences of scholars from abroad, including work from the international Office of Economic Cooperation and Development’s Rural Working Group, as well as regional experts on topics ranging from energy development to water concerns and land use planning to natural resource management. International, federal, state, and tribal jurisdictions will all be considered, and audience members will have the opportunity to play a game we are calling Plainsopoly that encourages participants to explore and develop a vision for the future of rural lands.

 

Innovative Approaches to Rural Health
Healthy individuals and communities are essential for rural Nebraska to be resilient and successful. Valuing current health promoting practices, envisioning what could be better, and creating new strategies for improving health outcomes for rural people and places will be the focus of this session. Rural practitioners will share their innovative approaches to improving health outcomes in their communities, thought leaders will envision what may be just over the horizon, and participants will engage in an exercise to explore innovative ideas that address the complex rural health opportunities and challenges of the future.

 

#Visioning4aNEWfuture
Building on the ideas and strengths of those in the room, this session will encourage new ways of thinking around the “brain drain” phenomenon. There is no doubt that integrating youth (8-35 years old) into the basic workings of rural communities is integral to positive rural futures, but it is also important to listen to young leaders who are working to create a vision for the future. Together, conference participants will have a conversation about how the RFI and its partners can attract, retain and develop young leaders in rural areas and provide them opportunities, from a young age, to assume major leadership roles in building stronger rural futures.

 

The Rural Commons
Utilizing open space technology, conference participants will have the ability to set the agenda of this session. Through participant-generated and participant-led conversations, conference participants will discuss topics and complexities not specifically addressed elsewhere in the conference agenda. This interactive process generates communication, collaboration, innovation, and other solutions to challenges around themes or issues identified by conference participants.

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2013 RFC Payment

August 28, 2013
Your payment for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference has been confirmed. Thank you.

Your payment for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference has been confirmed. Thank you.

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Faculty & Partner Poster Session

July 30, 2013
Download printer-friendly call for poster SUBMIT your poster abstract Faculty and university partners are invited to present posters on “big idea” research questions that go “Beyond Boundaries” and create knowledge and action that leads to resilient and sustainable rural futures in …

Download printer-friendly call for poster

SUBMIT your poster abstract

Faculty and university partners are invited to present posters on “big idea” research questions that go “Beyond Boundaries” and create knowledge and action that leads to resilient and sustainable rural futures in Nebraska, the Great Plains and beyond. Posters may feature research currently underway or ideas for future research that exemplify the Rural Futures Institute’s core values:

    • Bold
    • Inclusive
    • Opportunistic and Resilient
    • Transdisciplinary
    • Capacity Building
    • Creative
    • All Serving
    • Reflective and Collaborative
    • Sustainable

 

Submitting an Abstract

Abstracts (up to 250 words) are due October 18, 2013 and must be accepted for display. The Conference Poster Committee will review the abstracts and notify presenters of their acceptance via email by October 22, 2013.

Note: Undergraduate and graduate student poster competitions will also be held at the conference.

 

Poster Format

    • Maximum poster size is 46 inches wide x 34 inches high – landscape orientation only.
    • Do not use less than an 18-point font for any text you mount.

 

At the Conference

    • Posters must be dropped off at the registration desk by 6:00 p.m., Sunday, November 3.
    • Posters will be set up for display and taken down by the conference staff.
    • You must be present with your poster during the poster session and reception, 5-7 p.m., Monday,November 4.
    • Posters must be picked up from the registration desk by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

 

Dates & Deadlines

August 1 Poster competition details released
October 18 Poster abstracts due by 5 pm CST
Poster abstracts can be sumbitted via ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/generalposter 
October 22 RFI notifies presenters of acceptance
November 3 Posters must be dropped off at conference registration desk by 6 pm CST
November 4 Poster session at Rural Futures Conference
November 5 Posters picked up from conference registration desk by 4 pm CST

 

Questions?

If you have questions regarding the faculty and university partner poster session, contact Rachael Herpel at rherpel@nebraska.edu or +1-402-472-4977.

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Undergraduate Student Poster Competition

July 30, 2013
Download printer-friendly call for posters SUBMIT your poster abstract If you conduct research on “big questions” that go “Beyond Boundaries,” consider presenting a poster at the 2013 Rural Futures Conference. Posters may feature research currently underway or ideas for future research that …

Download printer-friendly call for posters

SUBMIT your poster abstract

If you conduct research on “big questions” that go “Beyond Boundaries,” consider presenting a poster at the 2013 Rural Futures Conference. Posters may feature research currently underway or ideas for future research that exemplify the Rural Futures Institute’s core values defined at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/ institute. Poster abstracts should describe research that creates knowledge and action, and that leads to resilient and sustainable rural futures in Nebraska, the Great Plains and beyond.

 

Submitting an Abstract

Abstracts (up to 250 words) are due October 18, 2013 and must be accepted for the competition. The Conference Poster Committee will review the abstracts and notify presenters of their acceptance via email by October 22, 2013.

 

Poster Format

      • Maximum poster size is 46 inches wide x 34 inches high – landscape orientation only.
      • Do not use less than an 18-point font for any text you mount.

 

At the Conference

      • Posters must be dropped off at the registration desk by 6:00 p.m., Sunday, November 3.
      • Posters will be set up for display and taken down by the conference staff.
      • Posters must be picked up from the registration desk by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

 

Awards

Undergraduate students are eligible for the competition if they:

      • Have had their abstract accepted
      • Registered for the Rural Futures Conference
      • Are present with their poster during the poster session and reception, 5:00-7:00 p.m., Monday, November 4.

Award winners are determined by a team of judges who will judge the posters during the conference. The awards are:

      • First Place: $750 cash
      • Second Place: $500 cash
      • Third Place: $250 cash
      • Honorable Mention: $100 cash

 

Dates & Deadlines

August 1 Poster competition details released
October 18 Poster abstracts due by 5 pm CST
Poster abstracts can be submitted via ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/undergradposters
October 22 RFI notifies presenters of acceptance
November 3 Posters must be dropped off at conference registration desk by 6 pm CST
November 4 Poster session at Rural Futures Conference
November 5 Posters picked up from conference registration desk by 4 pm CST

 

Questions?

If you have questions regarding the undergraduate student poster competition, contact Rachael Herpel at rherpel@nebraska.edu or +1-402-472-4977.

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Graduate Student Poster Compeition

July 30, 2013
Download printer-friendly call for posters SUBMIT your poster abstract If you conduct research on “big questions” that go “Beyond Boundaries,” consider presenting a poster at the 2013 Rural Futures Conference. Posters may feature research currently underway or ideas for future research that …

Download printer-friendly call for posters

SUBMIT your poster abstract

If you conduct research on “big questions” that go “Beyond Boundaries,” consider presenting a poster at the 2013 Rural Futures Conference. Posters may feature research currently underway or ideas for future research that exemplify the Rural Futures Institute’s core values defined at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/ institute. Poster abstracts should describe research that creates knowledge and action, and that leads to resilient and sustainable rural futures in Nebraska, the Great Plains and beyond.

 

Submitting an Abstract

Abstracts (up to 250 words) are due October 18, 2013 and must be accepted for the competition. The Conference Poster Committee will review the abstracts and notify presenters of their acceptance via email by October 22, 2013.

 

Poster Format

      • Maximum poster size is 46 inches wide x 34 inches high – landscape orientation only.
      • Do not use less than an 18-point font for any text you mount.

 

At the Conference

      • Posters must be dropped off at the registration desk by 6:00 p.m., Sunday, November 3.
      • Posters will be set up for display and taken down by the conference staff.
      • Posters must be picked up from the registration desk by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

 

Awards

Graduate students are eligible for the on-site competition if they:

      • Have had their abstract accepted
      • Registered for the Rural Futures Conference
      • Are present with their poster during the poster session and reception, 5:00-7:00 p.m., Monday, November 4.

Award winners are determined by a team of judges who will judge the posters during the conference. Awards are:

      • First Place: $750 cash
      • Second Place: $500 cash
      • Third Place: $250 cash
      • Honorable Mention: $100 cash

 

Dates & Deadlines

August 1 Poster competition details released
October 18 Poster abstracts due by 5 pm CST
Poster abstracts can be submitted via ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/gradstudentposter
October 22 RFI notifies presenters of acceptance
November 3 Posters must be dropped off at conference registration desk by 6 pm CST
November 4 Poster session at Rural Futures Conference
November 5 Posters picked up from conference registration desk by 4 pm CST

 

Questions?

If you have questions regarding the graduate student poster competition, contact Rachael Herpel at rherpel@nebraska.edu or +1-402-472-4977.

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Quick Pitch Spotlight

July 30, 2013
Download printer-friendly guidelines SUMBIT your quick pitch concept Do you have a big idea? Here is your chance to pitch your idea, unique concept or RFI grant concept to a full house. This spotlight session will allow you the opportunity …

Download printer-friendly guidelines

SUMBIT your quick pitch concept

Do you have a big idea? Here is your chance to pitch your idea, unique concept or RFI grant concept to a full house. This spotlight session will allow you the opportunity to develop an idea, pitch it, and identify others who may be interested in collaborating or partnering on the concept. You will also receive judges’ feedback and have a chance to win the quick pitch spotlight.

 

What is a quick pitch?

A quick pitch (sometimes known as an elevator speech) is a 3-minute action-oriented description of a big idea. In this case, the goal is to (1) persuade listeners that this idea adds value to rural people or places, and (2) engage the interest of the audience and spur them to support your idea.

 

Why participate in the quick pitch?

  1. Formulate or refine a big idea that could be submitted as an RFI grant or project.
  2. Connect with other individuals that may want to collaborate on your idea (i.e. communities, partner organizations, students, and faculty).
  3. A chance to win:
        • The judges will choose the top two pitches and they will receive a prize and free registration to the next Rural Futures Conference.
        • The most popular pitch, based on audience feedback, will receive a prize and free registration to the next Rural Futures Conference.

 

What information should be included?

An effective quick pitch should address the following questions:

  1. What is your big idea? What makes it bold and unique?
    Succinctly sell the unique value attribute(s) of the outcome your idea will generate and how it relates to the RFI (see RFI core values below). Do not go into excruciating detail.
  2. What do you need to execute your big idea? Who do you need to meet and network with to better develop your concept?
  3. Do you already have partners identified?

Additionally, those pitching are encouraged to have copies of a concept paper to give to interested partners.

 

How should a quick pitch sound?

  1. The speech should not sound memorized or robotic, but it should be well rehearsed and delivered with passion and clarity. If successful, it should paint a clear and vivid picture of how your idea will impact rural futures.
  2. Organized…precisely and concisely make your point. Remember, you only have three minutes.
  3. You should be excited about what you are pitching! Your audience should be able to hear the passion in your voice.

 

Rules & Guidelines

  1. Each person will have three minutes to pitch their idea to conference participants. When three minutes is reached, a timer will stop the pitch.
  2. Judges will score the pitch.
  3. Pitches may be made by individuals or two-person teams.
  4. PowerPoint may be used but will be limited to six slides.

 

Evaluation

Quick pitches will be judged by an at-large audience vote on the participant’s ability to succinctly convey their big idea that align with the core values of the RFI. The winner of the at-large vote will receive a free registration to the next Rural Futures Conference.

Following the contest, pitchers will have the opportunity to receive feedback from a panel of reactors. The reactors will be professionals from a variety of fields, and they will use the following judging criteria to base their evaluations: originality, alignment with RFI values, futuristic, concept feasibility, and presentation.

 

Dates & Deadlines

August 1 Quick pitch details released
October 11 Description of quick pitch concepts due
Concept descriptions are limited to 400 words and must submitted by 5 pm CST via ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/quickpitchentry
October 18 RFI announces selected quick pitch concepts*
October 28 Final PowerPoint slides due to RFI
November 4 Quick Pitch Spotlight at Rural Futures Conference

*If more pitches are submitted than time allows for, then pitches will be selected based on relevance and diversity. If time slots are still available at the conference, sign-up at the conference will be allowed on a first- come, first-served basis.

 

Questions?

For questions about the Quick Pitch Spotlight, visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/conference or email ruralfutures@nebraska.edu.

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Community Questions

July 30, 2013
Download printer-friendly call for questions SUBMIT your community question The Rural Futures Institute aspires to connect rural communities with university resources to help create vibrant futures in rural places. During the 2013 Rural Futures Conference, organizations, communities and regions are invited …

Download printer-friendly call for questions

SUBMIT your community question

The Rural Futures Institute aspires to connect rural communities with university resources to help create vibrant futures in rural places. During the 2013 Rural Futures Conference, organizations, communities and regions are invited to pose unique, specific, challenging questions concerning the future of their place. These questions will then be posed during a conference session where attendees are invited to offer their unique insights and expertise in imagining ways to respond. Through this “mash-up” session, the Rural Futures Institute hopes to facilitate new, action-oriented partnerships that tap the potential of collaboration between communities and student interns, graduate students, faculty and service providers.

 

Community Involvement

We are asking communities to share their compelling, concise, future-oriented questions about their place. What important opportunity(ies)/issues(s)/problem(s) is your community currently facing or do you see on the horizon for your place? How would you frame these concerns in the form of a question? Some examples of promising questions might include:

      • “How can we provide quality of life amenities for both young families and older community residents with limited funding available?”;
      • “What is the formula for high quality, affordable child care in small communities?”;
      • “How do we build a community culture of entrepreneurship?”;
      • “How do we provide local access to higher education?”

Keep in mind that, for the purpose of this exercise, “community” can refer broadly to both communities of place (i.e., town, county) or communities of interest (i.e., rural firefighter’s association, ranching families, young professionals).Upon the proposal deadline, the submitted community questions will be juried. The jury committee
will select up to 20 diverse and unique community questions to be featured at the 2013 Rural Futures Conference. In addition to being featured at the conference, the selected communities will receive three complimentary registrations to the 2013 Rural Futures Conference.

 

Tips for Developing a Community Question*

      • Use 1-2 sentences
      • Identify a specific opportunity/issue/problem
      • Describe community: location, population, demographics, major assets, etc.

Use words that reflect the nature of the question (i.e., qualitative questions might use understand or discover while quantitative questions might use measure or gauge)

*Before and after submission, RFI staff can and will help frame community questions.

 

At the Conference

If your community question is selected, you will showcase your question at the Rural Futures Conference from 5-7 pm on November 4. During this allotted time, community representatives will be asked to stand by their respective community question display. Alongside the academic poster session, your big question will provide an opportunity for you to connect with others who are interested in your community’s situation. This is a unique twist to networking and will present your community with an opportunity to develop new ideas and think outside the box.

 

Dates & Deadlines

August 1 Call for questions released
September 25 Call for questions due
Proposed questions due by 5 pm CST via ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/questionproposal
October 9 RFI announces selected community questions
October 9-18 Selected communities work with RFI staff to prepare for conference session
November 4 Community questions featured at Rural Futures Conference

 

Requirements of Community Questions

      • Name of community
      • Primary contact person
      • Name and contact information of three anticipated 2013 RFC attendees (at least one of these attendees must be less than 30 years of age)
      • The question, concisely written
      • Community demographicso Identify community of place or community of interest o Population demographics
      • o Description of community (country/region/etc.)

Please note that the submission of a community question does not automatically guarantee a community’s participation at the Rural Futures Conference.

 

Questions?
For questions about the Call for Community Questions, visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/conference or email ruralfutures@nebraska.edu.

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The 2012 Conference

July 15, 2013
Schedule Proceedings       Photos  |  Videos  |  More info?

Schedule

Proceedings

     

Photos  |  Videos  |  More info?

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2013 RFC Agenda

June 25, 2013
Download a printable version Sunday, November 3 3:30 pm Conference Registration (available throughout the evening) 4:30 pm Welcome Ronnie Green, NU Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor, University of Nebraska 4:45 pm Living Beyond Boundaries Video Sit back and enjoy a captivating …

Download a printable version

Sunday, November 3

3:30 pm Conference Registration (available throughout the evening)
4:30 pm Welcome
Ronnie Green, NU Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor, University of Nebraska
4:45 pm Living Beyond Boundaries Video
Sit back and enjoy a captivating series of stories that illustrate the value of rural people and places.
5:00 pm Envisioning Beyond Boundaries: Thoughts from Thomas Jefferson
Clay Jenkinson portrays President Thomas Jefferson in a one-of-a kind performance. Gather insight into what Jefferson thought about boundaries and the new world and how the RFI parallels with his vision.
6:15 pm Laying the Groundwork: Conference Objectives
6:30 pm Welcome Reception (hors d’oeuvres and drinks)
Special musical entertainment by Daniel Christian of Tecumseh, Nebraska

 

Monday, November 4

7:00 am
Conference Registration (available throughout the day)
Breakfast
7:10 am RFI Grant Information Meeting
Enjoy breakfast while you learn firsthand about the 2014 RFI Grant Program that will fund research, education and engagement endeavors.
8:00 am Rising to the Challenge
James B. Milliken, President, University of Nebraska
8:15 am Charge for the Day
8:30 am The Rural Futures Institute Journey
From the initial idea to present day vision, this video will walk you through the on-going journey of the RFI.
8:40 am The RFI Today
In a conversational manner, Interim Director Mark Gustafson and Founding Director Chuck Schroeder describe the various milestones and accomplishments of the RFI.
10:00 am Networking & Refreshments
10:30 am Innovating Beyond Boundaries
Tom Koulopoulos, author and founder of Delphi Group, a Boston-based think tank, will provide insight on innovative practices and methods to address complexities that exist regarding the future of rural places.
11:45 am Announcements
12:00 pm Noon Luncheon
1:15 pm Working Beyond Boundaries
Join us for an interactive session facilitated by the keynote speaker, Tom Koulopoulos.
3:00 pm Networking & Refreshments
3:30 pm Quick Pitch Spotlight
Pitchers present their bold ideas about the rural future. Much like an entrepreneurial quick pitch contest, this session encourages out-of-the-box thinking and allows others to provide feedback on the big idea.
4:30 pm Igniting Ideas: What’s next?
4:45 pm Collaborating Beyond Boundaries Reception: Posters and Partnering
Along with the traditional poster session, a mash-up session provides communities the opportunity to pose challenging questions with the goal of connecting faculty, students and other partners to address the question/challenge.
7:00 pm After Hours for Young Leaders
Young leaders are welcome to attend a special networking opportunity to meet peers and colleagues who share common interests.

 

Tuesday, November 5

7:00 am
Breakfast
7:10 am Teaching & Engagement Grant Information Meeting
Research & Engagement Grant Information Meeting
8:00 am Moving Beyond Boundaries
Thoughts and aspirations from the newly-appointed RFI Director
8:30 am Youth Working Through Complexity
Hear from a panel of energetic young leaders who make rural communities vibrant places they are proud to call home. Listen as they discuss turning challenges into opportunities in order to tackle complex situations.
9:30 am Networking & Refreshments
10:00 am Turning Knowledge into Action (concurrent sessions)
– Building Vibrant Communities through Entrepreneurship
– The Essential Conversation: Linking Communities and Higher Education
– Governing the Land: Maximizing Rural Places Locally and Globally
– Innovative Approaches to Rural Health
– #Visioning4aNEWfuture
– The Rural Commons
11:30 am Noon Luncheon
12:30 pm Turning Knowledge into Action (concurrent sessions continued)
– Building Vibrant Communities through Entrepreneurship
– The Essential Conversation: Linking Communities and Higher Education
– Governing the Land: Maximizing Rural Places Locally and Globally
– Innovative Approaches to Rural Health
– #Visioning4aNEWfuture
– The Rural Commons
1:45 pm Redefining the Boundaries
After coming back together from various breakout tracks, there will be an announcement of poster winners, a conference highlight reel, and closing remarks.
2:30 pm Rural America: New Markets, New Understanding, Unlimited Opportunity
Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary of Agriculture
*This session is jointly sponsored with the Heuermann Lectures in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
3:45 pm Conclusion of Conference

 

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Mark your calendars for #RFC2013

June 1, 2013
Mark your calendars for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference! Set for November 3-5, 2013 at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska, the 2013 conference will bring together local, state, national and international stakeholders interested in the future of …

Mark your calendars for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference! Set for November 3-5, 2013 at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska, the 2013 conference will bring together local, state, national and international stakeholders interested in the future of rural areas.

 

 

The preliminary agenda has already been released, but here are a few highlights:

Sunday, November 3*

  • Thoughts from Thomas Jefferson
  • Welcome Social

*Sunday only: registrants are invited to bring a guest at no additional charge

Monday, November 4

  • 2014 RFI Grant Information Session
  • Innovating Beyond Boundaries, keynote address by Tom Koulopoulos
  • Interactive Problem Solving Session, facilitated by Tom Koulopoulos
  • Quick Pitch Spotlight

Tuesday, November 5

  • Youth Working Through Complexity
  • Turning Knowledge into Action (Concurrent Sessions)

Registration is set to open on September 1 and space will be in high demand, so make sure you mark your calendar and plan to register early!

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Koulopoulos to keynote at 2013 RFC

May 31, 2013
The University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute is preparing for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference—Beyond Boundaries, set for November 3-5, 2013 at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. The conference will provide a platform for people from all …

Tom KoulopoulosThe University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute is preparing for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference—Beyond Boundaries, set for November 3-5, 2013 at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. The conference will provide a platform for people from all walks of life to collaborate in creating knowledge and action that leads to resilient and sustainable rural futures.

Tom Koulopoulos, president and founder of Delphi Group, a Boston-based Think Tank and advisory firm, will be the keynote speaker. Koulopoulos has spoken to audiences across the country and has authored nine books.

In his keynote address, Koulopoulos will explore how addressing the complexities facing rural people and places through collaborative action can move us beyond our existing boundaries. With a futuristic focus, Koulopoulos’ keynote address will emphasize the importance of capitalizing on opportunity rather than battling complexity. After his keynote address, Koulopoulos will also facilitate an interactive exercise that will allow participants to practice how to creatively approach and solve complex problems.

“We are excited to have Tom speak on topics related to creating the future, building organizations that can survive and thrive in times of uncertainty, and the importance of innovation in today’s global economy,” says Mark Gustafson, Interim Director of the Rural Futures Institute. “These topics are not only important for the future of our rural communities, but also for the future of the University and its partners.”

The full agenda of the conference has yet to be released, however, conference planners are working to finalize the few remaining details. The full agenda is scheduled to be released in June.

Registration for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference will open in early September and the conference is open to anyone who wishes to attend, especially those who are interested in ensuring a strong future for rural areas. Last year, due to overwhelming interest, registration closed three weeks early and it is expected that this year’s conference will do the same. Thus, conference planners are encouraging those interested in attending to plan on registering early to ensure a spot at the conference.

Follow the Rural Futures Conference on Twitter (hashtag #RFC2013) and Facebook for the most up-to-date conference details.

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The Rural Futures Conference Highlight Reel

May 12, 2012
A video summary of the 2012 Rural Futures Conference, held May 8-10, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A video summary of the 2012 Rural Futures Conference, held May 8-10, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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