Conference/2013/

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 their 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 their 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
  • UNL Stormwater Management 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 to a …

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 provides 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 Reentry 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 the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (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 O’Donnell 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 ultimately …

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 policymakers 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 Mental 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
  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Barriers and Solutions to Providing Mental Health Services in Rural Nebraska
    May, 2018 | New Orleans, LA
  • 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 to increase 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 to increase 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 were 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 The Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process (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 …

Research & Engagement, 2013


Summary

The Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process (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 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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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 make 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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