Research/Community Development/

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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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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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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Community Gardens & Farmer’s Market for Curtis, Neb.

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2014 Summary The goal of this project was to enhance a service learning course at NCTA by developing a weekly farmer’s market and providing community garden plots for community residents. The project focused on achieving the following …

Teaching & Engagement, 2014


Summary

The goal of this project was to enhance a service learning course at NCTA by developing a weekly farmer’s market and providing community garden plots for community residents.

The project focused on achieving the following objectives:

  • Foster and develop rural community engagement skills of NCTA students pursing education in horticulture.
  • Enhance the entrepreneurial and marketing skills of NCTA students enrolled in the Farmer’s Market course.
  • Strengthen the relationship between NCTA and Curtis community citizens.
  • Facilitate and enhance vegetable crop production and marketing education/experience for Frontier County 4-H members.
  • Provide a model for rural communities to establish a community garden that fosters growth in citizen relationships and engages their youth through partnerships with county 4-H chapters.

Impacts

This project facilitated the development of a community garden and farmer’s market on NCTA’s campus. Major objectives were to strengthen relations between NCTA and Curtis citizens, develop community engagement skills of NCTA students, and facilitate gardening and marketing skills for 4-H members. One significant success was engaging citizens of Curtis through the community gardens. Several citizens that utilized the gardens had no other garden space opportunity. Complementary workshops on food preservation and garden planning/design were also well received by community citizens. The project facilitated student internship assistance with the community garden during the summer and provided community engagement experiences. The farmer’s market was held during the fall semester, thus several students gained valuable experiences regarding community engagement and entrepreneurship.

Frontier County 4-H members also benefited from the project by gaining valuable vegetable production experiences in the community garden. Once developed, this service learning course has become sustainable and continues to be offered.

Project Team

  • Brad Ramsdale (PI), Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Agronomy-Horticulture Department
  • Tee Bush (Co-PI), Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Horticulture Department
  • Barbara Scharf, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension, Frontier County

Partners

  • Curtis Rotary
  • Nebraska 4-H
  • Nebraska Extension

Media Coverage

NCTA awarded grant for community garden | McCook Gazette

 

Contact: Brad Ramsdale, bramsdale2@unl.edu

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Bridging the Skills Gap

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2014   Summary Bridging the Skills Gap was a research-based, data-driven pilot project that identified community-based workforce development strategies aimed at assisting rural communities to be more strategic and competitive in their workforce planning initiatives. The research …

Research & Engagement, 2014


 

Summary

Bridging the Skills Gap was a research-based, data-driven pilot project that identified community-based workforce development strategies aimed at assisting rural communities to be more strategic and competitive in their workforce planning initiatives. The research pilot area consisted of six counties in northeast Nebraska and four counties in central South Dakota — in many ways, a microcosm of small town America. Agriculture, manufacturing and health care are mainstays of the local economy throughout these communities.

Impacts

While rural communities in the Great Plains, Midwest and across the US cannot alter the course of the global economy, they can take action to be more strategic and competitive in addressing local skills gaps and ramping up labor supply. This RFI-funded project focused on several pathways and strategies communities can adopt to enhance labor market outcomes and also considered the important role the US land grant Extension system can play in getting the conversation started along with enhancing local capacity for change.

A labor market assessment model was used to address skills gaps in rural communities to improve local workforces and enhance long-term economic growth. This model provides local decision makers with tools needed to address local workforce needs that leads to increased confidence and capacity building.

Project summary, overview, details and findings >>

 

Project Team

  • Carolyn Hatch (PI), Michigan State University, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
  • Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Kenneth Sherin (Co-PI), South Dakota State University, Extension
  • Allan Vyhnalek (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Carroll Welte (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension

 

Partners

  • North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
  • Michigan State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Purdue University

 

Publications

 

Presentations

  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Annual Conference
    NCRCRD informal workforce development extension workgroup collaboration discussion
    June 11-14, 2017 | Big Sky, MT
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Bridging the Skills Gap
    September 28, 2016 | Chadron, NE
  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Annual Conference
    Bridging the Skills Gap: Extension framework/community pathway
    June 2016 | Burlington, VT
  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Annual Conference
    Bridging the skills gap: Workforce development in the Great Plains
    May 17-20, 2015 | Little Rock, AR

 

Contact: Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, cburkhartkriesel1@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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Social Media Plans for Small Businesses & Local Non-Profits

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2016 Summary Many rural Nebraska small businesses and non-profit organizations do not have the expertise or resources to implement social media plans, which can limit their organizational reach. This project will implement a service learning component to …

Teaching & Engagement, 2016


Summary

Many rural Nebraska small businesses and non-profit organizations do not have the expertise or resources to implement social media plans, which can limit their organizational reach. This project will implement a service learning component to an existing course, where students work with organizations to develop and implement social media plans, in partnership with the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County.

 

Project Team

  • Sherri Harms (PI), Computer Science & Information Technology, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Partners

  • Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, Nebraska

Media Coverage

Class schools firms on social media | Kearney Hub, March 2017

 

Contact: Sherri Harms, harmssk@unk.edu

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Community Engagement Education Model

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2016 Summary Many semester-long, service-learning projects realize immediate impact on community partners and service-learning students, yet this has not translated into long-term community impact. It is felt the short time frame of the fifteen-week semester coupled with …

Teaching & Engagement, 2016


Summary

Many semester-long, service-learning projects realize immediate impact on community partners and service-learning students, yet this has not translated into long-term community impact. It is felt the short time frame of the fifteen-week semester coupled with the partner’s limited capacity and infrastructure to act on recommendations diminishes long-term impact. This two-year process will evaluate the ability to strengthen partnerships and develop capacity for the region’s residents by going beyond the semester time frame and including an expanded team that includes Nebraska Extension and community and professional experts and also extends the project time frame over multiple years with participation of multiple studios of students.

Project Team

  • Kim Wilson (PI), Professor & Director, Landscape Architecture Program, College of Architecture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Partners

  • Nebraska Extension
  • Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
  • Willa Cather Foundation
  • City of Red Cloud
  • Red Cloud Chamber of Commerce

 

Contact: Kim Wilson, kwilson4@unl.edu

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Rural Prosperity Research Project

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2016     Summary The purpose of this project is to build the capacity of a cohort of rural communities to effectively create conditions for a more prosperous future by: Increasing economic opportunities that contribute to the …

Research & Engagement, 2016

 


 

Summary

The purpose of this project is to build the capacity of a cohort of rural communities to effectively create conditions for a more prosperous future by:

  • Increasing economic opportunities that contribute to the creation of businesses, jobs and careers;
  • Building up community assets that support a high quality of life; and
  • Attracting and keeping people to achieve demographic renewal.

This project applies a systems approach designed to achieve systemic change. The community engagement framework focuses on the “three essentials” of demographic renewal, increasing economic opportunity and improving quality of life place making. The research team focuses on the three outcome areas of the project (demographic renewal, economic opportunity and place making) and works to study the impacts of three tracks of research:

  • Indicators of systemic change (both long-term and short-term),
  • Coaching capabilities, and
  • Champions and engagement.

 

Impacts

Baseline Community Profiles are created for each community/region that participates in this project. The profiles are intended to stimulate deeper conversations around longer-term demographic and economic opportunities.

Work is now under way to explore how to integrate activities central to this work within the overall programmatic activities of Nebraska Extension’s Community Vitality Initiative programming. The Prosperity Communities team is exploring how to integrate other Extension projects – Marketing Hometown America, Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process (ECAP), and Community Readiness programs.

 

Project Team

  • Chuck Hibberd (PI), Dean, Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Connie Hancock (Co-PI), Community Vitality Extension Educator, Panhandle Research and Extension Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • L.J. McElravy (Co-PI), Youth Civic Leadership, Agricultural Leadership & Communication, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Partners

  • Randy Cantrell (RFI Fellow), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Rural Futures Institute
  • Lindsay Hastings, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Human Resources Institute
  • Kim Wilson (RFI Fellow), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Landscape Architecture Program
  • David Drozd, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Public Affairs Research
  • Don Macke (RFI Fellow), Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
  • Deborah Markley, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
  • Milan Wall (RFI Fellow), Heartland Center for Leadership Development
  • Jeff Yost (RFI Fellow), Nebraska Community Foundation
  • Janet Topolsky, The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
  • Travis Green, The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
  • Kristin Feierabend, The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group

 

Contact: Chuck Hibberd, hibberd@unl.edu

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Increasing Rural Civic Engagement in the Digital Age

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2017 Summary Much interest is being placed on the role digital platforms play on increasing civic engagement in urban communities. However, their role in rural settings is not understood but critical as well. Rural areas can and …

Research & Engagement, 2017


Summary

Much interest is being placed on the role digital platforms play on increasing civic engagement in urban communities. However, their role in rural settings is not understood but critical as well. Rural areas can and should benefit from utilizing digital platforms to become more responsive and increase civic engagement. In working with communities in programs such as Marketing Hometown America, communication and engaging members were always identified as issues as well as the question of how to reach and connect with younger members of the community. This project seeks to increase civic engagement in three rural Nebraska communities by developing strategies and tactics for engaging in conversations online, as well as social media training, to assist rural communities in increasing and improving overall engagement.

Project Team

  • Roberto Gallardo (PI), Purdue University
  • Jeremy Harris Lipschultz (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Social Media Lab
  • Charlotte Narjes (Co-PI), Nebraska Extension
  • Connie Hancock (Co-PI), Nebraska Extension

Partners

  • Becky Vogt, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Survey Research
  • Jessica Quady, City Administrator, City of Ashland (key community contact)
  • Amy Allgood, Executive Director, Nebraska City Tourism & Commerce (key community contact)
  • Dena Dennison, Executive Director, Ravenna Economic Development (key community contact)

 

Contact: Roberto Gallardo, robertog@purdue.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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Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities

November 17, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2017 Summary The team will use appreciative inquiry to interview community leaders about creating welcoming communities and work with partners to develop powerful narratives, provide access to resources and disseminate best practices. Project Team: Athena Ramos, University …

Teaching & Engagement, 2017


Summary

The team will use appreciative inquiry to interview community leaders about creating welcoming communities and work with partners to develop powerful narratives, provide access to resources and disseminate best practices.

Project Team:

  • Athena Ramos, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Center for Reducing Health Disparities

Partners

  • Yesenia Peck, Nebraska Public Power District
  • Comite Latino de Schuyler
  • Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Engaging Immigrants Committee
  • Heartland Workers’ Center

 

Contact: Athena Ramos, aramos@unmc.edu

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Building Capacity for Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating the Family Health and Wellness Coalition’s Community Health Improvement Plan

November 17, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2017    Summary Social, environmental, and behavioral determinants of health account for 60 percent of a person’s health status. Consequently, community development can influence health and a healthy community has a significant economic impact. High rates …

Research & Engagement, 2017

 


Summary

Social, environmental, and behavioral determinants of health account for 60 percent of a person’s health status. Consequently, community development can influence health and a healthy community has a significant economic impact. High rates of chronic, but mostly preventable, diseases are one of the biggest drivers of health care costs and are limiting worker productivity. The Family Health and Wellness Coalition was formed in 2015 with the focus of reducing chronic disease risk among residents of Boone, Colfax, Nance, and Platte counties. This emerging coalition is motivated yet hampered by challenges to participation, resources and other core capabilities such as planning, implementing, and evaluating their work. Through this project the coalition will increase its capacity to a) assess, prioritize, and plan; b) take targeted action; c) change community conditions and systems through the implementation of evidence-based interventions; and d) achieve widespread change in behavior and risk and protective factors. By the end of the project, partners will have produced a systematic community change process that can be replicated in other rural areas.

Project Team

  • Todd Bartee (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology & Sports Sciences
  • Jerry Schultz (Co-PI), University of Kansas, Community Health and Development Work Group
  • Jennie Hill (Co-PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center

Partners

  • Family Health and Wellness Coalition, Columbus Community Hospital; East Central District
  • Nebraska Health Department

 

Contact: Todd Bartee, barteet2@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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Catalyzing the Role of Micropolitan America in the Future of Rural America

November 17, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2014 Summary The specific objectives of this research were to develop wealth indicators for Nebraska micropolitan areas and utilize those indicators in a community engagement process in four Nebraska micropolitan areas: the Scottsbluff, Columbus, Hastings and Fremont. …

Research & Engagement, 2014


Summary

The specific objectives of this research were to develop wealth indicators for Nebraska micropolitan areas and utilize those indicators in a community engagement process in four Nebraska micropolitan areas: the Scottsbluff, Columbus, Hastings and Fremont. Wealth indictors included measures of physical, human, intellectual, financial, social and cultural wealth.

Impacts

This project helped micropolitan areas identify opportunities and formulate research-driven plans for their future success in order to support rural economies. It developed a prototype in Nebraska with national applicability and actionability. As a result of this project, the University of Nebraska leads the nation in articulating the role of micropolitan areas and helping them capitalize on their unique opportunities for regional innovation and rural development.

There were four primary project outcomes related to the calculation of wealth indicators:

  • Nebraska micropolitan areas differ substantially according to measures of physical, human, intellectual, financial, social and cultural wealth
  • Wealth indicators are feasible to integrate into discussions of community strengths and weaknesses as part of community engagement and strategic planning efforts; changes in wealth indicators can be used as benchmarks to measure progress
  • Micropolitan areas have a broad interest in the standard of living and quality of life, in addition to traditional development goals such as job creation; micropolitan communities have an underlying interest in tracking broad measures of wealth
  • Micropolitan areas appear to be large enough to enjoy advantages for and success in industrial and economic production, but not large enough to have similar advantages for consumption and quality of life

Project Team

  • Eric Thompson (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Bureau of Business Research
  • Matthew Fannin (Co-PI), Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI)
  • Robert Blair (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Public Affairs Research
  • Jerome Deichert (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Public Affairs Research
  • Randolph Cantrell (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension & RFI

Partners

  • Kathy Miller, Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI)
  • David Drozd, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Center for Public Affairs Research
  • Sam Cordes, Purdue University, Rural Policy Research Institute

Publication

Presentations

  • The Engagement Scholarship Consortium Annual Conference
    Building and Strengthening Small Urban Communities through University Research and Engagement
    October 11-12, 2016 | Omaha, NE
  • The International Community Development Society and the International Association for Community Development Annual Conference
    Micropolitan America: A New Frontier for Rural Research and Engagement
    July 24-27, 2016 | Minneapolis, MN
  • Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities Annual Conference
    Building and Strengthening Small Urban Communities through University Research and Engagement
    October 11-13, 2015 | Omaha, NE
  • League of Nebraska Municipalities Annual Conference
    Building and Strengthening Small Urban Communities through University Research and Engagement
    September 24, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska City/County Management Association Annual Conference
    RFI Pilot Project: Building and Strengthening Small Urban Communities through University Research and Engagement
    June 4, 2015 | Alliance, NE

Media Coverage

Research grants explore improvements to rural communities | Norfolk Daily News

 

Contact: Eric Thompson, ethompson2@unl.edu

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