Research/Diversity & Inclusion/

Rural Community Diversity Action

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

Teaching & Engagement, 2015


Summary

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

Impacts

Students researched the communities and/or organizations, conducted assessments, and provided hands on support and service. Students benefitted by gaining valuable knowledge, hands on experiences, and facilitation/assessment skills. Communities benefitted from the students’ service, knowledge and collaborations. Both students and communities spoke positively of the experiences.

This project allowed students to become part of a small Nebraska community – to work with organizations, shadow and talk with city officials, and not only learn about, but also assist communities in considering the needs of diverse populations. Through learning the skills of assessing (SWOT and PEST analyses) organizations and communities, as well as seeing up close the challenges and support structures communities have in place, these students gained far more than they could have solely in the classroom.

The Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, & Communication is very interested in continuing this class and/or incorporate elements of this experience into other classes the department offers.

 

Project Team

  • Gina Matkin (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Leadership, Educations & Communication
  • Helen Abdali-Soosan Fagan (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication

Partners

  • Center for Rural Affairs
  • Kathie Starkweather, Center for Rural Affairs
  • Carlos Barcenas, Center for Rural Affairs
  • Cargill/CCC Language Classes, Schuyler
  • Centro Hispanico, Columbus
  • Head Start, Hastings
  • El Comite Latino, Schuyler

 

Contact: Gina Matkin, gmatkin1@unl.edu

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Developing A Model for “Quality of Life”

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

Research & Engagement, 2015


Summary

This project is designed to:

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

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

 

Impacts

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

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

 

Project team

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

 

Partners

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

 

Publications

  • Taylor, S., Garcia, A., de Guzman, M., Cantarero, R., et al, “Exploring Conceptions of ‘Quality of Life’ in Rural Ethnic Minorities”, Paper presentation at the Society for Cross Cultural Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV (2018).
  • Cantarero, R., de Guzman, M. R. T., Taylor, S., & Hong, S-H. (accepted). (Mis)Communicating with GIS mapping: Choosing units of representation (Part A). Journal of Extension. (In progress).
  • Cantarero, R., de Guzman, M. R. T., Taylor, S., Hong, S-H, & Choi, E. (accepted). (Mis)Communicating with GIS mapping: Data cut offs and other considerations (Part B).  Journal of Extension. (In progress).

Presentations

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

Awards

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

 

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

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HealthVoiceVision

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2016      Summary HealthVoiceVision is a combined Photovoice (PV) and survey research project that links community voices/images with rigorous social science research methods to provide more insight into the health of rural communities. This project …

Research & Engagement, 2016


 

 

Summary

HealthVoiceVision is a combined Photovoice (PV) and survey research project that links community voices/images with rigorous social science research methods to provide more insight into the health of rural communities. This project addresses an important gap in our understanding of local health ways by providing data at sub-county, community specific levels. The creation of a cost-effective and accurate means for uncovering health inequalities in rapidly changing, ethnically diverse small communities in the Midwest will lead the way to more accurate health interventions within these communities.

Impact

The HealthVoiceVision transdisciplinary team combined participatory research with traditional random spatial sampling surveys to better understand minority health disparities in rural communities. The research results from over 325 household surveys will translate into interventions, tools and data that communities can use to understand and address minority health disparities. Data from this study is in the early stage of analysis and additional findings from the study will be shared soon.

Looking Past Skin: Our Common Threads is an interactive exhibit that fosters a transformative environment for scholarship using art/research to engage instructors and students in dialogue. The display was previewed this fall in Lexington at the Dawson County Historical Society Museum. The display now may be viewed during the Spring 2018 semester on the third floor of the Nebraska History Museum.

Over 1,000 volunteer hours have been contributed to the project and over 115 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students have been involved.

The April 12, 2018, episode of Catch Up With Chuck featured project participant Gladys Godinez from Lexington, Neb.

The November 16, 2017, episode of Catch Up With Chuck featured the PI of this project, Kirk Dombrowksi.

Project Team

  • Kirk Dombrowski (PI), Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Kim Matthews (Co-PI), BOSR/Minority Health Disparities Initiative, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Virginia Chaidez (Co-PI), Nutrition & Health Sciences, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Angela Palmer Wackerly (Co-PI), Department of Communications, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Jordan Soliz (Co-PI), Department of Communications, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Jolene Smyth (Co-PI), Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Lisa Pytlik Zillig (Co-PI), Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Erin Poor (Co-PI), Sheldon Art Museum, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

 

Partners

  • Josie Rodriguez, DHHS – Office of Health Disparities & Health Equity
  • Jeremy Eschliman, Two Rivers Public Health Department
  • Rural Futures Institute
  • The Lexington Community
  • The Nebraska History Museum
  • UNL Extension
  • Dawson County Historical Society Museum
  • Humanities Nebraska
  • Minority Health Disparities Initiative
  • Office of Health Disparities & Health Equity, DHHS
  • Two Rivers Public Health Department
  • Lexington Regional Health Center

 

Publications

 

Presentations

  • Dawson County Historical Society Museum Exhibition
    Looking Past Skin
    Spring Semester, 2018 | Lincoln, NE
  • Catch Up With Chuck
    Minorities in Rural
    November 16, 2017 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska State Capitol Exhibit
    Ripple Effect Mapping
    November, 2017 | Lincoln, NE
  • Dawson County Historical Society Museum Exhibition
    Looking Past Skin
    Oct 14 – Nov 15, 2017 | Lexington, NE

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Kirk Dombrowski, kdombrowski2@unl.edu

 

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YouRhealth: Youth are Rural Health Program

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2016 Summary YouRhealth is a new, innovative and bold initiative that creates a learning community that includes civic engagement by transforming Lexington High School’s (LHS) freshman health course into a rigorous visual literacy/critical thinking/community engagement environment. This …

Teaching & Engagement, 2016


Summary

YouRhealth is a new, innovative and bold initiative that creates a learning community that includes civic engagement by transforming Lexington High School’s (LHS) freshman health course into a rigorous visual literacy/critical thinking/community engagement environment. This project will implement the YouRhealth program that teaches freshman high school students to be community health educators by developing and presenting multimedia public health campaigns to their family and friends, as well as provide NU students civic engagement opportunities in a predominately minority community.

Impacts

Funding the YouRhealth program allowed the diverse Lexington High School (LHS) student body with the tools to engage their community’s public health challenges through innovative and bold transdisciplinary curriculum and collaborations. Simultaneously, NU students were able to support the Lexington community while garnering factual information about the diverse populations in Nebraska.

During the first year, project staff and faculty hosted a visual literacy and engagement summer institute seminar to discuss and design the YouRhealth curriculum, adjusting it to the core standards of Lexington Public Schools. Once the curriculum was finalized and approved, a pilot YouRhealth program was implemented for a required high school freshman health course of 16 students. At the end of the curriculum, students were given the opportunity to showcase their results at a community health fair. Art education student teachers from the University of Nebraska at Kearney taught the students about visual literacy and the principles of creating good public health campaigns, and students from the UNMC Nursing program conducted an initial evaluation to assess whether the pilot was successful.

In its second year, more than 100 students participated in the YouRhealth program. Students’ final health campaigns targeted a variety of issues, ranging from human trafficking to medical interpretation.

 

Project Team

  • Kim Matthews (PI), Minority Health Disparities Initiative, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Tom Coviello (Co-PI), Lexington High School
  • Erin Poor (Co-PI), Sheldon Art Museum

Partners

  • Christy Kosmicki, Art & Art History, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Sharon Baker, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Maria Reyes, Lexington Regional Health Center
  • Josie Rodriguez, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health
  • Disparities & Health Equity

 

Contact: Kim Matthews, kmatthews2@unl.edu

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Raising Awareness of Health Professionals Education Among Rural Nebraska Latino Youth

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2016 Summary Health professions shortages represent a challenge to the sustainability of rural communities. While there are insufficient rural health professionals in general, Latinos are virtually absent from this workforce. This study will develop strategies to raise …

Research & Engagement, 2016


Summary

Health professions shortages represent a challenge to the sustainability of rural communities. While there are insufficient rural health professionals in general, Latinos are virtually absent from this workforce. This study will develop strategies to raise awareness of health professions education among rural Nebraska Latino high school and college students, resulting in increased numbers of Latino youth who pursue health professions.

Impacts

To better understand and address the underrepresentation of Latinos in health profession programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Rural Health Education Network (RHEN) conducted three focus group studies in the spring of 2017, consisting of 27 Latino youths between the ages of 14 and 29. The study sought to understand what factors might explain the absence of Latinos in health profession programs in Nebraska and identify ways in which UNMC might adapt its recruitment strategy to address this underrepresentation.

The key challenges identified relate to academic preparation, economic hardship, and the cost of pursuing higher education. Participants who were the first in their family to pursue a college or university education had limited knowledge of resources and opportunities. Furthermore, participants expressed that Latino youth are often expected to contribute to their family’s household income, limiting their ability to participate in extracurricular activities.

UNMC can address these challenges by developing bi-lingual, culturally and linguistically appropriate recruitment materials and compile a database of existing services offered through UNMC, such as mentoring, tutoring, and student interest groups. Latino health professions students who are already enrolled at UNMC can be engaged in outreach and recruitment efforts, including reaching out to high schools and undergraduate institutions with high concentrations of Latino students and inviting Latino youth and their families to visit the campus.

 

Project Team

  • Patrik Johansson (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health & Rural Health Education Network
  • Judy Ritta (Co-PI) Nebraska Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
  • Daniel Schober, Informed Community Health LLC, Chicago, Illinois

Partners

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
  • Central Community College
  • Doane College
  • Nebraska Department of Education Division of Multicultural Education/Diversity
  • Grand Island Latino Leadership Group
  • Grand Island Senior High
  • St. Francis Hospital
  • Department of Health and Human Services

 

Contact: Patrik Johansson, pjohansson@unmc.edu

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Understanding Hispanics & Sense of Community

November 17, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2016 Summary This mixed methods research study will be conducted within two Nebraska counties to better understand the assets and the challenges associated with being Hispanic/Latino in rural Nebraska. This project addresses community concerns that were identified …

Teaching & Engagement, 2016


Summary

This mixed methods research study will be conducted within two Nebraska counties to better understand the assets and the challenges associated with being Hispanic/Latino in rural Nebraska. This project addresses community concerns that were identified during the 2015 East Central District comprehensive community health needs assessment. Six focus groups (three in each county) and a survey of at least 100 Hispanic/Latino individuals from each community will be conducted. A bilingual community report will be developed with community partners that includes actionable recommendations.

Impacts

This was the first study to describe sense of community, neighboring behaviors, participation in community life, discrimination, and life satisfaction among Hispanic immigrants in Nebraska. Six focus groups (three in each community) were conducted during March 2017 and involved 56 participants. The quantitative portion of the study included 206 participants, half from Schuyler and half from Columbus.

Major findings of the study include:

  • Hispanics in rural areas want to feel a sense of community with other community members, and emotional connection was rated the highest of the four components of sense of community.
  • Participants understood “community” to be more than a geographic place. They believed that community meant a feeling of belonging, unity, acceptance, and a willingness to help others.
  • Study participants had actively participated in associations, made financial or in-kind donations, talked with other people about problems or issues, and volunteered for community and charitable organizations.
  • Most participants were satisfied with their lives and found their community to be peaceful, safe, and good for families.
  • Sense of community was significantly positively associated with community participation and life satisfaction both at the bivariate and multivariate levels.
  • Despite perceiving discrimination, Hispanic immigrant residents were satisfied with their lives; rated their health as excellent, good or very good; and felt welcome, comfortable, and safe in their current community.
  • Strong positive associations between life satisfaction, neighboring, and health. Neighborhoods and communities may affect reserve capacity. Environments that promote feeling welcome, safe, and having neighbors who watch out for each other could be a protective factor, strengthening Hispanic immigrants’ sense of resiliency and contributing to overall life satisfaction.

Crucial to the success of the project were relationships that the research team built with key community partners. They include AMWAY (group of local sellers), Chichualco Supermarket, Comité Latino de Schuyler (Latino Committee of Schuyler), El Centro Hispano de Columbus, Heartland Workers Center, La Gloria Restaurant, Latinoamerica Grocery, Pacific Window Tint LLC, Schuyler Public Library, St. Augustine Church, The Columbus Chamber of Commerce, The Platte Valley Literacy Association.

In addition to the significant findings of the research project, another success has been the student learning that has taken place through the two graduate students who have worked on the project. The Principal Investigator mentored the students and together they conceived the research questions, developed the survey instrument and focus group guide, brainstormed potential community partners, strategized on how to complete the project, and analyzed the data.

Activities in which the graduate students were involved during the project with the mentorship of the Principal Investigator included:

  • Conducted a literature review and developed a database of relevant literature.
  • Attended the Rural Futures Regional Summit in West Point in September of 2016.
  • Visited Schuyler and Columbus on several occasions and had meetings with community members and organizations looking to establish community partnerships and gather ideas for data that would be useful to community partners.
  • Developed and submitted an Institutional Review Board (IRB) application.
  • Developed the survey instrument
  • Conducted data collection using bilingual paper-and-pencil surveys
  • Attended some of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s “Engaging Immigrants” committee meetings
  • Created a database in SPSS and entered data from 206 surveys
  • Conducted a quantitative data analysis
  • Worked with communities to develop the focus group questions and guide
  • Revised the interview protocol to include the focus group component
  • Received training on focus group facilitation
  • Conducted three focus groups in Spanish in each community
  • Analyzed and contextualized the qualitative data that was obtained through the focus groups
  • Developed a written report including a bilingual executive summary to share with community partners
  • Attended the UNL Minority Health Disparities Initiative Conference on February of 2017
  • Wrote and submitted abstracts for conference presentations and conducted multiple posters and oral presentations at local and regional events

 

Project Team

  • Athena Ramos (PI), Center for Reducing Health Disparities, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Antonia Correa, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Natalia Trinidad, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, University of Nebraska Medical Center

 

Publications

  • Ramos, A.K., Carvajal, B., Leon, M., & Trinidad, N. (2017). Sense of community, participation, and life satisfaction among Hispanic immigrants in rural Nebraska. Kontakt, 19 e284-295. DOI: 10.1016/j.kontakt.2017.09.005

 

Presentations

  • Cambio de Colores Annual Conference
    Life Satisfaction, Neighboring, and Health: Findings from Hispanic Immigrants in Northeast Nebraska
    June 7, 2018 | Kansas City, MO
  • Cambio de Colores Annual Conference
    Understanding Hispanics and Sense of Community in Rural Northeast Nebraska
    June 15, 2017 | St. Louis, MO
  • Columbus Chamber of Commerce Meeting
    Preliminary Review: Understanding Hispanics and Sense of Community in Rural Northeast Nebraska
    June 15, 2017 | St. Louis, MO
  • UNMC College of Public Health Student Research Day
    Understanding Hispanics and Sense of Community in Rural Northeast Nebraska
    April 5, 2017 | Omaha, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

 

Contact: Athena Ramos, aramos@unmc.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. Impact The team began working …

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.

Impact

The team began working with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s Engaging Diversity Committee to identify community leaders in Columbus. Between January and March of 2018, research team members contacted all identified potential participants and evaluated their interest in participating, ensured they met eligibility criteria, and scheduled the interview upon their agreement. 15 key informant interviews took place, with participants representing different sectors in the community, including business, education, healthcare, and social services. Once interviews and data collection were complete, the two graduate students developed a coding scheme and identified eight themes: acculturation strategies, assets of immigrants, collaborations, community development, historical development, opportunities, personal experience of migration and sense of community. Two abstracts have been accepted for poster presentation, and the team is in the process of developing a community fact sheet and report based on the study’s findings. These will be shared at an upcoming meeting with the Engaging Diversity Committee, as well as the study’s participants.

 

Project Team:

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

Presentations

  • Cambio de Colores
    Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities
    June 6-8, 2018 | Kansas City, MO

Media Coverage

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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