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This Week In Serviceship 2018: Week Three!

June 7, 2018
Alliance, Neb. “I think the communities are very excited about what Haley and I are doing and are willing to help us in any way they can. For me personally, I’m excited to further my leadership skills and abilities as …

Alliance, Neb.

“I think the communities are very excited about what Haley and I are doing and are willing to help us in any way they can. For me personally, I’m excited to further my leadership skills and abilities as I start thinking about my future.”

MIRISSA SCHOLTING
SERVICESHIP INTERN, ALLIANCE, NEB.

It’s hard to believe that three weeks have gone by already! We have been very busy in Alliance working with the Box Butte Development Corporation to develop our video for the Marketing Hometown America Project for Box Butte County.

For the last three weeks, we have been meeting new people from Hemingford and Alliance, moved out of our host family’s house and into our duplex, worked on developing hashtags and our video project and volunteered at Carhenge.

Haley and Mirissa pose outside of Mobius Communications, Hemingford Cooperative Telephone Company.

Haley helps fix up car displays while volunteering at Carhenge in Alliance, Neb.

When we asked Deb Moore, an employe at Alliance Chamber and Carhenge, about our impact on the community, she said, “The girls are enthusiastic, ready to jump into anything and try anything new.”

We have taken footage at various public places like the pool, coffee shops, car show, movie theatre and library in Alliance. We have also spent some time in Hemingford working out of Mobius Communications-Hemingford Cooperative Telephone Company and have been in touch with businesses there as well. We plan to film more footage there in the upcoming weeks. We are also starting to contact businesses in Berea as well.

While volunteering at Carhenge, we helped fix some vandalism done to one of the cars, power washed tires, and then started spray painting the tires bright colors. We are planning to display them at Carhenge when they are completely painted as we are making them into flower pots in order to help make Carhenge more aesthetically pleasing to visitors.

“This opportunity has provided me with more than an internship. It has provided me with learning experiences, connections and skills that will benefit me in my future endeavors, as well as the ability to impact a rural community.”

HALEY EHRKE
SERVICESHIP INTERN, ALLIANCE, NEB.

 

 

 

McCook, Neb.

Over the last two weeks in McCook, we have continued to create an inventory of the items in the High Plains Museum. With nearly 4,000 photographs taken to date, we are nearing the end of our record keeping process! We are also starting to inventory the books in the Carnegie Library. Additionally, we have been interviewing members of the museum board to get their perspective on the future of the High Plains Museum. The interviews have assisted in the stimulation of new ideas and the incorporation of the most significant parts of McCook’s history. Brainstorming sessions have been a vital part of our everyday by keeping our minds moving and fresh ideas rolling in.

“When I think about my time in the Rural Futures Institute Serviceship Program, one word comes to mind: entrepreneurship. In our respective communities where we are responsible for holding ourselves accountable, we can light a new fire by putting out of the box ideas into action.”

EMILY FRENZEN
SERVICESHIP INTERN, MCCOOK, NEB.

Emily and Sage pose in downtown McCook, Neb.

There have been many people who have given us valuable input and are essential to the museum. One of those people is John Hubert, a long-time community member and entrepreneur, who knows the history of McCook better than we know the back of our own hands! He is a talented storyteller and wealth of knowledge we hope to capture on video sometime this summer.

One of our secondary projects is to create a library of community photography for future marketing purposes. This means we get to travel across the county capturing small town Nebraska main streets, unique buildings and favorite restaurants in the area like the Rocket Inn where people come from afar for their famous pizza. We discovered the gem that is the Rocket Inn this week while exploring Indianola and then made our way to Bartley for more photographs.

We also had the opportunity to attend the McCook Community Foundation and Red Willow County Visitors Committee meetings where we were introduced to many more welcoming and influential members of the community. Both of these meetings gave us a better idea of the unique art culture, giving spirit and community pride that makes up McCook.

“The more I have immersed myself in the local culture of the McCook community, the more I have realized how important the people and small businesses are to this rural community, and in turn, how essential rural communities are to the livelihood of our state. Adapting to change and technology and consistently bringing in fresh ideas is vital to the survival of rural communities.”

SAGE WILLIAMS
SERVICESHIP INTERN, MCCOOK, NEB.

 

 

McCook THETA Camps

“Collin, Tyan, and I learn about health and wellness all school year, and it is very exciting for myself personally to be able to apply it in the real world to students that are eager to learn!”

BRAD SCHOCH
SERVICESHIP INTERN, MCCOOK THETA CAMPS

 

Brad helps some of the kids construct their aquaponic systems.

We implemented Module 1 of THETA camp the past week, and it has been very successful for our team. In Module 1, after getting to know everyone, we started fast by germinating plants with our students. The students were very interactive with this step in the growing of our produce.

After getting some plants started, we moved on to the next step which was constructing our hydroponic and aquaponic systems. The students seemed very interested in how these growing systems worked as well as very excited to be able to get their hands dirty and do a little construction project.

Students were able to use drills and cocking glue guns in order to build the structures we needed. It was very rewarding to teach a new skill to kids that had no experience with, specifically using a drill. It was also very interesting to watch kids work together to lift heavy bags of gravel and place it within our systems!

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be able to make a positive impact on the kids as well as the community of McCook.”

COLLIN FLEECS
SERVICESHIP INTERN, MCCOOK THETA CAMPS

 

Tyan discusses the benefits of physical activity, good nutrition and energy balance.

This week, the kids returned just as eager as we were to continue to learn. Module 2 of THETA camp dove straight into the topics of physical activity, nutrition and energy balance. The students were very involved and really enjoyed the physical activity aspects of our teachings. This task seemed a little intimidating at first, especially the aspects of teaching what a calorie is, what the macronutrients are and the concept of energy balance.

On Wednesday we took the students on a trip to the local grocery store called Schmick’s. We tasked the students with collecting pictures of food labels, as well as examples of carbohydrate and protein rich foods. This was very intriguing as we saw students enter a store and search for the appropriate information on food labels that can be utilized directly in their own lives. They were able to obtain this information from what we had taught them earlier in the week and were also full of questions. It’s very rewarding to see students pick up on what we’re teaching and then watch them put it into action days later.

On Thursday we continued our discussions on health and wellness by focusing primarily on health care professions. The discussion was very strong between the students and us as we described the different responsibilities of many health professionals. Modules 1 and 2 of THETA have been very successful, and our experience so far has us excited and prepared for success as we continue to progress into the next chapter of our camp.

“I’ve really enjoyed seeing how much of an interest the kids have taken in our program, both during camp and as well as at home.”

TYAN BOYER
SERVICESHIP INTERN, MCCOOK THETA CAMPS

 

 

 

 

Neligh, Neb.

For the past two weeks, we have been working on finishing up our mapping reports, as well as finding host homes for Tour-de-Nebraska. We recently finished the Neligh report, and we’re about a third of the way done with the report for Northeast Nebraska. Additionally, we created a small marketing campaign containing a flyer and social media posts for Facebook to entice people to volunteer their homes for Tour-de-Nebraska.

There is a serious housing shortage in Neligh because there are many short-term workers flooding the housing system because of all of the wind towers going up around town. Since most of the people that would open their houses for Tour-de-Nebraska have already rented them out, we came up with the idea to incentivize homeowners. The first five people to open up their house will receive gift certificates which were donated by local businesses. Additionally, we printed out flyers and delivered them door to door to get the word out. We also started setting up recording times with community members for marketing videos for Neligh.

“The passion and patriotism in Neligh is unbelievable. I have never met a group of people who are more passionate or caring about their community. They truly care about their town.”

RHIANNON COBB
SERVICESHIP INTERN, NELIGH, NEB.

 

Michayla and Rhiannon have fun delivering flyers door to door for their Tour-de-Nebraska.

Over the last two weeks, we sat in on meetings. Last Friday, we had the monthly “Coffee Talk” at the Senior Center. There we spoke with the older generation of Neligh residents over coffee and cinnamon rolls about what they are seeing in the community as issues and what our office can do to help. On Friday, our Downtown Revitalization project applications were due, so we met with many business owners throughout the week about how to improve their businesses either aesthetically or structurally through projects funded in part by the grant. Friday was full of making sure applications were complete and filled out correctly. This Tuesday we went to the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce Meeting. Clearwater is ten miles west of Neligh and our office works for their town as well. Their meeting was mainly about the rodeo coming up in a couple of weeks and the new grocery store coming to town.

After we got back to Neligh, we had a meeting with the Northeast Nebraska Economic Develop District to go over our Downtown Revitalization projects. We met to make sure all the contractors were registered, all the numbers matched up and all the applications were complete. Then that evening, we attended the meeting for the Fall Festival, and Rhiannon updated their brochure. On Wednesday we volunteered to help paint the new grocery store in Clearwater so for a couple hours our boss let us off to benefit the community.

When we started asking people what they loved about the area we heard things like the restaurants, community and the people you get to support. We also heard something pretty moving as people started talking about community assets. They started by talking about the co-op, implement dealers, nursing home, school, ESU 8, park, lake garden and floral shops, banks and other businesses. Then as things were starting to quiet down, one lady turned to face us in her seat and said, “I think the people are our greatest asset.” We think that is very true about the people here in Neligh.

“Like in most rural places I’ve visited, the people in Neligh are resilient. They persevere and gather around people in hardships. They celebrate each other’s successes. They care about the wellbeing of their town, and they aren’t afraid to tell us why they love it.”

MICHAYLA GOEDEKEN
SERVICESHIP INTERN, NELIGH, NEB.

 

 

Seward, Neb.

Our time at the Seward County Chamber has been reasonably productive so far. We met with many community stakeholders over the past week and a half, which has been extremely insightful to make meaningful progress towards achieving our primary project goals of creating a sustainable engagement initiative for Seward County. Meeting these stakeholders and community members one-on-one gave us the knowledge of the various opinions that community members have. This then lead to the filtering of opinions which enabled us to come up with tangible output plans.

“So far I have loved meeting with so many wonderful people in the community. These people are so dedicated to their community and their hard work shows! They have really helped us to feel welcomed in Seward and continue to offer their assistance with our project!”

MADDIE MILLER
SERVICESHIP INTERN, SEWARD, NEB.

One big goal we have been able to achieve is finding our main target market and what we really want to accomplish this summer. Revolving around newcomer engagement, we have been able to solidify that our target market is reaching out to young professionals without children or retirees. From the data that we have collected from interviews, we have concluded that many of these people are having a harder time finding people their age and finding activities to be involved in, compared to couples with children. We have decided to create an event that will be two to three times a year. This event will be specifically marketed toward newcomers; however, it will be open for all residents of Seward County.

Raghav and Maddie have been meeting with stakeholders in a sustainable engagement initiative for Seward County.

Raghav takes in his rural serviceship experience from a farm in Seward, Neb.

 

 

 

 

 

Along with this event, we have been in the process of recruiting individuals who are very involved in the community. We want people who love to introduce themselves and help others get involved. These people will be part of our “Welcome Wagon.” This will not be an official group or organization, but simply a group of people that would like to show up to our events and offer a warm welcome. We are hoping that these individuals will create meaningful connections with newcomers and help them get accustomed with life in Seward County. We are going to try this event first in Seward to see if it takes off, and then hopefully it will spread to other communities in Seward County once our serviceship is complete.

We hope to be able to collaborate with community members, stakeholders and local businesses to be able to pull of the event that we are in the process of creating. We are very excited to, and yet a tad bit nervous about putting up this event. The nervousness stems from the possibility of a minimal turnout for the event, but that does not equate to having to give up on our marketing efforts. We believe that persistent and strategic marketing and coordination will help us achieve our goals.

“The personal and professional growth that stems from simply interacting with people from different walks of life is invaluable.”

RAGHAV KIDAMBI
SERVICESHIP INTERN, SEWARD, NEB.

 

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High-touch futurist Connie Reimers-Hild: The future of rural healthcare staffing

May 10, 2018
  In her invited journal article, “Strategic foresight, leadership, and the future of rural healthcare staffing in the United States,” Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., CPC, RFI Associate Executive Director and Chief Futurist, calls for both incremental and radical innovation as well …

 

Connie Reimers-Hild, Associate Director, Rural Futures Institute
At this moment we are at a time of incredible challenge, but also incredible opportunity. Imagine rural hospitals collaborating with technology companies, startups and other partners to co-create the next healthcare model with consumers, students, employees and community members. 
Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., CPC
RFI Associate Executive Director & Chief Futurist

In her invited journal article, “Strategic foresight, leadership, and the future of rural healthcare staffing in the United States,” Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., CPC, RFI Associate Executive Director and Chief Futurist, calls for both incremental and radical innovation as well as novel and holistic approaches to disrupt the United States’ rural healthcare model in terms of business strategy and staffing. The paper has been published in the May issue of the Journal of of American Academy of Physician Assistants.

 

It has been well documented that rural healthcare is in or at least nearing crisis. Broadly, the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other nation, but ranks 34th in health outcomes. The challenges are exacerbated in the rural context where primary care provider shortages are creating significant access issues.

As both wellness and economic drivers in rural communities, healthcare providers and hospitals are at a decisive moment—how will they innovate with technology and future-focused leadership to meet patients and consumers at the intersection of their needs, wants and demands?

“This article is intended to ignite serious conversations and initial action around how the model of rural healthcare can evolve,” Reimers-Hild said. “At this moment we are at a time of incredible challenge, but also incredible opportunity. Imagine rural hospitals collaborating with technology companies, startups and other partners to co-create the next healthcare model with consumers, students, employees and community members.”

Within the paper Reimers-Hild defines two key megatrends, global shifts that influence society, the economy and the environment, as the base strategic foresight tools—exponential advances in science and technology and the continued evolution of the decentralized global marketplace in which stakeholders are co-creators.

In total, she offers seven ideas to stimulate disruptive thinking within the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare system. She demonstrates her concepts through businesses such as Stitch Fix, Doctors on Demand, Nomad Health and Microsoft. She also mentions and defines technology with health applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), sensors, robots, 3D printers, driverless vehicles, holograms and lab-on-a-chip.

“In what I believe is the first future paper for this journal, futurist Connie Reimers-Hild explores and predicts possibilities that can emerge from the present,” said Roderick Hooker, Ph.D. “In this publication her overview on rural health and the megatrends likely to disrupt business models are the investments, experiments and partnerships that are already underway. What makes her work particularly insightful for researchers is how healthcare providers serve as major employers and economic drivers in rural communities.”

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More about Dr. Connie

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NEWS RELEASE: Fellows Elected to Great Plains Board of Governors

May 8, 2018
LINCOLN, Neb. — May 8, 2018 — Two fellows from the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska have been elected as members of the Board of Governors for The Center for Great Plains Studies. The fellows, who will serve …

LINCOLN, Neb. — May 8, 2018 — Two fellows from the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska have been elected as members of the Board of Governors for The Center for Great Plains Studies.

The fellows, who will serve three-year terms beginning Sept. 2018, include:

Bree Dority, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, College of Business
University of Nebraska at Kearney

 


Kim Wilson

Professor, Landscape Architecture
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

The Board of Governors provides advice to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Director of the Center for the operation, program priorities, and budgetary matters of the Center for Great Plains Studies. The Board represents all four University of Nebraska campuses, covers a wide range of academic disciplines, and has four standing committees: Academic, Administrative, Nominating and Museum and Outreach.

Dority and Wilson will be joining RFI Faculty Fellow Jessica Shoemaker, J.D., who has been on the Board of Governors since 2016.

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Building a Theory of Positive Youth Leadership Identity

February 20, 2018
Introduction The United States is poised to experience one of the largest transfers of leadership in its history, as evidenced by employed individuals aged 45 and over holding approximately 56 percent of all management occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, …

Lindsay J. Hastings, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Director of
Nebraska Human Resources Institute
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
lhastings2@unl.edu

L.J. McElravy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
lj.mcelravy@unl.edu

Introduction

The United States is poised to experience one of the largest transfers of leadership in its history, as evidenced by employed individuals aged 45 and over holding approximately 56 percent of all management occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). Reichard and Paik (2011) argue that waiting to adulthood to develop leadership is too late because children and youth are more malleable, and can demonstrate a greater impact from intentional development. The capacity of youth to experience leadership development as well as the necessity of that development provides meaning to the current paper.

Murphy (2011) outlines the current research on youth leadership and finds it wanting. She explains that the methodical study of leadership is found almost exclusively in adults; warning that not addressing leadership in children and youth leaves a lack of understanding as to the processes of human development that would help shape a model for leadership growth across a lifetime. Murphy suggests that the field of youth leadership development could be improved by the development of “appropriate leadership success indicators” and use of evaluation methods that are effectual (p. 33).

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to build a theory of positive youth leadership identity. We conceptualize positive youth leadership identity as an explicit theory of oneself as a positive leader, providing further conceptualization and potential for future assessment around
self-management in Murphy’s (2011) preliminary youth leadership model. Murphy and Johnson (2011) suggest that the two most frequently cited results of leadership development are leadership identity along with self-regulation (e.g., Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May, & Walumbwa, 2005), which are strongly associated with leadership effectiveness (Avolio & Hannah, 2008). Lord, Hall, and Halpin (2011) articulate the role of identity in leadership, arguing that identities are developed over a lifetime and reveal connections from adult leadership to childhood experiences. The current paper seeks to conceptualize positive leadership identity in youth in preparation for building an effectual measure.

“We define positive youth leadership as the dynamic relational influence process that promotes positive attitudes and/or behaviors in others and/or collective group action.”

 

Building upon previous definitions of youth leadership (e.g., MacNeil, 2006; Wang & Wang, 2009), we define positive youth leadership as the dynamic relational influence process that promotes positive attitudes and/or behaviors in others and/or collective group action. Based upon preliminary research studies (McElravy & Hastings, 2014a, 2014b, 2016) and an extensive review of the literature, we propose a higher order construct of positive youth leadership identity. The results of the preliminary studies are outlined below followed by a literature review that lead to the development of four proposed factors.

 

Results of Preliminary Studies

McElravy and Hastings’s (2014a, 2014b, 2016) studies examined the relationship between personality, trait-based emotional intelligence, cognitive and affective empathy, psychological capital (PsyCap), and self-perceived leadership skills in youth. The first McElravy and Hastings’s (2014a) study examined personality, trait-based emotional intelligence, and self-perceived leadership skills among (N=115) youth. While the regression model including all variables (age, gender, race/ethnicity, SES, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and emotional intelligence) explained 35.3% (Adjusted R2; F=5.77, p<0.01) of the variance in self-perceived leadership skills, age and emotional intelligence were the only significant predictors. Furthermore, emotional intelligence explained over four times the amount of variance in self-perceived leadership skills than age.

The second McElravy and Hastings’s (2014b) study examined the relationship between psychological capital, cognitive and affective empathy, and self-perceived leadership skills among (N=46) youth. After entering cognitive and affective empathy and PsyCap (implicit measure) into a stepwise regression analysis, while including gender, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic status in the model as controls, cognitive and affective empathy emerged as significant predictors of self-perceived leadership skills. The final stepwise regression model including the control variables and cognitive and affective empathy accounted for 31.5% (Adjusted R2; F=4.397, p<0.01) of the variance in self-perceived leadership skills.

In McElravy and Hastings’s (2016) study, a stepwise regression analysis was conducted to test the predictive value of personality, empathy, and psychological capital (both implicit and academic measures) on self-perceived leadership skills among (N=34) youth. After entering personality, empathy, implicit PsyCap, and academic PsyCap into the regression model, while controlling for SES and race and ethnicity, academic PsyCap emerged as the most significant predictor of self-perceived leadership skills. The final stepwise regression model including race and ethnicity, SES, and academic PsyCap accounted for 55.1% (Adjusted R2; F=12.492, p<0.001) of the variance in self-perceived leadership skills among the youth surveyed. However, academic PsyCap was the only significant predictor (β = .652; t = 4.77; p < .001).

“We propose that the higher order construct of positive youth leadership identity is comprised of four factors, namely motivation to lead, positive task affect in groups, social influence capital, and human relations capital.”

 

The results of all three combined studies suggest that youth who (a) understand and share in others’ emotions (cognitive and affective empathy—Joliffe & Farrington, 2006), (b) demonstrate an innate ability to successfully marshal their emotions and the emotions of others
(trait-based emotional intelligence—Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2004), and (c) generate the developmental state of high efficacy, hope, resiliency, and optimism (PsyCap—Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007) tend to rate themselves as having high leadership skills. These combined results serve as helpful preliminary data in the pursuit of conceptualizing and measuring youth leadership. Constructs related to empathy, emotional intelligence, and psychological capital provide initial theoretical grounding for the broader positive youth leadership identity construct. Based upon these preliminary research findings and an extensive review of the literature, we propose that the higher order construct of positive youth leadership identity is comprised of four factors, namely motivation to lead, positive task affect in groups, social influence capital, and human relations capital. Each factor is outlined in the following sections.

 

Motivation to Lead

Drawing from Chan and Drasgow’s (2001) definition of motivation to lead (MTL) as an individual’s decision to engage in leadership responsibilities, we define motivation to lead in the context of positive youth leadership identity as the willingness to engage in leadership positions and training and development. We include ‘training and development’ in a youth leadership context because youth likely have fewer opportunities than adults to pursue formal leadership positions. Thus, a young person may reasonably demonstrate motivation to lead through attending workshops, seminars, and programs designed to develop their leadership capacity.

Both Murphy (2011) and Avolio and Vogelgesang (2011) include motivation to lead in their youth leadership models. Murphy (2011) indicates that leadership roles will not likely be pursued without adequate desire or motivation. Avolio and Vogelgesang (2011) agree: “For individuals to gain leadership-rich experiences, they must be motivated to take on thoseexperiences in the first place” (p. 189). We propose that motivation to lead in the context of positive youth leadership identity includes leadership self-efficacy, the desire to develop into an effective leader, and leadership role occupancy.

Leadership self-efficacy—the belief that one has the capabilities and the psychological resources to meet leadership demands (Guillén, Mayo, & Korotov, 2015)—emerged as a significant predictor and developmental antecedent to motivation to lead (Chan & Drasgow, 2011). Murphy (2011) includes self-efficacy and motivation to lead in the self-management portion of her preliminary youth leadership model, and Avolio and Vogelgesang (2011) include leader self-efficacy and developmental readiness (where motivation to lead is situated) as influencing the development of leader self-concept.

The desire to develop into an effective leader pays tribute to the notion that youth may demonstrate motivation to lead through a motivation to develop their leadership capacity rather than pursue a formal leadership role. This desire may indicate a youth’s learning goal orientation (Dweck, 1986) applied toward leadership or a general desire for leadership learning. Including leadership role occupancy as part of motivation to lead, on the other hand, reflects a youth’s motivation to pursue formal leadership roles. Lord, Hall, and Halpin (2011) argues that leadership identities develop gradually as an individual steps into a new role, tries new experiences, and receives feedback.

 

Positive Task Affect in Groups

In the context of positive youth leadership identity, we define positive task affect in groups as a sense of positivity regarding accomplishing tasks with others and includes elements such as hopeful goal attainment, optimistic outlook of group work, collective orientation, and task orientation at a group level. The inclusion of positive task affect in groups reflects the results of McElravy and Hastings’s (2016) study where psychological capital (PsyCap) emerged as a significantly predictor of self-perceived leadership skills in youth.

While PsyCap has not been investigated much in youth, lower-order constructs such as hope and optimism have been either examined in youth populations or offered as important components to youth leadership. Results from Snyder et al.’s. (1997) study connected hope to positive outcomes in youth, indicating that children who demonstrated higher hope tended to connect themselves to positive outcomes, as opposed to attributing success to luck. Murphy (2011) echoed this sentiment in explaining why she includes optimistic style in her preliminary youth leadership model. Collective orientation stems from Mortensen, et al.’s (2014) qualitative study of National Youth Leadership Initiative participants which revealed collective action as one of the five key themes that described youth perception of what makes someone a leader.

Task orientation at the group level recognizes the critical importance of task orientation to task completion in groups. Huffmeier and Hertel (2011) provide evidence of the direct link between positive task affect and task accomplishments in groups.

 

Social Influence Capital

Social influence capital as a factor of positive youth leadership identity reflects the results of McElravy and Hastings’s (2014a) study that revealed trait-based emotional intelligence as a significant predictor of self-perceived leadership skills in youth. Additionally, Bukowski, Velasquez, and Brendgen (2008) describe peer influence as “essentially an idea about change. Its central claim is that a child’s behavior will change as a function of the child’s experiences with peers” (p. 126). With this description in mind, we offer social influence capital as the confidence one has in influencing others using social astuteness and suggest that social influence capital includes elements such as self-efficacy in social influence domain, self-perception of interpersonal influential capacity, and emotional intelligence (specifically social awareness and sociability).

Bandura (2006) references several meta-analytic studies (e.g., Holden, Moncher, Schinke, & Barker, 1990; Stajkovic, & Luthans, 1998) in arguing that perceived self-efficacy is influential in human self-development, adaption, and change. Evidence suggests that specific behaviors are better predicted by an individual’s domain-specific self-efficacy rather than general efficacy (Ashford, Edmunds, & French, 2010), thus including self-efficacy in social influence domain pays tribute to the influence of self-efficacy while recognizing that self-efficacy may manifest itself in multiple ways when contributing toward a positive youth leadership identity.

We included self-perception of interpersonal influential capacity to reflect that young people must accomplish projects and goals using influencing skills (Yip, Liu, & Nadel, 2006). The ability to influence others is associated with social status or rank as individuals with high-status are given social capital as they are placed in a position to influence their peers (Juvonen & Galván, 2008). Recchia (2011) qualitatively investigated early childhood leadership using observational data of identified preschool student leaders. Results indicated that preschool students described as leaders possess “a strong sense of self” and the ability “to hold on to that sense of self in interactions with others” (p. 45). Recchia points out that the identified preschool leaders possessed a highly developed understanding of the people and environment surrounding them and their place in it.

In further support of emotional intelligence’s place in youth leadership, Wang and Wang’s (2009) review of youth leadership development models indicated that interpersonal skills, notably emotional intelligence, are a critical part of team leadership. The results of Ward and Ellis’s (2008) study of (N = 180) Boy Scout participants revealed that one of the two highest predictors of positive followership ratings was a demonstrated willingness by the leader to provide social support. Ward, Lundberg, Ellis, and Berrett (2010) linked the concepts of relatedness and social support by arguing that as adolescents begin to pull away from their parents for emotional support, they look to peers to fill the void.

 

Human Relations Capital

With a belief that relationships are at the core of youth leadership, we define human relations capital as the confidence one has in developing authentic relationships using social skill. Again, since youth leaders will need to rely more on social skill than positional power, positive relationship-building may likely contribute to youth leadership success. Human relations capital as a factor of positive youth leadership identity reflects the results of McElravy and Hastings’s (2014b) study that revealed cognitive and affective empathy as significant predictors of self-perceived leadership skills in youth. To further conceptualize human relations capital, we propose that human relations capital is comprised of elements such as self-efficacy in relational domain, self-perception of relationship-building capacity, and empathy.

“We propose that human relations capital is comprised of elements such as self-efficacy in relational domain, self-perception of relationship-building capacity, and empathy.”

 

The results of Lerner et al.’s (2005) positive youth development (PYD) study offer several relevant reasons for including self-efficacy in relational domain, self-perception of relationship-building capacity, and empathy to describe human relations capital. Specifically, four out of the Five Cs for PYD include: (a) competence, the positive self-perception of one’s actions socially, (b) confidence, one’s overall self-efficacy and positive self-belief, (c) connection, positive and bidirectional relational and institutional bonds, and (d) caring and compassion, being sympathetic and empathetic.

Including self-efficacy in relational domain, again, acknowledges the influence of self-efficacy (Bandura, 2006) and reflects Lapieerrea, Naidoob, and Bonaccioa’s (2012) analysis of (N=137) relational dyads in assessing the impact of leaders’ relational self-concept, which revealed that leaders who demonstrate a more relational self-concept are more likely to provide mentoring to their followers. Relative to self-perception of relationship-building capacity, Mack et al. (2011), similar to Popper (2011), explain that a person’s early development of relationships is foundational for positive and healthy leadership in the future. Mack and colleagues (2011) concluded from their research on successful executives that “successful leaders tend to have securely anchored relationships in both personal and professional interactions and are better characterized as being more self-reliant and interdependent than independent” (p. 140).

Additionally, Rosenblum and Lewis’s (2008) argue that adolescents who demonstrate empathy are better able to expect and react to others’ emotional changes, appearances, and experiences. Kellett, Humphrey, and Sleeth (2006) assessed perceived emotional abilities related to leadership skills utilizing small group peer reports among (N=231) students. Results revealed that the emergence of relations leaders are linked to emotional abilities. Kellett et al. explain, “because perceptions of relations leadership require feelings of being understood and valued, it is important for a leader to accurately detect emotions and to experience and express empathy” (p. 157).

 

Conclusion

Recognizing the societal need for developing youth leaders given the impending sizeable leadership transfer and the critical importance of intentional early leadership development (Murphy, 2011; Reichard & Paik, 2011), this conceptual paper serves to answer Murphy’s (2011) call for the development of youth leadership research by building a theory (and ultimately, a measure) around positive youth leadership identity. Positive youth leadership identity—the explicit theory of oneself as a positive leader—and its four factors of motivation to lead, positive task affect in groups, social influence capital, and human relations capital provides further conceptualization around self-management in youth leaders and provides the necessary theoretical underpinnings for future psychometric assessment.

 

References

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    development. The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 343–372.
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    Understanding peer influence in children and adolescents (pp. 225-244). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
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  • Lord, R. G., Hall, R. J., & Halpin, S. M. (2011). Leadership skill development and divergence: A model for the early effects of gender and race on leadership development. In S. E. Murphy & R. J. Reichard (Eds.), Early development and leadership (pp. 229-252). NewYork: Routledge.
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    and leadership skills. Research paper presented at the International Leadership Association Annual Global Conference, San Diego, California.
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    empathy, and leadership skills. Research paper presented at the International Leadership Association Annual Global Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.
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    development: Understanding the seeds of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 459-470.
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  • Recchia, S. L. (2011). Preschool leaders in the early childhood classroom. In S. E. Murphy & R. J. Reichard (Eds.), Early development and leadership (pp. 39-58). New York: Routledge.
  • Reichard, R. J., & Paik, S. J. (2011). Developing the next generation of leaders: Research, policy, and practice. In S. E. Murphy & R. J. Reichard (Eds.), Early development and leadership (pp. 309-328). New York: Routledge.
  • Rosenblum, G. D., & Lewis, M. (2008). Emotional development in adolescence. In G. R. Adams & M. D. Berzonsky (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of adolescence (pp. 269-289). John Wiley and Sons.
  • Snyder, C. R., Hoza, B., Pelham, W. E., Rapoff, M., Ware, L., Danovsky, M., Highberger, L., Rubinstein, H., & Stahl, K. J. (1997). The development and validation of the Children’s Hope Scale. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 22(3), 399-421.
  • Stajkovic, A. D., & Luthans, F. (1998). Self-efficacy and work-related performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 240–261.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Current population survey. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov
  • Van Rooy, D. L., & Viswesvaran, C. (2004). Emotional intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation of predictive validity and nomological net. Vocational Behavior, 65, 71-95.
  • Wang, Y., & Wang, B. (2009). Conceptual model of youth leadership: A review. ISECS International Colloquium on Computing, Communication, Control, and Management, 487-490.
  • Ward, P. J., & Ellis, G. D. (2008). Characteristics of youth leadership that influence adolescent peers to follow. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 26(2), 78-94.
  • Ward, P., Lundberg, N., Ellis, G., & Berrett, K. (2010). Adolescent peer followership: A self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 28(2), 20-35.
  • Yip, J., Liu, J., & Nadel, A. (2006). A question of leadership: Is there a difference between youth leaders and adult leaders, and if so, should leadership development for youths differ from that for adults?. Leadership in Action, 26(3), 12-13.

Copyright © 2017 Lindsay J. Hastings & L.J. McElravy all rights reserved.

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Happy Holidays From RFI

December 21, 2017
  As demonstrated by our belief statements, “together with our partners” is not just a filler phrase we use in passing to describe the work we do. Rather, it is an essential, critical element that we all must employ to …
RFI Staff

Back from left: Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, Shawn Kaskie, Theresa Klein, Katelyn Ideus, Kayla Schnuelle. Front from left: Chuck Schroeder, Lauren Simonsen, Aliese Hoffman, Kim Peterson


 

As demonstrated by our belief statements, “together with our partners” is not just a filler phrase we use in passing to describe the work we do. Rather, it is an essential, critical element that we all must employ to meet our mission of a thriving high-touch, high-tech rural future.

 

Thank you to our partners who we can call upon, share with and learn from.

 

 


 

Video Highlights of 2017

 

We launched RFI Fellows with 26 faculty and community innovation fellows from the University of Nebraska (NU), the state of Nebraska and beyond.

 

We connected “fierce” rural innovators from Japan with rural experts from NU and Nebraska to learn and share.

 

Here is an introduction to one of the nine projects we funded this year. There are 50 projects total, all benefiting rural communities in Nebraska and beyond.

 

We placed student interns in rural communities through 2017 RFI Student Serviceship, and we’re looking forward to 2018!

 


 

Support RFI

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NEWS RELEASE: RFI-Funded Research Project Receives International and National Attention

December 12, 2017
LINCOLN, Neb. — December 12, 2017 — Marketing Hometown America, a funded research project from the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, is receiving national and international attention.  Led by RFI Faculty Fellow Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, the project is designed …

LINCOLN, Neb. — December 12, 2017 — Marketing Hometown America, a funded research project from the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, is receiving national and international attention. 

Led by RFI Faculty Fellow Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, the project is designed to help rural communities market themselves to improve new resident recruitment as well as retention. After the program’s pilot across three Great Plains states, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, the research group used Ripple Effects Mapping to evaluate both the intended and unintended community outcomes in each location.

Burkhart-Kriesel recently co-authored an article about the project in the second volume of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute Program Evaluation Series titled “A Field Guide to Ripple Effects Mapping.” The article discusses the importance of evaluation when planning and implementing community development projects.

“Coming together as a community to evaluate the effort is a way to share the broader story and to see how all the pieces came together,” Burkhart-Kriesel said when discussing the importance of evaluation processes.

The research team from North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska were also invited to Sioux City, Iowa, this fall to share the Marketing Hometown America program with Extension faculty from Iowa State University. After the six-hour training session, two pilot communities in western Iowa were identified with the intent to offer the program statewide.

Burkhart-Kriesel also recently presented a paper at the North Atlantic Forum in Bø, Telemark in Norway. The North Atlantic Forum was originally formed as a way to bring rural coastal communities in the north Atlantic together to share issues, opportunities and resources. Presenters and participants came from Canada, the British Isles, Scandinavia, the countries surrounding the North Sea, Central Europe, Central America and Asia.

“It might appear that the North American Great Plains would have little in common with this region, but just the opposite is true. Issues such as rural migration and depopulation, identifying processes that help communities develop a vision and development plan, finding ways to build diverse economies and strengthening youth and young adult connections are themes in rural areas all over the world,” Burkhart-Kriesel said.

During her presentation titled “Rural New Resident Recruitment: A Critical First Step Toward Sustainability,” she focused on the importance of attracting new residents to rural communities despite a decline in North American Great Plains population. The theme of the forum focused on the many ways rural communities can help sustain and strengthen their natural resource base as a necessary strategy to better position themselves for the future.


Highlights from the presentation:

Almost two-thirds (roughly 600,000 people) of the counties in the North American Great Plains lost population between 1950 and 2007. In 69 Great Plains counties, more than 50 percent of their population was lost (U.S. Census Bureau).

There has been long-term decline in the North American Great Plains population, but research has shown that in some rural areas there is a growing interest in in-migration, especially from more urban areas.

The rural landscape and both natural and human resources can be taken for granted and overlooked as assets that can be marketed to potential new residents. These rural assets can be showcased using the community marketing process to enhance new resident recruitment.


Burkhart-Kriesel had also previously received international attention when she was invited to present the Marketing Hometown America curriculum at the 2015 International Association of Community Development (IACD) conference held in Glasgow, Scotland. After the conference, an urban neighborhood organizer in Glasgow was interested in adapting the Marketing Hometown America material as a way to recruit new residents.

“Listening to the various presentations from diverse places across the world, I am convinced that rural issues are more similar than different,” Burkhart-Kriesel said.

Burkhart-Kriesel is located at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Her position in western Nebraska gives her an important viewpoint on the opportunities and challenges that impact rural communities. Her research and extension programs focus on demographic renewal and economic opportunities in rural communities in Nebraska and beyond.

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Obesity Intervention and Service Learning

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2017 Summary In an effort to combat the epidemic of rural pediatric obesity, Peru State College and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, in partnership with rural stakeholders, seek to develop a new service-learning course for undergraduates. …

Teaching & Engagement, 2017


Summary

In an effort to combat the epidemic of rural pediatric obesity, Peru State College and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, in partnership with rural stakeholders, seek to develop a new service-learning course for undergraduates. The course will introduce post-secondary students to service learning and the prevalence of overweight and obesity in rural areas. It will also seek to engage existing and new partnerships with community-based organizations for students’ service learning. Finally, contributors hope the course will instill in undergraduate students a sense of civic commitment that they will carry with them following college.

Project Team

  • Danae Dinkel (PI), Assistant Professor, Health Physical Education & Recreation, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Kyle Ryan (Co-PI), Professor, Kinesiology, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Peru State College
  • Sheri Grotrian-Ryan (Co-PI), Professor, Business, Peru State College

Partners

  • Northside Elementary (Grades K-2), Nebraska City
  • Hayward Elementary (Grades 3-5), Nebraska City
  • Nebraska City Middle School (Grades 6-8), Nebraska City

 

Contact: Danae Dinkel, dmdinkel@unomaha.edu

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RFI PROJECT UPDATE: Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities

December 4, 2017
 We are excited to share the latest about each of our 2017 RFI research and teaching projects throughout the next few weeks. First up, “Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities,” which is led by RFI Faculty Fellow Athena Ramos of …


We are excited to share the latest about each of our 2017 RFI research and teaching projects throughout the next few weeks. First up, “Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities,” which is led by RFI Faculty Fellow Athena Ramos of the UNMC College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center – UNMC.

Rural communities are changing demographically, physically and socially. Three major trends driving these new patterns include the in-migration of adults in their prime earning years returning to small towns and rural areas, the growth of the Latino population, which is the most rapidly growing population segment in rural America, and regionalization. Because of these trends, strengthening resiliency, flexibility and positivity in rural communities is essential.

Successful rural community development requires a healthy community ecosystem. In order for rural communities to maintain and build a healthy community ecosystem, it is important to effectively foster human and social capital among all community residents, which is what Ramos is working toward through this project.

UNMC students have been learning about community-based research and Appreciative Inquiry, which is based on principles of positive psychology, social constructionism, and resonance. Now, Ramos and students are co-developing and conducting key informant interviews with local community leaders to spark stories that highlight the best of what is in rural communities and help these community leaders plant seeds about what COULD BE when all residents and newcomers are fully welcomed and integrated into the fabric of their communities.

The insights gathered in this specific project will help Columbus, Neb., and Schuyler, Neb., better understand their assets and what positive messaging is needed to move their community initiatives forward.

Learn more about RFI’s funded research and teaching projects at http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/research.

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Articles, Releases & More

June 13, 2017
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Serviceship

February 10, 2017
students serving communities

students serving communities

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Welcome Theresa

February 24, 2016
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Webinars

November 23, 2015
RURAL FUTURES — WHAT MORE DO WE NEED TO KNOW? International Seminar and Webinar featuring Professor Richard Wakeford, Visiting Professor of Environment, Land Use and Rural Strategy, Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom. In thinking about Nebraska’s rural future in …

RURAL FUTURES — WHAT MORE DO WE NEED TO KNOW?

International Seminar and Webinar featuring Professor Richard Wakeford, Visiting Professor of Environment, Land Use and Rural Strategy, Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom.

RichardWakeford

In thinking about Nebraska’s rural future in an international context, are there research themes around rural development and land use where a region that is rich in land of different types might make a contribution of global significance? The world’s come a long way and drawn on lots of research, but there is more to explore! View Professor Wakeford’s presentation designed to explore the possibilities.

View Recorded Webinar »

Download Presentation »

 

 

CIVIC HEALTH WEBINAR

Webinar featuring Dr. Jim Cavaye, Associate Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia

Dr. Jim Cavaye, Associate Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia

Did you know that the youngest Nebraskans are consistently participating the least when it comes to civic engagement? The first-ever Civic Health Index for Nebraska shows that Millennials are the least likely of any age group to do things like volunteer, register to vote, show up to the polls, or contact public officials. However, the new report also shows that young Nebraskans have the potential to powerfully strengthen their communities.

Dr. Cavaye is an accomplished practitioner, educator and researcher in community development with 30 years’ experience working with rural and regional communities. He has assisted over 120 local communities across Australia and internationally with community appraisals, community engagement processes, community planning and economic development strategies.

View Recorded Webinar »

 

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Poster Competition Winners

November 13, 2015
Graduate Student Poster Competition Award Winners Top Prize – $625 each Joshua Fergen*, Anne Junod, Mary Emery, Across the 100th Meridian: Comparing Quality of Life in the Rural Cultures of the American West & Midwest, South Dakota State University Felix Fernando*, …

Graduate Student Poster Competition Award Winners

Top Prize – $625 each

  • Joshua Fergen*, Anne Junod, Mary Emery, Across the 100th Meridian: Comparing Quality of Life in the Rural Cultures of the American West & Midwest, South Dakota State University
  • Felix Fernando*, Gary Goreham, A Tale of Two Rural Cities: Interaction of Community Capitals during a North Dakota Oil Boom, North Dakota State University

Honorable Mention – $250 each

  • Kate Heelan, Todd Bartee, Bryce Abbey, Marissa Bongers*, Outcomes of a Family-Based Obesity Treatment Program: Consumption of a Low-Fat Diet and Weight Loss, University of Nebraska Kearney
  • Nancy Qwynne Lackey*, Lisa Pennisi, Savanna seeds on prairie plains: Applying South African ecotourism guide training techniques to the Great Plains, University of Nebraska – Lincoln School of Natural Resources
  • Tyler Smith*, Susan M. Sheridan, Amanda Witte, Sonya Bhatia, Samantha Angell, Amanda Moen, Teachers and Parents as Partners in Rural Communities: Effects on Student Engagement and Attention, University of Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools

Undergraduate Poster Competition Award Winners

Top Prize – $300 each

  • Hannah Brenden*, Melissa Laughlin*, Morgan Netz, Lindsay Hastings, Themes of Successful Leadership Transfer within Rural Nebraskan Communities, University of Nebraska – Lincoln UCARE
  • Addison E. Fairchild*, Alexandria PytlikZillig*, Lisa M. PytlikZillig, Comparing Rural and Urban Trust Development, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center
  • Laura Gorecki, Finding a Beefy Niche in Rural Nebraska, University of Nebraska – Lincoln Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program
  • Kate Heelan, Callen Maupin*, Todd Bartee, Matthew Bice, Physical Fitness and Academic Performance, University of Nebraska – Kearney Undergraduate Research Fellows

Honorable Mention – $100 each

  • Sarah Schalm*, Kelsey Arends, and L.J. McElravy, Rural Civic Action Program: Nebraska City, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dept of Agricultural Education, Leadership and Communications
  • Nathan Kathol*, Dana Fritz, Hartington: Revealing a Community’s Strengths,  University of Lincoln
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Wakeford Seminar

November 10, 2015
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CIRD Issues Request for Proposals

November 3, 2015
Funding and Design Assistance Available for Rural Communities Citizen’s Institute on Rural DesignTM Issue Request for Proposals Tuesday, October 27, 2015 View PDF New York, NY— The Citizens’ Institute on Rural DesignTM (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural …

Funding and Design Assistance Available for Rural Communities

Citizen’s Institute on Rural DesignTM Issue Request for Proposals

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

View PDF

New York, NY— The Citizens’ Institute on Rural DesignTM (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural communities interested in applying for funding to host a community design workshop in either 2016 or 2017.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural DesignTM is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation. CIRD provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality.

CIRD offers annual competitive funding to six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-ahalf day community development and design workshop. With assistance from a wide range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops are intended to bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government agencies to develop actionable solutions to the communities’ pressing development challenges. The communities will receive additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources on www.rural-design.org.

Design and development challenges include but are not limited to the following: Main Street revitalization, managing and shaping community growth, the design of community-supportive transportation systems, preservation of natural and historic landscapes and buildings, protecting working agricultural lands, and maximizing the role of arts and culture as an economic driver for local and regional economies. Since 1991 CIRD has convened more than 70 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets today in order to build better places to live, work, and play in the future.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm EST.

Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend (that must be matched one-to-one) in addition to in-kind professional design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is posted on the CIRD website: www.rural-design.org/request-for-proposals. Selected communities will be announced in March of 2016 and workshops will be held during the fall of 2016 through spring of 2017. CIRD staff will also offer two pre-application assistance webinars to answer questions and guide interested applicants in assembling their proposals. The first is scheduled for Tuesday November 10th, and the second will take place on Thursday, December 10th. Both calls will begin at 3:00 pm EST and last approximately one hour. Participation in each call is free but registration is required. To register visit: www.rural-design.org/application-assistance

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to www.arts.gov/50th to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary calendar.

ABOUT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE – RURAL DEVELOPMENT

USDA Rural Development administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Visit the USDA at www.rd.usda.gov.

ABOUT PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES, INC.

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design, and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Founded in 1975, PPS has completed projects in over 2,500 communities and all 50 US states. PPS has become an internationally recognized center for resources, tools, and inspiration about placemaking. Visit PPS at www.pps.org

ABOUT THE ORTON FAMILY FOUNDATION

With its Community Heart & Soul™ method, the Orton Family Foundation empowers people to shape the future of their communities by improving local decision-making, creating a shared sense of belonging and ultimately strengthening the social, cultural and economic vibrancy of communities. The Foundation assists the residents of small cities and towns in the use of the Community Heart & Soul™ method, a barn-raising approach to community planning and development that invites residents to shape the future of their communities in ways that uphold the unique character of each place. For more information visit www.orton.org.

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Igniting Powerful Action

October 12, 2015
Igniting Powerful Action with Dr. Denise A. Trudeau Polkas, leadership coach with Blue Egg Leadership and SynoVation Valley Leadership Academy We live in the age of overflowing resources. You have the opportunity to Pick YOUR TOMATOES and chose from dozens …

Igniting Powerful Action
with Dr. Denise A. Trudeau Polkas, leadership coach with Blue Egg Leadership and SynoVation Valley Leadership Academy

We live in the age of overflowing resources. You have the opportunity to Pick YOUR TOMATOES and chose from dozens of resources at any given time. Only you have the power to use these resources as INGREDIENTS that will create the best “SECRET SAUCE” of your life! We all have great ideas STEWING in our minds and hearts. We have the power to choose, create and make bold moves! Discover how to take ACTION with your dream of starting or expanding a business, your idea of contributing to local communities and invent bold ways to make a positive impact for those around us. Join us to help you CREATE, STEW and PRESERVE your “BEST RECIPE” for action!

Details:
November 17, 2015
Central Community College-Ord Learning Center | 1514 K Street | Ord, Nebraska
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Register to attend at : cyn.nebraska.edu
Cost: $25 | Pay at the door
Lunch will be included

View Flyer

View Agenda

Hosted by: Central Community College-Ord Learning Center
Sponsored by: Connecting Young Nebraskans, SynoVation Valley Leadership Academy

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RFI Hosts Regional Forums

August 27, 2014
The University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute will host a series of regional forums this fall aimed at showcasing success stories in Nebraska communities and sharing outcomes of RFI-funded projects that are serving the people of the state.   Registration …

The University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute will host a series of regional forums this fall aimed at showcasing success stories in Nebraska communities and sharing outcomes of RFI-funded projects that are serving the people of the state.

 

Registration is now open for the forums, which will take place on Sept. 30 at the Steinhart Lodge at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City; Oct. 9 at the Convention Center at the Cobblestone Hotel and Suites in Broken Bow; and Oct. 14 at the Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Scottsbluff.

 

The day-long forums begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at 7 p.m. Registration is $25, which covers all activities, lunch and evening appetizers. The forums are open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to come prepared to discuss their goals for their regions of the state and ideas on how the Rural Futures Institute can partner with communities to achieve those goals.

 

“The Rural Futures Institute exists for the benefit of the state. Our goal is to help ensure a strong economy and high quality of life in rural communities across Nebraska and beyond,” said Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute. “If we’re to be successful, we need to continually communicate with our most important stakeholders – Nebraska citizens whose energy, creativity and leadership is vital to our state’s future. These regional forums are a way to continue our dialogue with Nebraskans about how we can work together to ensure a strong future for all citizens. I can’t wait to hear their input and ideas.”

 

The regional forums will focus on growing economies, energized leadership and vibrant communities. At each forum, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from local leaders about what they are doing to enhance business growth and downtown redevelopment, expand educational opportunities, and increase the quality of life for all generations, including youth and young adults. Forums will conclude with a town hall dialog about what participants want to see for the future of their regions and explore collaborative opportunities to reach those desired futures.

 

Schroeder noted that the forums will provide valuable direction on future programming and funding opportunities within the Rural Futures Institute.

 

The forums also will spotlight some of the grant-funded projects supported by the Rural Futures Institute. The past two years, faculty from across the University of Nebraska, together with partners around the state, and even across state lines, are pursuing about two dozen projects funded by the RFI focusing on topics critical to rural people and communities, including the shortage of mental health providers in rural areas, workforce development in rural communities, rural leadership and engagement, and health and nutrition.

 

Visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/conference to register. For more information, contact the Rural Futures Institute at ruralfutures@nebraska.edu or (402) 472-9287.

 

The Rural Futures Institute was approved by the Board of Regents in 2012. A conference the following year attracted over 500 attendees who helped shape the institute’s goals, and in December, Schroeder, a Nebraska native, began his tenure as founding executive director following a national search. Another National Rural Futures Conference is planned for fall 2015.

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Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit

August 4, 2014
Registration is now open for the 2014 CYN Summit! Young leaders from Kearney, Hastings and Grand Island are coming together to create a dynamic conference for young leaders across the state of Nebraska. On November 7th, young Nebraskans from across …

Registration is now open for the 2014 CYN Summit!

Young leaders from Kearney, Hastings and Grand Island are coming together to create a dynamic conference for young leaders across the state of Nebraska. On November 7th, young Nebraskans from across the state will gather for the 2014 CYN Summit in Kearney to share ideas, energize each other and envision a brighter future for our state.

The logistics of the event are coordinated by representatives of the Rural Futures Institute and a local summit planning team comprised of young leaders from the Kearney, Hastings, and Grand Island communities. “Young leaders from the tri-cities are excited to join forces to offer the state a dynamic conference, centered on professional and personal development,” says Mary Berlie of Grand Island, a member of the summit planning team.

“I’m so pleased to be working with the tri-city region to plan this event. In years past, the summit planning teams have been confined to a small geographic region, but this year the tri-city region has come together to collaboratively plan what I expect to be an amazing event. This collaborative mindset will serve the region and state well in the future.” says Kayla Schnuelle, CYN coordinator and Marketing Communications Specialist for the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.

“The programming at the summit will provide valuable take home information for the attendees and priceless networking with engaged individuals across the state. The relationships created will be beneficial for a lifetime! What’s better than sharing best practices with your friends and neighbors? I think we all win when we work together for the greater good of Nebraskans,” says Penny Parker, summit planning team member.

Keynote speaker, Joe Gerstandt, will encourage summit attendees to put the power of authenticity, divergent thinking, and constructive conflict to work to unleash creativity and innovation in Nebraska communities and organizations.

The summit’s sessions introduce attendees to new ideas and experiences, which helps to broaden young leaders’ perspectives. One session will allow participants to experience living with limited resources, followed by a conversation about addressing poverty and food insecurity issues in the state of Nebraska.

Attendees will walk away with relationships, resources, and tools to grow professionally, personally, and as a civic and community leader. In creating new ideas through CYN, attendees are able to understand and respect differences while working towards a unified goal of becoming a great state to live and work.

The CYN Summit is the annual gathering for the Connecting Young Nebraskans network, which is sponsored in part by the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute. Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) is designed to connect, empower and retain young Nebraskans. CYN strives to enhance opportunities for individuals to impact their communities through networking and learning experiences. The network is a dynamic and diverse group of peers with a passion for making a difference, a willingness to learn and the desire to build important relationships to help shape the future of Nebraska.

 

Join young leaders in Nebraska for the 2014 CYN Summit by registering at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/cyn-summit.

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Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic Outreach Tour

July 30, 2014
On August 4-5, 2014, Student Attorneys from the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law will travel to Chadron, Scottsbluff, and Broken Bow as part of a rural outreach tour. Student Attorneys John Cantril, Preston Peterson, …

On August 4-5, 2014, Student Attorneys from the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law will travel to Chadron, Scottsbluff, and Broken Bow as part of a rural outreach tour. Student Attorneys John Cantril, Preston Peterson, and Megan Rotherham will provide an overview of the legal services the Clinic provides and answer questions regarding how the Clinic can benefit Central and Western Nebraska communities. Learn more.

All events will be free of charge and are aimed to educate local businesses and start-up ventures, attorneys, and other service providers. The tour will consist of the following stops:

  • Luncheon and presentation hosted by the Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation, August 4th at 12:00 p.m. at the Country Kitchen in Chadron (1250 W 10th St.);
  • Presentation hosted by Twin City Development in Scottsbluff (1620 Broadway), August 4th at 5:00 p.m.;
  • Office hours for local businesses and service providers, held in conjunction with the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project, August 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce (444 South 8th Avenue); and
  • Presentation hosted by the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce (444 South 8th Avenue), August 5th at 12:30 p.m.

This rural tour is a key step toward building greater connections with Central and Western Nebraska communities, furthering the aims of the Clinic’s partnership with the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project and the UNL Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. “A primary goal of this tour is to continue building a meaningful and sustainable network between the Clinic and attorneys, businesses, and economic development stakeholders that will create opportunities for collaboration and service to foster entrepreneurship in these communities,” said Brett Stohs, Cline Williams Director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic.
About the University of Nebraska College of Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic provides representation and counsel to start-up businesses on a variety of early-stage legal issues. Clinic services are free of charge; however, representation is limited to certain early-stage matters with the intention of referring clients to local attorneys for further assistance.

To learn more, please visit http://law.unl.edu/eclinic or call (402) 472-1680.

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Funded grants announced

April 28, 2014
Since the Rural Futures Conference this past November, teams have been coming together to submit grant applications for one or both of the Rural Futures Institute’s competitive grant programs. After several rounds and multiple review sessions, the RFI is pleased …

Since the Rural Futures Conference this past November, teams have been coming together to submit grant applications for one or both of the Rural Futures Institute’s competitive grant programs. After several rounds and multiple review sessions, the RFI is pleased to announce the funding of seven Teaching and Engagement grants and four Research and Engagement grants. The quality of the grants was excellent this year and the teams that reviewed the grants were impressed by the diversity of topics and the transdisciplinary approaches that were proposed. The grantees have been notified and they will begin work on July 1, 2014.

2014 AWARDED GRANTS INCLUDE: click here for printable PDF

Teaching and Engagement Grants

  • Rural Community Engagement and Leadership Program, Gina Matkin, UNL with other UNL partners and Nebraskans for Civic Reform
  • Justice by Geography: Issues that Inequitably Impact Rural Youth, Anne Hobbs, UNO with Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association, Nebraska State Bar Association, Nebraska Association of County Officials, Nebraska Juvenile Services Division, and Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
  • Addressing the Rural Shortage of Mental Health Providers Through a Virtual Mentorship Network, Howard Liu, UNMC with other UNMC partners and Region III Behavioral Health Services
  • Principles of Community Engagement in Public Health: Service Learning, Community-Based Participatory Research, and Civic Engagement, Kyle Ryan, Peru State College with College of Public Health at UNMC and Rural Health Education Network
  • The Great Question Challenge, Shane Potter, UNL Extension with the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at UNL and DuPont Pioneer
  • Community Gardens and Farmer’s Market for Curtis, Nebraska, Brad Ramsdale, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) with University of Nebraska Extension
  • The Nebraska Hayseed Project, Petra Wahlqvist, UNL with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL, Lied Center for Performing Arts, North Platte Concert Association, and Midwest Theater

Research and Engagement Grants

  • Healthy Food, Healthy Choice, Christopher Gustafson, UNL Agricultural Economics with Child, Youth, and Environments Center for Community Engagement at the University of Colorado, and Health and Nutritional Sciences Department at South Dakota State University
  • Bridging the skills gap: Workforce development in rural communities in the Great Plains, Carolyn Hatch, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Michigan State University, University of Nebraska Extension, South Dakota State University Extension
  • Nebraska Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network Project, Christopher Kratochvil, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) with other UNMC personnel, Department of Health and Human Services, and rural Nebraska physicians
  • Catalyzing the Role of Micropolitan America in the Future of Rural America: Why Not Begin this New Frontier for Research and Engagement in Nebraska?, Eric Thompson, Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln with other UNL partners, Rural Policy Research Institute and the University of Nebraska-Omaha

 

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New Broadband Survey Notes Progress…

April 25, 2014
NEWS RELEASE FROM IANR NEWS SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA                 — New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska April 24, 2014 New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska LINCOLN, Neb. — Although elderly and …

NEWS RELEASE FROM IANR NEWS SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

                — New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska

April 24, 2014

New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. — Although elderly and low-income Nebraskans continue to lag behind other demographic groups in Internet access, they have made significant gains in the last four years, according to a new survey.

The survey, “Internet Connectivity and Use in Nebraska: A Follow-up Study,” tracks progress made since a 2010 survey that asked about Nebraskans’ current use of technology, their opinions about community technology resources and their technology training needs.

Tracking this information is key, said Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of the Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.

“We know that Internet access, and the speed and reliability of broadband service, are critically important to the viability and resiliency of rural communities,” he said. “Entrepreneurial business opportunities, robust educational programming, quality healthcare and overall quality of life are significantly enhanced when current information technology is part of the community infrastructure. And rural people are at a significant disadvantage when it is not. While the disparity between rural and urban locales continues, we are pleased to see the progress shown in this report.”

Both surveys were conducted by the Nebraska Broadband Initiative, a partnership of state and University of Nebraska entities.

Overall, 86 percent of Nebraska households have Internet access, and 82 percent have broadband service, up from 81 percent and 76 percent, respectively, since 2010.

While older people, people with lower household income, people with lower education levels, households without children and households in nonmetropolitan areas continue to be less likely to have Internet access and, specifically broadband service, some of those groups increased Internet access considerably since 2010, noted Becky Vogt, survey research manager with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

– Persons aged 65 and older with Internet access at home increased from 56 percent to 69 percent. For broadband service, those numbers are 48 percent and 64 percent in 2010 and 2014, respectively.

– The proportion of persons with the lowest household incomes with broadband service at home increased from 44 percent to 53 percent.

The survey also found that Nebraskans in the Lincoln and Omaha areas were more likely to have broadband service at home – 90 and 87 percent respectively – compared to Central Nebraska’s 73 percent. However, Central Nebraska has seen a significant increase, from 56 percent in 2010.

Other findings:

– Sixty-five percent of non-Internet users don’t have a computer; 36 percent said Internet access is too expensive; and 34 percent say they have no interest in the Internet.

– Use of several Internet activities has increased in four years, including: social networking, up from 69 percent to 80 percent; watching videos, up from 72 percent to 79 percent; online banking or bill pay, up from 72 percent to 79 percent; VoIP, Skype, magicJack, or other video phoning technology, up from 19 percent to 37 percent; and two-way audio/video meetings, up from 15 percent to 27 percent.

– Nebraska households are generally satisfied with the reliability, speed and support of their Internet service but less satisfied with its price.

– Seventy-seven percent of Nebraska households have access to a local place, such as a library or school, where use of Internet-accessible computers is free.

– Many Nebraskans are interested in information technology courses such as website development and basic computer networking. And most prefer traditional delivery methods for this training, such as CD or DVD, face-to-face workshops, online courses and videos.

Frank Landis, chairman of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, said he was encouraged by the findings.

“Today’s survey report shows real progress in the deployment and utilization of high-speed Internet capability in Nebraska. It reveals that almost nine in 10 Nebraska households have Internet access at home,” he said. “However, a gap remains for consumers living in our rural areas, for low-income consumers, and for our aging population.  For example, over a third of non-users cite affordability as the reason for not subscribing to Internet at home.

“Having the very best data is critical in the development of a comprehensive broadband plan to increase Internet access and adoption going forward,” Landis added. “I appreciate the work of our partners in the Nebraska Broadband Initiative. More importantly, I thank the many Nebraskans who invested their time to respond to this survey.  The PSC looks forward to doing our part to tackle the challenges ahead. ”

Schroeder said, “In order to address this issue, we must understand the availability of technology, its utilization and the training needs of rural residents. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as a partner in the Nebraska Broadband Initiative, is an essential component in conducting this research in a timely, thorough and credible fashion.

“We cannot effectively address challenges and opportunities only described anecdotally. This research provides a powerful tool for understanding and strategic action by both public and private sector players in the broadband arena,” Schroeder added.

The Nebraska Broadband Initiative is a partnership of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Information Technology Commission and the AIM Institute.

For more information, check http://broadband.nebraska.gov

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Are you wondering about the next RFI Conference?

April 2, 2014
The next Rural Futures Conference will be in the fall of 2015. The exact dates are TBA. Click here for more information.

The next Rural Futures Conference will be in the fall of 2015. The exact dates are TBA. Click here for more information.

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New grants page added to RFI website

March 28, 2014
The RFI competitive grants program now occupies it’s own space on the RFI website. View the grants page.

The RFI competitive grants program now occupies it’s own space on the RFI website. View the grants page.

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Community Questions Showcase

March 5, 2014
CommunityQuestionswebsite- final
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“The Great Question Challenge”

February 12, 2014
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, and DuPont Pioneer are partnering to develop a new youth program titled, “The Great Question Challenge”.  The Great Question Challenge is designed to empower high school students to create local …

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, and DuPont Pioneer are partnering to develop a new youth program titled, “The Great Question Challenge”.  The Great Question Challenge is designed to empower high school students to create local solutions to issues of national and global importance.

For 2014, the Great Question Challenge focuses on solutions to food insecurity. About 15% of all U.S. households are food insecure, and in Nebraska, nearly 100,000 children are insecure as to their next meal. Creating locally appropriate solutions to this challenge will mobilize student community leaders to identify how to alleviate hunger and increase nutrition in their hometowns.

A workshop will be held on April 5, 2014 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to educate students about food insecurity and the role they play in becoming a catalyst to change.  This day-long workshop will include interaction with industry leaders, discussion about food insecurity, and the opportunity to network with students from across the state.  Students will walk away from this experience with improved or new ideas of how to address food insecurity in their local communities. Registration for the spring workshop is open until Friday, March 28, 2014.

Following the workshop, student teams from across the state are invited to submit proposals that address food insecurity in their local community.  Project proposals are due on April 18, 2014.  Up to 8 teams will receive funding to help implement and execute their community project.  Teams will be mentored throughout their projects and a final event will be held in the fall to celebrate the success of the teams.

For more information about The Great Question Challenge, visit http://4h.unl.edu/greatquestionchallenge or contact Shane Potter at spotter3@unl.edu.

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Wind turbines

September 21, 2012
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Awards

September 27, 2011
competitive awards program

competitive awards program

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Facebook Feed

September 27, 2011

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Latest RFI Tweets

September 27, 2011
Tweets by @rural_futures

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Fellows

September 27, 2011
connecting experts of rural

connecting experts of rural

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Institute

September 27, 2011
about us

about us

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CYN

September 27, 2011
young leaders network

young leaders network

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