Rural Futures Institute Establishes New Partnership: Kaskie to lead the RFI Fellows Program

April 13, 2016 — The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is proud to welcome Shawn Kaskie and Aliese Hoffman to the RFI Team.  Kaskie will lead efforts in developing and expanding the RFI Fellows Program. He will be assisted by Aliese Hoffman, administrative specialist.

In the new partnership Kaskie will hold joint positions with the RFI and the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Center for Rural Research and Development (CRRD) in the College of Business and Technology. Shawn is a certified Professional Community and Economic Developer, and a former Gallup Entrepreneurship Acceleration System Guide, a business retention and expansion consultant, and NxLevel entrepreneurship instructor.

Hoffman will also have a shared RFI/CRRD position and will assist Kaskie as program assistant for the development of the Fellows program.  Hoffman is a Red Cloud native and UNK graduate.

“Kaskie will join the RFI team with the goal of launching and growing a RFI Fellows Program“ said Chuck Schroeder, executive director of the Rural Futures Institute.

Kaskie has a Master’s degree in regional planning and undergraduate majors in public administration, sociology, and psychology from Hastings College.  He has experience in providing community economic development and market research.

“We are very excited to welcome Shawn and Aliese to the RFI team and look forward to developing even closer working relationships between the four University of Nebraska campuses as well as community and organizational partners as the RFI Fellows program evolves” said Connie Reimers-Hild, associate director of the Rural Futures Institute.  The Memorandum of Understanding between the RFI and the University of Nebraska at Kearney is the first for the Institute.

“Shawn will be in a position to advance the agendas of both the RFI Fellows Program and the Center for Rural Research and Development on the UNK campus. This is a collaboration of tremendous potential that is emerging at exactly the right time and in a most effective way” said Charles Bicak, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at UNK.

The Rural Futures Institute is one of four interdisciplinary institutes at the University of Nebraska that leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the system. The institute, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, encourages bold and futuristic approaches to collaboratively address state, national and global challenges.

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