Mark Balschweid, Ph.D.

Interim Executive Director

Mark Balschweid, Ph.D., joined the Rural Futures Institute as Interim Executive Director on July 1, 2019. He is Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication. His Ph.D. is in Agricultural Education from Oregon State University. As a former high school agricultural science teacher, Dr. Balschweid developed his research interests by highlighting the intersection of science and agriculture in the secondary classroom as a way to enhance student interest in science and increase student knowledge of life sciences. Dr. Balschweid spent 10 years teaching and conducting research in teacher preparation for agricultural sciences at Purdue University prior to moving to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Balschweid has worked extensively in evaluating international programs in agricultural and extension education. He received a Fulbright Fellowship and spent a year teaching and conducting research at Jamaica's College of Agriculture, Science, and Education. He authored Jamaica's first Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Agricultural Education and continues to consult in Jamaica and the Middle East.

He is interested in providing students with international experiences that shape their worldview.

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