Podcast/Bold Voices/

Katy Bagniewski Shares Bold Voice on Podcast Season 3 Finale

May 1, 2019
  May 1, 2019 — “I think that rural is a social justice issue,” said Katy Bagniewski, a senior studying agricultural and environmental sciences communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL). Originally from a rural hobby farm outside of Rochester, …
 

May 1, 2019 — “I think that rural is a social justice issue,” said Katy Bagniewski, a senior studying agricultural and environmental sciences communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL).

Originally from a rural hobby farm outside of Rochester, Minn., Bagniewski found her way to the University of Nebraska when in town for a sheep show. For the past two years, she has worked at RFI as a storytelling intern, the production specialist of the podcast and the host of the Bold Voices student segment.

Bagniewski went on the other side of the microphone during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Season 3 Finale at 13:27. The podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” is available on iTunesStitcherSoundCloudGooglePlay and Spotify.

“I really care about elevating voices and telling stories for causes that I care about,” she said. Aside from rural issues, some of these causes include mental health, social justice and female empowerment.

Her experience at RFI has opened her eyes to the challenges and opportunities in rural communities. “I’ve really become passionate about rural places since coming to Nebraska and starting at RFI,” she said.

Rural issues, she said, are social justice issues. “Rural needs to be funded and championed, and we need to be here to tell all the stories of the people and opportunities within it,” she added.

“I’m very thankful for the University of Nebraska and the role that they’ve ended up playing in my life,” she said. She said she’s thankful for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) and the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC) for facilitating a collaborative environment of students in her classes to solve grand challenges like food security and teach young people to communicate about the future of those issues.

She shared her advice for college students, which included preventing burnout, recognizing your own value and prioritizing your mental health and happiness.

Bagniewski will be staying in Lincoln, Neb., following her graduation on May 4, 2019, to pursue multimedia communications and freelance videography. “There is truly no place like Nebraska,” she added.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.

ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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UNO Student Regent joins Rural Futures Podcast Episode 29 as Bold Voice

April 24, 2019
  April 24, 2019 — “My leadership philosophy is to always lead by example and to not see yourself as higher than anyone else,” said Renata Valquier Chavez, a third-year biotechnology and political science student at the University of Nebraska …
 

April 24, 2019 — “My leadership philosophy is to always lead by example and to not see yourself as higher than anyone else,” said Renata Valquier Chavez, a third-year biotechnology and political science student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

Originally from Sidney, Iowa, Valquier Chavez moved to Elkhorn, Neb., during high school and decided to stay in Omaha, Neb., for her college experience. She is a member of the UNO Honors Program and a student-athlete on the UNO cross country and track team, and she spent the past year as the student body president and the student regent at UNO.

Valquier Chavez shared her University of Nebraska experience during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 29 at 22:51. The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. This episode features Amy Webb, an award-winning author and professor of strategic foresight at the New York University Stern School of Business, and it is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

“I think UNO is an absolutely spectacular university,” she said. “My vision for our future students is to have the sense of pride to be at the university that they are at, regardless of which campus it is within the University of Nebraska.”

Valquier Chavez believes that teamwork is crucial to her success as UNO Student Regent and Student Body President, as well as an honors student and a student-athlete. “I believe that it’s a group effort wherever it is that you’re leading, whether it’s on the cross country team or within student government,” she said.

“The point of being a leader is to inspire others to do things they think are right,” she said. “I see myself in this position to encourage my colleagues to go after tough projects and to tackle controversial issues,” she continued.

She shared her advice for college students, which included time management, living intentionally and finding joy. “I think it’s so important to remember that you’re doing this all by choice,” she said.

“When you’re in an elected position, you’re not doing it for yourself,” she said. “You are in a position to serve others,” she added.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders. ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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UNMC Student Regent discusses Rural Healthcare on Rural Futures Podcast

April 17, 2019
  April 17, 2019 — “The University of Nebraska is an incredible institution,” said Sarah Hotovy, a third-year medical student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) from York, Neb. “It’s thriving, and it’s got incredible leadership that we’re …
 

April 17, 2019 — “The University of Nebraska is an incredible institution,” said Sarah Hotovy, a third-year medical student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) from York, Neb. “It’s thriving, and it’s got incredible leadership that we’re really lucky to have,” she added.

Hotovy shared her experience as UNMC Student Regent and Student Senate President during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 28 at 15:47. The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. This episode features Garry Clark, Executive Director of the Greater Fremont Development Council in Fremont, Neb., and it is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in political science and biochemistry from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Hotovy spent a year in Indonesia teaching English as a Fulbright Scholar. She became UNMC’s Student Regent and Student Senate President during her second year at the Medical Center, and she is honored to have the opportunity to connect with and represent her peers.

“I like to lead through serving others,” Hotovy said of her servant-leadership style. “My goal through leadership is to see other people be successful and do what I can to help them be successful.” By encouraging and supporting her followers, she tries to help them reach their full potential and accomplish their goals.

Hotovy hopes to dedicate her career to affordable healthcare access for both rural and urban residents. “Regardless if they live in a town of three people or 300,000 people, I think that everyone deserves access to high-quality medical care,” she said. “If we can keep people healthier, we’re going to be more prosperous as a state,” she continued.

According to Hotovy, much of her success can be attributed to the University of Nebraska. “I really felt empowered at UNMC, not only to develop my skills so that I can be an excellent clinician and take good care of patients, but also to be a leader in the future of healthcare,” she said.

“So much happening at UNMC is groundbreaking, and it has really inspired me to make sure that I’m doing the same with my career,” she added.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders. ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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Nebraska Thriving Index Student Scholar Jordan Duffin Wong Appears on RFI Podcast

April 10, 2019
  April 10, 2019 — A one-size-fits-all approach to policy is not successful for all rural communities throughout the state, according to Jordan Duffin Wong, a junior studying Political Science and Mathematics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL). The Kearney, …
 

April 10, 2019 — A one-size-fits-all approach to policy is not successful for all rural communities throughout the state, according to Jordan Duffin Wong, a junior studying Political Science and Mathematics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL). The Kearney, Neb., native joined the Rural Futures Podcast as the Episode 27 Bold Voice at 13:59.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

As a UNL Bureau of Business Research Student Scholar, Jordan works to collect data on a variety of factors affecting Nebraska’s communities for the Nebraska Thriving Index. RFI convened and funded an expanded research team for the Nebraska Thriving Index from UNL, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the Nebraska Extension Community Vitality Initiative.

“We can make comparisons that create real insights and are useful for policymakers who are trying to help the state grow,” he said.

The Thriving Index provides economic developers, local elected officials and community leaders with economic and quality of life indicators to identify thriving and lagging regions so strategic, future-focused investments can be made.

“In essence, what we’re doing is trying to collect data and use this Thriving Index to inform policymakers about what policies they need to make to best let regions in Nebraska grow,” he said.

For Jordan, participating in the Thriving Index has given him hands-on experience in research and collecting data which he hopes will set him apart from his peers as he applies for graduate school programs.

“It’s about giving myself the best possible chance to end up where I want to end up and study what I want to end up studying,” he said. “Hopefully, this is another stepping stone for me to get where I want to go.”

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders. ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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Haley Ehrke Shares Thoughts on Rural Entrepreneurship on Podcast

April 3, 2019
   April 3, 2019 — Haley Ehrke, a junior studying agribusiness and agricultural and environmental sciences communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, joined her mom as Episode 26’s Bold Student Voice at 21:25. The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with …

 

April 3, 2019 — Haley Ehrke, a junior studying agribusiness and agricultural and environmental sciences communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, joined her mom as Episode 26’s Bold Student Voice at 21:25.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

Haley’s mother, Janell Anderson Ehrke started GROW Nebraska when Haley was still in the hospital after her birth. “I’ve really been around GROW my whole life,” she said.

“GROW has really transformed Nebraska, and it’s really growing Nebraska’s economy,” Haley said of her mother’s non-profit.

Like her mother, Haley has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit with her own marketing company and cow herd which she has developed through the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. “Everyone can be an entrepreneur. It’s just a different point in life when you become one,” she said.

Haley, a rural native from Orleans, Neb., was also a 2018 Rural Futures Institute Student Fellow. “The Rural Futures Institute has really impacted my college experience in a magnitude of ways,” she said.

She worked in Alliance, Neb., serving Box Butte County to recruit and retain rural residents by creating seven Marketing Hometown America videos. “We are really hopeful that the videos will help attract people to Box Butte County — because it’s a great place to live,” she said.

Haley is now a student pathways intern with USDA Rural Development, and she has a real passion for rural communities. “Rural is not dying,” she said. “It is thriving!”

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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UNK Student Body President, Student Regent appears on Rural Futures Podcast Episode 25

March 27, 2019
   March 27, 2019 — “I try to keep myself and my followers as focused and motivated as possible,” said Logan Krejdl, a senior studying Business Administration and Sports Management at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). Krejdl …

 

March 27, 2019 — “I try to keep myself and my followers as focused and motivated as possible,” said Logan Krejdl, a senior studying Business Administration and Sports Management at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK).

Krejdl shares his bold ideas and authentic experiences about leadership, integrity and rural-urban leadership during the Bold Voice student segment of Episode 25. This episode features Aaron Yoder, an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. Listen at 11:08 across platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

A natural leader from Aurora, Neb., Krejdl is UNK’s Student Regent and Student Body President. “I’m really lucky enough to be working with some of the best and brightest students on our campus, serving as the Student Body President and Student Regent,” he said.

“I describe my leadership style as adaptable,” Krejdl said. Being able to get involved on UNK’s campus has given him a look into the kind of leader different organizations need. “Very rarely do I use the same leadership style in different organizations,” he continued.

“I really like the problem solving aspect that comes with leadership,” Krejdl said. Getting his hands dirty and working in the trenches to accomplish goals and make progress is an important part of leadership that he enjoys.

During the segment, Krejdl stressed the need for face-to-face communication and genuine relationships to balance the high-tech, high-touch future of leadership. He also emphasized the importance of making connections and networking during college.

He also shares part of his life philosophy which is centered on kindness, respect and love. “One of my biggest mottoes is just general kindness,” Krejdl said. “Loving people can go so much farther than anything else, and at the end of the day all we have is each other so be kind to everyone,” he continued.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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RFI Graphic Design Intern Kara Sloane appears on Rural Futures Podcast Episode 24

March 20, 2019
   March 20, 2019 — “Any great company has good design,” says RFI Graphic Design Intern Kara Sloane. The Omaha, Neb., native, a junior Graphic Design student in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of …

 

March 20, 2019 — “Any great company has good design,” says RFI Graphic Design Intern Kara Sloane.

The Omaha, Neb., native, a junior Graphic Design student in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, digs into graphic design in rural, urban and beyond during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 24 at 10:49.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During her segment, Sloane shares the insights she gained through working for the Rural Futures Institute as a graphic design intern. Learning to adapt her designs and workflow have been central lessons during her internship. “What I’ve learned the most is probably working in a more corporate environment, working with a team and meeting deadlines,” she says.

“I think the most important part of graphic design is what goes unnoticed,” Sloane says. Good design goes beyond logos or aesthetics, according to Sloane. “It’s really about making an identity for something and showing its history and meaning.”

Based on her experience as an RFI intern, Sloane shares her insights on graphic design in rural communities. “Rural holds a lot of potential that isn’t represented in its design,” she says. “In the future, if we represented rural in a more future-focused way that is more professional but exciting too, I feel like it would bring out this possibility,” she continues.

Sloane has learned that valuing other people’s opinions and critiques is valuable for graphic designers and creators. “Your graphic design is not just for you to make and sit in your room,” she says. “It’s for everyone else out there to experience, so what other people have to say about it is really important.”

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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UNL Student Body President, Student Regent discusses leadership on Rural Futures Podcast

March 13, 2019
   March 13, 2019 — “At the end of the day, you need to be able to inspire folks to think about what hasn’t yet been,” said University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) senior Hunter Traynor. The Elkhorn, Neb., native is studying political science …

 

March 13, 2019 — “At the end of the day, you need to be able to inspire folks to think about what hasn’t yet been,” said University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) senior Hunter Traynor. The Elkhorn, Neb., native is studying political science with intentions of attending the University of Nebraska College of Law this upcoming fall.

He joined Bold Voices host Katy Bagniewski for the student segment on Episode 23 of the Rural Futures Podcast featuring Betty Borden, Director of the Japan Society Innovators Network. Listen at 8:49 across platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

Traynor is a natural leader who enjoys keeping a full plate and working with as many people as he can. “Leadership is the art of inspiring others to want to struggle for shared aspirations,” he said.

He serves in a dual role as UNL Student Regent and as the president of the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska (ASUN), the governing student body at UNL.

“I have been able to articulate a grand vision for what the organization currently is and what it should and could be in the future,” Traynor said of his leadership in ASUN. “And, then I need to convince everyone around us that it’s worth the time, effort and energy to struggle to achieve that vision,” he continued.

Ultimately, Traynor is passionate about his service to the UNL community. “I think I’ve been heavily involved on this University campus here in Lincoln since my freshman year,” he said. “I’m trying to take on leadership roles and trying to give back to the community here.”

The future of the relationship between rural and urban communities is a perennial question for states around the Midwest, according to Traynor. “We need leaders who are willing to be very honest and not drive wedges in between urban and rural communities for the sake of political gain,” he said.

He also shared his insights on the future of Nebraska and the importance of recruitment and retention in the state. “Our largest export in Nebraska isn’t our beef. It’s our people,” he said. “It’s something to leave sleep over, I think. Let’s keep them here. It’s a great place to live,” he continued.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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Ruben Aguilar discusses RFI-Funded Project, technology, leadership on Rural Futures Podcast

March 6, 2019
   March 6, 2019 — Problem-solving and leadership work hand in hand, according to Ruben Aguilar, a computer science and engineering student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Aguilar was an undergraduate mentor for the RFI-funded Rural Youth Entrepreneurship Clinics (YEC) …

 

March 6, 2019 — Problem-solving and leadership work hand in hand, according to Ruben Aguilar, a computer science and engineering student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Aguilar was an undergraduate mentor for the RFI-funded Rural Youth Entrepreneurship Clinics (YEC) which recently earned $493,560 in funding from the United States Department of Agricultural National Institute of Food and Agriculture. YEC was created by strategically connecting three RFI-funded projects.

Aguilar shares his experience with YEC during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 22 at 16:23. This episode features Robin Jourdan, an information technology futurist who recently wrapped up a 25-year career in the automotive industry, and it is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During his segment, Aguilar digs deep into his participation in YEC and his love for solving problems. As an undergraduate mentor, he helped a group of high school students with pre-stage analytics and guided them through data collection and transfer. “My biggest takeaways were definitely my problem-solving approach and the community that we had,” he says.

Based on his experience as a YEC mentor, Aguilar shares his vision for leadership. “My idea of a leader is just being able to convey the vision and getting people together to work toward that vision,” he says.

Aguilar also encourages listeners to integrate problem-solving into their leadership styles. “When you begin to work on a project, you’ll begin to realize that there are a lot of very small problems that will add up if they’re not resolved,” he says. “So I think being a leader is all about being able to give those solutions, because it’s so easy to get lost on a project with so many details.”

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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Kaitlin VanLoon shares her Bold Voice during Rural Futures Podcast Season 3 Premiere

February 27, 2019
   February 27, 2019 — “When posting to social media, we try to start a conversation,” says social media guru Kaitlin VanLoon. VanLoon, a senior advertising and public relations major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, digs deep into the future …

 

February 27, 2019 — “When posting to social media, we try to start a conversation,” says social media guru Kaitlin VanLoon.

VanLoon, a senior advertising and public relations major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, digs deep into the future of technology, social media and rural-urban collaboration during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Season 3 premiere at 13:45.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During her segment, VanLoon shares the insights she gained through working for the Rural Futures Institute as a communications intern. Managing RFI’s “rural pulse”— the institute’s social media channels — puts her on the forefront of the conversation around the future of rural and urban communities.

VanLoon recognizes that social media can be viewed as both harmful and helpful but she encourages listeners to view it as a positive tool for engagement and information sharing. “My goal is to share the ways that [social media] can be helpful, because it is such a powerful tool in communicating,” she says.

“How you live could be so different from somebody else,” she says. Improving connectivity and reaching people in rural communities through social media are keys to fostering rural-urban collaboration, according to VanLoon.

Bold Voices host Katy Bagniewski challenges VanLoon to put on her futurist hat and share her bold predictions for the future. “It’s going to become more and more important that rural and urban work together,” she predicts.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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Emily Frenzen shares her rural communication, entrepreneurship experience on Rural Futures Podcast

November 28, 2018
     November 28, 2018 — Emily Frenzen, a junior agricultural and environmental sciences communication major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln grew up on her family’s farm in Fullerton, Neb., where she gained a passion for photography. Growing up …

 

 

November 28, 2018 — Emily Frenzen, a junior agricultural and environmental sciences communication major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln grew up on her family’s farm in Fullerton, Neb., where she gained a passion for photography.

Growing up in a rural community fostered her entrepreneurial spirit which sparked the creation of her photography business through the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program.

Frenzen shared her rural story during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 19 at 11:24. This episode features Marji Guyler-Alaniz, a photographer who founded FarmHer to share the stories of women in agriculture, and it is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During his segment, Frenzen shares the insights she gained after working, serving and living in McCook, Neb., for 10 weeks during summer 2018 as a Rural Futures Institute (RFI) Serviceship student. With her partner Sage Williams, she worked with the High Plains Museum to assess its assets and create a plan of action. She also assisted in creating a mastermind alliance and intern program in McCook.

“Serviceship was really challenging, but that was so awesome because there was so much growth that came with that,” Frenzen says. “We really had to step out of our comfort zone and make connections within the community, and it was really up to us to make a lot of those decisions.”

For Frenzen, it was the opportunity to network with the RFI staff, University of Nebraska faculty and community leaders that drew her to RFI Serviceship. “I just have all these awesome people in my back pocket that I know I can reach out to at any time,” she says.

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Clayton Keller shares his passion for rural-urban collaboration on Rural Futures Podcast

November 21, 2018
  November 21, 2018 — Born in the rural Rockies of northern Idaho and raised in the rural countryside of Ohio, University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) public administration graduate student Clayton Keller says, “Rural has been a part of my …

 

November 21, 2018 — Born in the rural Rockies of northern Idaho and raised in the rural countryside of Ohio, University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) public administration graduate student Clayton Keller says, “Rural has been a part of my life for my whole life.”

When asked to answer the questions of Why Rural? Why Now? during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 18 at 11:50, he answers, “Because tomorrow is too late.”

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During his segment, Keller shares the insights he gained after working, serving and living in Columbus, Neb., for 10 weeks during summer 2018 as a Rural Futures Institute (RFI) Serviceship student. With his partner Amber Ross who was featured as a Bold Voice in Episode 12 of the Rural Futures Podcast, he worked with the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and the Columbus Area Future Fund — two organizations that taught him that it is possible to rally an entire community around a single identity.

“With globalization and its increasing influence on worldwide culture, there is an ever pressing need to keep up,” he says. Partnerships are key to making sure nobody — in rural or urban — gets left behind, according to Keller.

“All too often we think it’s too difficult to bring people together and to try to make things happen,” he says. “Yeah, it’s going to be hard, but that doesn’t make it impossible.”

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Sydney Armbruster intersects housing and healthcare on Episode 17 of Rural Futures Podcast

November 14, 2018
    November 14, 2018 — “I really have a passion for helping people,” says Sydney Armbruster, who hopes to be a physician assistant in a rural community one day. The Fall City, Neb., native is a senior disease and …

 

 

November 14, 2018 — “I really have a passion for helping people,” says Sydney Armbruster, who hopes to be a physician assistant in a rural community one day.

The Fall City, Neb., native is a senior disease and human health major at Peru State College. She shares her rural experience in healthcare and housing in the Bold Voices student segment at 13:53 of Episode 17 of the Rural Futures Institute’s weekly podcast launched today with featured guest Christiana McFarland of the National League of Cities.

Expecting to be placed in a rural community after becoming a Rural Futures Institute (RFI) Serviceship student in 2018, Sydney was surprised to learn she would spend her summer in Omaha, Neb., with the Omaha Municipal Land Bank.

The Omaha Municipal Land Bank is a local governmental nonprofit organizations that was established by the Nebraska Legislature to develop housing strategies for regional organizations in rural communities across Nebraska.

“Once I got to Omaha, I learned a whole new world that joined housing and healthcare,” she says. With the Land Bank, she got an inside view of how important housing is to a community and witnessed the critical connections between health and housing.

“It made me grow as a person and will definitely shape how I practice medicine in the future,” she says of her RFI serviceship experience. “It definitely opened my horizons to what the world has to offer and how many people are working for positive change in the world today.”

The RFI podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” is available on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

RFI Student Serviceship details are available at http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/serviceship.

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Raghav Kidambi from India shares his rural-urban perspective on Rural Futures Podcast Episode 16

November 6, 2018
     November 6, 2018 — Raghav Kidambi, senior management major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is from a “town” of seven million people. Born and raised in Chennai, located in the southeastern part of India, Kidambi had never …

 

 

November 6, 2018 — Raghav Kidambi, senior management major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is from a “town” of seven million people.

Born and raised in Chennai, located in the southeastern part of India, Kidambi had never experienced a rural community, let alone a rural community in the United States.

That is until he became a Rural Futures Institute (RFI) Serviceship student in summer 2018. He talked about his experience and why it is important to his future in the Bold Voices student segment of Episode 16 of the Rural Futures Podcast [13:20], available across listening platforms.

“When people leave rural societies for urban centers, we’re losing a huge amount of workforce when it comes to agribusiness and agriculture and things that are necessary — that are the backbone for the country,” he says. “And not just in America, but this is happening everywhere in the world.”

Raghav worked, served and lived in Seward, Neb., for 10 weeks, creating a newcomer engagement strategy, complete with an events guide and web page.

“Going into a rural community is something special by itself, because there’s a lot more meaning attached to what you’re doing,” he says during his podcast interview. “Your work is going to affect not just you but literally a community that you get to spend time with on a daily basis.”

The RFI podcast, Rural Futures with Dr. Connie, is available on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud,Google Play and Spotify.

Check out all of the 2018 RFI Student Serviceship results »

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Trevor Harlow discusses rural-urban collaboration on Episode 15 of Rural Futures Podcast

October 30, 2018
October 30, 2018 — Trevor Harlow, senior political science and environmental studies double major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), doesn’t shy away from perspective-gaining experiences. Raised in Waterloo, Neb., a village of approximately 1,000, Harlow knew an urban …

October 30, 2018 — Trevor Harlow, senior political science and environmental studies double major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), doesn’t shy away from perspective-gaining experiences.

Raised in Waterloo, Neb., a village of approximately 1,000, Harlow knew an urban setting was what he needed for his college experience. But during his time at UNO, he has reached out to rural areas of Nebraska as a Rural Futures Institute (RFI) Serviceship student and today as a featured student on the Rural Futures Podcast.

I think it’s really important and really critical to look at those different societies, those different ways of living in those different communities based upon the urban and rural pipeline, and see how they interact and how they affect the overall functioning of a society,” he says during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 15 at 15:00.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms  iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During his segment, Harlow shares the insights he gained after working, serving and living in Red Cloud, Neb., for 10 weeks during summer 2018. With his partner, Trenton Buhr of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harlow created a comprehensive economic development plan for the community. The target areas for growth within the plan are housing, business development, quality of life and tourism.

“It’s been one of the biggest impacts I’ve had in college, I would probably even say the biggest impact, honestly,” he says of his RFI Student Serviceship experience. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t really sure how I wanted to go about doing it. But just getting an opportunity just to work in that kind of setting, city planning, developing a plan, critically analyzing a community and looking at its benefits and what it can improve upon, that really got me thinking about that the public administration route is what I want to do — that’s the future I want to pursue.”

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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Brierly Kuhudzayi discusses Nebraska’s impact on his future in Zimbabwe during Rural Futures Podcast

October 23, 2018
October 23, 2018 — It is all thanks to a Lexington, Neb., native that the University of Nebraska has had the opportunity to build a meaningful, long-term relationship with the likes of University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate Brierly Kuhudzayi. The by-chance …

October 23, 2018 — It is all thanks to a Lexington, Neb., native that the University of Nebraska has had the opportunity to build a meaningful, long-term relationship with the likes of University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate Brierly Kuhudzayi.

The by-chance meeting at a conference in Washington, D.C., led Kuhudzayi, originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, to a job on a farm in central Nebraska, “on the spot with no agriculture experience.” And it was there that he was introduced to not only farming, but the culture and leadership responsibilities within rural communities.

Kuhudzayi talks about his Nebraska experience, entrepreneurial journey and advice for students at 12:39 in Episode 14 of the Rural Futures Podcast, which is available on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google Play and Spotify.

Listen

“I kind of just fell in love with it,” he says about agriculture and rural communities. “While I was doing it, I started thinking about doing a master’s degree. I met up with Tom Field of the Engler [Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program], and he recommended a master’s in community development, because I had future plans of going back to Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, we’ve got a variety of economic and social problems, and I wanted to play my part.”

During his graduate school experience, Kuhudzayi encountered the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska, serving as a RFI Serviceship student in 2016 in Cozad, Neb.

Kuhudzayi has now established his own agriculture enterprise in Zimbabwe, and, during the podcast interview, he paints a picture of the landscape, infrastructure and culture of his country that is so much different than Nebraska, yet so much the same as well.

“If you think about Africa, and you think about less economically developed, or developing countries, or whatever the case may be, you kind of think that Africa’s a few steps behind,” he says. “And we know in terms of technology, or the amount of value added for agricultural, we might be a few steps behind, but in terms of the people, and in terms of the community, and in terms of the coming together that’s needed for the community, we’re not so different.”

RFI really helped me dig into that. RFI allowed me to put into practice all of the things that I was learning in my community development program.”

Kuhudzayi’s interview makes up the “Bold Voices” student segment of Episode 14, which features Howard Liu, M.D., Interim Chair of Psychiatry and Director of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. With host Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist, Dr. Liu addresses the critical area of mental health care access for rural communities and mental health self-care.

Audio, guest biography and episode transcript available at http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/episode-14-psychiatrist-howard-liu-intersects-mental-health-workforce-access/.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.

ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

 

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Tyan Boyer appears on Rural Futures Podcast with International Futurist Thomas Frey

October 16, 2018
October 16, 2018 — “Rural means everything to me,” says Tyan Boyer, an exercise science major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Boyer, a Wayne, Neb., native, shared his passion and vision for rural communities at 20:35 of Episode …

October 16, 2018 — “Rural means everything to me,” says Tyan Boyer, an exercise science major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Boyer, a Wayne, Neb., native, shared his passion and vision for rural communities at 20:35 of Episode 13 of the Rural Futures Institute’s weekly podcast launched today with featured guest Thomas Frey, international futurist and Executive Director of the Da Vinci Institute.

The podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” is available on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, GooglePlay and Spotify.

Listen

I think a lot of my characteristics and the things that are important to me and the values that I have are because of the rural aspect,” Boyer says. “I love the closeness with rural, I love the ‘know-your-neighbor’ aspect that we have, that I think tends to be forgotten in bigger cities.”

Beyond his podcast appearance, Boyer has demonstrated his dedication to rural Nebraska communities by participating as a Rural Futures Institute Serviceship student during the summers of 2017 and 2018 in McCook, Neb.

Along with fellow UNK exercise science majors Collin Fleecs and Bradley Schoch, Boyer ran Teaching Health Exercise Technology and Aquaponics (THETA) Camps to bring education about health, exercise, technology and aquaponics to rural areas in Nebraska. The camps were created out of a RFI-funded teaching and engagement project led by an interdisciplinary team of UNK faculty.

“The opportunities and the people that I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had — I would not have been able to have those without this serviceship,” Boyer says. “I met so many great people from all over the state, so many contacts for the future … I don’t really think that there’s a price you can put on that.”

RFI Student Serviceship details are available at http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/serviceship.

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.

ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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Amber Ross appears on Rural Futures Podcast with Simple Strat Founder Ali Schwanke

October 10, 2018
   October 10, 2018 — “I wouldn’t trade my experiences with RFI for anything,” says Amber Ross, junior agribusiness major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The Callaway, Neb., native says she is “just your typical small-town girl” during the Bold …

 

October 10, 2018 — “I wouldn’t trade my experiences with RFI for anything,” says Amber Ross, junior agribusiness major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The Callaway, Neb., native says she is “just your typical small-town girl” during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 12 at 07:05.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

Beyond her podcast appearance, Amber has demonstrated her dedication to rural Nebraska communities by participating as a Rural Futures Institute (RFI) Serviceship student during the summers of 2017 and 2018 in West Point, Neb., and Columbus, Neb.

“The Rural Futures Institute has offered me a lot of different opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten any other way,” she says while reflecting on her time with RFI.

When asked to answer the questions of Why Rural? Why Now? during the segment, Amber puts on her futurist hat. Believing that rural communities will become the trendy place for her generation to live, she says, “It’s going to be cool to be in rural.”

“Because rural is cool,” Bold Voices host and Rural Futures Podcast production specialist Katy Bagniewski adds.

According to Amber, growing up on her family farm in a rural town of 500 people developed her work ethic and taught her time management skills. Her experiences with the Rural Futures Institute as a Serviceship student and an office intern have contributed to her passion for rural development, and she hopes to be a community developer after graduation.

Read more about Amber in her Students of RFI feature »

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About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.
ruralfutures.nebraska.edu

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