Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow | Nebraska Extension Specialist

Community Vitality Panhandle Research and Extension Center

Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel has been employed in community development since 1986. She has worked as an Extension Educator in North Dakota and Nebraska, a University Learning Center Coordinator and is currently a University of Nebraska Extension Community Vitality Specialist in Scottsbluff, Neb. Dr. Burkhart-Kriesel has been active in a variety of organizations and has held leadership roles in the South Platte Natural Resources District, statewide Workforce Investment Board, Nebraska Wheat Growers Association and National Association of Wheat Growers. Cheryl’s research and Extension outreach work on new resident recruitment is nationally recognized throughout the Marketing Hometown America program. She also applies her best practice profitability research expertise through joint ownership of a seed distribution business in the NE panhandle community of Gurley.


  • Community and Human Resources, Ph.D.


Research Interests

  • New resident recruitment, Marketing Hometown America
  • Strengthening small business profitability, especially in the area of customer service,
  • Community Vitality
  • Providing community data to support local decisions, Rural Poll


  • Rural Futures Institute, $57,073, December, 2013 Bridging the Skills Gap: Workforce Development in the Great Plains.
  • USDA National Research Initiative – Rural Development, $498,000, October 2008 – July 2012.Marketing Rural Communities to Attract and Retain Workers.
  • USDA National Research Initiative – Rural Development, $220,000 June, 2006 – June, 2008. Relocation to the Buffalo Commons: Using a marketing approach to understand residential decisions among migrants to the Nebraska Panhandle.


  • Nebraska Gamma Sigma Delta Excellence in Extension, 2016
  • National Rural Sociological Society Excellence in Extension and Outreach Award, 2015
  • National Community Development Society Innovation Award for Marketing Hometown America, 2014.