Kate Osbon


Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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2020 Community: Table Rock, Pawnee County

Focus: Community Marketing, Economic Development, Tourism

The main focus of this project will be to implement a comprehensive social media strategy for local businesses to build their social media presence and expand their reach to new audiences. The goal is to include areas high school students that are interested in marketing or advertising that could help facilitate this process and take the reins once the fellowship is completed. Students would also perform community impact surveys and brainstorm new ways to promote the area through tourism.

Peer: Rachel Williss
Innovators: Kenneth EdwardsAmy Hunzeker

Sponsored By: Table Rock Development Corporation, Pawnee County Promotional Network, Village of Table Rock, City of Pawnee City, and Table Rock Historical Society

Why did you choose the Fellowship Program?

I am friends with Megan Coan, who participated in this opportunity last year, and I saw the experiences she was able to have, so I finally messaged her and asked what she was participating in because I knew it was something special. Then, when I took ALEC 466 this fall with Dr. Fagan, I was able to see how she led and what her goals were as an educator on inclusivity. This class really had an impact on me and I enjoyed Dr. Fagan. When she spoke to the class about this program I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of, especially with my hospitality degree and background of growing up in a small community.

What do you hope to gain?

I want to leave the community at the end of my time with deep connections and a sense of a new place to call home. As for my work there, I want to leave knowing I helped where it was needed. I simply was an extra pair of hands and eyes that the community needed to get one of their goals completed.

Why is it important that students develop inclusive leadership development?

As a student in the hospitality industry, I am able to see how global our world is becoming. I also have seen my hometown become a more diverse community, which is something I was not sure would ever happen. I personally have seen how amazing learning and working with others cultures, backgrounds and traditions can be, so I am excited to become more educated. I think education is the key to a more cohesive world, and with my knowledge, I want to be able to spread it with everyone I lead now and in the future.

Why should students work in rural communities?

Rural communities, although small, affect so much of our state and country. Through agriculture and feeding our world, as well as growing young adults, they have a large impact. I know I want to give back to a type of community like my hometown. Bassett really started my journey, and I know it’s important to give back. I know the best way for me to give back right now is to work in a community and give them some working hands and young eyes.

Why is it important students give back to Nebraska?

Nebraska is the state that raised me and is what I advocate for when I’m anywhere in the world. I have family in California, and it’s amazing how much I get to share about our state my whole life. This state has given me a lot and I want to be able to keep it going through giving back.

What new opportunities exist today to help move rural communities forward? What are your ideas?

I’m from Bassett, NE, it’s a town of about 600 people. Growing up there I always would hear people from out of town want to see all these different things. These attractions to visitors were just part of the community to me, so I didn’t even see them as something to market to tourists. I think this is true in many communities. So many people have lived there for so long, they are used to what is so unique about their town. That’s why I think it’s great to have a fresh and young pair of eyes come and emphasize what’s great.