#RFIFellows In Action: Pawnee County Final Summary

Rachel interviewing Dr. Robert Diffendal who is a retired UNL geology professor.

By Rachel Williss

This summer was chaos, I must say. Even now that I can look back on my summer experience in full, I have trouble organizing it into words. But if there is one thing I’ve learned from the thousands of photos I’ve taken this summer, it is that the picture you see depends greatly on the lens you use, the angle you look from and the details you choose to focus on.

Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned is that I am more independent and adaptable than I thought I was. The changes and uncertainty that came with COVID-19 were the start of it, but our community team and schedule went through a lot of changes as well. In the future I will have more confidence to embrace change, although right now it seems to be the only way forward. 

I have also been able to refine my technical skills like photography, video editing, and graphic design. Although I have taken related courses at UNL, dedicating my entire summer to those skills has made me more comfortable with them and given me a portfolio that I can be proud of. 

Lastly, I have gained a new appreciation for learning the history and story behind everything. The museums and old buildings of Pawnee County are filled with good stories, and I wish I would have time to hear them all. I am motivated to learn more about the history of my own town as well when I return this weekend.

As I wrap up my experience here in Pawnee County, I am leaving behind a starting place for them to build their brand as a tourism destination. Going forward, the Pawnee County Promotional Network (PCPN) will be able to:

I can’t wait to see how the projects will develop in the future. I will definitely go back to Pawnee County to visit, and I am sure I will see new angles to take pictures from. It really is the perfect day trip destination (and I am not just saying that because I get paid to).