Teaching & Engagement Grants Awarded

Six grants to receive funding

With an outstanding response to the Teaching and Engagement Development Grants Request for Proposals, each of the 33 submitted applications were evaluated by three reviewers. Those receiving the highest evaluations were forwarded to a final review team who, in consultation with NU Vice President Ronnie Green, selected the following proposals to receive funding.


1. Ecotourism and Agritourism Development in Nebraska

This project aims to develop a course, to be taught in May, that will incorporate ecotourism, tourism marketing, entrepreneurship, business plans, visitor services and the Community Capitals Framework for community engagement. The long-term goal is to assist rural landowners and communities in increasing economic and community capacity by developing successful ecotourism ventures that enhance environmental sustainability while also educating and developing undergraduate students.


2. Engaging Nebraska, Impacting Communities, Transforming Students

This project aims to establish the infrastructure for a robust service-learning program embedded in curricula. Engaging ten faculty from architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and planning programs, the team proposes establishing a learning community that is faculty led and service-learning based. This learning community will spend the next two years transforming twelve existing courses, as well as developing new courses and programs, that engage students in service-learning projects across the state.


3. Juvenile Re-entry to Nebraska’s Rural Communities

This project aims to extend traditional Nebraska Health and Human Service policy through broadening the academic paradigm and activating community engagement by matching college student mentors from rural communities who are attending the University of Nebraska with youth committed to the Youth Rehabilitation Centers in Geneva and Kearney, Nebraska.


4. Rural Community Serviceship Program 

This project aims to create a partnership to help students learn and intern with communities in a hybrid approach to service learning. The major elements will include the development of a summer course, followed by a summer serviceship, a reflection period, and then research. This program delivers an interdisciplinary partnership delivery system that focuses on issues identified by the community coupled with the infusion of innovative, entrepreneurial student teams tasked with building workable solutions in concert with university faculty and specialists alongside community leaders and mentors. The combination of discipline, community engagement, and leadership training/experience creates human capacity and opens the door for active recruitment of new graduates and young professionals into the fabric of a rural community.


5. The Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Project

This project will address Nebraska’s rural public health professions workforce shortages by integrating teaching and professional service, in addition to reflective activities structured to link the service experience with the learning of the student. Community-based research projects will address identified rural public health priorities and needs in partnership with a community-based organization. In addition, the representation of undergraduate students will provide a forum for expression of rural youth voices, while finding solutions to existing public health issues in rural Nebraska. Having students conduct public health research with their communities will also further existing institutional goals toward institutionalization of community engagement and service learning.


6. Students Engaged in Economic Development of Rural Areas

University of Nebraska at Kearney undergraduates will create and assemble rural development ideas that are collected by students and rural stakeholders.  Students will identify promising economic development opportunities and will present these novel and creative ideas to the communities with ideas for implementation.