Thank You To Our Partners | University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Public Affairs and Community Service

With Gratitude

During this month of Thanksgiving, we take some extra time to share our gratitude for all of our partners — individuals and communities of place and practice. Thank you for all you do to bring forward the research and hands-on work for thriving rural communities of the future.


The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska understands that to truly make a statewide, regional, national and international impact for current and future residents of rural communities, we must partner with the boldest, action-oriented thought leaders and achievers around the world.


Meet Our Partners »



Today we especially thank the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Public Affairs and Community Service.


Empowering future leaders, fostering inclusive collaboration and creating innovative solutions, the College of Public Affairs and Community Service offers academic programs to prepare graduates to meet the critical social needs of our community and state.

RFI has been proud to partner with faculty and students in service to communities throughout Nebraska.


2018 RFI Student Serviceship

Clayton Keller
Columbus, Neb.

Midlands Voices: Midwesterners and misconceptions, Omaha World Herald, November 1, 2018

Kyle McGlade
Omaha Land Bank

Trevor Harlow
Red Cloud, Neb.


RFI-Funded Research & Teaching

Juvenile Re-entry to Nebraska’s Rural Communities

The Juvenile Reentry Project is a service learning project that matches student mentors to youth who typically do not get matched via traditional mentoring programs. Between January 2013 and June 2015, a total of 98 young people were matched to a University student mentor. In January 2015, the project team was invited to participate in a nationwide mentoring study being conducted by Portland State University, and additional funding from the Sherwood Foundation allowed the project to continue beyond the two-year grant period.

Justice by Geography: Issues that Inequitably Impact Rural Youth

The purpose of this service learning project is to educate students on the unique juvenile justice and legislative issues facing rural communities across Nebraska, culminating with a two month placement with a rural juvenile justice professional or agency. Seventeen students were placed in rural communities to work with small rural agencies to evaluate their programs, and the Juvenile Justice Institute continues to offer the Justice by Geography project and recruit undergraduate students to intern with rural areas.

Catalyzing the Role of Micropolitan America in the Future of Rural America

This project helped micropolitan areas identify opportunities and formulate research-driven plans for their future success in order to support rural economies. It developed a prototype in Nebraska with national applicability and actionability. As a result of this project, the University of Nebraska leads the nation in articulating the role of micropolitan areas and helping them capitalize on their unique opportunities for regional innovation and rural development.


RFI Faculty Fellow

Robert Blair, Ph.D., brought an urban perspective and highly collaborative outlook to RFI Fellows from 2017-2018. He was featured in our Why Rural? Why Now? video.


Thank you, UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service, for all you do for students and rural communities in Nebraska!