UNL Student Body President, Student Regent discusses leadership on Rural Futures Podcast


March 13, 2019 — “At the end of the day, you need to be able to inspire folks to think about what hasn’t yet been,” said University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) senior Hunter Traynor. The Elkhorn, Neb., native is studying political science with intentions of attending the University of Nebraska College of Law this upcoming fall.

He joined Bold Voices host Katy Bagniewski for the student segment on Episode 23 of the Rural Futures Podcast featuring Betty Borden, Director of the Japan Society Innovators Network. Listen at 8:49 across platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

Traynor is a natural leader who enjoys keeping a full plate and working with as many people as he can. “Leadership is the art of inspiring others to want to struggle for shared aspirations,” he said.

He serves in a dual role as UNL Student Regent and as the president of the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska (ASUN), the governing student body at UNL.

“I have been able to articulate a grand vision for what the organization currently is and what it should and could be in the future,” Traynor said of his leadership in ASUN. “And, then I need to convince everyone around us that it’s worth the time, effort and energy to struggle to achieve that vision,” he continued.

Ultimately, Traynor is passionate about his service to the UNL community. “I think I’ve been heavily involved on this University campus here in Lincoln since my freshman year,” he said. “I’m trying to take on leadership roles and trying to give back to the community here.”

The future of the relationship between rural and urban communities is a perennial question for states around the Midwest, according to Traynor. “We need leaders who are willing to be very honest and not drive wedges in between urban and rural communities for the sake of political gain,” he said.

He also shared his insights on the future of Nebraska and the importance of recruitment and retention in the state. “Our largest export in Nebraska isn’t our beef. It’s our people,” he said. “It’s something to leave sleep over, I think. Let’s keep them here. It’s a great place to live,” he continued.


About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.