Trevor Harlow discusses rural-urban collaboration on Episode 15 of Rural Futures Podcast

October 30, 2018 — Trevor Harlow, senior political science and environmental studies double major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), doesn’t shy away from perspective-gaining experiences.

Raised in Waterloo, Neb., a village of approximately 1,000, Harlow knew an urban setting was what he needed for his college experience. But during his time at UNO, he has reached out to rural areas of Nebraska as a Rural Futures Institute (RFI) Serviceship student and today as a featured student on the Rural Futures Podcast.

I think it’s really important and really critical to look at those different societies, those different ways of living in those different communities based upon the urban and rural pipeline, and see how they interact and how they affect the overall functioning of a society,” he says during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Episode 15 at 15:00.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms  iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

During his segment, Harlow shares the insights he gained after working, serving and living in Red Cloud, Neb., for 10 weeks during summer 2018. With his partner, Trenton Buhr of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harlow created a comprehensive economic development plan for the community. The target areas for growth within the plan are housing, business development, quality of life and tourism.

“It’s been one of the biggest impacts I’ve had in college, I would probably even say the biggest impact, honestly,” he says of his RFI Student Serviceship experience. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t really sure how I wanted to go about doing it. But just getting an opportunity just to work in that kind of setting, city planning, developing a plan, critically analyzing a community and looking at its benefits and what it can improve upon, that really got me thinking about that the public administration route is what I want to do — that’s the future I want to pursue.”


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.