|Athena Ramos||Greg Karst, Ph.D.|
"Rural communities and their leaders face a complex, interwoven universe of factors that cannot be neatly split apart for observation and lone actions," said RFI Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. "RFI Fellows already understand this and have been working diligently throughout their careers to create solutions and opportunities for rural people and places.
"By bringing various disciplines of researchers together with community leaders in this purposeful way, we not only intend to help rural residents thrive, but to also give rural America a significant and consistent voice, and position it as vital to the future of our country."
Fifteen faculty researchers from the University of Nebraska and other institutions, as well as 10 community practitioners from across Nebraska have assembled to think strategically about opportunities in rural business, health care, education, technology and more. UNMC's Gregory Karst, Ph. D., executive associate dean of the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions, and Athena Ramos, community health program manager, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, UNMC College of Public Health, are among them.
"The Rural Futures Institute is an integral part of the University of Nebraska system because it really brings together different parts of the university," Ramos said. "We can think together, and we can work on common solutions to really important issues that our communities are facing across the state."
Dr. Karst became involved with the Rural Futures Institute with the expansion of College of Allied Health Professions' programs to the Health Science Education Complex (HSEC) on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.
"There is a natural synergy between the mission of the RFI, to support rural Nebraska communities, and the aim of the HSEC initiative, to improve access to health care by educating professionals committed to rural practice," he said. "I am honored to be named as a RFI Faculty Fellow and look forward to assisting in the vital work being done by the institute."
Through their work, RFI Fellows will connect with partners from across the NU system, scholars from other academic institutions and experts in the public and private sectors to strengthen their capacity for research and application. They will foster student experiences in concert with communities, strengthening the community-by-community presence of RFI throughout Nebraska, the Great Plains and the world.
Define "rural-community" for me in terms of a population base and distance to a large city? Thank you, Kgold@thebranddevelopmentgroup.com