Rural Matters is a biweekly, 30-minute podcast about rural education, business, and health. The podcast’s mission is to increase awareness, inform discussion, and expand the dialogue on the most important issues facing rural stakeholders every day. Guests on the podcast include rural education decision-makers, rural business owners and entrepreneurs, and rural health care representatives. The National Rural Education Association and the Center for Rural Affairs are marketing partners.
Achieving Rural Prosperity (Part I of Rural Prosperity Series) with The Ohio State University’s Linda Lobao, Cornell University’s Daniel Lichter, and the OECD’s Enrique Garcilazo
In this first episode of a new five-part series on the future of investing in rural prosperity, produced in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Michael chats with the following experts on achieving rural prosperity in America: Linda Lobao, Professor Emeritus in Rural Sociology and Distinguished Professor in Food, Agriculture, and Environment Sciences at The Ohio State University; Daniel Lichter, Ferris Family Professor Emeritus of Life Course Studies in the Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University; and Jose Enrique Garcilazo, Head of Regional and Rural Unit at the Center for Entrepreneurships, SMEs, Regions, and Cities at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
They discuss the role of local governments in achieving rural prosperity, how new immigrant groups may provide a demographic and economic lifeline to depopulating rural areas, the changing racial and ethnic composition of rural America, and the reception of local people and the business community to changing rural demographics. This episode, and the entire five-part series, is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. For more information, visit www.stlouisfed.org.
Visit bit.ly/3tIelpx to read Lichter’s article, “Opportunity and Place: Latino Children and America’s Future,” published in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
The views expressed by the podcast guests do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, or the Federal Reserve System.
Diving Into Place-Based Education Programs (Part VI of the Ascendium Series) with the University of Montana’s Jeb Puryear and Johns Hopkins University’s Jonathan Plucker
In the final installment of our six-part series on continuing rural postsecondary education and workforce development, produced in collaboration with and supported by the Ascendium Education Group, Michael chats with two education leaders who are doing some amazing work with rural colleges: Jeb Puryear, the Suzanne and Dave Peterson Endowed Professor of Gifted Education at the University of Montana and a former secondary science teacher and program coordinator who primarily studies creativity, talent development mechanisms, and programmatic inequities in educational settings; and Jonathan Plucker, the Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University and a former elementary school science teacher who studies education policy, creativity, and advanced learning in both K–12 and higher education settings.
Puryear and Plucker discuss place-based education and how it relates to rural education. They dive into the importance of data, the student shift from rural to urban settings, and how rural education programs can help to improve outcomes. Plus, they outline several examples of successful programs (e.g. Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State and The Nebraska Writing Project at the University of Nebraska). This episode, and the entire six-part series, is sponsored by the Ascendium Education Group, whose philanthropy aims to remove systemic barriers faced by certain learners, specifically first-generation students, incarcerated adults, veterans, students of color, and rural community members. For more information, visit ascendiumphilanthropy.org.
Living in Rural America —2022 and Beyond (RWJF Series, Part VI) with Dee Davis, David Lipsetz and Valerie Lefler
In this sixth and final installment of our excellent series, Living in Rural America —2022 and Beyond, produced in collaboration with and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle discusses the future of rural with three outstanding guests: Dee Davis, Founder and President of the Center for Rural Strategies; David Lipsetz, President and CEO of the Housing Assistance Council (HAC); and Valerie Lefler. Founder and Executive Director of Feonix — Mobility Rising.
Davis discusses the best options for small towns facing economic challenges, the political divide between urban and rural communities and its effect on democratic institutions, and the impact of divergent media in the rural space. Lipsetz talks about the impact of housing issues on health, wealth, and education in rural communities, and how his organization is helping rural communities take advantage of opportunities in this space. Lefler discusses transportation barriers faced by rural communities, the connection between rural healthcare and mobility challenges, and how Feonix is working to provide solutions in these areas. This episode and the entire six-part series is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation., the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. For more information on RWJF, visit rwjf.org or on Twitter @rwjf.
The Importance of Digital Skills and Leadership in Rural Postsecondary Education (Part V of the Ascendium Series) with Achieving the Dream’s Cindy Lopez and Meredith Hatch and the Belk Center’s Monica Clark
In Part V of our six-part series on continuing rural postsecondary education and workforce development, produced in collaboration with and supported by the Ascendium Education Group.
Michelle chats with three education leaders who are doing some amazing work with rural colleges: Cindy Lopez, Executive Director of Network Engagement at Achieving the Dream, who oversees designated ATD Network services, such as multiyear transformation initiatives for unique groups of colleges that includes minority-serving institutions and regional groups, as well as ATD’s Building Rural Resiliency for the Future of Work project; Meredith Hatch, Director of Network Relations at Achieving the Dream, who provides leadership to identify and scale promising practices for use across the ATD Network of 300+colleges as well as serving as program manager for Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work project; and Monica Clark, deputy director for the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research.
Lopez and Hatch discuss how ATD helps colleges build digital skills capacity and supports for low-income rural community college students to enter and have success in earning credentials that prepare them for high-quality jobs, and the importance of equity in college transformation. Clark describes the mission of her organization, the importance of data, the lessons learned from the Rural College Leaders program, and how the Belk Center is building on work that is already happening in North Carolina and nationally to support rural institutions.
This episode and the entire six-part series is sponsored by the Ascendium Education Group, whose philanthropy aims to remove systemic barriers faced by certain learners, specifically first-generation students, incarcerated adults, veterans, students of color, and rural community members. For more information, visit ascendiumphilanthropy.org
Living in Rural America, 2022 & Beyond—Success Stories (Part V, RWJF) with Dominic Capello, Katherine Ortega Courtney, and Matt Probst
Synopsis: In Part V of our six-part series, Living in Rural America, produced in collaboration with and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle discusses Rural Economic & Cultural Success Stories: Lesson Learned from Thriving Communities, with Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Capello, the two authors of the landmark book, 100% Community, Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving and Matt Probst, medical director of El Centro Family Health and a driving force behind the 100% San Miguel (New Mexico) County Initiative.
Probst discusses how he is helping to lead an effort to combat the current wildfires in New Mexico, the worst in state history. He also details the five activities that all communities should maintain to survive and the five necessary activities to thrive in any community. The panel also talks about the history of 100 Percent Community, which started before the pandemic; how their organization addresses a variety of rural issues; what makes their organization unique; and its processes for enabling success in communities.
This episode and the entire six-part series is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. For more information on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, visit rjwf.org
Equity Issues in Living in Rural America (Part IV of the RWJF Series) with Mil Duncan
In this episode, the fourth in our six-part series, Living in Rural America, produced in collaboration with and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle chats with Mil Duncan, Professor Emerita in Sociology at the University of New Hampshire and Senior Fellow at the Meridian Institute. Her work focuses on opportunity and social change in rural communities. Duncan was the founding director of the Carsey Institute at UNH and is the author of Worlds Apart: Poverty and Politics in Rural America. Duncan discusses her research about equity and opportunity in rural America, the historical roots of deep poverty in rural places, and the role of politics as a potential equity change agent. This episode and the entire six-part series is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. For more information on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, visit rjwf.org
As president of a rural community college, I appreciate this podcast. The view from rural America is an important perspective on policy matters related to education, infrastructure, health & wellness, and economic vitality. Thank you.
I grew up in Boston and now live in LA and have zero experience living in a rural area, which is why I like this podcast. It’s educational about the issues that matter in rural America, and that should matter to the rest of the country too. The host is positive and enthusiastic and does a great job explaining all of the topics.
Can’t believe I’ve only now just discovered this podcast! It’s incredible the knowledge of the hosts and guests that are on. I especially appreciate the discussions about rural schools - the issues we are facing today and the future we can look forward to. So thankful for this content and please keep up the good work.