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40 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
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.
37 minutes | Jun 13, 2022
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.
52 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
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.
36 minutes | May 26, 2022
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
46 minutes | May 25, 2022
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
39 minutes | May 10, 2022
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
35 minutes | Apr 25, 2022
Engaging Employers to Benefit Rural Students (Ascendium Part IV) with Dani Douglas, John Fitzsimmons, and Joshua Howe
In this fourth installment of the fabulous series we’re doing in collaboration with and supported by the Ascendium Education Group, Michelle interviews three professionals with hands-on experience collaborating with employers to help rural learners: Dani Douglas, a Research and Policy Associate at the Center on Rural Innovation; Dr. John Fitzsimmons, President of The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges; and Joshua Howe, Deputy Executive Director for Workforce Training and Remote Working for the Maine Community College System. Douglas discusses why rural places should care about having tech jobs and businesses in their communities and success stories in rural areas. Fitzsimmons talks about the role of the Maine Advisory Council on remote work and the importance of certification in this space. Howe provides an overview of the Remote Work for Maine program, and the kinds of jobs for which workers are being trained. 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
51 minutes | Apr 22, 2022
Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners — Part IV, PelotonU with Rocío Rangel, Drew Garretson, Francis Vigil, and Sarah Saxton-Frump
In this final installment of our fabulous four-part series, Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners, produced in collaboration with and underwritten by PelotonU, Michelle chats with four terrific guests who provide additional perspectives on the rural learning experience: Rocío Rangel, Director of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at Eastern Washington University; Drew Garretson, Senior Director of Digital Experience at Ceres Solutions Cooperative; Francis Vigil, Tribal Education Specialist for the National Indian Education Association; and Sarah Saxton-Frump, Co-Founder and COO of PelotonU. Rangel discusses whether the current k-12 education system serves migrant farmworker students and the gaps in existing higher education programs in serving these learners. Garretson talks about the major employment challenges associated with rural communities, touching on talent retention strategies; agriculture technology; and creating a successful collaborative and entrepreneurial ecosystem in rural communities. Vigil discusses the impact of rurality on Native American learners and the possible pitfalls of virtual learning. Saxton-Frump talks about how PelotonU is designed to be flexible and supportive, and their hope that this model might help rural learners achieve their college goals This episode and the entire four-part series is sponsored by PelotonU, whose innovative and regionally accredited degree options flip the script on rural education and enable you to fit college around your life rather than fitting your life around college. Try it for six weeks absolutely risk-free and no money down. Visit PelotonU.org to get started.
8 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Bonus Brief 2022 #2: Biden Administration Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu
In our second bonus brief episode of 2022, Michelle is joined by former New Orleans Mayor, and current Biden Administration Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu to discuss how the President’s $1.2 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help rebuild rural America. Mitch and Michelle begin their discussion by commenting on the poor conditions of America’s rural infrastructure, and how President Biden is keeping his promise to rural Americans to help rebuild. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has money allotted to assist rural communities with clean drinking water, fixing roads and bridges, increasing broadband internet access, modern wastewater systems, EV charging stations, and affordable electricity. “You want to design systems that are designed to make people healthy and happy, and bring them together… The President wants to make sure that everybody in rural America knows, not only that he sees them, but that he made a promise to invest in rural America and he is delivering on that promise,’ said Landrieu. Mitch also discussed the Biden Administration’s Rural Toolkit, which lets people know what programs there are, how much is in them, how to get them, and how to access them. You can find the Rural Toolkit at Build.gov/rural. Lastly, Michelle and Mitch discussed the Biden’s Administration's focus on fixing transportation in rural America by repairing 15,000 rural bridges, considering public transportation needs, and focusing on high-speed rails connecting communities. If you want to listen to our last Bonus Brief with Biden Administration Deputy Secretary Don Graves, click here!
43 minutes | Apr 14, 2022
Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners (Part III of PelotonU) with Laura Wise, Regan Kelly, and Maria Luna-Torres
In Part III of our superb series, Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners, produced in collaboration with and underwritten by one of our most exciting new partners, PelotonU. Michelle chats with three terrific guests about pathways for collaboration with rural communities: Laura Wise, Program Director for the Michigan State University College Advising Corps (MSUCAC), which supports college access for low-income, first-generation, and under-represented students; Regan Kelly from TNTP, who oversees academic work and leads teams of experts to support literacy instruction in districts across the state of Tennessee; and Maria Luna-Torres, Project Director at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, where she manages the implementation of AgriLife’s Rural Student Success demonstration project. Wise discusses the mission of her organization, the challenges she observes when college advisors enter rural communities to support students, and best practices for organizations to follow to more effectively engage with their communities. Kelly talks about the lessons she has learned from her work in Tennessee and tips for success in partnering with rural communities. Luna-Torres touches on lessons learned from her experience as Director of the Rural Student Success Initiative, and how she approaches outreach in a state as large as Texas. This episode, and the entire four-part series, is sponsored by PelotonU, whose innovative and regionally accredited degree options flip the script on higher education and allow learners to fit college around their lives rather than fitting their lives around college. Learners can try it for six weeks risk-free with no money down. Visit PelotonU.org to get started.
47 minutes | Apr 10, 2022
The Incredible Work of Education Design Lab & Partners (Ascendium Part III) with Leslie Daugherty, Kathy Temple-Miller, Dana Cotton, and Joe Davis
In the third installment of our superb six-part series produced in collaboration with and supported by the Ascendium Education Group, Michelle chats with Leslie Daugherty, Senior Education Designer at the Education Design Lab; Kathy Temple-Miller, Dean of Student Success at Washington State Community College in Ohio; Dr. Dana Cotton, an instructor and Interim Chair of the English, Communications, and Humanities Department at the College of Eastern Idaho; and Joe Davis, a workforce professional with more than 13 years working in rural communities in the Finger Lakes Region in New York. Daugherty speaks to the Education Design Lab’s five community college partners and the four principles of the Lab’s Human-Centered Design Process. Temple-Miller talks about how community colleges can be trusted hubs within their communities and the obstacles rural learners face that need to be overcome, including flexible schedules for adult learners and evening child care options. Davis discusses his role as the Employment and Training Programs Supervisor in Yates County and how he came to partner with Finger Lakes Community College on the BRIDGES project. Cotton talks about how the College of Eastern Idaho serves a large geographic area and how it reached out to communities outside of the Idaho Falls region in the pilot phase. 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
41 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners (Part II of PelotonU Series) with Dr. Marion Terenzio, James Decker, and Miriam Hoffman
In Part II of our fabulous four-part series we’re producing in collaboration with and supported by PelotonU, called Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners, Michelle discusses decisions rural learners have to make to pursue their educational goals and why and how rural learners choose whether to stay in their communities or leave to pursue education opportunities elsewhere, with three excellent guests: Dr. Marion Terenzio, president of the SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill; James Decker, who is serving his second term as mayor of his hometown, Stamford, Texas; and Miriam Hoffman, who is studying agribusiness economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Terenzio says it’s important to understand that the community helps shape a university’s agenda with its learners. Her university’s initiative, based on a Thriving College, Thriving Community mindset, helps create regional economic development. The Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill, with its five Centers, including its important Ag Innovation Center, is having a positive impact on this economic development, which complements the university’s community partnership goals and its superb applied learning capabilities. Decker discusses why he decided to return to his community after college and how leaders can encourage rural residents to return to their communities and help deal with rural community “brain drain.” Hoffman discusses how her college peers perceive her hometown and how it influenced her perception of the value of returning to a rural setting. This episode and the entire four-part series is sponsored by PelotonU, whose innovative and regionally accredited degree options flip the script on higher education and allow learners to fit college around their lives rather than fitting their lives around college. Learners can try it for six weeks risk-free with no money down. Visit PelotonU.org to get started.
39 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners (Part I of PelotonU Series) with Van Davis, Matt Newlin,, and Cyndi Gonzalez
In this first of our four-part series, Designing Postsecondary Alternatives for Rural Learners, produced in collaboration with and supported by PelotonU, Michelle chats with three terrific guests about the latest trends and statistics pertaining to rural learners and rural education, best practices for engaging student support, and actual rural learner experiences: Dr. Van Davis, chief strategy officer with WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies); Matt Newlin, who has 15 years' experience creating equitable pathways for low-income, first-generation students and is currently on the leadership team of the NACAC Rural & Small Town Special Interest Group, and host of the Rural College Student Experience podcast; and Cyndi Gonzalez, a recent rural graduate, who has faced challenges involving paying for community college and lack of accessibility to internet services. Davis describes the importance of geography in shaping higher education opportunity in the United States, the role played by rural-serving institutions, the vexing problem of “higher education deserts,” how online higher education affects rural learners, and the importance of equity in the rural space. Newlin talks about what institutions are missing about the rural student experience in college, such as isolation, and provides several examples of institutions doing a good job of supporting rural students, and the strengths that rural students bring to campus and their peers; Gonzales discusses both her positive and negative experiences as a rural learner, and why she chose PelotonU. This episode and the entire series is sponsored by PelotonU, whose innovative and regionally accredited degree options flip the script on higher education and allow learners to fit college around their lives rather than fitting their lives around college. Learners can try it for six weeks risk-free with no money down. Visit PelotonU.org to get started.
40 minutes | Mar 24, 2022
Supporting Rural Hospitals (RWJF, Part III) with Ge Bai, Keith Mueller, and Sally Buck
In Part III of this series, Life in Rural America — 2022 and Beyond — produced in collaboration with and underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle chats with Ge Bai, Professor of Accounting at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Keith Mueller, Gerhard Hartman Professor in Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa and Director of the Rural Policy Research Institute and its Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis; and Sally Buck, CEO of the National Rural Health Resource Center. Ge discusses the recent financial challenges and most important issues facing rural hospitals today, such as low occupancy rate. Mueller talks about how rural hospitals can retain the brand of the “blue H” while no longer being dependent on the volumes of inpatient care for their identity. He notes that certain hospitals have been able to achieve “turnarounds” through a variety of measures, including developing a mix of services, collaborating with other institutions in the community and, for new CEOs, totally immersing themselves in the community and meeting their population’s health needs. Buck points out the attributes and best practices that make certain CAHs more financially viable than others, the burnout and turnover conundrum, and how federal programs can improve the financial and quality performance of hospitals in rural 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, visit rwjf.org or @rwjf on Twitter.
33 minutes | Mar 10, 2022
ARRC’s Landmark Report on RSIs with RSIs with Andrew Koricich, Alisa Hicklin Fryar, and Cecilia Orphan
In Part II of our superb six-part series produced in collaboration with and underwritten by the Ascendium Education Group, Michelle chats with three academic researchers who are responsible for the new groundbreaking report published by the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges, (ARRC) called Introducing Our Nation’s Rural Serving Postsecondary Institutions: Dr. Andrew Koricich, an associate professor of higher education at Appalachian State University and ARRC's executive director; Dr. Cecilia Orphan, an associate professor in the Higher Education Department at the University of Denver, and ARRC’s director of partnerships; and Dr. Alisa Hicklin Fryar, professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma and ARRC’s director of data. The discussion focused on the importance of having a metric for identifying Rural-Serving Institutions (RSIs); the impact of the pandemic on RSIs; the debunking of certain stereotypes surrounding rural areas and race; the undeniable impact of rural colleges; the rise of RSIs in serving communities facing demographic and economic challenges; and rural workforce development. To learn more about ARRC, this incredible project, or view their collection of resources, you can visit regionalcolleges.org or follow them on Twitter (@ARRC_Research) and LinkedIn. This episode and the entire six-part series is sponsored by the Ascendium Education Group. www.ascendiumphilanthropy.org
33 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
AAMI’s BMET Apprenticeship Program with Danielle McGeary and Maggie Berkey
Synopsis: Michelle chats with Danielle McGeary, Vice President of HTM for the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and Maggie Berkey, CBET, Senior Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) for CommonSpirit Health at the Good Samaritan campus in Nebraska, about AAMI’s innovative BMET Apprenticeship Program. McGeary and Berkey developed this program in collaboration with AAMI’s healthcare technology management community and the U.S. Department of Labor. The two-years program is a hybrid of on-the-job training and education (two college courses). Rural hospitals should consider taking advantage of this landmark initiative not only to help meet their short-term needs without having to retrain existing staff but also to deal with the issue of the long-term aging of the BMET workforce. The minimum eligibility requirements for entry into this nationally registered apprenticeship program, which is about six months old, are either a high school diploma or GED. An entry-level BMET begins at $25 per hour but eventually can make a six-figure yearly income. For more information about hosting or applying for the BMET Apprenticeship Program, visit https://www.aami.org/htm/bmet-apprenticeship.
49 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
How Rural is Managing the Pandemic (RWJF Part II) with Dr. Don Albrecht, Patrick Woodie, and Karen Jackson
In Part II of this six-part series — Living in Rural America, 2022 and Beyond — produced in collaboration with and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle chats with three experts on how rural America is dealing with the pandemic and other significant issues. Dr. Don Albrecht, Director of the Western Rural Development Center (WRDC), who has published research on the impact of COVID-19 on rural areas; Patrick Woodie, President of the NC Rural Center; and Karen Jackson, President of Apogee Strategic Partners, LLC, a Virginia firm specializing in developing and implementing technology and innovation strategies and programs. Albrecht discusses: why most rural economies have been stagnant or declining for decades, what thriving rural communities look like, and why per capita COVID-19 deaths in rural America are higher than in urban areas. Woodie details how rural business has fared in North Carolina and the importance of access and funding broadband in rural areas. Jackson describes how there has been influx of rural remote workers during the pandemic (a “silver lining” echoed by the other two guests), as well as how rural areas can position themselves at this time to capitalize on post-COVID opportunities. 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. Find out more about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at rwjf.org or on Twitter, @rwjf.
46 minutes | Feb 4, 2022
Funding Access to Postsecondary Education with Kirstin Yeado, Shanell Watson, Denise Callahan, and Allison Pennington (Ascendium Part I)
In the first installment of our six-part series produced in collaboration with and underwritten by the Ascendium Education Group, Michelle chats with Kirstin Yeado, a program officer at Ascendium responsible for strategic grantmaking in support of Ascendium’s Rural Education and Workforce Training program.: Shanell Watson, a program officer with the Woodward Hines Education Foundation, a foundation that has focused on increasing postsecondary access and completion for Mississippi residents since 1995.; Denise Callahan, the Director of Postsecondary Success at The Ford Family Foundation in Oregon; and Allison Pennington, Programs & Strategy Associate for Greater Texas Foundation, a private foundation focused on helping more Texans complete postsecondary credentials. In this first part of our 2022 series — a continuation of our terrific series produced with Ascendium last year — Yeado discusses how her organization seeks to remove obstacles faced by learners from low-income backgrounds, investing in high-quality, actionable research, and implementing evidence-based strategic initiatives for learners. Watson discusses essential tools that funders need to successfully build relationships with partners to implement programs in rural communities and how her organization learns strategies for success through its Get2College programming and grantmaking efforts, such as the Global Teaching Project. Callahan discusses why The Ford Family Foundation focuses almost exclusively on rural communities, why success in education beyond high school is such an important part of the foundation’s work, and the findings from its 2021 report, “Supporting Rural Students in Oregon in High School and Beyond: A Study of College Enrollment, Persistence, Transfer, and Completion Outcomes.” Pennington discusses why Greater Texas Foundation intentionally funds rural communities and highlights examples of successful rural postsecondary education collaboratives in Texas, including Rural College Promise and West Texas Rural Resilience and Opportunity on the High Plains. This episode and the entire six-part series is supported by the Ascendium Education Group. www.ascendiumphilanthropy.org
37 minutes | Feb 1, 2022
Improving Heart Health in Rural America with Dr. Jessica Barnes and Chip Pursell
Michelle chats about the incredibly important topic of heart health in Rural America with Dr. Jessica Barnes, co-founder and CEO of 20Lighter, LLC, an award-winning cardiometabolic health program targeting inflammation and visceral fat, the holy grail of cardiovascular and metabolic disease; and Irion “Chip” Pursell, M.P.H., R.N., B.S.N., the director of cardiology research at UAMS in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Principal Investigator of the UAMS Lincoln Project. Pursell describes how the workings of this unique initiative, which is based on a strategy for community engagement and an ultimate goal of improving cardiovascular health in highly underserved areas of the Arkansas Delta. Local engagement is crucial to increase wellness measures and target obesity in a region where economic and health disparities have life-altering consequences for residents, explains Pursell. Dr. Barnes discusses the role 20Lighter plays in the UAMS Lincoln Project, including focusing on proactive engagement of at-risk patients. Her program addresses a medical condition associated with a variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and COVID-19. The UAMS Lincoln Project is in progress, with results expected later this year. Want to learn more about 20Lighter and the UAMS Lincoln Project? Visit 20Lighter.com/ArkansasDelta and UAMS Lincoln Project.
49 minutes | Jan 28, 2022
Myths & Realities of Living in Rural America (Part I of RWJF Series) with John Pender, Mark Partridge, Kai Schafft, and Brock Slabach
In Part I of our six-part series, Living in Rural America — 2022 and Beyond, produced in collaboration with and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle discusses myths and realities of the rural experience today with four experts in this space: John Pender, a senior economist in the Rural Economy Branch of the USDA Economic Research Service; Mark Partridge, Swank Chair of Rural-Urban Policy at Ohio State University; Kai Schafft, professor of Education and Rural Sociology at Penn State University where he directs the Center on Rural Education and Communities; and Brock Slabach, Chief Operating Officer at the National Rural Health Association. Pender discusses how rural residents and the rural economy are faring during the pandemic compared to metro areas and access to broadband and advanced telecommunication connectivity. Partridge talks about growth patterns, economic policy, federal funding, and technological developments affecting rural areas. Schafft focuses on the rural sociology and the Rural Sociological Society, rural schools and communities, mental health needs, and burnout among superintendent and teachers. Slabach also discusses how the pandemic has dramatically impacted rural health care workforces, population health, and incentives for improving rural health. This episode and the entire six-part series is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information, visit rwj.org
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