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Rural Community Engagement Summit

October 30, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Are you looking to engage and support rural communities or is your campus located in a rural community? Join us October 30th to connect with peers and get new ideas and strategies for these unique settings.

Illinois Campus Compact along with Missouri Campus Compact, Iowa Campus Compact, and the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs are excited to host a Rural Community Engagement Summit with the support of Western Illinois University at their Quad Cities Campus. The day-long event will focus on the unique demographics of the rural Midwest and the role Higher Education can play in supporting sustainable rural communities.

Campus Compact membership institutions and community organizations can purchase tickets for $25, non-member institutions can purchase tickets for $50.

Scholarships available on a case by case basis. For questions or inquiries please contact Natalie Furlett at emob-asheyrgg {at} qrcnhy(.)rqh-89" href="mailto:%6E%66%75%72%6C%65%74%74%40%64%65%70%61%75%6C%2E%65%64%75">nfurlett {at} depaul(.)edu


9:00 am – Welcome and Introduction: Changes and Challenges in the Rural Midwest, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs 

10:00 am – Case Study Discussion: Opportunities for Strong, Impactful Rural Campus-Community Partnerships

  • Iowa Wesleyan University – President Steven Titus
  • Western Illinois University – Christopher D. Merrett, Director and Professor in the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
  • Jefferson College, Missouri – Amy Kausler, Professor of Psychology and Susan Welch, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Work

11:45 am – Lunch and Community Voices: What Works for Higher Education Engagement in Rural Areas 

  • Robert J. “Bob” Osterhaus purchased a community pharmacy in Maquoketa, Iowa in 1965 and gave it his family name. Since then, he has built a reputation as a committed community leader. He served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1995 to 2005. He is President of the board of directors for the Maquoketa Art Experience,  a non-profit organization established in 2008, located in downtown Maquoketa that is dedicated to arts education, fostering appreciation of the arts and to building community by engaging area residents in diverse creative activities. Bob also helped to lead the recent Layers of Maquoketa project, a partnerhip with the University of Iowa’s Office of Outreach and Engagement, which uncovered and celebrated the community’s history, stories, landscape, culture, and more. Last year, this work was recognized with Iowa Campus Compact’s Community Partnership Award.
  • Terry Pope is the current Economic Developer for Hancock County in Illinois. He is been a farmer for many years. He has also had leadership roles in the Illinois Farm Bureau. He also served as a school board member. He and Hancock County have worked with us on many issues, including our MAPPING (strategic visioning) program, small business development center (SBDC), attending our spring conference, and Midwest Community Development Institute, among other events and projects. He has also worked with Illinois Extension so he has had many opportunities to work with universities on community projects.
  • Peter Schwartzman is a faculty member at Knox College, who teaches environmental sciences. He has worked with students on community outreach projects. He has organized an environmentally-oriented festival called Bioneers that gets students and faculty involved in community-based solutions to social and environmental issues. He also serves on the Galesburg City Council. As a faculty member and elected official, he can see both sides of the community-university relationship.
  • Karen Mauldin-Curtis manages the Western Illinois University Peace Corps Fellows program. She served in the Peace Corps (Dominican Republic) and was a Peace Corps Fellow serving in Cambridge, Illinois, before taking over the reins of the Peace Corps Fellows program. She has placed dozens of WIU students (Peace Corps Fellows) into rural Illinois community internships. She can speak to the challenges of recruiting outreach-oriented students, finding meaningful community internship placements, and working with communities to ensure both students and communities benefit from the relationship.

1:15 pm – Small Group Discussions: How Can We Work Together to Support Higher Education Partnerships in Rural Communities?

Topics will be driven by attendees and include student engagement, community partnerships, faculty roles, and more.

2:15 pm – Group Discussion and Closing


October 30, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Iowa Campus Compact
Missouri Campus Compact
Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs


Western Illinois – Quad Cities