After hosting nearly 20 Bold Voices student segments and producing more than 30 episodes of the Rural Futures Podcast, I went on the other side of the microphone for an interview about my rural story, my RFI and NU experiences and my storytelling journey.
“I think that rural is a social justice issue,” said Katy Bagniewski, a senior studying agricultural and environmental sciences communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL).
Originally from a rural hobby farm outside of Rochester, Minn., Bagniewski found her way to the University of Nebraska when in town for a sheep show. For the past two years, she has worked at RFI as a storytelling intern, the production specialist of the podcast and the host of the Bold Voices student segment.
Bagniewski went on the other side of the microphone during the Bold Voices student segment of the Rural Futures Podcast Season 3 Finale at 13:27. The podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” is available on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, GooglePlay and Spotify.
“I really care about elevating voices and telling stories for causes that I care about,” she said. Aside from rural issues, some of these causes include mental health, social justice and female empowerment.
Her experience at RFI has opened her eyes to the challenges and opportunities in rural communities. “I’ve really become passionate about rural places since coming to Nebraska and starting at RFI,” she said.
Rural issues, she said, are social justice issues. “Rural needs to be funded and championed, and we need to be here to tell all the stories of the people and opportunities within it,” she added.
“I’m very thankful for the University of Nebraska and the role that they’ve ended up playing in my life,” she said. She said she’s thankful for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) and the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC) for facilitating a collaborative environment of students in her classes to solve grand challenges like food security and teach young people to communicate about the future of those issues.
She shared her advice for college students, which included preventing burnout, recognizing your own value and prioritizing your mental health and happiness.
Bagniewski will be staying in Lincoln, Neb., following her graduation on May 4, 2019, to pursue multimedia communications and freelance videography. “There is truly no place like Nebraska,” she added.