PSU Opens Center for Rural Partnerships

October, 2006

thadThe Center for Rural Partnerships at PSU has been in existence for less than a year, but is already engaged in several outreach, research and educational projects in rural New Hampshire communities.

The Center for Rural Partnerships is dedicated to promoting the research and service that drive PSU’s role as a regional comprehensive university. Dr. Thaddeus C. Guldbrandsen, formerly of the University of New Hampshire, is director of the Center for Rural Partnerships. As part of the Center’s mission, Guldbrandsen works with community leaders, including elected officials, community groups, schools, developers and others to preserve and enhance New Hampshire’s rural quality of life. The needs of the community generate the goals of the Center, helping drive the research and service agenda.

Rural New Hampshire includes large portions of the state, including Coos, Grafton, Carroll, Belknap, Sullivan and Cheshire counties. PSU is in the geographic center of the state and serves as the literal rural center of New Hampshire. By leveraging its location and resources, the University can be a strong advocate for rural communities, said Guldbrandsen.

The Center has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide rural development training sessions that focus on demographic and economic trends. Plans are also underway to sponsor a community development conference, in conjunction with UNH Cooperative Extension.

Among many other projects, the Center for Rural Partnerships and the Center for the Environment will work together on the Initiative for Sustainable Rural Economics, to establish PSU as a leader in the study of natural and human resources in rural communities. With the help of U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a $500,000 grant for this project.

Visit the Center’s Web site to learn more .— Kristin Proulx Jarvis

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