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Friday, August 26, 2011

USI to sponsor Southern Indiana Rural Communities Summit in September

Contact for more information:
Brandi Schwartz
Marketing Coordinator
Outreach & Engagement
In a collaborative effort, German American Bank, Perry Spencer Communications, and the University of Southern Indiana will sponsor the Southern Indiana Rural Communities Summit: Plugging the Brain Drain, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 8 at the Huntingburg Event Center.

Over the past decade, rural counties in southwest Indiana have lost 15 percent of their young adult population ages 25 to 44. As a result, these counties have lost an important portion of their tax base, have fewer children in rural schools, a less youthful energy, and a decrease in community leadership. If these trends continue, the "brain drain" will be difficult to reverse.

The summit will explore the effects of brain drain on rural Indiana communities while allowing participants the opportunity to collaborate with local leaders and elected officials to develop solutions for southern Indiana.

Topics will include, Changing Demographics of Rural Indiana: Our Schools and Communities, Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America, and Best Practices in Indiana and Beyond. Presenters will include Dr. Sue Ellspermann, director of the USI Center for Applied Research, Dr. Mohammed Khayum, dean of the USI College of Business, Charmaine McDowell, director of USI Center for Human Resource Development, and David Terrell, executive director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The event will also feature a facilitated session defining the challenges and ideas that will create actions to help reverse the brain drain in smaller communities throughout southern Indiana.

State legislators, local elected officials, school administrators, community leaders, and business leaders are encouraged to attend. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman will join participants during lunch to share words of encouragement.

"The goal of the event is to ensure that rural leaders understand the magnitude and impending impact of brain drain on our rural communities," said Ellspermann. "They will have an opportunity to become engaged in developing solutions that our communities, economic developers, schools, and elected officials can put into place to increase the likelihood that young adults will choose to make our rural communities home."

Registration is free and breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For more information, or to register, contact USI's Division of Outreach and Engagement at 812/464-1989 or 800/467-8600. Registrations can also be completed online at with course number PSV251. The registration deadline is Friday, September 2.

Prepared by Sara Bealor, communications intern in the Center for Applied Research

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