Faculty Spotlight: Jamie Bright

Jamie Bright
Meet Jamie Bright, Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension Educator in the Southern Panhandle of Nebraska.
May 2, 2022

About Jamie

I grew up in rural Sheridan County, Nebraska. After graduating from high school, I attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and then moved to Chicago with some college friends to experience big city life. After working at Northwestern University’s Pritzker Legal Research Center for about a year and a half, I decided to move back closer to my family. I then worked in Colorado and Wyoming in positions with AmeriCorps for a few years before returning to Nebraska. I opened a bookstore and coffee shop, The Sisters Grimm, which I ran for about five years in the village of Bushnell. After that I tried working in banking and insurance for a few years, but wanted to get back into more community-oriented work, so I started a master’s degree in community development through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I am the Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension Educator in the Southern Panhandle, covering the counties of Kimball, Banner, Scotts Bluff, Cheyenne, Morrill, Deuel, Garden, Keith and Arthur. RPN focuses on assisting communities with people attraction, community development leadership, regional food systems, community economic development, placemaking and community engagement in an effort to revitalize the rural areas of our state.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I was a member of the Kimball-Banner-Cheyenne County Extension Board for six years – that experience really led me to value the work done by Nebraska Extension.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

“Learner” is my top Gallup strength, so I truly appreciate the opportunities that abound for learning in an educational setting – whether through professional development trainings, seminars, conferences, simply visiting with colleagues, or other avenues.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Building a business from scratch with my family – everything from renovating the building, to learning basic start-up steps, to determining the best way to market a storefront located in a village of 120 people. Though we decided to close it after five years, it still gives me a sense of accomplishment.

What is something that most people don't know about you?

I attended a one-room country school in Sheridan County from kindergarten through 8th grade and then took high school correspondence courses through a University of Nebraska-Lincoln program my freshman year because I was too shy to go to the “big” high school in Rushville. I then overcame my shyness and attended high school in Rushville for 10th-12th grade.

What is your life like outside of work?

I’m still getting back into hobbies since I’ve spent the past two years completing my master’s degree, but I enjoy walking with my dog Macy, working in the yard/garden in the summer, experimenting with wine-making, traveling, reading and helping my husband Matt with his agricultural and small-engine repair business. I also attend any community meetings I have time for, partly for work and partly because I enjoy being involved in my community!