Staff Q&A: Russell Shaffer

Meet Russell Shaffer, a communications specialist for Rural Prosperity Nebraska at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.
June 5, 2023

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

I am the communications specialist for Rural Prosperity Nebraska. 

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

The initial answer to this question isn’t romantic—my wife was coming to graduate school here, and I needed a job. So, a better question would be, “Why have you continued to stay at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?” The answer to that is the culture. The culture of IANR, Extension and RPN is a culture of comradery, support and encouragement. It’s a place where I feel valued. 

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

The aspect I enjoy most is being surrounded by people who want to help other people. Sometimes that looks like professors helping students learn. Sometimes that looks like my boss helping me do my job better. Often that looks like witnessing my coworkers help rural Nebraskans thrive. But no matter which way I look at it, I’m surrounded by people who want to help other people.  

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

I have two. Their names are Lizzie and Jack. 

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

I once got to watch the original Star Wars, in a movie theater, sitting next to Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). 

What is your life like outside of work?  

Life outside of work is pretty kid-centric. I have two young children, so I spend a lot of time with them. Lots of Legos. Lots of pretend play. A little bit of chauffeuring to lessons. During the summer, we like to kayak on the weekends. 

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