FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Michael K. Hanna Sr.
Hanna praises program that develops rural-urban leaders
HARRISBURG, July 27 – State Rep. Michael K. Hanna Sr., D-Clinton/Centre, today urged those interested in sharpening their skills and effectiveness as community leaders to consider applying for the Rural-Urban Leadership Program operated through the Penn State Extension office.
Hanna said the RULE Program – which encourages and fosters the development of adult community leaders from all segments of Pennsylvania – provides two-year fellowships to explore public issue engagement, inter-organizational networking, effective public decision making, strategic design, and sustainable relationships.
A cash contribution of $1,500 per year, or 8.3 percent of the fellowship value, is required. Also, RULE fellows are responsible for their own transportation costs to and from meeting sites, meals en route, some meals during study institutes, and a firm two-year time commitment.
Hanna said participants come from all lifestyles, including farmers and agribusiness, community leaders and officials, business and private industries, and education practitioners. They have different interests and goals, with one common thread: a commitment to public involvement in solving community problems.
“RULE is one of only 44 such programs in the world, with nearly 600 alumni, and its graduates are widely recognized as some of the most influential and ethically genuine leaders in Pennsylvania,” said Hanna. “They live sprinkled among us as leadership architects, seeking to impact public policy for the common good, through a commitment to positive community change.”
Hanna nominated three of the 23 members of the current RULE class: Gwen Bechdel, assistant to the president at Lock Haven University; Jim Vaina, environmental and sustainability director at First Quality in Centre County; and Chuck Williams, technical director at Avery Dennison Corp. in Clinton County.
“Each of them will take back to their community a greater understanding of rural-urban issues, public decision-making and the contextual framework in which decisions are made,” said Hanna. “Such knowledge is vital for anyone who wishes to make a real difference in society.”