The opinions expressed in these publications are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Rural Insights or its members.
The Opinion Section is meant as a place where we share opinions of people with some expertise and/or thoughts that are relevant to issues of importance in public policy, both in rural areas and a broader community. This section is not meant as a typical "Letters to the Editor" section but more like Op Ed sections we see in major newspapers and journals.
If you would like to submit an Op Ed/Opinion article please email david@ruralinsights with your proposed Op Ed. We will review and decide if we wish to publish what you have sent us. We reserve the right to publish or not publish what is submitted.
We look forward to reading your opinion pieces.
Longtime Marquette-area educator Pamela Spady gives a detailed account on what distance learning looks like for the four school districts in Gogebic County.
“The increased use of telemedicine and telehealth has been a breakthrough for rural health,” says Dennis Smith in his analysis of how telemedicine has expanded in America and the role this technology has played in rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NMU Professor of Geography and former Dean of Arts & Sciences weights in on the long-term challenges he believes the Upper Peninsula will face as a result of changes in demographics, employment structure, and economic diversification.
David Aro, General Manager and Partner at Superior Rehabilitation & Professional Services, gives his perspective on COVID-19’s impact on rural independent healthcare. “Our population base and infrastructure make virtually every aspect–prevention supplies, detection, treatment supplies, and alternative treatment options–more difficult.”
Educational challenges affect students in rural areas differently than in urban and suburban areas. Without sufficient access to technology like computers and high-speed internet, rural students are not going to have the same educational opportunities simply because of where their family calls home.
“Nothing was the same. The friends I had known two decades ago were gone, or exactly as they had been 22 years earlier; my family were older, many had passed, and the number of people crowded all around me was a difficult situation to adjust to.” Army Veteran Michael Rutledge, who served two decades in the service, provides insight into the challenges returning home and how the rural lifestyle of Marquette and the Upper Peninsula helped him readjust.
“My experiences growing up in a small rural town have given me a unique understanding of and appreciation for rural communities–so much so that I, like many others, have happily chosen to return to a rural area to work and raise my family.” Dr. Greg Ghiardi of Marquette gives an insightful personal account of what “rural” means to him in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.