2023 MANRRS National Training Conference and Career Expo

OSU MANRRS Chapter – Conference Report submitted by Wanda Crannell
Atlanta, Georgia, April 12 – 16, 2023

“OSU MANRRS Chapter representation at the National MANRRS Conference was truly heart-warming exhibiting professionalism and kindness.  Watching the students learn and grow professionally while supporting each other in their goals was a remarkable experience. Seeing this diverse group of students form a community of scholars supporting each other, makes me realize how fortunate I am to be their advisor.”

As a Chapter Advisor, I attended General Sessions, advisor meetings, along with professional and general business meetings and workshops.  These included:

  • Essentials of the Grant Writing Process, a brief overview followed by an interactive workshop using a Jeopardy-style team challenge to learn and answer questions about how the USDA NIFA grant process works and how to submit applications.
  • Collaborate. Cultivate. Motivate.  A student panel of regional MANRRS officers led by Dr. Tina Wu, MANRRS Chapter liaison, provided Chapter building ideas and activities.
  • Why MANRRS? What Makes Us Stand Out From Others on Campus.  Dr. Tina Wu, provided a series of questions and challenges for advisor groups from Chapters across the country to provide problem-solving and sharing of Chapter Best Practices.

Best contact and connection was Zachary Brown who shared Purdue MANRRS Chapter sponsorship ideas and ways to engage others in chapter activities while providing support and funding for their chapter.  I will be following up with Zac to obtain some of their specific resources to see how OSU MANRRS Chapter can incorporate similar ideas and practices.

group of OSU MANRRS students seated at a dining table
botanical garden flower

Attending the Atlanta Botanical Garden with our Chapter was an amazing and fun activity. The orchid display was truly outstanding.  Additionally, it was terrific to see our students support each other by attending Oral Research Presentations (Dennet, David, and Todd), Poster Presentation (Liz), Impromptu Contest (Venecia), and Region VI Candidate speeches (Victoria). 

David Bugarin Renteria and Elizabeth Lopez and Dennet Flores presenting oral research and research poster

David Bugarin Renteria presenting oral research
Elizabeth Lopez presenting a research poster
Dennet Flores presenting oral research

We celebrated the election of Victoria to the Region VI undergraduate Vice President position, and look forward to her representation of our Region in the coming year.  Connecting with our Jr. MANRRS Chapter students and Advisor, Leigh Rappaport, from RoseMary Anderson High School in Portland, OR, allowed OSU MANRRS Chapter members to mentor and support these students.  Annebelle, received 2nd place in the Jr. MANRRS Essay Contest, and the first award to our Jr. MANRRS Chapter members ever.

2023 MANRRS banquet
Wanda Crannell and Student

The Career Fair provided a wealth of opportunities, and I was excited to see more non-profit and sustainability organizations than ever before.  I was able to provide a connection for two students with John Deere, that they may not have considered their fit in this company, but upon further discussion came away with valuable insight and information. I also learned about an internship program with the National Park Service Public Lands Internship Program (PLIP) that I had not previously heard about shared by Trevino Henderson. 

Keynote presentations from author and Distinguished Chair of Integrated Environmental Studies, Dr. Monica Marie White on the experiences of black and brown farmers both historic and contemporary was enlightening and inspiring.  The books and resources shared will become part of our library. Messages from Tom Vilsack and Jackie Joyner Kersee provided motivation and direction for overcoming obstacles and future directions for agriculture and sustainable food production for producers and engaging communities.

2023 MANRRS Conference Banquet

Re-connecting with OSU MANRRS Chapter Alumni, Jasmine Brown now attending Michigan State University and Melinda Guzman, attending University of Georgia, both pursuing their Ph.D. degrees was a highlight.  Both still consider OSU MANRRS their home and family and provided inspiration for our current members to see opportunities beyond their BS degrees in higher education. Melinda and Jasmine provided mentorship to our undergraduate students sharing their advice and experiences at their current schools and in their programs of forestry and plant pathology.

I was more than honored and touched to be among the nominees for National Chapter Advisor of the Year and cannot adequately express my gratitude to our Chapter members for taking the time and for considering me for this award. Further highlights were celebrating Venecia Rollins and Todd Anderson receiving top awards, 2nd in Impromptu Speaking and 1st in the graduate 3-minute thesis contests, respectively.

Venecia Rollins and Todd Anderson receiving top awards, 2nd in Impromptu Speaking and 1st in the graduate 3-minute thesis contests, respectively.
MANRRS award recipients

Last, but certainly not least, the OSU MANRRS Chapter received Region VI Outstanding Chapter Award followed by a National 3rd place among over 75 Chapter across the country in the Chapter of the Year Award in recognition of our outstanding community service, educational outreach, leadership development and professional development activities conducted throughout the entire year. Go Beavs! The OSU Chapter is truly Aspiring to Inspire, and I look forward to the upcoming year and next year’s conference in Chicago.

MANRRS student group photo
MANRRS faculty group photo

OSU MANRRS and Jr. MANRRS Chapter students and faculty attending 2023 National Conference

Thanks to OSU College of Agricultural Sciences, ER Jackman Friends and Alumni, Agricultural Research Foundation, National MANRRS, USDA NIFA REEU grant, and NW Farm Credit Services for their generous support!