Skip to main content

Rural Renewal Symposium


The Rural Renewal Symposium and Prizes are designed to raise awareness, attract resources and stimulate research toward solving grand challenges facing rural communities. 


This symposium will provide a unique opportunity for faculty, students and rural community members from across the U.S. and around the world to connect with others and learn about the latest discoveries, trends and approaches for rural renewal. Corporate partners, non-profit organizations, government and tribal leaders, and anyone with a passion for rural people and places are invited to participate. The symposium will include invited speakers, oral and poster presentations by researchers, round table discussions for community leaders, networking opportunities, and award presentations. The students from the Rural Scholars program will describe their studies and present the findings of their research projects.


Register now for the 2021 Rural Renewal Symposium on October 12th

Please plan to attend the annual Rural Renewal Symposium on October 12th, 2021 virtually. This interactive symposium is designed to connect researchers, rural community members, and government leaders and will feature invited speakers and the latest research on topics such as rural health care, youth leadership development, broadband access, and more. The Rural Renewal Citizenship and Rural Renewal Research prizes will also be awarded to distinguished leaders in rural renewal. An abbreviated agenda is below: 


9:00-9:30- Welcome, Symposium goals, and logistics

9:30-9:55- Research to improve rural health

10:00-10:50- Breakout sessions

11:00-11:30- Research to enhance rural broadband access and digital literacy

11:30-12:00- Quantitative approaches to capturing rural sustainability

Lunch Break

1:00-1:15- Rural renewal activities in OAEC

1:15-1:30- Rural renewal activities in AARP

1:30-1:45- Rural renewal activities in OCES

1:50-2:50- Breakout sessions

3:00-3:30- Rural Renewal Research Prize winner recognition and keynote address

3:30-3:45- Rural Renewal Citizenship Prize winner recognition and acceptance speech

3:45-4:00- 2022 Rural Scholars Program update and Symposium wrap-up



New this year, the Rural Renewal Initiative will also be hosting a pre-Symposium capacity-building workshop on October 11th from 1:00 to 2:45 p.m. This dynamic workshop will feature breakout groups for community members seeking help to identify and respond to grant opportunities, for researchers interested in developing new collaborations, and for government leaders wanting to learn about successful policies and programs to stimulate rural renewal. Email to register for this free workshop! 


Rural Renewal Prizes 

A highlight of the symposium will be awarding the Rural Renewal Research Prize and the Rural Renewal Citizenship Prize


The Rural Renewal Research Prize will be awarded to a global leader in rural renewal research, education and engagement. The prize will be open to individuals employed by colleges, universities or research institutions anywhere in the world, nominated by their colleagues. The prize will include a plaque and a cash award. Find nomination instructions for the Research Prize here. 


The Rural Renewal Citizenship Prize will be awarded to a leader who has made an important contribution to the renewal of one or more rural communities in Oklahoma. This prize is designed to recognize a person who shows true leadership qualities, is an exceptional role model, promotes community welfare, and advocates for community needs. The prize will include a plaque and a cash award. Find nomination instructions for the Citizenship Prize here.


Rural Renewal Research Prize Winners

2020- Dr. Steven Deller

Professor, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison 


Rural Renewal Citizenship Prize Winners

2020- Karen Wages

CEO Poteau Chamber of Commerce, Poteau, Oklahoma


Back To Top
SVG directory not found.