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Rural Renewal Symposium


The Rural Renewal Symposium and Prize 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.


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.


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.


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


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