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


This symposium provides 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 includes 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 describe their studies and present the findings of their research projects.


View Slides from the 2023 Rural Renewal Symposium Main Sessions

Main Session 1

Main Session 2

Keynote Address

Main Session 3

Rural Scholar Posters



Symposium Abstracts

Rural Scholar Posters


2024 Symposium Information

The fifth annual Rural Renewal Symposium will be hosted in Ardmore, Oklahoma at Lake Murray Lodge on October 8-10, 2024. 


Attendees are responsible for booking their own accommodations. Hotel rooms are available at Lake Murray Lodge (580-223-6600) and overflow rooms are available at the Best Western Plus in Ardmore (580-223-3200) (make an online reservation at the Best Western). Both blocks are under Rural Renewal Initiative- Oklahoma State University.


Best Western block closes after 8/31/2024 and the Lake Murray Lodge block closes after 9/7/2024


The registration site is coming soon and will be linked below.

Registration for professionals is $150

Registration for students is $50

Registration for community members is $50


Rural Renewal Prizes 

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


The Rural Renewal Research Prize is awarded to a global leader in rural renewal research, education and engagement. The prize is open to individuals employed by colleges, universities or research institutions anywhere in the world, nominated by their colleagues. The prize includes a plaque and a cash award. 


Nomination information for the 2024 Rural Renewal Research Prize


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


Nomination information for the 2024 Rural Renewal Citizenship Prize



Rural Renewal Research Prize Winners

2023- Dr. Mary Emery

Professor, Agricultural Leadership, Director of Rural Prosperity Nebraska, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2022- Dr. Amy Price Azano

Associate Professor, Adolescent Literacy and Rural Education, Virginia Tech University

2021- Ben Winchester

Extension Educator, Community Economics, University of Minnesota Extension

2020- Dr. Steven Deller

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


Rural Renewal Citizenship Prize Winners

2023- Bethia Owens

Muldrow, Oklahoma

2022- Glen Winters

Altus, Oklahoma

2021- JaNae Barnard

Fairview, Oklahoma

2020- Karen Wages

Poteau, Oklahoma


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