The UC Davis chapter of a student organization that promotes and fosters the inclusion of underrepresented minorities in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences is the recipient of a 2021 UC President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership.
President Michael V. Drake presented the award at the Board of Regents virtual meeting in July, congratulating UC Davis Multiculturalism in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Allied Sciences, or MANRRS, for “really outstanding efforts and demonstrated leadership ”to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 on their peers.
“Specifically, MANRRS has helped UC Davis undergraduate and graduate students find community, develop skills to support their academic and career success, and connect to resources for over a year of blocking and distance learning. Please join me in congratulating these amazing UC Davis students.
“MANRRS has intensified”
Chancellor Gay S. May also spoke at the Regents’ meeting: “I would like to congratulate the President of MANRRS Abenezer Shankute, Vice president Carmen Banks and everyone involved in the program. They absolutely deserve this award.
The Chancellor continued, “When the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down, MANRRS stepped up efforts to engage with students, many of whom face social isolation and limited access to resources.”
In a typical year, MANRRS hosts networking events, social activities, and professional development workshops covering topics such as creating outstanding resumes and improving interview skills. It also invites guest speakers to discuss current issues or professional experiences.
In 2020-2021, MANRRS launched a mentoring program for students at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, or CA&ES. Shankute, a junior specializing in environmental science and management, and entering his second year as president of UC Davis MANRRS, said the program paired undergraduates, most of whom were freshmen or sophomores, with graduate students so they can connect with each other. socially and provide academic support.
“It has helped the students as a whole to be more cohesive and have a more community aspect during online school,” he said.
Chancellor May said mentoring from MANRRS and other services – workshops to connect students with industry professionals and programs to help students cope with stress – “was essential in helping students. first-generation, low-income and underserved students navigate the academic environment during COVID. “
FROM THE ORGANIZATION’S WEB PAGE: “MANRRS promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering all students, including under-represented groups, in the fields of agriculture, natural resources and related sciences.
“Care, love and passion”
Plant science professor Diane Beckles, one of MANRRS’s educational advisors for the past year, said that she and Sue Ebeler, associate dean of undergraduate programs at CA&ES, and Annie King, science professor animals, were impressed by the high standard of the students. of professionalism and organization.
Beckles said she was delighted to hear that the group is being honored for their commitment to supporting fellow students. She noted the “emotional intensity” that went into the work they did. “This job was driven by care, love and passion, and seeing it rewarded was one of the highlights of my year,” she said.
Shankute said MANRRS would likely use its $ 1,500 reward to expand the group’s impact on campus.
“I think one of the most important aspects of college is building relationships, and one barrier that keeps people from forming relationships is feeling like they don’t belong,” Shankute said. So the fact that MANRRS provides a place for students from all walks of life to come together and be friends and build relationships and at the same time make progress in their own professional or academic careers, is really great.