Student News

UK MANRRS invites campus to new community room

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Left to right: Harrison Goode, MANRRS Vice President, Jazmine Faulkner, MANRRS President, Mia Farrell, Associate Dean for Diversity, and Maya Horvath, MANRRS Student Council Rep, in the new community room in N24 Ag North. Photo by Seth Riker
UK students, faculty and staff are invited to the grand opening of the MANRRS Community Room on Wednesday, September 21 from 11:00 to 2:00.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2022) — When a shared purpose finds a shared place, communities flourish. And with a newly renovated space to call their own, one University of Kentucky student organization is ready to shine even brighter.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) has established a new community room for students in the UK Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (UK MANRRS) chapter. Named national chapter of the year seven times, UK MANRRS works year-round to diversify and advance agricultural, environmental and related science industries. 

“We are all minorities in this field who share a common goal of changing the narrative within the agriculture industry and making sure we all have a spot at the table,” said Jazmine Faulkner, UK MANRRS president. “Being able to share thoughts and values in a safe space means our community can make an even greater impact.” 

While the space may be the center of one group’s vision, a phrase restated in six languages can be seen the room’s entrance: All are welcome. 

From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, the campus community is invited to the official grand opening of the new UK MANRRS Community Room in N24 of the Agricultural Science Center, commonly known as Ag North. This casual, drop-in event will be a time for attendees to learn more UK MANRRS and the CAFE Office of Diversity. Refreshments will also be served, including seasonal bites grown on the college’s Horticulture Farm and prepared in the UK Food Connection by CAFE ambassadors.

“This has been a dream for a long time, and I am so grateful we can finally offer a new space where current — and future — students can connect, relax and see a reflection of the diverse populations we serve,” said Mia Farrell, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and a 15-year MANRRS veteran. “To me, it’s more than an updated room. It’s a sign of a strengthening community and a true testament to the intentional efforts happening in our college.”

Efforts made long ago deserve some credit for this project, too. Expenses were, in part, supported by the Barnhart Fund for Excellence grant, an annual award program established in honor of Charles Barnhart who served as CAFE dean from 1969 to 1988.

“It is quite fitting to consider how Dean Barnhart’s legacy has invested in the success of our students so they may create a legacy of their own,” said Carmen Agouridis, senior associate dean. “This sentiment is not unique to this particular project. It is found in every corner of our college, and it is exactly what makes this community so special.”    

Those wanting to learn more about UK MANRRS can visit the CAFE Office of Diversity website at https://diversity.ca.uky.edu/students/uk-manrrs.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.