Hannah Hemmelgarn was honored with the inaugural Inclusive Cultivator Award during CAFNR’s 2023 Celebration of Excellence ceremony on Tuesday, April 11. Hemmelgarn is the assistant program director for the Center for Agroforestry (UMCA), where she coordinates the communications program, develops curriculum for education and outreach efforts and leads community-centered agroforestry programs.
Hemmelgarn has been instrumental in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the agroforestry online curriculum, co-developing a course on the topic. She has also led efforts to cultivate a relationship between UMCA and the Osage Nation, receiving federal funding to organize the MU-Osage Summer Experience, which hosts high school students from the Osage Nation on MU’s campus. She has contributed to recruitment and retention efforts by securing funding for a four-year scholarship for Osage students to attend MU. Hemmelgarn has also been a strong guiding voice in the strategic planning of the Land of the Osages Research Center.
“Hannah’s approach to building diversity and inclusion focuses on relationship-building, requiring humility to truly listen to others and time to develop trust in partnership,” said Benjamin Knapp, interim director of the Center for Agroforestry. “Through this, Hannah is a shining example of how to make impactful changes in the areas of diversity and inclusion. I have been fortunate to work with her and learn from her, and in doing so, she has had a direct influence on my perspectives toward cultivating inclusion.”