A year into her master’s degree and Jasmine has been recognized as a “change maker” by Oregon State's Office of Diversity and Cultural Engagement with the Integrated Learning for Social Change Award. The award recognizes and celebrates people for the excellent work they are doing to help create a more holistic and just environment.
Having completed a B.S. in Natural Resources specializing in Sustainable Forest Resources from the University of Connecticut, Jasmine Brown was already a unique individual. As a black woman in forestry and natural resources career discipline, Jasmine had already overcome many preconceived ideas of where her ‘place’ might be. Never one to compromise on her educational goals or social values, Jasmine decided to continue her education having been recruited to Oregon State University’s College of Forestry to pursue her M.S. degree in Forest Ecosystems and Society.
Here at OSU, Jasmine has been a highly motivated and engaged student leader. She is a member of the Black Graduate Students Association and Society of American Foresters. She served as a Graduate Student Ambassador and student member on the College of Forestry Diversity and Equity Committee. As an Executive Officer in the OSU MANRRS Chapter, Jasmine has been highly involved in recruitment and education of underserved students and serves as an outstanding role model and mentor for middle and high school youth and our undergraduate student chapter members. Jasmine was a graduate student leader for a service-learning trip to Puerto Rico over spring break as part of a team of 31 OSU students working on projects to help rebuild agricultural and natural resource programs and school gardens at a school in San Sebastian.
Many OSU MANRRS Chapter members spent their Spring Break in Puerto Rico working with students from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and middle school students attending S.U. Bernaldo Mendez Jimenez School, rebuilding their agriculture program after two devastating hurricanes. Thirty-one OSU students, half OSU MANRRS Chapter members, completed several projects, including: rebuilding the roof and sidewalk of the agriculture classroom and storage building, landscaping and garbage removal, setting up a bee box, building raised garden beds, refurbishing and creating a compost and recycling center, cleaning the cistern, providing water quality testing, preparing and delivering agricultural curriculum, and creating a lasting Puerto Rico agricultural commodities mural. As one of only three graduate students on the trip, Jasmine took the lead on the Agroforestry Project.
“We had a lot of help creating an agriculturally, educational, culturally relevant garden. We planted 8 types of herbs and vegetables, and more than 10 trees around the schoolyard.”
After attending the MANRRS Region VI Workshop at UC Davis, and the National MANRRS Conference, Jasmine posted, "…Unknowingly, I found the support group I’ve been searching for all along."
This summer, Jasmine continues her efforts as a public servant via her full-time internship under the Pathways Program with the US Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest Region, REGION 6, Umatilla National Forest. Her Duty Station is located in Walla Walla, WA. As part of this program, Jasmine may be noncompetitively converted to a career appointment within 120 days after satisfactory completion of her educational program. She encourages and invites other women and underrepresented minority students to follow in her path diversifying the Forest Service workforce.
-- Wanda Crannell, MANRRS faculty advisor