Candace Russo

Candace Russo, MS

Candace Russo, MS

Program Manager

Milam Hall 212
2520 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States

Academic interests

Candace Russo, MS, is a Program Manager with the Moore Family Center. For more than 20 years she has enjoyed teaching youth through adults in subjects ranging from life sciences and environmental conservation, to gardening and nutrition.

At the MFC since 2019, Candace’s work includes co-developing and coordinating the Hope Grows Here project and Growing Healthy Families classes. In 2020, Candace coordinated and implemented the Hope Grows Here project, a gardening and nutrition education program for cancer survivors, in partnership with the Master Gardener™ program in Benton and Linn counties, and a team of OSU students and interns.

Currently pursuing certification in Horticultural Therapy, Candace is able to lend a perspective on the benefits of people-plant interactions to deliver programs such as Hope Grows Here through the lens of holistic health and wellness.

As a mother of two curious kids who love to soak up all that nature has to offer, her passion for helping to develop happy, healthy humans shines strong!


Candace earned her M.S. in Soil Science from OSU in 2005, investigating the effects of alternative agriculture methods on soil health in vegetable agroecosystems.

As a graduate student, Candace was able to share her love of plant science with elementary students. She was awarded an NSF GK-12 teaching fellowship as an OSU graduate student in 2004, where she discovered the inspiration for her work stems from facilitating people-plant interactions: be it in a forest, a garden, or in a kitchen exploring new foods. She has led volunteers and students in the mountains of Hawai`i to protect endangered plants, and in school gardens in Corvallis to learn where and how our food is grown.

Continuing her work in science education, Candace applied her background in agriculture to intersect nutrition as a manager at the Healthy Youth Program, a former outreach arm of the Linus Pauling Institute. She developed and managed three school gardens in Corvallis, including garden-based classes and summer camps, and coordinated a team of educators delivering dynamic youth and family cooking classes through community partnerships in Linn and Benton counties.

With the sunset of the Healthy Youth Program in 2019, Candace transitioned to the Moore Family Center in the College of Health , and migrated both expertise and resources to bolster the Center’s community outreach, and build upon the Center’s already strong partnerships with OSU Extension Service.