Sept. 10 Brown Bag Lunch session features an intro to the CRI

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Kerry Ross will explain existing and new programs of the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation during a noon Brown Bag Lunch open free to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a bag lunch for the one-hour session, which will be held in the CRI’s off-campus facility at 3801 Bemidji Avenue North.

“People are curious about what we do here,” said Ross, an industrial training coordinator at the CRI. “We are part of Bemidji State, yet we are off campus. We provide opportunities to learn, but we are not academic. We provide consulting to businesses and organizations, but the goal is applied learning. Our mission is to serve local needs, yet we have a major new online distance learning initiative.”

Ross will explain those curiosities while she discusses the work of the CRI and answers questions.

Formed in 1997, the CRI is operated by the University to assist businesses, organizations and individuals in gaining new knowledge, achieving applied experience and improving successes. It annually serves more than 2,500 individuals and 400 businesses by providing corporate and custom training, creating multimedia solutions, offering strategic organizational development, and coordinating regular informational programs in such areas as natural resources and work safety.

The CRI has undertaken a new role to provide online learning. These non-academic offerings utilize experts in a variety of fields to deliver applied learning targeted to those who are out of school. Subjects cover a variety of areas, from software applications to business writing and manufacturing.

Ross noted that putting courses on the Internet enables more individuals to participate and helps make the classes viable.

“We get a handful of people who need a non-credit professional development course locally, but we can’t operate efficiently on those numbers,” she explained. “Online learning allows us to reach a wider market and, as a result, we can better serve local needs.”

She pointed out that one human resource class last year had an enrollee from Afghanistan while a project management offering had a student from Puerto Rico. She also added that this innovative applied programming is projected to grow in the future and that the CRI would continue to provide live training in its facility, at client sites, or on higher education campuses.

At the CRI, Ross is responsible for the design, development and implementation of all non-credit instruction and corporate contracts. Her experience includes 10 years in human resource management. A professional corporate trainer for the past five years, she focuses on such human resource areas as leadership, supervision, conflict management, team building, time management, effective customer service and change management.

Brown Bag Lunch free training and informational presentations are offered by the CRI on the second Wednesday of each month. A full schedule can be found at http://www.cri-bsu,org/BrownbagSeries.html.

For more information, contact the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900; toll free, (888) 738-3224; email,; or by visiting

Sept. 10 – noon – 1 p.m. – Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation Brown Bag Lunch training session, “Introduction to the CRI.” Presenter: Kerry Ross, industrial training coordinator, CRI. Location: CRI; 3801 Bemidji Ave. N.; Bemidji, Minn. Cost: free; participants encouraged to bring a lunch. For information: (218) 755-4900; (888) 738-3224;