The Staley School of Leadership Studies is committed to promoting learning both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to service-learning and civic engagement activities, students also have opportunities to learn through travel and participation at conferences and other leadership development activities.
Read about these recent learning opportunities from students who attended the International Leadership Association (ILA) Conference, the IMPACT Conference, a site visit to The Gambia, and the McDonough Leadership Conference.
This past November, four students had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta, Georgia for four days to participate in International Leadership Association’s annual student case competition.
During the conference, students have to analyze a real world case involving contemporary leadership issues. Teams compete in two divisions, undergraduate and graduate. Through a written brief, a poster, and final presentation, students demonstrate an understanding of the case’s underlying leadership issues while developing strategic recommendations for addressing the key issues in the case.
Andrew Wefald, associate professor and ILA team coach, said it is an important opportunity for students to engage in a challenging case competition with other leadership students from around the world and to see how other leadership programs work.
“Students that have participated in ILA have reported deep impacts on their personal and professional lives and futures,” Dr. Wefald said. “They get to interact with not just our faculty, but faculty from all over and they get to hear diverse perspectives on the very things we teach and practice and Kansas State.”
This year’s team prepared a research paper and poster entitled, “Inspiring Collective Systemic Change of Racism and Mass Incarceration Through Adaptive and Ethical Leadership Theory.” Click Here to view their poster.
Next year’s conference will take place in Brussels, Belgium. If you’re interested in being a part of this experience, look for applications next fall on the leadership website and social media accounts.
In February, six students traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to participate in the IMPACT Conference.
The IMPACT Conference is the largest annual conference focused on the civic engagement of college students in community service, service-learning, community-based research, advocacy and other forms of social action. During the conference, students, administrators, faculty, and nonprofit professionals gather together to learn and share effective practices, improve personal skills and organizational strategies, discover opportunities and resources, and personal experiences.
Kaitlin Long, instructor and program coordinator, said the IMPACT Conference is focused on service, action, and advocacy.
“This year, three women who are deeply engaged with improving race relations in and around St. Louis hosted a panel, which I think was the highlight of the conference,” said Long. “All of the students who went also had the opportunity to facilitate workshops or host panels—a fantastic learning experience, especially as an undergraduate.”
Students can apply to be on the national conference planning committee or can submit a workshop proposal. Next year’s conference will take place in Dayton, Ohio in be held in early March. If you’re interested or would like to learn more, contact Kaitlin Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Site Visit to The Gambia
During Spring Break, Kaitlin Long, instructor and program coordinator, and Hannah Schauf, Alternative Breaks student coordinator, visited Sandele Eco-Retreat, in Kartong, The Gambia. Their visit was successful in coordinating a future site for International Service Teams.
International Teams is a service-learning program of interdisciplinary teams of Kansas State University students. Teams travel and live in communities around the world during the summer break. International Teams work with community partners to engage in local community work abroad. Previous projects have focused on health, education, environmental and sustainability concerns, and youth development.
Long and Schauf traveled to The Gambia to develop a new partnership with Sam Gibba, a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow. International Service Teams will have a site there starting this summer.
Students will work with the organization, Sandele Eco-Retreat and Learning Center in partnership with the Sandele Foundation. The Sandele Foundation exists to support environmental conservation and development in nearby communities.
“It was cool to see what efforts are being made to make the most affordable and most sustainable housing for the people in the surrounding villages,” said Schauf.
Students’ work may range from working with sustainable agricultural practices—permaculture and composting, working alongside women entrepreneurs, learning about mango production and eco-tourism, and sea turtle conservation.
McDonough Leadership Conference
Last week, four Staley School students traveled to Marietta, Ohio for the annual McDonough Center leadership conference. This national event brings together leadership studies students from many different institutions throughout the country.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Leadership Through Time,” and our students delivered a presentation titled, “The Evolution of LEAD 212—The Introductory Leadership Course at Kansas State University.”
Each student shared their experiences and perspectives while informing the conference attendees about LEAD 212—which has become a cornerstone for first-year experience programming at K-State.
Students were joined by Irma O’Dell, associate professor, who helped them prepare for the conference. “Their presentation flowed nicely as they moved along from person-to-person sharing information about the course,” said Dr. O’Dell. “I was very proud of them as they addressed questions at the end of the presentation—which truly demonstrated their learning and knowledge.”