Kansas State University


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Graduate Student Leadership Development Program Completes Second Year

2017 grad student leadership development program participants

This spring, the Staley School completed the second year of the Graduate Student Leadership Development Program! This partnership with the K-State Graduate School provides graduate students an opportunity to develop leadership skills to make positive change in their work, studies, and student organizations.

During this semester-long experience, graduate students work with peers and professional leadership coaches to dive into challenges that are most important to them. Through a curriculum designed by the Staley School and enhanced by resources from the Kansas Leadership Center, the program is geared towards graduate students who want to move beyond technical expertise to solve problems.

Each participant had the opportunity to advance their personal and professional development and grow their capacity to exercise leadership to make progress on the challenges they face in their graduate experiences and professional careers.

Program learning objectives:

  • Distinguish between authority and leadership
  • Understand the concepts of adaptive leadership including diagnosing the situation, managing self, intervening skillfully, and energizing others
  • Understand how to facilitate change in self, others, and community
  • Exercise leadership on difficult challenges in personal and professional settings

The 2017 Graduate Student Leadership Development Program took place from February through April and included three large-group workshops, three small group peer consultations, and three one-on-one meetings with leadership coaches from the Kansas Leadership Center. The program was facilitated by Staley School faculty members, Dr. Kerry Priest and Dr. Irma O’Dell.

This year’s cohort consisted of 30 participants, selected from over 100 applicants, and represented both Masters and Doctoral level students from 21 different degree progress across the University.

  • Monsuru Abass, Mechanical Engineering
  • Mirza Ahammad Sharif, Civil Engineering
  • Zayed Ahmed, Mechanical Engineering
  • Kayode Ajewole, Agricultural Economics
  • Gibson Akers, Counseling and College Student Development
  • Elena Aronson, Public Health
  • Kristi Baonga, Dietetics
  • Kari Bigham, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Annie Clark, Animal Science
  • Dorna Eshrati, Environmental Design and Planning
  • Carrie Frizzell, Mathematics
  • Trina Harlow, Curriculum and Instruction
  • James Krotz, Counseling and College Student Development
  • Diane Larson, Public Health
  • Jack Lemmon, Animal Science
  • Qingling Li, Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Kelsey McDonough, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Sidonia McKenzie, Economics
  • Naho Nagai, Counseling and College Student Development
  • Haripriya Naidu, Civil Engineering
  • Alisa Pajser, Psychology
  • Yanqun Peng, Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Izabela Ragan, Pathobiology
  • Hannah Seger, Pathobiology
  • Malory Shaath, Architecture
  • Kassi Sprecher, Community Development
  • Matthew Hunter Stanfield, Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Jana Thomas, Mass Communications
  • Nandana Weliweriya, Physics
  • Mohammad Sadegh Yazdanparast, Chemistry

Here’s what they had to say about the program:

“I used to believe leadership was all about the leader. Now, I know, everyone is involved in this process.”

“The most important idea to me was that anyone can be a leader, anywhere, and at any time.”

“You don’t always have to have the answer to be a good leader.”

“When faced with challenges in a group, it’s not the leader’s duty to give them a solution. A leader should help the group to find a solution.”

“Personally, I think I need to get used to going out of my comfort zone and practice different ways for solving a problem.”

“I plan to actively engage others who do not agree with me on issues in order to better understand their point of view.”

“In roles where I have the opportunity to delegate responsibility, I now will try to create leadership for others to allow them to become passionate about their job/task.”

“The program helped my ability to become a leader in everyday situations.”

This year, the program was made possible through the generous support of the C. Charles Jackson Foundation.

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