Kansas State University


"The Loop" Blog

Author: The Staley School of Leadership Studies

Director’s Note: Spring 2019


Mary Tolar, Director of the Staley School of Leadership Studies

Greetings from the Staley School of Leadership Studies!

This time of year is always full of energy and excitement on K-State’s campus. We are celebrating another class of graduates – including our first in the Global Foods Systems Leadership secondary major this past December – that are ready to exercise leadership in today’s ever-changing world. We are so very proud of their Wildcat accomplishments and look forward to supporting their pursuits.

Students in our new interdisciplinary doctoral program in Leadership Communication are winding down their first year of study. We invite you to learn more about their meaningful research endeavors.

This spring, we hired 55 K-State students to serve as LEAD 212 Class Leaders. They will be an integral part of the changes taking place in the fall when LEAD 212 transitions from a two-credit hour course to three hours.

We also continue to push at the edges of what it means to be global partners in leadership. Several of our faculty and staff have partnered with Mandela Washington Fellows in countries across Africa this year. Learn more about the purposeful work of Savannah Sherwood in ComorosDr. Trisha Gott and Dr. Tim Steffensmeier in Senegal, and Tamara Bauer and Kait Long in Ghana.

We look forward to hosting our fourth civic leadership institute for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI) this summer and also following the work of our International Service Teams, as they travel to South Africa, Dominican Republic, The Gambia, Kenya, and Paraguay this summer to engage in service learning.

As I look back on this past year, I have much to be thankful for including our faculty and staff. Join me in applauding Tamara Bauer, who was recently recognized by K-State for her excellence in teaching.

I also truly enjoy hearing about the work of our alumni, who are making progress on community challenges around the world. Please help us share these stories! If you are alumni of our academic or co-curricular programs, I invite you to take a brief alumni survey. We are curious about your current endeavors and how we can best keep you in the Loop with the Staley School.

Sincere thanks,


P.S. We continue to search for ways to share the stories of current students with you! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to check out our new Student Spotlights.

And be sure to save the date for our 9th annual Spirit of Leadership on October 4 & 5, 2019 in Manhattan!

Scholarship Update

Staley School Faculty members continue to be on the leading edge when it comes to leadership scholarship. Faculty members Trisha Gott, Brandon Kliewer, Kerry Priest, and Mary Tolar recently had an article published in the Journal of Leadership Studies. The article is titled, “The Path Forward: A Case for Openness in Leadership Studies” and can be accessed online by clicking HERE. Congrats to these faculty members for their recent publication!

Continue reading “Scholarship Update”

First-Year Design Students Experimenting Leadership Development through Self-Directed Learning

Guest blog post by Dorna Eshrati
PhD Student in Environmental Design and Planning
College of Architecture, Planning and Design

The Graduate Student Leadership Development Program (GSLDP)
, a program created by the Staley School of Leadership Studies, the Graduate School, and the Kansas Leadership Center, provides K-State graduate students an opportunity to develop leadership skills to make a positive change in their work, studies, and student organizations. Dorna, Eshrati, a Ph.D. student of Environmental Design and Planning in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University completed the program in 2017 and has been able to infuse the leadership skills developed through the GSLDP into her current work as she teaches first-year Environmental Design studios.

Continue reading “First-Year Design Students Experimenting Leadership Development through Self-Directed Learning”

Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows “Big XII Leadership and Service Days”

On Wednesday, October 3rd, 18 members of the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows Program were southbound on an adventure to Waco, Texas. Just a few days before the Kansas State Wildcats took on the Baylor Bears, students from both universities decided to look beyond their rivalry, and instead, found unity in community service and leadership during the first-ever Big XII Leadership and Service Days.

The purpose of the Leadership and Service Days is to cultivate connections across conference competitors through joint leadership and service projects. Current resident Snyder Fellow, Ashley Anderson and Staley School of Leadership Studies Coordinator of Partnerships, Marcia Hornung initiated the service effort in hopes of continuing to partner with other Big XII schools in the future while achieving more social and service opportunities.

Continue reading “Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows “Big XII Leadership and Service Days””

Hannah Sutherland Connects Leadership to Study Abroad Experience in Spain

Ask me about Bennett’s Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. Seriously. I could talk about it for hours. Any student who has taken LEAD 350, Culture in Context, would say the same. We could quote each one of his six stages, give examples, and even describe how it affects the cultural lens through which we, on an individual basis, view the world. But what if I told you there is a way to shatter that lens… to see everything, untouched, with your own two eyes? What if I told you that the best way to learn about Bennett’s Model is to live it? Continue reading “Hannah Sutherland Connects Leadership to Study Abroad Experience in Spain”

Director’s Note: “The Loop” Spring 2018

Greetings from the Staley School of Leadership Studies!

Mary Tolar, Director of the Staley School of Leadership Studies

This past year has indeed been a memorable one as we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of leadership studies at Kansas State University! The shared passion, vision, and support that envelops the Staley School will undoubtedly continue to fuel our leadership endeavors as we embark on the 21st year and beyond.

I stepped into the new year of 2018 surrounded by thinkers, doers, scholars, and leaders at the first Leading Change Institute hosted outside the United States in Ziguinchor, Senegal. You can read about how passionate young leaders from diverse backgrounds are working to respond to the youth leadership challenge in West Africa on “The Loop” Blog.

The spring semester kicked off with full classes of students eager to continue their leadership growth and engagement. In February, LEAD 405 hosted a Cats for Inclusion Community Dialogue. We recently had students and faculty attend and present at the IMPACT National Conference in Dayton, Ohio. Over spring break, we had three alternative break groups travel to communities including; Denver, CO, Springfield, MO, and Dallas, TX to work with local residents to address pressing social issues.

We are currently preparing for our fourth class of the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows and also looking forward to our next Leading Change Institute – the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders which begins in mid-June. We have much to look forward to!

We are grateful for the outstanding students, alumni, and friends who have joined us on this journey thus far! As we continue to share programs and initiatives that aim to cultivate leadership capacity and advance our mission, we hope that you will continue to walk alongside us. Looking ahead, we hope you will mark your calendars for Spirit of Leadership which will be on September 28, 2018.

Follow our academic programs, service-learning, and civic engagement opportunities by subscribing to “The Loop” Blog and keeping in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sincere thanks,


Staley School Faculty Strengthen Communities Through Research

“Leadership for what?” This is a question that both faculty and students alike seek to answer when driving the efforts to advance and make progress on challenges. Many of the faculty within the Staley School have approached this question through the lens of leadership research.

“To meet the mission of the Staley School, we must not only provide the exceptional learning experiences we offer our undergraduates – but we must also invest ourselves in contributing research that builds the field,” Mary Tolar said. “We are committed to improving the practice and teaching of leadership – our communities and our world need and deserve the absolute best of our faculty, students, and alumni.”

Continue reading “Staley School Faculty Strengthen Communities Through Research”

Shelby Dinkel, Former Fellow, Incorporates Coach’s 16 Goals into Classroom Curriculum

When I think back to the time we had our first meeting as Snyder Fellows, I can distinctly remember Coach Snyder talking about his time as a teacher. My eager little ears perked up, as I knew I was finishing up my last year of my education degree. During our fireside chat with Coach, he began to tell us about he started teaching Spanish right out of college. Though he did know some Spanish, he talked about how rough it was teaching this subject because it wasn’t something he was proficient in. He worked hard every day to make sure he was putting his best effort forth to teach his students. During my first year of teaching, I feel like I was thrown into a similar situation.

Continue reading “Shelby Dinkel, Former Fellow, Incorporates Coach’s 16 Goals into Classroom Curriculum”

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