The Staley School of Leadership Studies’ class, LEAD 405: Leadership in Practice, has partnered with Little Apple Need 2 Read, a program supporting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to host a two percentage night fundraiser at Panda Express and McAlister’s Deli in Manhattan, Kansas. Twenty percent of event sales will be donated to Little Apple Need 2 Read at the following locations and times:
Panda Express: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6
To participate, show the webpage or flier when you order in-store, or enter 307471 in the promo code box during online checkout.
McAlister’s Deli: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10
To participate, follow the link to RSVP for this event.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free hand-selected, age-appropriate, high-quality books to children from birth to age five each month. Little Apple Need 2 Read is raising funds to bring this proven early childhood literacy program to Manhattan, Kansas.
The books arrive directly from the publisher and include exclusive questions for families to discuss with their children to aid in reading comprehension and development.
Lauren Howard, a student in the LEAD 405 class, understands the potential this program has for the Manhattan, Kansas, community: “I was surprised by the literacy rate of children in the Manhattan community. I think that this project is really impactful because of how big of a difference getting books in children’s hands could make.”
Together, we can put books into the hands and hearts of children in our community! Will you join us?
If you want to donate but cannot attend a percentage night, scan the QR code below to donate directly to Need 2 Read, or visit www.mcfks.org/donate/need2read.
Each semester, new ideas are being cultivated in the classroom as both students and staff alike discover new approaches to leading on campus and in the community. Last spring, Lucas Johnson, a junior and leadership studies minor, found a way to help move the needle on an issue he cared deeply about in his class, LEAD 350: Culture and Context in Leadership.
In LEAD 350, students work in teams to execute a self-directed project that attempts to change the way social identity is recognized and represented by systems. Drawing upon the knowledge he gained about food insecurity in LEAD 212: Introduction to Leadership Concepts, Johnson knew that he wanted to join the efforts of those on campus working to alleviate food insecurity.
Food insecurity is “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” Many students, in fact, 40% of financially-struggling students at K-State, are consistently fighting to get enough nutrition each day. It’s not rare for students to find themselves skipping meals so that they can pay for their books and tuition and all of the other expenses that come with being a college student.
LEAD 350 gave space for Johnson to conceptualize a plan of action. He came up with the idea for Round Up, a joint effort with Cats’ Cupboard, the K-State food pantry, and the Union Kitchen. Round Up allows individuals to round up their purchases to the next dollar at the Union Kitchen to benefit Cats’ Cupboard.
The proceeds from Round Up help Cats’ Cupboard continue to provide access to nutritious food and support through initiatives that promote health, success, and well-being. The pantry invites all K-State students, faculty and staff to their location in 009 Fairchild Hall where they are welcome to take food, hygiene and cooking equipment that correspond with their personal needs.
“At the end of the day, what really pushed me through executing my idea was thinking that there was a real opportunity that can help people out. If not me, then who else? If I can take the time and energy from myself, it can really end up impacting a lot of other people,” said Johnson.
The Staley School of Leadership Studies is proud to see students like Lucas apply knowledge from the classroom to the real world, and take action on the issues that matter to them.
Are you interested in learning more about Cats’ Cupboard and additional ways you can help alleviate food insecurity at Kansas State? Visit the Cats’ Cupboard website to learn about current needs, ways to get involved and upcoming events. Visit the Round Up website to learn more about how to give back. The next time you’re at the Union Kitchen, consider rounding up your purchase to help join the fight against food insecurity at Kansas State.
Are you looking for an opportunity to explore other cultures, broaden your understanding of the world, and serve others along the way? Applications are now being accepted for the summer 2020 International Services Teams learning abroad experiences.
International Service Teams is a program in the Staley School of Leadership Studies that has sent students around the world to engage in ethical service-learning work for more than 25 years. Participants take a 3 credit-hour course in the Spring semester in which they discuss privilege, global inequality, ethical service, structural violence, culture, and prepare for the technical components of traveling internationally. This class aims to prepare participants for their time abroad. Students continue learning throughout 8-10 weeks while abroad during the summer.
Students may serve with one of our community partners in:
Oceanview, South Africa
Kartong, The Gambia
Kamba Cua, Paraguay
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Service projects are identified by the community partner each summer, and have historically included work with English language education, leadership training, sea turtle conservation, sustainable agricultural practices, animal shelters, and more.
This summer, the Staley School of Leadership Studies had the honor of hosting 25 of Africa’s best and brightest young leaders for a Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute through the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The Mandela Washington Fellowshipis the flagship program of the U.S. Department of State’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was created in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Among these fellows were politicians, philanthropists, environmentalists, best-selling authors and humanitarians. They were citizens of 20 different countries, practiced various religions, spoke different languages, but all had the same infectious love to dance and passion for leadership. Four of these fellows have graciously chosen to share their stories, providing unique insight into what the Mandela Washington Fellowship looked like for them before, during and after their time at K-State.
“I am a politician as well as a businesswoman” explains Linda K. Sibs. “I am working on being a voice for the unusual and uncommon voices in the constituency I reside in.” Linda lives in Zimbabwe and spends her time fighting for the rights of her fellow citizens.
When asked how the Mandela Washington Fellowship influenced the way she approached her work, Linda said, “I now practice strengths-based leadership. I have become more receptive in picking up and identifying strengths of those around me in order to be a more functional unit.”
Prior to the institute, Linda’s main motivation for pursuing the program was finding technical solutions and skills to simply make her a better candidate for public office. However, she gained so much more than that.
“Taking part in the [Mandela Washington Fellowship] gave me foundational leadership training that will develop and mold me into a much more competent member of parliament in the future.”
Linda believes she is now better equipped with the knowledge and experience to be a culturally-sensitive, understanding and successful leader in her country.
“I am so grateful and feel like the luckiest human in the world to be an alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship and the Staley School of Leadership Studies.”
Known in the cohort by his last name, Olalekan Sipasi has helped to impact hundreds of thousands of people through his organization, ProtectOzone.
“I have taken leadership in the space of food insecurity in my home country, Nigeria, where I train children, youth, women and farmers in sustainable agricultural practices to alleviate extreme poverty.” says Sipasi. “Having been blessed with so much fertile land, natural resources and man-power, we should not have any business with extreme poverty and hidden hunger.”
Sipasi’s greatest take-away from the Mandela Washington Fellowship was the importance of active listening.
“I realized I don’t listen to people,” Sipasi explains, “ I learned during the fellowship that you don’t learn when you don’t listen to people.”
Sipasi reports that this newfound respect for active listening has greatly impacted his organization, as intelligent ideas are being nurtured that might not have been noticed if he hadn’t taken the time to listen to his employees.
As Sipasi thinks back on his time as a Mandela Washington Fellow, he is filled with gratitude.
“I just want to thank the Staley School of Leadership Studies for giving us [the opportunity] to connect with Kansas State University and the Manhattan community. This has brought a great and life-changing opportunity to me.”
“I am a human rights lawyer who has, for the last six years, dedicated her service to one of the most vulnerable groups globally — refugees,” Hortense Khayisia Minishi explains. A proud mother of three, Hortense lives in Kenya and works at an NGO called RefugePoint.
“Refugees are skilled and have so much to contribute to their communities [if they are] given the right legal and socio-economic environment,” explains Hortense.
Before the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Hortense says she would constantly look to authority figures to exercise leadership.
“I grew up exposed to an environment where leadership was so much masked with titles or positions.” Hortense elaborates, “During the Mandela Washington Fellowship, I learned that leadership is [about] influencing others and that anyone can lead anytime, anywhere.”
Hortense believes her greatest take-away from her institute experience is that leadership is a process.
“Leadership requires us to learn, relearn and practice.”
Hortense hopes to use the skills and experiences she gained from the Mandela Washington Fellowship to influence refugee and migrant policies on a global scale.
Though there were constant stressors of being away from her home and family for so long, Hortense loved her experience at K-State.
“In it all, I was assured of one thing— that I was surrounded by people who believed in me, loved me, cared for me, were championing me on, challenging me and wishing me the very best.”
“For more than three years, I have been focusing my strengths on youth empowerment and capacity building,” says N’zoret Innocent Assoman.
Innocent lives in Cote D’Ivoire and is a country ambassador for PYAFRICA (Progressive Youths for African Empowerment and Leadership Initiative).
“I think youths who constitute the heart of the next generation need to be nurtured with proven skills and competencies.”
Innocent believes the Mandela Washington Fellowship gave him confidence and challenged him to consider issues from various perspectives, making him a better mentor and leader.
“One of my biggest take-aways from the Mandela Washington Fellowship is: If you are not practicing what you are learning then you are learning something else.”
Innocent is confident he will use what he learned in the institute to build strong relationships and a sense of community in his workplace.
Among some of Innocent’s favorite memories from the Mandela Washington Fellowship are: the opportunity to meet Governor Laura Kelly, celebrating the Fourth of July and sharing in community meals with the fellows and institute staff.
“[It would take] pages to relate my stay,” concludes Innocent. “K-State is the best institute of the fellowship because our experience was unique and great. I am KSU Wildcat forever.”
Two months post-institute and the Staley School of Leadership Studies greatly misses its 2019 cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows. The distance between us may be great, but we are enjoying being a witness to their successes from afar. Though we have all gone our separate ways, we will always be connected by this incredible experience.
On one of the final days of the 2019 institute, a fellow by the name of Babacar Diop told me, “We are one people. Do not ever believe we have borders. We are together.”
That, we are.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. Kansas State University was a sub-grantee of IREX in the summer of 2019 and implemented a U.S.-based Leadership Institute as a part of the Fellowship. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, please visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org.
The Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University is seeking students for the Staley School Ambassadors.
Ambassadors must be enrolled in the leadership studies minor or the global food systems leadership secondary major. Ambassadors promote the school to current and prospective students at events such as Admitted Wildcat Days, Discover K-State Days and the Majors, Minors and More fair. They also help faculty and staff share the benefits of leadership studies with the community.
In addition to discussing how the leadership studies minor can benefit students, the Ambassadors publicize upcoming programs and special events, provide continual feedback to faculty and staff, and represent student interests and concerns.
“Staley School Ambassadors have the school and its students’ best interests in mind. We know that what we are learning here is invaluable to the diverse and changing world, just like the mission states,” said Regan Zaremba, student president of the Leadership Studies Ambassadors. “We’re looking for passionate, energetic students for this team to work hard and play hard.”
Each year, our faculty and students have the opportunity to travel to places both near and far to present their research and continue diving deeper into their leadership learning. On October 24-27th, a group of faculty and students traveled to the East Coast and attended the annual International Leadership Association (ILA) Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida.
With open arms and friendly faces, Tamara Bauer, leadership studies instructor, and Kait Long, program administrator, were welcomed into the country of Ghana this October. Bauer and Long had the unique opportunity to facilitate adaptive and strength-based leadership training to African leaders working in both the environmental and health-care sectors while deepening their relationship with two of our Kansas State Mandela Washington Fellows graduates: Ruby Goka and Stephen Ofori.
At the Staley School of Leadership Studies, we spend a lot of time exploring the connection between leadership and service. Rather than watching others from the sidelines, we encourage our students and faculty to jump into the game and work together as a team to move the needle on important issues and to make victories.
In 2014, the “Be the Fan” service project was established, forging a meaningful partnership between leadership studies and the Manhattan Special Olympics.
It all began when the summer section of LEAD 212: Introduction to Leadership Concepts went to cheer on the Manhattan Special Olympics club teams at their softball games. One evening, the opposing team didn’t show up, presenting the perfect opportunity for the students in the stands to jump into the game. Rather than stepping foot onto the field as opponents, they mixed the teams up and played together.