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"The Loop" Blog

Category: The Loop: Spring 2018

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.”

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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”

Leading Change Institute: 2018 Youth Leadership & Development in West Africa

This past January, the Leading Change Institute (LCI) launched its first institute abroad in Ziguinchor, Senegal. The institute built on relationships started through the 2016 and 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at Kansas State University. LCI is an endowed leadership program made possible through the generous support and vision of David and Ellie Everitt . The Leading Change Institutes launched in 2015 with the sole purpose of bringing together thinkers, doers, scholars, and leaders that are all collectively addressing real issues with tangible strategies. This program marked the sixth institute for the Staley School and the first to be hosted internationally.

(From left to right: Salif Kanoute, from Senegal, and Ishaku Haruna, from Nigeria during the community meal hosted by the 2017 Mandela Fellows)

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Reflecting on the Spring 2018 Cats for Inclusion Community Dialogue

On Monday, Feb. 19, students, faculty, and community members gathered at the Leadership Studies Building to engage in the first Cats for Inclusion community dialogue of the spring semester.

The Cats for Inclusion campaign was established in 2015 as a partnership between the Black Student Union and Staley School of Leadership Studies. This student-led initiative seeks to address issues of racial injustice and other forms of oppression within the K-State and Manhattan communities.

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Snyder Fellow Reflects on Youth Coaching Experience

My name is Lauren Mertz and I am lucky enough to be in the third class of Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows. I wanted to write about my experience coaching youth soccer in the Manhattan community last fall, as this was one of my most favorite memories during my senior year. Along with three other wonderful fellows, I had the chance to coach the most rambunctious, fun-filled and energetic group of fourth graders around. There were three main lessons I took away from this experience – consistency is key, improvement happens in the little moments, and laugh more.

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LEAD 212 Class Leaders

Each fall semester, the Staley School of Leadership Studies extends a unique invitation to junior and senior level students to serve as class leaders and teach alongside faculty for LEAD 212: Introduction to Leadership Concepts.

The peer-led learning communities cultivated in this two-hour block over the course of a 15-week semester are highly beneficial to both the class leaders and the students taking the course. Those selected to serve as class leaders help to establish a safe and positive space for learning and self-growth by facilitating small group discussions, leading active-learning exercises, and empowering students in their leadership and academic endeavors.

Picture: Class Leaders saying goodbye to one another during the last meeting of their weekly training sessions.

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