Kansas State University


The Loop

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Summer 2020 director’s note

Mary TolarNow more than ever, our diverse and changing world requires leadership that is knowledgeable, ethical, caring and inclusive. The disruption and uncertainty of a global pandemic and the pain of persistent systemic racism challenge our health, economic well-being and understanding of community. We all are being called to learn, listen and act with compassion and purpose.  

To our students, colleagues and all in our communities: While we may be physically separated, we stand with you in solidarity against racial injustice. Every human deserves dignity, respect and the basic right to justice and equity. Black lives matter. 

Healing the wounds we’ve created in our country and communities takes leadership. We are inspired by the protests and activism locally and across the country. We commit to learning and taking action that our institutions and communities require for progress. Leading change has long been the hallmark of the Staley School. It is clear that these extraordinary times require individual, collective and systemic work. We will continue to push the edges of the field and our communities toward centering that work – the work required of and for justice.  

Through it all, we persist. Just as the season has persisted from spring to summer, so has our work at the Staley School. I am eager to share what’s been happening this spring and summer at the socially distant, yet fully engaged Staley School, as we adapt and respond to changes and challenges, and prepare for a bright future 

Mandela Washington Fellowship/Leading Change
At this time of year, I would typically write an update on the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders*, as part of the Leading Change Institutes, introducing you to a new group of professionals from throughout sub-Saharan Africa who are leading change. This year, in light of the global pandemic, the U.S. Department of State and IREX made the decision to post-pone the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship until summer 2021.  

While we were not able to welcome a 2020 Fellowship cohort, we continue to find ways to partner to engage, educate, and learn from FellowsFellowship Alumni in graduate study here at K-State, and Fellows engaging virtually to advance the practice of leadership.  

Kachi Ekwerike, 2017 Fellowship Alumnus and doctoral student in leadership communication, is actively working to advance the research agenda of Third Floor Research, an applied research center at the Kansas Leadership Center. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the challenge of re-opening businesses and communities, Kachi is part of a team that is analyzing instances when organizations, companies and communities were forced to adapt quickly. Mafule Moswane, 2018 Fellowship and doctoral student in leadership communication, is teaching LEAD 212: Introduction to Leadership Concepts online and facilitating learning for our Edgerley-Franklin Scholars.  We have been glad to partner with 2019 Fellowship Alumnus Olalekan Ayodele Sipasi, also known as “The Hunger Fighter,” as he joined our K-State community as a doctoral student in horticulture and has volunteered at spring and summer Mobile Food Distributions. 

Additionally, faculty, students, Fellowship Alumni and community partners worked together to author a series for The Loop, the Staley School’s blog. Organized by Dr. Brandon Kliewer with support from Dr. Trish Gott, in this special blog series, guest writers considered how the academic framework, research agenda and the associated leadership studies literature introduced through the Staley School’s academic work and programming contribute understanding to and support for the exercise of leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak. The blogs include local and global focuses, two authored by Fellowship Alumni, Mafule Moswane, South Africa, and Zaharah Namanda, Uganda. 

Community response
HandsOn Kansas State has hosted record Mobile Food Distributions this spring and now summer. The sharp increase in our community of households coming to the distributions shines a painful light on the current social and economic inequities we face today. We do not delight in this work, but we hold to the opportunity to serve, and ultimately to leverage programs like the global food systems leadership secondary major and the nonprofit leadership certificate to prepare a generation of people committed to leading change in the food system.   

In response to growing needs in our communities for nonprofit leadership and civic engagement, we continue to make our coursework more accessible and meet the needs of learners where they are. This spring we converted our nonprofit leadership curriculum to a stand-alone certificate. This certificate, also available online through K-State Global Campus, makes it possible for students, alumni, professionals and community-members located anywhere to engage in learning about the nonprofit sector 

Virtual opportunities
We continue to surprise ourselves with the ability to adapt to this rapidly changing world. To meet students and families where they are, we have joined K-State in creating virtual opportunities for prospective and current students to meet with our team. Our faculty, staff, and Staley School Ambassadors have leaned-in to create online experiences that still reveal who we are as a team and how we can help students achieve their goals. These virtual sessions have proven themselves invaluable and will continue even when in-person visits resume. If you know a student considering K-State, encourage them to include the Staley School when they schedule their virtual visit 

Student academics and programs
Our classrooms this summer are empty – but our classes are full. While the COVID-19 pandemic required face-to-face classes to move online mid-semester, we had already been working toward making all four core classes, in addition to the nonprofit leadership courses, available in an online format. This became a question of access, and the faculty and staff of the Staley School took on the challenge of creating dynamic and meaningful online learning experiences. That challenge also extends to our student programs outside the classroomread more 

We are making choices on lesson planning, programming, physical space and adhering to health and safety guidelines all at the same time – a delicate balance of intentions. We don’t pretend to know it all, but we are moving forward together and adjusting as needed, all the while listening and learning from students and each other. The work we do to drive our mission forward will always align with Kansas State University and our progress towards well-being for students, faculty and staff. This means that despite the adversity we face, we find a way to ensure our students have the best experience possible.  

While we are experiencing upheaval and frustration in these disruptive times, we are also experiencing extraordinary innovation, care, and resilience. We are grateful for your partnership and support as we meet the evolving challenges of leading change in our classrooms and in our communities. Thank you! 


*The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. Kansas State University is a sub-grantee of IREX and has implemented U.S.-based Leadership Institutes as a part of the Fellowship. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, please visit the Fellowship’s website at www.mandelawashingtonfellowship.org. 

Join us for Celebrating Service and Leadership

The Staley School of Leadership Studies will host its annual awards program, Celebrating Service and Leadership, as a virtual event on Zoom. The event will take place Sunday, May 3, at 4 p.m.

Registration is required.

This annual awards event recognizes Kansas State University students and organizations, as well as community organizations. For the first ever virtual event, we will recognize student awards.

Additional award recipients will be recognized on the Staley School website, social media and the Loop blog, and K-State Today.

Learn more about our awards and past recipients on our website.

Nominate students, community organizations and individuals for Staley School awards

The Staley School of Leadership Studies is seeking nominees for Celebrating Services and Leadership awards. The awards honor Kansas State University students, community partners and outstanding individuals who have volunteered their time and leadership to enhance, improve and impact the greater good of the campus and community.

In recognition of the “power of volunteers to spark change and improve the world through community,” the Celebrating Service and Leadership Community Service awards are modeled after the George H.W. Bush’s Daily Point of Light Award. These awards embrace the challenge of tackling a community need through volunteer service.

The Staley School values and practices civic engagement and service-learning opportunities through valuable coursework and student programs as part of our mission to develop knowledgeable, caring, inclusive leaders for a diverse and changing world. Volunteering and community service often lead to increased civic involvement and leadership for college students, youth and community members.

Nominate an individual or a group by Friday, April 10. Honorees will be notified by Monday, April 13. A virtual celebration will take place – details to be announced.

The following awards are open for nomination:

Outstanding K-State Student Volunteer
Eligibility includes K-State students who have participated in HandsOn Kansas State service or other civic engagement activities during the 2019-2020 academic year. Nominees have demonstrated exemplary leadership in service and addressed a need in the community. They should display dedication, responsibility, commitment and sensitivity to diversity while meeting the needs of the community.

Outstanding K-State Student Organization
Any organization that is recognized through K-State’s Center for Student Involvement or a K-State department/college and has been active with HandsOn Kansas State during the 2019-2020 academic year is eligible. The nominated organization promotes an ethic of service on and off campus through ongoing service or an exemplary one-time project. Nominated organizations are committed to involving others in service and activism and have effectively mobilized a large and diverse population on campus to address an issue of importance in the community.

Outstanding Service Champion
Eligible individuals are from the greater Manhattan area and have demonstrated outstanding efforts in volunteerism and service to meet a community need. Nominees have displayed excellence in community service, civic engagement, corporate responsibility and/or social change. They also have engaged in creative utilization of people, resources and opportunities while exercising leadership and advocating for positive change in their community. They are able to demonstrate their impact through measurable outcomes.

Outstanding Community Service Partner
Eligible groups from the greater Manhattan area have partnered with HandsOn Kansas State in order to meet a community need. Nominated groups promote an ethic of service in the community through ongoing efforts or through an exemplary one-time project. These groups are committed to involving others in service and activism and have effectively mobilized a large and diverse population to address an issue of importance in the community.

Submit a nomination online for any of the above awards. Past recipients of the awards can be found on our website. Questions can be directed to handson@k-state.edu.

What Matters to Me and Why postponed

The Staley School of Leadership Studies is postponing the upcoming What Matters to Me and Why featuring Greg Eiselein, Donnelly Professor of English, University Distinguished Teaching Scholar and director of K-State First.

The lecture was scheduled for Thursday, March 26, from noon to 1 p.m. We hope to reschedule this event and will announce the new details as schedules are confirmed.

Dean Carol Shanklin to share “What Matters to Me and Why”

Carol Shanklin, dean of the Kansas State University Graduate School and professor of dietetics, will present as part of the What Matters to Me and Why lecture series Thursday, March 5. The presentation will take place in Town Hall, Leadership Studies Building, from noon to 1 p.m.

Dean Carol Shanklin

In her talk, Dean Shanklin will share about how mentoring has influenced her personal and professional decisions. She will share insights from her experience mentoring students, junior faculty and colleagues.

A free box lunch will be provided starting at 11:45 a.m., and an RSVP is requested by March 3. Visit the website to read a full event description and sign up. If you are unable to attend, a Zoom link is available. See who’s going on Facebook.

This informal lunchtime series supports K-State’s Principles of Community by encouraging reflection on matters of personal values, beliefs, and motivations in order to better understand the lives and inspirations of those who serve and shape the University. This event is sponsored by the Staley School of Leadership Studies, and supported by an interdisciplinary, cross-campus planning team.

Cargill Fellows applications due March 17

Undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture, Business, or Engineering with an anticipated graduation date of May 2022 through December 2022 (students with junior standing by fall 2020) are encouraged to apply for the Cargill Fellows Program. Applications are due at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 17.

Cargill Fellows group photo
The Cargill Fellows program, a partnership between the Staley School of Leadership Studies and Cargill, offers students a unique and tailored leadership development experience. Cargill Fellows will practice leadership skills necessary to work confidently, cross-culturally, and thrive in an era of complex and continual change. The program will provide students with the preparation to begin their career with a unique advantage beyond their technical education. Their exposure to and practice with skills such as adapting to change, engaging in diverse environments, and critical thinking will cultivate professional competencies that will prepare them for a successful launch into industry.

Cargill Fellows will receive and participate in the following:

  • $1,000 scholarship
  • Guaranteed interview for an internship at Cargill for summer 2021
  • Monthly one-on-one leadership coaching with a Cargill coach
  • Unique and exclusive networking opportunities with Cargill professionals
  • Site visits to area Cargill facilities, headquarters, plants, etc.
  • Leadership development rooted in industry values and expectations

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on March 17. For more information on the program, visit our website or contact Roberta Maldonado Franzen, rfranzen@ksu.edu.

Applications open for Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows

Undergraduate students who will enter their final year at K-State during the 2020-21 academic year are invited to submit an application for Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows. Snyder Fellows will be involved in unique opportunities for personal leadership development as they prepare for life after graduation.

In addition to engineering the greatest turnaround in college football history, Coach Bill Snyder has been a champion of developing leaders—both on and off the football field. It is because of this commitment that the Staley School of Leadership Studies, in partnership with K-State Athletics, is thrilled to offer the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows program, a leadership development program that honors his work in developing a family of leaders.
Coffee Talks with Coach Bill SnyderThe Snyder Fellows program will begin its sixth year in April 2020. The year-long program will include a class of outstanding K-State undergraduate students entering their final year at K-State. Snyder Fellows will participate in a variety of leadership development activities to help prepare for the transition from college and for engagement as lifelong leaders. Through generous contributions from supporters of Coach Snyder and the Staley School, this noncredit development program will be offered at NO COST for all selected students.

The Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows will:

  • Participate in a leadership development program rooted in Coach Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success.
  • Attend a two-day retreat focused on goal setting and leadership development.
  • Take part in exclusive personal and professional development events with successful athletes, scholars, and business leaders throughout the year.
  • Participate in leadership dialogues with Coach Snyder.
  • Engage in one-on-one leadership coaching sessions with Staley School faculty members and campus partners through the critical transition from college to career.
  • Mentor youth in the Manhattan community with a group of Fellows, through youth sports coaching in partnership with the Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Make a difference on campus and in the community through hands-on service and mentoring activities.
  • Join the network of Snyder Fellows alumni dedicated to forming a long-lasting impact.

All applications must be submitted by noon Feb. 21. For more information on the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows program, visit the website or contact Staley School faculty members Kaitlin Long or Tori Burkhart at 785-532-6085 or snyderfellows@ksu.edu.

Volunteer opportunities for MLK Jr. Day

All members of the Manhattan, Kansas, community and all K-State students are invited to participate in HandsOn Kansas State’s MLK Jr. Day of Service.

Join us as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 25. Individual registration is open until Jan. 24. Groups and families are also welcome! To register a group, contact HandsOn Kansas State at 785-532-3670 or handson@k-state.edu.

Volunteers will arrive at Kansas State University’s Staley School of Leadership Studies at 9 a.m. for a snack while and discussion about what this day means to the community and Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to loving your community. From there, volunteers will depart to various sites. Transportation assistance can be provided with early notification through the registration form.

The MLK Jr. Day of Service is recognized across the country in honor of King and is being led by the world’s leading organization for volunteer work, Points of Light, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Millions of Americans will come together for this day of national service and dialogue to honor his memory.

King called for all of us to be the beloved community we are and act in love and service. We invite you to volunteer your time and lend a hand in the Manhattan community.

HandsOn Kansas State is a program of the Staley School of Leadership Studies that promotes civic learning and leadership through meaningful volunteer and service opportunities between campus and community. HandsOn strives to develop socially-responsible citizens, knowledgeably equipped for active participation. Learn more.


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