Kansas State University


The Loop

Author: The Staley School of Leadership Studies

Director’s Note: Fall 2019


Dr. Trisha Gott, Interim Director of the Staley School of Leadership Studies

Greetings from the Staley School of Leadership Studies!

With each new semester comes new excitement, perspective, and possibility. Here at the Staley School, we are so thrilled to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus this fall. We have enjoyed celebrating the many ways our students and faculty engaged in leadership throughout the warmer months.

This summer, we had many students complete meaningful internships with Cargill as a part of our Cargill Fellows Program. We had a team of four students spend seven weeks with our International Service Teams program in Nyeri, Kenya. In May, Dr. Chance Lee, Assistant Professor and Director of the Nonprofit focus, taught a leadership course to students at Jilin University about American leadership concepts in Changchun, China. In July, three Staley School alumni joined Kerry Priest, SSLS Associate Professor, at the Association of Leadership Educator’s Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They presented several workshops and each received an award. We are so proud of our faculty, alumni, and students who continue to develop their capacity to lead and make an impact.

We have such great momentum moving into the fall semester. It seems that change often accompanies each new semester, in the best possible way. I am so excited to have stepped into the position of Interim Director for the Staley School, as Dr. Mary Hale Tolar serves as the Interim Vice Provost of Student Success. As I lead the Staley School and temporarily take over the responsibility of the Director the Staley School, Dr. Tolar will be providing leadership in the student retention, success and progression areas of the university’s strategic enrollment management efforts.

Another very exciting change taking place this fall is the transition of LEAD 212 from a two-credit course to now three credits. Our faculty and class leaders have taken great initiative in leading this! As we continue to advance the undergraduate learning experience, we look forward to another year collaborating with our students in the Nonprofit focus and Global Food Systems Leadership Secondary Major.

We have officially welcomed our second cohort of students into the new interdisciplinary doctoral program in Leadership Communication. We are energized by the learning and leadership that our doctoral program cultivates and we are very excited about the wealth of knowledge that this new group will bring into the program. Our research endeavors are also deepening in other ways as faculty partner with community organizations and Kansas Leadership Center’s Third Floor Research program to change how we understand leadership at individual and community levels.

What an incredible semester we are embarking on! Be sure to mark your calendars for October 4 & 5, 2019 for our 9th annual Spirit of Leadership in Manhattan. We would love for you to join us as we celebrate and connect. We will also be hosting a reunion for our International Service Teams, Class Leaders and Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows at this year’s event.

This fall we are walking forward boldly as the Kansas State University turns a new page on how to serve students, our state, and our country. SSLS is excited to be pushing our edges to understand how we too can serve by sharing our knowledge and by understanding the rich experiences of the members of the communities we love so deeply.

Sincere thanks,



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!

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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