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Center for Engagement and Community Development

News Features

Finalists Announced for the 2011 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

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Kansas State University recently considered four campus and community partnerships for the 2011 C. Peter Magrath University Engagement Award and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award. The four partnerships were Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning (EXCELL), Knowledge Based Economic Development (KBED), Hispanic Health Partnership, and the Center on Aging-Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community Partnership. Programs by Warren White, professor of special education, counseling, and student affairs at KSU and Kent Glasscock, president and chief executive officer of the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization (NISTAC) were selected by a review panel to be placed into consideration for the prestigious awards.

The national Magrath Award recognizes programs that demonstrate how universities have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement functions to become more involved in their communities. The W.K. Kellogg Award recognizes programs that meet these criteria at a regional level. The national winner will receive a $20,000 prize and the regional winner will receive a $5,000 prize. The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities implements these prominent award programs.

The nominees to advance to the regional competition, Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning (EXCELL) and Knowledge Based Economic Development (KBED), were reviewed by a committee of on and off-campus engagement stakeholders and were submitted for the award because of their significant community outreach and engagement.

White founded the program EXCELL in the spring of 2010. The program was selected in Jan. 2011 to represent KSU for the awards because of its efforts to provide individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience a college atmosphere on the KSU campus. EXCELL is the first state school in Kansas to involve this population of people who haven't had access to a college campus. White expresses the benefit of the award on the program.

"The money and recognition from the award would hopefully encourage other universities in the region to start similar programs," said White.

EXCELL engages university students by providing them the opportunity to be EXCELL ambassadors; this prospect is an important link between the university and the adults attending EXCELL.

Glasscock and his company NISTAC formalized the program KBED in 2008. The program was also acknowledged in Jan. 2011 for its mission of creating a strong entrepreneurial environment that promotes the growth of technology-based companies in Manhattan, Kan.

"We were delighted to advance in the competition because it is a significant award given by a highly respectable association that embodies the best of American universities," said Glasscock.

KBED encourages KSU to grow their knowledge-based economy by looking for companies that will enhance the university's existing research strengths. KBED strives to be mutually beneficial to the Manhattan community by encouraging university and community leaders to come together and collaborate on their economic strategy.

The Magrath Award shows the power of a university partnering with its community in significant ways.

"The award would highlight that KSU looks at its future in a more progressive, integrated, and collaborative fashion than many of its peers do," said Glasscock.

The regional winners of the award will be notified in May 2011.