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Communicators' Brown Bag Lunch Series

Previous brown bag lunches

This page includes presentations and handouts from previous brown bag lunches. Videos of presentations are included when available.   


Jan. 20, 2017
Location: Cottonwood Room, K-State Student Union
Topic: Changes to the KSU Union

The Communicators' Brown Bag group will host its first meeting of 2017 with a tour of the newly revamped K-State Student Union with Audrey Taggart-Kagdis, Union director of marketing and community relations. Grab lunch at one of the Union's new eateries, see all the changes the Union has undergone and catch up with your fellow communicators' on what's happening in their areas of K-State. 

Meeting kick-off and lunch will be from 11:30 a.m. to noon in the Union's Cottonwood Room. A tour of the Union will follow from noon to 1 p.m. 

February 16, 2017
Location: Cottonwood Room, K-State Student Union
Topic: What's the buzz with drones?

If you've ever wondered about drones, this February brown bag communicator's meeting will tackle this subject head-on, without droning on-and-on. Join the group at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the K-State Student Union's Flint Hills Room as we discuss how drones are changing the way we communicate and gather stories. 

Tyler Traxson, video producer and director in the Division of Communications and Marketing, will share information on a recent drone course taken, current regulations and some of the challenges of capturing media for K-State with drones in a rapidly changing regulatory environment.

Nick Homburg, instructor in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, also will talk about the history of drones, new challenges and changes for journalists who gather news with drones, and on his Drone and Media class for undergraduates, taught at the K-State campus.

March 16, 2017
Location: Cottonwood Room
Topic: Behind the scenes of "Science on Tap"

Join the Communicators' Brown Bag group from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 16, in the K-State Student Union's Cottonwood Room for a behind-the-scenes look at the Science on Tap program, a collaboration between K-State and Sunset Zoo to build the community's enthusiasm for science in a fun and unique way.

Science on Tap features a brief, informal presentation by a K-State scientist followed by lively conversation. Jared Bixby, the zoo's curator of education, will discuss how the program started, and the program's goals and communications plan.

Samantha Sharpe, doctoral student in the Division of Biology, will give a short demonstration of a Science on Tap lecture and science communication activity, based on her March 15 presentation, "Ecological Legacy of Mining: Adapting to Contaminated Soil." Sharpe's research focuses on how plants adapt to pollution caused by human activities.

The program will begin at 11:45 a.m.

April 27, 2017
Location: Cottonwood Room
Topic: Communicating International Research

Join the Communicators' Brown Bag group at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 27, in the Cottonwood Room at the K-State Student Union, for a discussion on communicating international research.

Brad Beckman, video producer for KSRE News Media and Global Food Systems, and Haley Ahlers, project coordinator for USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Applied Wheat Genomics, will offer insights on planning and preparing to travel in a developing country, and how to organize and navigate working in a different culture.

The two also will share media from their recent trip to India documenting Kansas State University's wheat genomics research and will offer a behind-the-scenes view of capturing the culture in cities and rural areas of the Punjab region in Northwest India.

And, to kick things off, Beckman will share an unedited cultural song and dance video from a trip in 2016 to Tanzania that highlighted K-State sorghum research — don't miss out!

The Cottonwood Room opens at 11:30 a.m. and presentations will start at 11:45 a.m. 

May 18, 2017
Location: Cottonwood Room
Topic: Communicating special collections

What does a French spy, WWII hero and young lawyer all have in common? Join the Communicators' Brown Bag group at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 18, in the Cottonwood Room at the K-State Student Union to find out more.

Darchelle Martin and Sarah Hoyt, with communications and marketing at K-State Libraries, and David Allen from the Morse Department of Special Collections, will offer insights into the history, planning and communication work surrounding the special exhibit, "Très Secret: Translating the Freedom Papers." Learn what goes into assembling a story like this, along with other previously curated special collections exhibits.

The Cottonwood Room opens at 11:30 a.m. and presentations will start at 11:45 a.m. Hope to see you there!

July 20, 2017
Location: Big 12 Room
Topic: Communicating the Great American Solar Eclipse

Are you ready for the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017? Join the Communicators' Brown Bag group at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 20, in the Big 12 Room of the K-State Student Union to find out how K-State is promoting for this day, and in line with its land-grant mission, using this as an opportunity to inform Kansans on the science of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Erin Pennington, Division of Communications and Marketing, will share insights into the coordination and planning with other campus and community groups, and on the major upcoming events that K-State will be facilitating for the day. Learn what goes into managing an outreach campaign, and some of the items learned along the way.

The Big 12 Room will open at 11:30 a.m. and presentations will start at 11:45 a.m. Hope to see you there!

August 24, 2017
Location: Big 12 Room
Topic: K-State brand and communications update

Vice President Jeff Morris spoke on updates to the university brand guide, priorities for the Division of Communications and Marketing, and ideas for how all campus communicators can continue to collaborate together.

View the presentation from that day here.

October 19, 2017
Location: Bluemont Room at the Union
Topic: Understanding FERPA with Susan Cooper and Robert Large

November 10, 2017
Location: Hemisphere Room at Hale Library
Topic: Special Edition Communicators' Brown Bag

Special Edition Communicators' Brown Bag: Breakfast with Joe Palca and Maddie Sofia from National Public Radio (breakfast and coffee provided!)

Come join the festivities and take part in a special event for communicators as a part of Science Communication Week at K-State. Will run from 8:30- 10:00 a.m. Hemisphere Room at Hale Library.

Need to reserve your spot - invitation will close at 60 participants! https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cCrDR9oZEcSqovz



Jan. 21, 2016
Location:  Cottonwood Room, K-State Student Union
Topic: Telling the story the K-State way
Description: Ashley Martin, director of marketing services for the Division of Communications and Marketing, will discuss the relaunch of the #WildcatWay campaign, which has been refocused as a brand campaign directly supporting university goals through the showcase of collective K-State experiences, traditions and values.

Rusty Earl, video producer in the College of Education, and Matt Blomberg, video news specialist in the Division of Communications and Marketing, will discuss the inaugural K-State 48 Film Festival on March 31. The film festival is a great opportunity for students to show off their creativity and receive feedback from professional filmmakers throughout the Midwest.

* Feb. 18, 2016
Location: CivicPlus, 302 South 4th Street, Suite 500, Manhattan
Topic: Tour of CivicPlus
Description: The tour will start at 1 p.m. at their office located at 302 South 4th Street, Suite 500, Manhattan. CivicPlus provides website development, emergency notification systems and human resource software for local governments. Read more about CivicPlus. They also have a resourceful blog.

March 17, 2016
Location:  206 K-State Student Union
Topic: Breeze Richardson, director of communications for the Kansas Board of Regents,
will share what she has learned about communicating with diverse audiences, ranging from the media and legislators to students and parents, about everything higher education in Kansas. After a decade at WBEZ-Chicago, Richardson returned with her family to Kansas, continuing her efforts to increase public involvement in and awareness of today’s most pressing policy issues. Given the timing of this event, Richardson also will be able to walk-through and answer any questions about the new “Kansas DegreeStats” initiative, launching March 23, and talk more broadly about how data has become so central in communicating about higher education today, for both students and stakeholders.

April 21, 2016
Location:  Cottonwood Room, K-State Student Union
Topic:  Scott Stebner, managing director for the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement
Successful online marketers know engagement shouldn’t stop at a click, like, or comment. They strive for complete content immersion. Their question isn’t “did they click”. Their question is “and then”. This presentation will take you through diagraming your digital ecosystem so you can answer your “and then”.  It will offer practical metrics to measure your multiple campaigns and offer a few hints on how to efficiently integrate everything into an integrated marketing plan. See the presentation.

*May -- Moved to July because of weather

June 16, 2016
Location: Purple Masque Theatre in West Stadium
c: We'll start with the tour of the West Stadium's new Purple Masque theater and new drama therapy classroom, followed by a return to the lobby area for lunch. Sally Bailey, the director of the drama therapy program, will share information about drama therapy, who it's done with, what they do and where the graduates of the K-State drama therapy program are working.

July 21, 2016
Location:  Tallgrass Tap House mezzanine,
320 Poyntz Ave, Manhattan.
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Topic: Growing the marketing message
Description: Jeff Gill, owner of Tallgrass Brewery and Tal
lgrass Tap House, will speak about marketing the brewery from a small company into what it is now with the Tap House and regional distribution. Stay to socialize with university communicators and celebrate the end of the academic year.

Sept. 22, 2016
Location: K-State Student Union Flint Hills Room
Topic: K-State Director of Marketing Ashley Martin will speak about effective visual and written communications for short attention spans, "Sound Bite Communications in the Digital Era." See the PowerPoint presentation.

Oct. 20, 2016
Location: TBD
Topic: Finding creativity. An interactive discussion will be facilitated by three of the university's creative communicators. Elizabeth Dodd, university distinguished professor of creative writing, Ben Cleveland, graphic designer in the Division of Communications and Marketing, and Tyler Traxson, videographer in the Division of Communications and Marketing, will discuss their creative process and facilitate group discussion. Please consider sharing projects or creative works so the group can explore where each of us find creativity; differences in the creative process; what prevents creativity and how to over come things that block creativity.

Nov. 17, 2016
Location: The UMB Theater in the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum
Topic: Museum Director Linda Duke will present "Visual thinking strategies for more effective communication." Visual thinking strategies is an educational methodology based on viewing works of art, that helps develop cognitive, observation and communication skills. Through these strategies and its dynamic group problem-solving process, participants will explore strategies to to present their own ideas, while respecting and learning from the perspectives of their peers. See the What is VTS handout and Understanding Visual Literacy excerpt from "Essentials of Teaching and Integrating Visual and Media Literacy."


Jan. 19, 2015
Location:  Cottonwood Room
Topic:  Innovative programming and delivery solutions to create growth and expansion in agriculture.
Description:  The Kansas Department of Agriculture is the first department of agriculture in our nation, tracing its roots back to 1855. Today that history includes a relocation from the capitol city of Topeka, to Manhattan in June of 2014.  Join the Brown Bag Communicators group to learn more about the mission of the agency, some on-going communications efforts and ways that KDA and KSU can collaborate as well as a tour of the new facility. 

There is an extensive breakroom with bottled soda/drinks/prepackaged sandwiches available for purchase.  Water and tea will be made available for the group.  Microwaves are also available for heating items. Ample parking is available, and the front door is on the west side of the building.

Feb. 19, 2015
Location: Union, Cottonwood Room
Topic:  Current Trends in Communication
Description: A panel discussion of communicators who attended the CASE District VI conference in January.  See how other institutions in the midwest are putting their communication skills to practice.

CASE, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, is education's leading resource for knowledge, standards, advocacy and training in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and related activities.  CASE District VI represents professionals and institutions in the Midwest region of the United States (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming).

Resources discussed by the panel: Lindsey Elliott, Jennifer Tidball, Ashley Martin, and Michael Oetken
To Centralize or Decentralize
Not Your Daddy's Newsroom
New Branding: Regis University
Video Examples of Storytelling 

March 26, 2015

Location:  Union, K Ballroom
Topic:  Augmented Reality Apps
Description:  The Division of Communications and Marketing have been working with the Office of Admissions to create a new marketing campaign to prospective students using Augmented Reality technologies. Augmented Reality (AR) describes a technology that blends digital content into our real world. Through Augmented Reality, it is possible to digitally enrich images, objects or even geographic locations in the real world with digital content from a mobile device. AR experiences can be built with 3D models, video, web links, sounds and other digital media available to modern smart devices. We’ll be showing some examples of how we are achieving this with these new K-State Admissions projects.

For more information, contact Michael Oetken or Ben Cleveland.

April 16, 2015
Location:  Union, Cottonwood Room
Topic:  Understanding Metrics
Description:  You've told a great story.  Did anybody hear it?
Google Analytics is a tool included on all K-State Content Management System websites that records every time a page is viewed.  Analysis can determine which pages are popular, when pages were viewed, from where, and can lead to insights that improve a site.  Come learn how Google Analytics works and how it can help focus your communications efforts.

For more information, contact Neil Erdwin.

May 21, 2015
Location:  502 Media Group, 121 South 4th Street #209, Manhattan
Topic:  Tour of 502 Media Group followed by lunch at Hibachi Hut
The tour will start at 11:30 at their office located at 121 S 4th, Suite 209.  After the tour, everyone is invited to eat lunch together at Hibachi Hut.

502 Media Group provides clients with Marketing and Advertising Planning, Video Production, Digital Media Marketing, and Web Development.  For more information about their company, go to: http://www.502mediagroup.com

June 18, 2015
Location:  Leadership Studies, Rm 201
Topic:  Collaboration
Description:  Is collaborative work new to you?  Perhaps you find it challenging. Let's get together and discuss best practice and possible pitfalls in programmatic collaborations. Come ready to learn about community and organizational collaboratives. Presented by Debra Bolton, Southwest Area Extension Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences.

July 16, 2015
Location:  Call Hall, Rm 140
Topic:  Telling the Story of Agriculture
Description:  John Schlageck, senior writer and editor for Kansas Farm Bureau, has been telling the story of agriculture for nearly 40 years and will be sharing his experiences. A discussion will follow John’s presentation, so come with lots of questions. Read his weekly blog on the Rural Messenger.

Lunch and ice cream can be purchased at the Call Hall Dairy Bar. View the menu offered for Thursday.

Sept. 17, 2015
Location:  Union, Rm 206
Topic:  Using Visuals in Social Media
Description:  Sheila Ellis-Glasper, social media specialist, and Tyler Traxson, television producer and director, will discuss their experiences and best practices for using video and graphics in social media. Please join Kansas State University communicators to learn how to strengthen social media practices. 

Oct. 15, 2015
Location: Union, Cottonwood Room
Topic:  Promoting K-State Research
Description:  Sarah Caldwell Hancock, documentation technical writer for the Office of the Vice President for Research, will briefly present available tools to promote K-State research and the “rules of the road” for research video and photography, then lead a discussion about boosting your unit’s research content on the web and in social media. Ideas and questions are welcome, so come with an example of a piece of research communication that worked for you or an example from another institution. 

Sarah shared several links for more information:

Before you take photos or videos in a research environment, please review and share the Guidelines for Photo and Video link below with your client.
This page also has a News Template and RSCAD Strengths Graphic.

To learn more about how top-level administrators are discussing research strengths, go to:

If you'd like to share your research stories, or need help in making your college or departmental websites research strengths prominent, contact Sarah Hancock.

Nov. 19, 2015
Location:  Union, Cottonwood Room
Topic: How to Talk About the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign
Description: The public launch of the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign in October was a historic event in our university's history, and it's impact will be felt across the academy. The ambitious goal of raising $1 billion for K-State cannot be achieved without a high level of collaboration, especially among the university communicators. Our collective story telling will be central to the campaign's success and the future of Kansas State University.

Susan Wolf Berhow, assistant director of communications at the KSU Foundation will be presenting:

  • How to integrate campaign messages into your projects
  • How to showcase the impact of philanthropy in your stories
  • Tips on interacting with donors and telling their stories
  • Resources available that will help you succeed!

Jan. 16, 2014
Location: Sunflower Room, K-State Student Union
Topic: Search engine optimization (SEO)
Speaker: Neil Erdwien, director of web services, Division of Communications and Marketing


Feb. 20, 2014
Location: Cottonwood Room, K-State Student Union
Topic: Who is my audience? How to find, research and reach your audience
Speaker: A panel of marketing experts across campus
Panel members include:
* Lauri Baker, assistant professor of agricultural communications and journalism
* Janis Crow, instructor of marketing
* Melinda Sinn, director of marketing and communication services in the Division of Continuing Education
March 27, 2014
Location: Room 227, K-State Student Union
Topic: Crisis communications: A closer look at the updated university crisis communications plan
Speaker: Lindsey Elliott, news production specialist, Division of Communications and Marketing

April 17, 2014
Location: Cottonwood Room, K-State Student Union
Topic: Creativity workshop
Speaker: Sally Bailey, professor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
May 22, 2014
Location: Room 126, Leadership Studies Building
Topic: Spring social and writing workshop
* Elaine Edwards, news media and marketing services coordinator, department of communications and agricultural education
* Sheila Ellis-Glasper, digital media specialist, Division of Communications and Marketing
* Stephanie Jacques, news writer, Division of Communications and Marketing
* Mary Lou Peter, communications specialist, news writer and editor, department of communications and agricultural education


Sept. 18, 2014
Location: Sunflower Room, K-State Student Union
Topic: Global food systems
Speakers: Global food systems communications team
Presenters include: 
* Brad Beckman, communications specialist
* Lindsey Elliott, communications specialist
* Greg Tammen, communications specialist
* Jeffrey Wichman, communications specialist 


Oct. 16, 2014
Location: Room 206, K-State Student Union
Topic: Photography
Speaker: Jim Richardson, photographer for National Geographic Magazine
Nov. 20, 2014
Location: Gate B, West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium
Topic: A behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium and a closer look at its video capabilities
Dec. 18, 2014
Location: Room 201, Leadership Studies Building
Topic: Share-and-tell workshop
Description: An informal lunch where communicators can share successful projects and ideas