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Participants in the 15th annual Kansas State University Leadership Seminar will learn how to tap into networks that influence their work and everyday lives.

The seminar will be presented from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the K-State Student Union. It's open to business leaders and community members.

Organizers say traditional models of leadership that worked in the past don’t always fit today's networked world. New technology and online tools are making it necessary for leaders to change the way they communicate.

At the seminar participants will learn how to:
 * Build on traditional leadership skills to work effectively with others in networks.
 * Leverage technology to build relationships and accomplish shared goals.
 * Map personal and organizational networks to address a leadership challenge.

Patti Anklam, an independent consultant with expertise in collaboration practices and social networks, will present the seminar. She is the author of "Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World.”

The seminar will help participants develop a network mindset that will foster collaboration and idea sharing. Activities include exercises that allow participants to apply the network management tools they'll learn during the seminar.

"Everyone is leader," said Susan Jagerson, a member of the seminar planning committee and marketing coordinator for K-State's Division of Communications and Marketing. "This seminar will provide practical information for understanding what your role is as a leader within your networks."

Participants can register online at Lunch is provided, and those who register by March 4 will have the opportunity to examine and strengthen their connections in a social network analysis.

Download the seminar brochure at to learn more.


Getting lost in a book will help new students find their way at Kansas State University.

Students, faculty and staff will read Dave Eggers' "Zeitoun" for the university's reading program. The K-State Book Network allows first-year students and the campus community to participate in thought-provoking discussions and connect with one another.

"Zeitoun" details the true story of a Syrian-American contractor and painter who stays in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. The New York Times called the book "the stuff of great narrative nonfiction."

"Although many stories have been told about New Orleans during this disaster, 'Zeitoun' presents a very human side of how people were affected by -- and eventually triumphed over -- the devastation, confusion and difficulty wrought by Katrina," said Stephen Kiefer, co-chair of the book network, director of the university honors program and professor of psychology.

The nonfiction narrative offers readers the opportunity to examine complex issues that require thoughtful analysis.

"We look forward to compelling conversations about American identity, community engagement, religious faith and the rebirth of New Orleans," said Karin Westman, head of the department of English and member of the book network committee.

Readers will explore the effects from natural and human-made disasters, which often ripple across geographical, political, economic and psychological boundaries, said Tara Coleman, Web services librarian for K-State Libraries and co-chair of the book network committee.

"Students can begin to understand many of the events that occurred during the hurricane and the subsequent flooding," she said. "They'll also be able to empathize with the personal struggles faced by the people of New Orleans."

Readers can participate in discussions and lectures related to the book's themes. The program will kick off with a Mardi Gras celebration from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 8, at the K-State Student Union courtyard in a tribute to New Orleans. Fall events include documentaries and films related to the book's themes and panel discussions.

K-State's campuswide reading program was one of the first offered by a Board of Regents institution in Kansas, and similar reading programs are part of the first-year experience at many universities.

"We want to encourage new students to engage with good books and challenging ideas from the very start of their K-State careers," said Greg Eiselein, professor of English and co-director of K-State First, the university's first-year student experience program. "Common reading experiences are also a great way to build campus community and to welcome new students to the university."

"Zeitoun" will serve as a common topic of conversation for incoming students that they can bond over, said Emily Lehning, co-director of K-State First, assistant vice president for student life and director of new student services.

"They can talk about it with each other and other members of the K-State family from the moment they arrive on campus," she said.

The campus community embraced last year's selection of Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" during the program's inaugural year, Westman said.

"First-year students, their families, returning students, faculty, staff and members of the Manhattan community shared their experiences of the book's character-driven, dystopian vision of reality television, civil liberties, technology and political action," she said.

All freshmen will receive a copy of "Zeitoun" at their campus orientation visit in June. Copies for current K-Staters will be available at the K-State Student Union Bookstore and Varney's Book Store in Aggieville. Faculty and staff who would like a copy for use with students can contact Coleman and Kiefer at

Visit to learn more.


Three public seminars are featured in the 2011 Friends of the Kansas State University Gardens Luncheon Series. Learn about drift roses in March, tour an 18th-century style colonial garden in June, and in November see how to use "old with new" to decorate for the holidays.

All programs will be on Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Manhattan, said Judy Unruh, coordinator of the series. Admission is $25 per person for the lunch and seminar. Net proceeds benefit the K-State Gardens.

The schedule includes:

* March 10, "Drift Roses: The Next Big Thing for Small Gardens," President's Room, Holiday Inn at the Campus, 1641 Anderson Ave. The presenter is Doug Baker, vice president for major accounts for Greenleaf Nursery in Oklahoma. A 1985 K-State graduate in horticulture, Baker has been with Greenleaf for 23 years.

* June 16, "English Colonial Gardening," a private garden tour at 500 Denison Ave. Tim Lindemuth, editor of the K-Stater alumni magazine and member of the Friends of the K-State Gardens board, will explain how he designed and built an 18th-century style colonial garden patterned after the Curtis Maupin House garden constructed in 1733 at Williamsburg, Va.

* Nov. 3, "Re-think, Re-design, Re-invent for the Holidays," Colbert Hills Clubhouse, 5200 Colbert Hills Drive. Ralph Diaz and Rob Dudley, Manhattan area businessmen, will show how to combine existing items around the home with new pieces to make beautiful table settings and decorations. They will illustrate creativity using linens and dishes with holiday decor.

Advance paid registration is required by calling Anne Springer at 785-532-1442 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or e-mail Advance payments may be sent to Friends of the K-State Gardens, 2021 Throckmorton Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506


"Broke-ology," a play written and first performed at Kansas State University, is returning to campus along with its award-winning playwright, alumnus Nathan Louis Jackson, who has been featured recently in the New York Times.

K-State's Ebony Theater will perform "Broke-ology" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24-26, with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in East Stadium's Purple Masque Theater.

Originally titled "Mancherios," Jackson wrote the script for "Broke-ology" while studying at K-State. It was initially performed in the Purple Masque Theater and went on to be produced at Lincoln Center in fall 2009. "Broke-ology" was performed to sold-out audiences in Kansas City in spring 2010.

The play is about the trials of a small family in Kansas City, Kan., as brothers Ennis and Malcolm King quarrel over the care of their ailing father. Ennis received his degree in broke-ology, the study of being broke, as he cares for his father and his pregnant girlfriend. Malcolm, the younger of the two brothers, recently returned home from his undergraduate studies and is determined to make life better for his family.

Throughout the play the King family is forced to battle poverty, time and their love for one another.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students. They can be purchased at the McCain Auditorium box office from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays or by calling 785-532-6428 during box office hours. Tickets also may be purchased at the Little Theater box office in the K-State Student Union from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Jackson will take part in a theater forum at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, in Nichols Theater. The forum is free and open to the public. He also will lead a post-performance discussion of "Broke-ology" Thursday, Feb. 24, in the Purple Masque Theater.

A former president of Ebony Theater, Jackson is a two-time American Forensic Association prose interpretation champion and a two-time recipient of the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. He is the winner of the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award and the Kennedy Center's Gold Medallion. He also was named the American College Theater Festival Region V best acting partner.

Jackson is currently a writer for two television series, TNT's "Southland" and Showtime's "Shameless," starring William H. Macy. His latest play, "When I Came to Die," is making its debut at the Lincoln Center Theater.