University kicking off new initiative to support, mentor black males
Friday, Sept. 9, 2016
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Office of Diversity is launching IMHOTEP, a new initiative to increase black male student success and retention.
A kickoff event will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, in the K-State Student Union's Little Theatre. The public is invited.
The IMOHTEP initiative, named after the celebrated ancient Egyptian scholar, focuses on bettering retention rates, providing community uplift and cultural enrichment, exploring career and graduate school placements, and encouraging degree completion for the targeted population.
With the guidance of a faculty or staff mentor and student peer leaders, IMHOTEP participants will assess long- and short-term personal and professional goals while learning the importance of community and political action and gaining a broad understanding of their intersecting cultural identities.
"The Office of Diversity and Kansas State University Provost and Senior Vice President April Mason are pleased to support this initiative," said Zelia Wiley, interim associate provost in the Office of Diversity. "Our goal is to always recruit, retain and graduate all students, specifically multicultural students. This initiative will allow explicit action toward the retention and graduation of this group."
Kimathi Choma, assistant dean for diversity, recruitment and retention in the university's College of Arts & Sciences, spearheaded the initiative with the intent to grow and strengthen the university's mission to embrace diversity, encourage engagement and improve the quality of life for its students, staff, faculty and alumni.
"There is national and local data that suggests that these students in particular might need added support, and that's been seen around the country," Choma said. “When you have disparities in retention rates, you have to ask yourself, 'Why are these disparities here?'"
Choma added that the initiative should address most directly the issues of academic performance and belonging from a sociocultural standpoint, while also educating students on matters of personal finances.
The Office of Diversity is committed to promoting diversity in every sector of Kansas State University. The office provides vision and leadership in diversifying all university functions as well as students, faculty, staff and the curriculum.
For more information on the IMHOTEP initiative objectives and planned curricula, please contact Choma at 785-532-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Brandon L. Clark, program coordinator in the Office of Diversity, at 785-532-6436 or email@example.com.