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Source: Olivia Collins, 785-532-5701,
Web site:

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009


MANHATTAN -- The American Humanics/nonprofit leadership focus program at Kansas State University is being recognized as the best among American Humanics Academic Alliance members at placing students in nonprofit sector internships.

The K-State program, offered through the School of Leadership Studies, is receiving the 2008-2009 American Humanics Outstanding Internships Benchmark Award. It will be presented in January 2010 at the American Humanics Management/Leadership Institute in Phoenix, Ariz.

During the 2008-2009 school year, 22 students -- or more than 45 percent of K-State's American Humanics/nonprofit leadership focus program students -- participated in internships, contributing more than 4,500 hours combined. Their work included completing essential projects and improving the organization capacity of local, national and international nonprofit organizations, according to Olivia Collins, director of the American Humanics/nonprofit leadership program at K-State.

The American Humanics Academic Alliance is a national alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofits dedicated to preparing the next generation of nonprofit sector leaders. As a member, K-State offers the American Humanics national certificate in nonprofit management and leadership. Students who earn the certification demonstrate the attainment of essential nonprofit competencies, practical internship experience in nonprofit organizations and leadership in student organizations.

"K-State also leads the American Humanics Academic Alliance in job placement of graduates," Collins said. "For the 2008-2009 school year, 100 percent of our American Humanics-certified alumni had full-time careers, with the vast majority in nonprofit organizations. Through our excellent internship program and collaboration with the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan, the K-State American Humanics program has developed strong community relationships that match the work force needs of the Manhattan community with the placement needs of our qualified and experienced American Humanics-certified graduates."

Collins credits the success of the American Humanics/nonprofit leadership focus program at K-State to the students it attracts.

"These students are committed to working in some capacity for the nonprofit sector," she said. "They understand what it means for an organization and its stakeholders to be mission driven. They are passionate about making the world a better place through sound leadership, and they understand the value of education and preparation for leadership in the sector. They know that national certification by American Humanics signifies that they are prepared to lead in the sector."

K-State students also have been successful in earning scholarships from American Humanics, Collins said. K-State has had 15 American Humanics' Next Generation Leaders since the scholarship/stipend program was started in 2007. The $4,500 Next Generation Leader awards help cover living and educational expenses while students complete an internship with a nonprofit or philanthropic organization. In addition, K-State students received four of the 20 academic awards presented by American Humanics in August 2009 -- the most by any university. The $1,000 scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, demonstrated leadership, involvement in the student's American Humanics campus program and commitment to a career in the nonprofit sector.

"Our students come into the program already involved in their hometown communities, they want to give back to those communities, to K-State and Manhattan, and to the world," Collins said. "As a result of all this, our students are very successful in achieving these awards, which are available to them through our university's understanding that the American Humanics affiliation helps our students succeed."

Collins said the American Humanics program at K-State typically has around 50 students, from freshmen through seniors, active in the nonprofit leadership focus.

"As of May 2010, we will have graduated slightly more than 50 students. To date, all of our graduates have gotten jobs in the nonprofit sector or have gone to the graduate school of their choice," she said.

More on K-State's Benchmark Award is available at