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Presidential Lecture Series

Presidential Lecture Series

Attn: Mandy Marchesini and Courtney Claxton
New Student Services
Kansas State University
177 Berney Family Welcome Center
705 N. 17th Street
Manhattan, KS 66506

1-800-432-8270 (toll free) or 785-532-1521




Life Skills

A Whole New Mind: The Importance of Diversity in the 21st Century

Mr. Bryon K. Williams,Assistant Director of K-State Admissions

As the world continues to change and adapt, it is critical that students have a knowledge and appreciation of diversity on a global scale. This workshop encourages students to think about diversity with a new mind, and teaches the importance of acceptance and inclusion in relation to a diverse society.

Conflict Management Training

Dr. Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, Instructor, Department of Management

All organizations, regardless of size and mission, experience conflict.  Whether the conflict is personal, or system-wide, it can get in the way of positive progress and productivity.  In this training we will define the nature of conflict, discuss its causes, and examine various ways of handling conflict.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the initial step of resolution: embracing the issue(s).  We’ll explore some of the causes and the consequences that it can have for both the individual and the organization.  Ultimately this training is designed to help participants see conflict as something to be managed in order to have beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders.

Creating Resilience for an Uncertain Future

Dr. Bernard Franklin, Special Assistant to the Vice President of Student Life

No summary available.

Dealing with Adversity

Dr. Frank Tracz, Director of Bands

We all deal with challenges, trials, tribulations and difficult situations each and every day -- all of us.  Why are some of us more successful in working through or dealing with these issues and challenges?  Identifying, accepting and understanding challenge is the first step in overcoming these difficult issues.  This lecture will explore options, strategies, philosophies and techniques to help students, faculty, co-workers deal with, defeat and move on from life issues and curveballs.

Dress to Impress

Mr. Blair Kocher, Recruitment Coordinator for College of Business Administration

There is no such thing as a second chance at a first impression.  During this interactive seminar students learn not only what it takes to make a positive first impression, but how to make a lasting impact on an affordable budget.

Energy Management

Dr. Stephanie Bannister, Assistant Vice President of Student Life

The good news, we were made to thrive!  The bad news, our current world of work and demanding pace will not slow.  To address this divide we will explore a mindset of energy management and unpack how to thrive in a fast-paced world.

Finding Mentors and "Paying it Forward"

Dr. Sarah Riforgiate, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Mentors come in all shapes and sizes to fulfill a wide range of rolls. For example, mentors can provide encouragement and support, challenge us to accomplish more than we think possible, sponsor us for opportunities or recognition, and/or coach or train us to develop new skills. However, one mentor is not likely to fulfill all of these roles. That is why it is important to seek out many mentors over our lives AND to give back to others. In this interactive discussion, we will talk about types of mentors, how to build relationships with mentors, and ways that we can “Pay it Forward” and mentor others right now. 

Flipping the Formula:  Energy Management and Success

Mr. Chris Mueller, Residence Life Coordinator

Work-Life blend or balance is a constant topic of conversation among high school students, college students, and entry-level professionals. With so an increased focus on success and pressure to work long hours to achieve it, it can often be a daunting task to draw clear boundaries which allow us to be successful. Coupled with the popular view of success in the workplace and in life and you end up with an overworked and under achieving population that has trouble recognizing successes, dealing with failures, and maintaining a positive outlook on the work that they do. Based on information from The Energy Bus, The Happiness Advantage, and several other works and popular journals this lecture focuses on how we can change academic and professional culture to support more healthy work habits in which our students and employees feel more successful and maintain higher levels of energy and positivity. This lecture explores the literature read and provides practical strategies and ideas for managing personal energy in the work environment, in the classroom, and in our personal lives.

Help Me, Help You:  Practicing Self Care

Ms. Jordan Kocher, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life

No matter the age, students face difficulties with peers, at home, and in school.  It's time we learn to take care of ourselves so that we can better interact with and serve the people in our lives.  This hour-long, interactive session covers the purpose of self-care, best practices, and how to make an impact on others.

Money: Why It Matters to You 

Dr. Ann Coulson, Certified Financial Planner & Assistant Professor

This presentation will be adapted to the age and interest of the audience. For instance, for high school students, it might focus on selecting majors, how to pay for college, handling student loans. For an adult audience, it might focus on planning for retirement or how to help your children or grandchildren pay for college. Any financial planning topic may be requested.


Blue Key Students, Blue Key Senior Honor Society

Having a strong network is becoming more and more important in today’s world. This workshop provides tips on how to begin developing your personal network and how to continue to build upon relationships and connections you have made. 


Blue Key Students, Blue Key Senior Honor Society

The goal of this presentation is to provide tools on how to manage time and stress effectively. Audience members will be able to begin identifying what are the most important priorities in their lives and managing their time around their priorities. 

Sensitivity Training for Cultural Diversity: Who Are You Seeing?

Dr. Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, Instructor, Department of Management

Living in a global society, where every day we interact with individuals different than ourselves, it has become necessary for everyone to understand how to effectively carry out personal and professional interactions.  The lack of knowledge, skills, and practices surrounding diversity can result in the loss of friends, diminished profits/market shares, poor customer service, employee turnover, low job satisfaction, and unnecessary legal battles.  Recent demographic trends indicate the demand for well informed and trained employees.  This workshop provides a framework of how diversity interfaces with all aspects of our lives including the roles of language, culture, social psychology, and personality to determine how these work together to create the magnification and maintenance of stereotypical differences between and among groups.  The main goal of the workshop is to enable the participants to understand how to effectively and efficiently manage themselves and their role in a diverse environment to establish a positive climate for all stakeholders.  Come learn how you can be a P.O.P. (Proponent of People) and live more meaningfully in a diverse world.

Striving for Excellence:  Building a Lifetime Resume

Dr. Andrew Barkley, University Distinguished Teaching Scholar

This motivational speech addresses the question, "How can I achieve my maximum potential?"  Each audience member will be asked to imagine a "lifetime resume" that lists important life events and experiences in order to gain insight into career and life decision making.

Stress Management: Have I Lost All My Marbles

Dr. Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, Instructor, Department of Management

In this training we will examine the sources of stress, discuss causes, and examine various ways of managing stress.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the initial step of resolution: embracing the issue(s).  We’ll explore some of the causes and consequences that it can have for both the individual and the organization.  Ultimately this training is designed to help participants see stress as something to be managed for beneficial outcomes to everyone in the workplace.

Time Stress Management

Blue Key Students, Blue Key Senior Honor Society

This presentation focuses on three main things.  One will be stress itself and where it comes from.  The second will be what specific things we find stressful in our lives, and to end we will spend some time exploring strategies for dealing with stressful situations. 

Working the P's in Conflict:  Improving the Use of Punctuation, Power and Perspective

Dr. Sarah Riforgiate, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Over nine times out of ten, we think we are “right” in a conflict and the other person is at fault. This has to do with how we punctuate the conflict; in other words, how we decide when the conflict began. Based on our punctuation, we respond by using one of a variety of types of power, which may or may not be effective (allowing us to reach our goal) or appropriate (as evaluated by the other person). Yet, most research indicates that if we can respond appropriately, we can also be more effective in resolving the conflict and getting what we want. This interactive lecture explains how punctuation, power use, and perspective taking can be used more effectively in order to improve conflicts.

Design Thinking for People, Interiors, and Places

Dr. Bryan Orthel, Assistant Professor of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design

This presentation will demonstrate creative problem-solving to design a better a better future.  The presentation will frame the theoretical background of design thinking and ask the audience to quickly apply these ideas to a real-world problem.  The presentation relies on basic improve comedy exercises (physically moving and talking), small group collaboration (team-based problem solving), and discussion about how these skills can be applied through college education to careers.