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Developing Scholars


The mission of the Developing Scholars Program is:

  • to increase the number of intellectually curious students of color and first generation college students who choose KSU.
  • to improve retention of such underrepresented students by matching students with faculty mentors for the purpose of providing early opportunities for scholarly research.
  • to guide more of such underrepresented students toward graduate or professional school.
  • to provide a more diverse community of workers for the twenty-first century.



The goals of the Development Scholars Program include:

  • Identify, recruit, motivate, and enable more underrepresented students to obtain a Bachelor's degree from Kansas State University
  • Increase K-State faculty involvement and understanding of the needs and richness of diverse perspectives that underrepresented students bring to the university environment
  • Improve academic success and create opportunity for underrepresented students at Kansas State University
  • Foster development of a community of student researchers by providing educational enrichment activities and ways for students to interact, network, socialize, and collaborate with each other and with the larger academic community
  • Nurture a strong work ethic, intellectual curiosity, community problem-solving, and enjoyment in the act of learning
  • Continue to improve the retention and graduation rates of underrepresented populations at Kansas State University
  • Increase the numbers of underrepresented students who transfer to Kansas State University from community colleges and who graduate
  • Establish a "pathway of progress" to provide opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue diverse academic interests and to enter graduate programs, professional schools, or to find placement in their professional fields upon graduation
  • Provide opportunities for faculty to interact with students from diverse cultural backgrounds who can bring fresh perspectives to the research environment
  • Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of participation in the Developing Scholars Program for faculty and students
  • Share with other institutions of higher learning what is learned

DSP Vision Statement


Alumni Spotlight

From the Little Apple to the Big Apple

Kieu Nguyen

Thuy Kieu Nguyen (Overland Park, KS), graduated May 2007:  Kieu received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from K-State.  She was also a recipient of an Anderson Award and an Outstanding Graduating Senior award.  After K-State, Kieu applied to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta and was accepted.  After graduation from SCAD, Kieu set out for New York City determined to break into the fashion scene.  Her persistence led her to employment with Fendi where she stayed for several years before moving on to Salvatore Ferragamo, one of the world's most prestigious Italian fashion houses.  She now works at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue.


It Takes a Village

Dwight Alexander

Dwight Alexander (Naperville, IL), graduated 2008:  Dwight majored in Political Science at K-State and participated in a study abroad trip to Italy while he was in Developing Scholars.  He had the opportunity in his research project to be mentored by John Carlin, former governor of Kansas and United States Archivist.  Dwight attended the University of Kansas Law School and now has his own private practice The Alexander Law Firm, LLC.  Dwight’s father once referred to K-State and the Developing Scholars Program as the “village” which helped to prepare Dwight for his future.  Now Dwight works for justice in his new village of Kansas City, Missouri.