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K-State Today

September 2, 2015



Human Ecology hosts Fulbright Professional Scholar studying services for disadvantaged youth

By Jane P. Marshall

Australian Karen Hart spent an August week in Kansas, talking with Kansas State University students, visiting social services for disadvantaged youth and lecturing in classrooms.

Hart, here on a Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership, is part of the Oz to Oz program between Kansas State University and Australian institutions.

Elaine Johannes, associate professor and extension specialist in youth development in the School of Family Studies and Human Services, College of Human Ecology, was Hart’s host. She arranged opportunities for the Fulbright scholar to contrast and compare U.S. non-profit organizations that serve disadvantaged young adults and to study the organization's executive leadership methods.

In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Hart manages The Youth Junction Inc., the country's largest integrated youth service center that helps prevent problem behaviors in young people ages 18 to 25 that lead to incarceration.

Hart has worked in youth justice systems in both the United Kingdom and Australia and is a qualified child protection social worker. She is working toward a doctorate investigating the influence of interventions to reduce recidivism, incarceration and cost to the community for young people ages 18 to 25 and the effect of organizational leadership on those is institutions.

While on the Australian-American Fulbright Commission fellowship, Hart is studying at the Nonprofit Centers Network at the Alliance Centre in Denver where she focuses on critical success factors for implementation and ongoing not-for-profit organizations.

Her week in Kansas also included stops at Riley County Community Corrections, Flint Hills Job Corps, Communities in Schools Mid-America, Kansas Enrichment Network, MindDrive Inc., Project Eagle Children's Campus in Kansas City and the Kauffman Foundation City Year.

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