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K-State Today

February 21, 2013



Catalyzing multicultural curriculum transformation: Tilford Incentive Grants awarded to faculty

By Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University is awarding seven Tilford Incentive Grants for developing programs and projects on campus to help students learn the knowledge, personal attributes and skills necessary to live and work in a diverse world.

The office of the provost, along with financial support from all the university's colleges, funds the grants. They are awarded in variable amounts with a maximum of $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for interdisciplinary teams.

"We are very excited about the multicultural curriculum transformation that these grants will catalyze," said Myra Gordon, associate provost for diversity and the administrative lead for the Tilford Incentive Grant process. "The curricula and pedagogy to which our students are exposed will determine, in large measure, how culturally competent they are upon graduation. Employers who understand the demography of our nation expect a high degree of cultural competence in the people they hire."

Grant recipients are recognized as 2013 Tilford fellows. Their names and projects are:

* Zelia Z. Wiley, assistant dean for diversity and director of the diversity programs office in the College of Agriculture, will be redesigning the course, GENAG 210, Human and Cultural Diversity in Food and Agricultural Science. Wiley will use the grant to add cultural immersion trips for students, providing opportunities to branch out of their comfort zone while exploring the rich diversity and cultural heritage that has shaped the agriculture industry today.

 * Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; Charles Rankin, director of the Midwest Equity Assistance Center; and Albert Bimper, assistant professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, all from the College of Education, will create a digital museum and archive of historical stories of the university's black history. Created to inspire Kansas State University students as well as all Kansas students, the archive will include lesson plans for kindergarten to 12th-grade teachers to help them infuse black history into their curriculum.

* Ronnie Elmore, associate dean for academic programs, admissions and diversity in the College of Veterinary Medicine, will be purchasing the book "35 Dumb Things Well-Intentioned People Say" for incoming freshmen. The book has been used in Elmore's class, Practicing Veterinary Medicine in a Multicultural Society, and helps enlighten all veterinary medicine students on unintended consequences that can come from common phrases related to diversity.

* Ryadi Adityavaram, associate professor of interior architecture and product design in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, is developing the new course, Critical Regionalism: Search of Design Identity within Diversity. The course is designed to increase students' understanding of several contemporary architectural issues around the world. It will introduce students to cultural and architectural non-Western design traditions as well as a modern global dialogue, using architecture case studies in Singapore and Indonesia.

* Debra Pryor, video producer with news media and marketing services; Jason Ellis, assistant professor of communications and agricultural education; and students in the College of Agriculture will be producing an e-book about the Kaw Nation's cultural heritage, including pictures, video clips and interviews with members of the Kaw Nation during powwows. The e-book will increase the reader's awareness and knowledge of cultural difference and practices.

* Kansas State University Salina's Bill Genereux, associate professor of technology, and Becky DeGreeff, assistant professor of arts, sciences and business, are developing the K-State Salina Diversity Assignment and Project Showcase. The showcase will allow for easy exchange of diversity assignments and projects between colleagues.

* Salvador Oropesa, head of the department of modern languages; Gabriela Sabates, instructor of women's studies; and Jeff Smith, associate professor of geography, are developing a new bilingual website, Through the Purple Glass: K-State Perspective on Latin America and Beyond. Designed to create cross-cultural understanding and communication, the website will serve as a resource to explore and understand the cultural diversity in Ibero-American countries.

To learn more about the Tilford Group and to review the multicultural competencies, go to http://www.k-state.edu/tilford.