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Diversity and Inclusion

Archive of Previous Sessions

Thursday, April 23, 2020 via Zoom, 2:00pm-4:00pm (Link will be sent to registered participants)

Encouraging Empathy to Promote Diversity and Inclusion - Dr. Don Saucier and Tess Hobson

Description: In this webinar, we will discuss how instructors can use the structure and activities in our classes, especially, but not only, as majority group instructors teaching primarily majority group students, to foster empathy for ourselves and our students to issues related to diversity and inclusion.  We will discuss how we can encourage our students to contribute to progress toward the solution to social issues of inequity and injustice, rather than contributing to the problem.  We will begin our webinar by discussing ways to manage class discussion by setting the rules of engagement and helping students see the value in diversity and inclusion.  We will then discuss ways to help foster students’ awareness of their own privilege in open dialogues using stories.  We will provide the participants in our webinar with opportunities to ask questions and offer their perspectives on encouraging empathy in our classes.

Facilitator Bios:

Don Saucier

Dr. Don Saucier

Professor of Psychological Sciences
University Distinguished Teaching Scholar
Faculty Associate Director of the Teaching & Learning Center

Tess Hobson

Tess Hobson

PhD Student in Student Affairs and Higher Education

Bio: Don Saucier received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (Social) from the University of Vermont in 2001.  He has been at K-State since 2004.  His research examines expressions of prosocial and antisocial behavior (including prejudice and discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation).  He is a Fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), the Society for Experimental Social Psychology (SESP), and the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA).  His many teaching awards include the Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.Bio: Tess Hobson received an M.S. in College Student Development from K-State in 2015 and a graduate certificate in Social Justice Education in 2019. She spent six years working with the Developing Scholars Program, an undergraduate research program for first-generation students and students from underrepresented backgrounds, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Student Affairs and Higher Education at K-State. She currently teaches LEAD 350: Culture and Context in Leadership through her role as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Staley School of Leadership Studies.

Video of the April 23, 2020 Presentation

Thursday, February 27, 12:00pm-1:00pm, Flinthills Room, KSU Student Union

Difficult dialogues around race: A pathway from Non-racism to Anti-racism. - Andrew Wefald, Kimathi Choma, Jessica Elmore & Cliff Hight


Our facilitation will give faculty and staff some knowledge and skills on how to engage in difficult dialogues around race. For many this topic can be scary and we hope to make it less so with the goal of living and modeling our Principles of Community and making our campus more inclusive.

Facilitator Bios:

Dr. Andrew Wefald 

Dr. Andrew Wefald

Associate Professor
School of Leadership Studies

Dr. Kimathi Choma 

Dr. Kimathi Choma

Assistant Dean of Diversity, Recruitment and Retention
College of Arts & Sciences

Bio: Andrew Wefald teaches leadership classes and conducts research broadly around the topic of leadership. Current projects include research examining self-authored leadership projects, coaching & coachability, and political skill. Research interests are mostly around leadership and psychology with a focus on quantitative data research methods. Specific interests include developing meaningful leadership projects for students and creating coaching cultures in the classroom and in the workplace. Andrew has published in referred journals such as the Journal of Leadership and Organizational StudiesLeadership and Organization Development JournalJournal of Management Inquiry, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior among others. Andrew earned his PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Kansas State University. 

Bio: As Assistant Dean, Choma develops and guides the comprehensive strategy for diversity, retention, recruitment and inclusion for the college. He also leads efforts to advance inclusion initiatives and practices for underrepresented groups within the college.

Choma earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, in 1997 before completing two years of graduate-level chemistry course work at the University of South Dakota in preparation for veterinary medical school. He graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in May 2007 and earned his Master of Public Health from the university in 2013.

Dr. Andrew Wefald 

Dr. Jessica Elmore

Associate director of Diversity Programs
K-State Alumni Association


 Dr. Andrew Wefald 

Cliff Hight
Department Head / University Archivist
University Archives and Special Collections

Bio: Jessica Elmore, Ed.D is the associate director of diversity programs for the K-State Alumni Association. As a connector for the K-State Alumni Association to current students, graduates and friends of Kansas State University, Jessica’s candid and practitioner approach to cultural engagement has contributed to numerous cultural experiences and a drive to enhance the social capacity to embrace diverse cultural norms. 

 Bio: Cliff Hight is an associate professor at K-State Libraries, where he is the University Archivist and the Head of the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections. His work includes preserving and making available documentation of the K-State experience. Part of this goal especially includes ensuring the availability of historical evidence from underrepresented groups.

Video of the February 27 Difficult Dialogues Presentation

Tuesday, November 12, 12:30pm-2:00pm, Bluemont Room, KSU Student Union

Situation Critical: Responding to Difficult Situations Through Role-play - Tara Coleman & Brent Weaver

Description: Few people are skilled at effectively responding to a difficult situation, the first time they encounter it. It is easy to imagine you will respond calmly, but when tension is high, our response may be very different. Training and role-play can help us recognize warning signs of a challenging situation and allow us to process them more quickly, react more effectively, and respond with care. In this session, participants will role-play scenarios drawn from the group’s personal experiences to help them start to develop a routine for handling difficult situations. 

Please be aware that this is an interactive session that will include some role play.

Facilitator Bios:

Tara Coleman

Tara Coleman

Associate Professor
Web Services Librarian, K-State Libraries

Brent Weaver

Brent Weaver

Learning Assistant Coordinator
K-State First

Bio: Tara is responsible for usability, content, and general oversight of a Libraries’ web presence. When not conquering the web, Coleman chairs the K-State Book Network (KSBN), the university’s common reading program, and serves on K-State First, the university's first year experience program.

Her insight and knowledge of the university’s diverse populations informs both of those roles as well as her position as coordinator of the Libraries’ Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies. She is a licensed Intercultural Development Inventory facilitator and foster parent.

Coleman received a BA in English at Kansas State University and a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma.  

Bio: Brent supervises a team of ~50 undergraduate peer mentors and prepares them to engage with difficult situations that might happen in and out of the class.

In addition to his supervision and training work, Weaver sits on various university committees that develop best practices for teaching, training, and professional development.

Outside of K-State, Weaver is involved in the Manhattan community - most specifically as an actor in several Manhattan Arts Center productions. Weaver received his BA and MA in English from Kansas State University.  


Thursday, October 17, 12:30pm-1:30pm, 2019 Flinthills Room, KSU Student Union

Mental Health in the Classroom: An Important Dialogue - Dr. Wendy Barnes


Talking about mental health with students can often be challenging due to social stigma, as well as personal shame. However, it is important to discuss mental health and the impact it has on student success. During this interactive workshop, we will be exploring ways to create a safe classroom environment when checking in with students about the status of their mental health, as well as how we might go about fostering dialogue when students are impacted by a campus suicide.

Facilitator Bio:

Wendy Barnes
Dr. Wendy Barnes

Outreach Coordinator
K-State Counseling Services

Dr. Wendy Barnes is the Outreach Coordinator for Counseling Services. As a non-clinical member of the center, her focus is educating students about the importance of taking care of their mental health in order to succeed academically, socially, and personally. She regularly has dialogue with students in the classroom about mental health and believes it is something all faculty and staff can do as a way to show support for student mental health at K-State.  

Wendy joined the K-State family in 2002 when she started her Master’s in English. Prior to joining Counseling Services, she taught for several departments, while working on her Ph.D. in Human Ecology, which she received in 2012, the same year she joined Counseling Services as a professional staff member.

Note: Dr. Barnes was unable to present. Dr. Kodee Walls from K-State Counseling Services presented in her stead.