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Staley School of Leadership Studies

Staley School of Leadership Studies
Kansas State University
257 Leadership Studies Building
1300 Mid-Campus Drive N.
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-6085 ph
785-532-6542 fax

Building Hours
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Dec. 23 - Jan. 15

Radina's Coffeehouse & Roastery
Closed until further notice

Alumni Advisory Committee

Amanda Cebula Year: 2007 

AmandaCebulaAmanda's Bio

I currently work as the Director of Project Development for the Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita, Kansas.

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Major/Minor(s): Speech Communication (Major), Music & Leadership Studies (Minors)

What does Leadership look like now in your life? Leadership is literally now a part of my entire life, by both being blessed to work in that field as well as using and applying the skills from my education, training, and experience toward my community and professional involvement. One concept that I have really grasped onto from the teachings of the Kansas Leadership Center is the idea that leadership is an activity, not a position, which means I can exercise leadership whenever and wherever I might be.

What you are looking forward to the most from this organization? The thing I look forward to the most from this organization is it being a place where alumni can continue to support the School of Leadership Studies through many different outlets. In particular, I hope people find this organization as a place to both to connect with each other and develop professionally, but also to be able to give back to a place and people that leave such a big impact on so many individuals.

Ben Fenwick Year: 2005 

BenFenwickBen's Bio


I am currently a Program Analyst with the Department of Defense, Arlington, VA

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Major/Minor(s): Political Science (Major), Leadership Studies & History (Minors). Masters in Public Administration from Cornell University.

What does Leadership look like now in your life? Leadership in my life now is focused on team dynamics and hierarchy. Working in a military organization there is a struggle between respect for authority, but also a need to support innovation and the team. This is a dynamic struggle and I (as well as my organization) am consistently working to take the strengths of both viewpoints and bring those together to help the organization to succeed. Despite this, there are still weaknesses and drawbacks, but if there is a strong goal and vision that the organization has bought into, those downsides are minimized and it has allowed leadership to flourish.

What are you looking forward to most with working in WLFL? I’m looking forward to getting this organization off the ground and healthy enough to both contribute back to Leadership and to contribute to the university. Also, I would like to ensure that there is better outreach to Leadership alumni, especially as the Leadership program is over 15 years old and has a large pool of alumni to work with.

Jill Casten Year: 2002 

jillcastenJill's Bio

I just finished my PhD at Virginia Tech last May and currently I'm working at the American Farm Bureau Federation as their Director of Training and Development.

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Favorite memory from the School of Leadership Studies? Having class in the "leadership house". It was such a unique and cozy setting to have class in a "living room".

What you are looking forward to the most from this organization? My response is two-fold. First, I am looking forward to connecting with K-Staters and the program that meant so much to me as a student. Second, I want to keep on top of what's happening in leadership education and stay connected to higher education.

Ryan Collett Year: 2007 

Ryan CollettRyan's Bio

I currently work as the Strategic Client Executive at Cerner Corporation.

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Major/Minor(s): Major in Kinesiology, Major in Nutrition, Minor in Leadership Studies

Greek Affiliation: Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE)

What does Leadership look like now in your life? Leadership has been an important part of my life while I attended KSU and now post graduation. I try to be actively engaged in leadership in both my professional and personal life. Professionally being in a large corporation, there are many opportunities to lead peers and there have also been times when my knowledge of leadership has helped me to be a better follower of my work orders. Personally I have taken the initiative to be involved in several organizations and have lead through formal positions and lead by being an engaged member.

What are you looking forward to most with working in WLFL? I have found that leadership is something that you can always improve upon. You can't obtain the skills and then quit learning about it. You must always be a student of leadership. I believe this organization will continue to help with our lifetime pursuit of leadership skills. 

Lucas Shivers Year: 2003 


I currently work as the director of Elementary Education for USD 383, the Manhattan and Ogden School District.

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Major/Minor(s): Majors in Elementary Ed and Ag Comm, Minor in Leadership Studies

Greek Affiliation: Acacia Fraternity

What does Leadership look like now in your life? I'm no more creative, visionary, charismatic, ambitious, blessed by luck, risk seeking or prone to making big, bold moves than anyone – but I am consistently growing, listening, learning to seek wisdom in my lifelong pursuit of serving others as a husband, father, brother, friend, teacher, mentor and administrator.

What are you looking forward to most with working in WLFL? I am honored to be a student-centered educator in Kansas schools, and I see no higher purpose than to equip and encourage students to pursuit their passions of service and learning. I am overjoyed at the opportunity to help advance some of the daunting issues relating to leadership today. I seek opportunities to sharpen my skills to never stop learning.

Tamara Bauer Year: 2005 

keithkennedyTamara's Bio

I am an instructor at the School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University. I teach LEAD 212 as well as other classes.

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Major/Minor(s): Major in Life Sciences, Minors in Biology and Leadership Studies.

What does Leadership look like now in your life? For me exercising leadership is about the relationship you have with others to mobilize one another towards progress. This progress is connected toward something that will improve our society – something beneficial for the common good.

What are you looking forward to most with working in WLFL? My aspiration for WLFL would be to create a network of individuals all around the world that want to come together and champion ways to exercise leadership together. Could we come together to work on some of the more daunting challenges our world faces?

Jackie Baker Year: 2012 

AaronOttoJakie's Bio

I am the Donor Relations Coordinator at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation in Kansas Citys

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Major/Minor(s): Major in Public Relations, Minors in Spanish and Non-Profit Focus Leadership Studies

What does Leadership look like now in your life? I've really enjoyed finding leadership opportunities outside of my workday. I continue to connect with and lead peers in my industry by serving as a Steering Committee member and Program Chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Kansas City. I also take a leadership role in my community by volunteering my time and heading up fundraising initiatives at a local animal shelter.

What are you looking forward to most with working in WLFL? My time at K-State was absolutely defined by my Leadership minor, HandsOn Kansas State and my overall involvement with SLS programming. I know there are so many other alumni who feel the same appreciation for the impact that SLS had on them. I am excited to see these alumni come together to give back to the school, so that future students can share the same experiences.

David McCandless Year: 2005 

KerryPriestDavid's Bio

I work as the Assistant Director of Campus Involvement at St Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN

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Major/Minor(s):Majors in Political Science and Public Relations with a minor in Leadership Studies

What does Leadership look like now in your life? Effectively balancing multiple roles and understanding when to stay in the background. I work with many different constituencies (students, colleagues, external constituents, etc) and knowing when to lead from the front and when to lead from behind can be an interesting balance. Developing and empowering others as leaders is something I've remained really committed to. I also think there's a lot to be said for consistency; Showing up with a positive attitude and the right amount of energy 5 days a week for 50 weeks a year is something I didn't have an appreciation for when I was in school but now I really value people who can do that and I try to emulate that kind of presence.

What are you looking forward to most with working in WLFL? All of us are passionate about the experience we had a K-State and with Leadership Studies in particular. It's really meaningful and fun to connect with folks who share this passion and try to find ways to give back.