K-State kicks off series of spring community visits as part of presidential initiative
Monday, Jan. 23, 2023
Watch a video that shows how K-State is engaging with Kansans across the state through the presidential community visit initiative.
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University continues touring the state as part of the new presidential community visit initiative.
The initiative launched in August and focuses on the people of Kansas and their communities. Every academic year, K-State is visiting nine communities throughout the state to listen and learn from the Kansans who live there.
The first visit of the spring semester is Monday, Jan. 23, in Shawnee County and Topeka. View a schedule with full details for the Jan. 23 Shawnee County community visit and follow K-State's Instagram and Facebook stories today to see the Shawnee County community visit events throughout the day.
Other regional community visit dates for the spring semester include:
• Tuesday, Feb. 21, Sedgwick County/Wichita.
• Tuesday, March 28, Crawford County.
• Tuesday, April 25, Finney County.
• Wednesday, May 10, Thomas County.
The fall semester included successful community visits in the Flint Hills region, Ford County/Dodge City, the Greater Kansas City area and Central Kansas/Salina.
"As the nation's first operational land-grant university, K-State truly is the university for Kansans," said K-State President Richard Linton. "We serve the people of this state in unique and diverse ways, and it's important for us to listen and learn from people in the places they call home so we can learn about new opportunities for engagement and service. I'm looking forward to continuing this work across the state through our spring series of community visits."
The Office of Engagement has created a StoryMap that tells the story of each community visit with photos and interactive content. Learn more and explore each visit so far.
During each community visit, Linton, a K-State team and Connected 'Cats students from that community lead several events throughout the day, including community conversations, recruitment activities and events to highlight university partnerships and K-State Research and Extension relationships.
Community members are taking an active role in the visits — more than 1,100 community members participated in events connected with the fall 2022 community visits. The participation is creating new engagement opportunities, too. The visits have led to a follow-up project with the Rattlesnake Creek watershed, which was highlighted at the Ford County/Dodge City community visit, and mental health community partnerships in Ellsworth, which were part of the Central Kansas community visit.
"We are honored that Kansas State University took the time and interest in visiting our community to learn more about our efforts and to share in a conversation about how to create better and more effective networks," said Stacie Schmidt, executive director of Grow Ellsworth County, who participated in the Central Kansas/Salina community visit. "Rural communities like Ellsworth County are more robust and forward-thinking when we can come together as a region and look at opportunities to expand, partner and unite in common interests. It was an honor to host such an energetic and progressive team of Kansas State University leadership and students in Ellsworth County, and we look forward to more partnership opportunities in the future."
A community partnership conversation at the Flint Hills regional community visit focused on the importance of ensuring early childhood care for the citizens of Pottawatomie County and its economic development.
"I think it's great that K-State is reaching out to communities throughout the state," said Todd Willert, CEO of Community HealthCare Systems, who participated in the Flint Hills regional community visit. "It's a wonderful opportunity for the university to showcase the many programs and initiatives they have that can help businesses and communities grow and prosper. At the same time, the university is listening to needs of these constituencies, and I have no doubt they will develop and improve programs in response to these visits. In our community, K-State Research and Extension — Pottawatomie County was ready to help us in the development of our local day care, bringing research and programs to help make it more successful for the children as well as the day care. I applaud President Linton for embracing this initiative."
The community visits are helping to shape the vision, programmatic priorities, strategies and outcomes for K-State's new strategic plan to become a next-generation land-grant university. These regional community visits play an essential role as K-State engages Kansans through this planning process and listens to communities throughout the state about the future of K-State.
Learn more about the community visit initiative.