K-State Current

K-State Current - February 9, 2022

K-State Current is a weekly news update for the Kansas Board of Regents to apprise the Regents on a few of the many successes and achievements made by K-State faculty, staff and students.

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K-State News

Carl R. Ice College of Engineering remains top choice for engineers in Kansas in 2021

Carl R. Ice College of EngineeringThe Carl R. Ice College of Engineering boasted the largest number of graduates and currently enrolled students of any engineering school in the state of Kansas in 2021.

The Carl R. Ice College of Engineering at Kansas State University remains the top choice in Kansas for future engineers, boasting the largest number of graduates and currently enrolled students of any engineering school in the state in 2021.

The college finished 2021 with 674 graduates, well above the institution's goal set by the University Engineering Initiative Act, or UEIA, enacted by the Kansas Legislature in 2011 to increase the number of engineering graduates from the state's three engineering schools to 1,365 students per year by 2021. Kansas lawmakers chose to renew the UEIA for an additional 10 years, extending the program and its support of engineering schools with an additional focus on retaining engineering talent to work and live in Kansas after graduation.

In addition to attending the largest engineering school in Kansas, K-State engineers continue to be in high demand, both in Kansas and across the nation, with a 97% career placement rate and the state's highest internship rate. K-State engineering graduates also have the highest average starting salary among engineering schools in the state.

"We continue to hear from employers across the state that our graduates leave K-State prepared for success as engineers in the modern workforce," said Matt O'Keefe, dean of engineering and LeRoy C. and Aileen H. Paslay chair in engineering at K-State. "We are grateful to have so many strong relationships with industry partners across Kansas that see the value of bringing K-State engineers into their organizations, whether as student interns or as full-time employees. With the UEIA renewal, we are focused on increasing and strengthening those relationships."

The UEIA renewal offers additional opportunities for the College of Engineering to support students, both academically while they're in school and with jobs and internships after their time at K-State comes to an end.


Kansas State University to host 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African LeadersKansas State University is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, K-State will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Civic Engagement leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 5,100 Mandela Washington Fellows from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals. The cohort of Fellows hosted by K-State will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 100 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that will challenge, motivate, and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

Some highlights of the K-State program will include site visits to Harvesters FoodNetwork, Hope, Faith Ministries, and Operation Breakthrough. Fellows will also serve the community, working alongside the Special Olympics, and will connect with and learn with Kansans at the Kansas Leadership Center. You can meet the Fellows at networking events that will be announced in April and May, and through contacting the Staley School of Leadership Studies.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at Kansas State University, please contact Trisha Gott, associate director and assistant professor for the Staley School of Leadership Studies, at tcgott@ksu.edu.


The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org and join the conversation at #YALI2022.


K-State Faculty Highlights

Chad Miller recognized as Professor of the Week

Chad MillerChad Miller, associate professor of horticulture and natural resources, was recognized as Professor of the Week at the Feb. 2 men's home basketball game.

Faculty Senate, the Office of the President, K-State Athletics and the Division of Communications and Marketing wish to recognize his contributions to K-State.

Miller teaches several core courses in the department including plant propagation and plant identification courses and assists with international study experiences. He also co-advises the Horticulture Club. Since arriving in 2011, Miller has continually worked to develop and improve his scholarship of teaching and learning, working to improve and innovate classroom curriculum and activities through many different professional development activities, including the K-State Teaching and Learning Center, along with professional organizations such as the North American Colleges and Teacher of Agriculture and the American Society for Horticultural Science. He continues to publish and present his scholarship of teaching and learning work on a national and international level. He has enthusiastically served students through his teaching and advising. His evaluations by students consistently rank him in the top tier of teaching faculty in the university for his teaching and advising performance, and the numerous awards that he has received are testament to the enthusiasm, excellence and scholarship that he brings to his instructional efforts.

He has been recognized for his teaching and advising achievements, both institutionally and nationally. He is a fellow of the first cohort of Association of College and University Educators program at K-State. Last year, Miller received the 2020 K-State Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Other recognitions include the 2017 USDA Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence New Teacher Award; 2017 Perennial Plant Association Academic Award; 2017 NACTA Educator Award; the 2014-2015 K-State College of Agriculture Advisor of the Year Award; and most recently was selected as one of six participants for the inaugural ASHS Leadership Academy.


Faculty work included in School of the Art Institute of Chicago exhibit

Work by K-State's Erin Wiersma and Katie Kingery-PageWork by K-State's Erin Wiersma, associate professor of art, and Katie Kingery-Page, professor and associate dean at the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, was included in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago exhibit "Earthly Observatory" from Aug. 30-Dec. 3, 2021.

Wiersma's large-scale works on paper and Kingery-Page's audio interviews with prairie ecologists, along with a video capturing the landscape and process of Wiersma's drawing, were part of the exhibit curated by institute faculty. The exhibit explored how we sense, portray, and engage our deep planetary entanglements.

Wiersma's drawings are part of a body of work the artist creates on-site with cooperation from the research staff at the Konza Prairie Biological Station. Wiersma uses a process of movement over landform to capture impressions of the biochar left by prescribed research burning of the prairie.

Kingery-Page's edited audio interviews include voices of K-State scientists John Blair, university distinguished professor of biology, and Edwin G. Brychta professor of biology; Clenton Owensby, professor of range management; and Shelly Wiggam, graduate student in entomology, reflecting upon the significance of using controlled burns to manage tallgrass prairie.

Both Wiersma and Kingery-Page hope their works together can bring greater public awareness to the significance of grasslands worldwide, particularly the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie.


K-State Student News

Gilman scholarship helps K-State students with education abroad experiences

Kansas State University students have been offered the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study internationally.

Recipients of the federal scholarship are Meagan Miller, freshman in interior design, Augusta; Breianna Dixon, junior in animal sciences and industry and pre-veterinary medicine, Kansas City; and Olivia Wiley, junior in animal sciences and industry, Wagoner, Oklahoma.

Meagan MillerThe Gilman scholarship helps U.S. undergraduate students at two-year or four-year colleges or universities participate in study abroad programs worldwide. Gilman scholarships are congressionally funded and established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000.

Miller has opted to decline the scholarship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she will reapply for consideration next year. A graduate of Augusta High School, Miller created a food pantry in her hometown to address food insecurity. She is the daughter of Todd and Kelli Miller, Augusta.

Breianna Dixon

Dixon plans on using the Gilman scholarship this summer to work with exotic animals in Costa Rica or Belize through a four-week pre-veterinary internship or study experience. Dixon is a member of the K-State's chapter of MANNRS — Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences. She has received the Steven and Cheri Graham International Agriculture Scholarship, the Nelson and Marilyn Galle International Scholarship, John J. Womack Scholarship Fund and the Mike and Becky Goss Study Abroad Scholarship. A graduate of East High School in Kansas City, Missouri, Dixon is the daughter of Marcus Dixon, Kansas City, and Felicia McInnes, Kansas City, Missouri.

Olivia WileyWiley will use the Gilman scholarship to attend University College Dublin in the fall. She said she is excited to expand her knowledge abroad, which would not have been possible without the scholarship. Wiley is a member of the College of Agriculture Ambassadors. A graduate of Wagoner High School, she is the daughter of Christy Hardin, Wagoner.

"I am happy to see more K-State students, like Olivia, applying for the Gilman scholarship early," said Sara Boro, K-State Education Abroad advisor. "This scholarship is one of a few education abroad scholarships where students can apply a year before they go abroad and use the funding they receive to plan ahead for their program."

A fourth K-State student was offered the Gilman scholarship for spring/summer 2022 but declined acceptance.

The next Gilman Scholarship application deadline is March 1 for students planning to go abroad during summer 2022 or fall 2022. Students also may apply for the scholarship and receive an early decision if they are planning to go abroad in the spring 2023 term. Contact Boro at seboro@k-state.edu with any additional questions.





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