1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »One Family Initiative next steps

K-State Today

June 13, 2018

One Family Initiative next steps

Submitted by April Mason

Dear faculty, staff and students,

During the past year, we as the K-State community explored the role that intercultural learning can and does play at our university. I am writing on behalf of President Myers and myself to thank you for your investment and contribution to the Exploratory Phase of the One Family: Intercultural Development Advancement Initiative and share some of the outcomes and next steps.

Over the past academic year, senior leadership received training in intercultural development; community partners were deeply engaged through the community dialogues; and we learned from the experiences of other institutions of higher learning who have made a sustainable commitment to intercultural development initiatives. Administrators, faculty, staff and students from more than 50 units representing approximately 1,000 community voices participated in more than 25 community dialogues and/or intercultural trainings. The dialogues were facilitated through a variety of methods such as cultural advocate feedback, structured focus groups, letters from units illustrating interest in intercultural development, Leadership Studies and BSU Cats for Inclusion and Racial Reconciliation Events, and intercultural development trainings. 

This work demonstrated the importance of intercultural learning to the K-State community and a desire to infuse intercultural learning into everything we do as an institution. The community dialogues allowed for units to weigh in on how we, as a community, could set the stage for our first chief diversity and inclusion officer and associate vice president for student life – diversity and multicultural student affairs. 

Many outcomes have resulted from the community dialogues and the One Family Initiative as a whole: 

  • The One Family Community Dialogues were shared with our new CDIO Bryan Samuel and Associate Vice President for Student Life Adrian Rodriguez to lay a foundation of community understanding.

  • Debriefings of the community dialogues were shared with senior leadership, including Cabinet members, the Deans Council, and Provost Staff, and with groups such as First Tuesday Roundtable and the President's Commission for Multicultural Affairs.

  • The community dialogues informed strategies and initiatives behind KSUnite.

  • The Office of Student Life is establishing a focus and position within the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs to advance intercultural learning initiatives for students, beginning with freshmen this coming fall. 

  • The Staley School of Leadership Studies, K-State First, and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs are developing a sequencing of intercultural immersion experiences in 2018-2019 designed for freshman and transfer students involving Wildcat Warm-up (Orientation & Enrollment), Convocation and the Wildcat Dialogues.

  • The Student-Centered Tuition Enhancement Committee granted funding to the Staley School for Leadership Studies to support Wildcat Dialogues. Adapted from the Cats for Inclusion model, this will be an interdisciplinary, cross-campus community effort that will include student speakers and recruitment and training of approximately 200 upper-level students and faculty to serve as dialogue/facilitators with the emphasis on intercultural development. Building on the KSUnite movement, the Principles of Community, and the Tilford Multicultural Competencies, these dialogues will provide a framework and tool set for students to define how K-State can be an inclusive environment for education, providing a community-building opportunity early in students' K-State experience. 

  • The Center for Engagement and Community Development awarded an Engagement Incentive Grant to launch a student pilot/intercultural training program to span over two years with the potential of impacting more than 1,000 students. This program will support students and community members in learning how to infuse intercultural competence into their daily lives.

  • The first cohort of IDI Qualified Administrators was trained in April with a second cohort scheduled for June. This will create a critical mass of intercultural trainers who can support on-going education and training for intercultural learning in classrooms as well as non-traditional learning environments campuswide. The Division of Student Life sponsored these two cohorts with the focus centered on intentionally instilling intercultural education into the K-State student experience to create graduates who are global citizens who understand how to successfully navigate a diverse workforce.

We want to thank Ms. Aliah Mestrovich Seay, who served as the project coordinator for the One Family Initiative exploratory phase, and Dr. Be Stoney who served as an IDI qualified administrator on the project, working closely with Ms. Seay. We also thank the following individuals who supported and made the initiative possible:

Lynn Carlin, Minadora Macheret, Sandra Brase, Craig Bourne, Mandy Cole, Ethan Erickson, Pat Bosco, Adrian Rodriguez, Macario Benavides, John Floros, Kimathi Choma, Mary Tolar, John Buckwalter, Shawna Jordan, Kerry Priest, Sarah Barrett, Natalie Beharry, Lindsay Kubina, Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson, Brandon Haddock, Mike Finnegan, Trisha Gott, Brandon Kliewer, Mary Kay Siefers, Elaine Johannes, Ruddy Yanez Benavides, John Jobe, LaVerne Bitsie-Baldwin, Sujatha Prakash, Katie Kingery-Page, LaBarbara Wigfall, Teara Lander, Mariya Vaughan, Jonathan Cole, and Darrell Reese, Jr.

We would also like to thank the President's Cabinet, Deans Council and Provost Staff, along with the following units:

College of Human Ecology, College of Human Ecology Diversity and Internationalization Committee, College of Engineering, Multicultural Engineering Department, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine Diversity Committee, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Committee, College of Arts and Sciences Open Options Advising Team, College of Education, College of Education Diversity for Community Committee, College of Education Military and Veterans Educational Initiative Committee, College of Agriculture, College of Architecture, Planning, and Design, K-State Research and Extension, The Graduate School, The Staley School of Leadership Studies, K-State Global Campus, K-State Global Campus Diversity Committee, Office of Undergraduate Studies: Academic Advising, The Office of International Programs, K-State First, Human Capital Services, Information Technology Services, Office of Administration and Finance, Division of Communications and Marketing, The Office of Student Life, The Office of Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs, Academic Achievement Center, The First Scholars Program, The Access Center, The LGBT Resource Center, Housing and Dining Services Equity and Inclusion Committee, Faculty Senate, Alianza Faculty Affinity Group, The Black Faculty and Staff Alliance, The Black Student Union, Leadership Studies Cats for Inclusion LEAD 405 Class, oSTEM, SAGA, Gender Collective, and the Student Governing Association.

Special thanks go to K-State Global Campus in their implementation and launching of an intercultural development program that supported and reinforced the learning advanced throughout this project.

As we look ahead, the work of the One Family Initiative this past year is informing the intercultural development programmatic direction of the university. There is a lot of work to do, but we have made a good start, thanks to the commitment of our K-State community to advancing a university environment where all can thrive.

Thanks for all you do!

April Mason