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K-State Today

October 1, 2019

UFM presents award to Warren White

Submitted by Linda I Teener

Warren White, professor of special education, counseling and student affairs in the College of Education, is the recipient of the UFM Grassroots Community Education Award for 2019. This annual award presented by UFM Community Learning Center honors White for his vision that created Project EXCELL on the K-State Manhattan campus.

The Grassroots Community Education Award is an annual recognition given by UFM Community Learning Center to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to grassroots community education and learning. This year marks the 36th time UFM has presented this award.

Project EXCELL — Extending College Enrichment for Lifelong Learning — provides personal enrichment and life skills classes to adults with developmental disabilities who are 18 years and older. The program is designed to help students feel like part of the university campus. Each student receives a special K-State ID card with the program name. Volunteer K-State faculty members and students work with the EXCELL students each week. Willie the Wildcat attends the program's end-of-semester graduation ceremony at the K-State Student Union.

In fall 2009, the idea for Project EXCELL was presented by White to a group of area special education cooperatives, area community development disability organizations including Big Lakes Development Center and Twin Valley Developmental Services, and university partners. The cooperative spirit among the professional colleagues allowed the project to develop and within four short months, the program was ready to launch. The first classes were offered in spring 2010. The program is now in its ninth year and is coordinated by UFM Community Learning Center with sponsorship by the K-State Student Union and the College of Education. Grant funds have been provided by the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, the Little Apple Pilot Club and private donations.

UFM Community Learning Center is a creative educational program serving K-State, the Manhattan area and communities across the state of Kansas.