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K-State Today

February 13, 2014

Nominate a student for the inaugural Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Student Awards

Submitted by Andrew Zender

The K-State Alumni Association is accepting nominations for the inaugural Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Student Awards.

The awards were established in honor of former Kansas State University professor Tony Jurich, who taught undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Human Ecology for more than 39 years before his death in 2010. The awards recognize two graduating students — one undergraduate student and one graduate student — who have demonstrated a commitment to community leadership and service through Jurich's core leadership tenets.

The core leadership tenets guided his teaching and leadership. They are strive for resonance; assume value and be respectful; be compassionate; do what is right; seek out, affirm and utilize diversity; and lead by example.

Anyone is eligible to nominate a graduating student with an anticipated graduation date of May, August or December 2014. If you'd like to nominate a student please fill out a nomination form by Feb. 28.

Each nominated student will be required to fill out an essay form. The awards committee will select winners based on a thorough review and evaluation of each nominee's nomination form, resume and student essay. Winners will be recognized April 23 at a K-State Alumni Association event.

Tony Jurich joined the K-State faculty as an assistant professor in 1972 and achieved the rank of full professor in 1981. He was a respected researcher, teacher, lecturer, mentor and supervisor of therapists in training. Jurich also was a recognized leader in the field of marriage and family therapy and received numerous awards, including the Organizational Contribution Award from the America Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, for which he served as national president, in recognition of his contributions as an educator, presenter, advocate and leader. 

His core leadership tenets, as documented by his brother, Steve Jurich, senior vice president and chief operating officer, National Home Infusion Association, Alexandria, Va., are:

  1. Strive for resonance
    In a world where conflict, disagreement and lack of meaningful connections between key stakeholders is often the norm and is frequently an impediment to achieving meaningful progress, Jurich recognized the immense value and need for connectivity in order to attain productive community outcomes. As a result, Jurich's approach to leadership always encompassed striving to create and facilitate resonance — constructing a genuine connection among all the essential parties involved in an issue around the important commonalities at stake, so as to assure successful outcomes of lasting, reciprocal benefit.

  2. Assume value and be respectful
    When there is a lack of connectivity, when situations are stressful or when there are competing priorities and scarce resources, it is frequently common for incorrect assumptions to be made about the thoughts, actions and motives of others involved – and acting on false assumptions can be extremely detrimental to reaching success. Given this reality, Jurich endeavored instead to assume value in the thoughts, actions and motives of others, thereby fostering greater "up-front" understanding, respect and connectivity of all involved parties – generating better opportunity for ultimate success. Jurich led by assuming value and being respectful, especially with those dramatically in disagreement, so as to create true pathways for listening, compromise and collaboration.

  3. Be compassionate
    Given the many challenges in our world, both big and small, each and every person produces a reciprocal benefit for the giver and the receiver of such compassion. Jurich also grasped how such benevolent reciprocity is at the heart of building genuine relationships capable of changing the world around us for the better. Jurich led with compassion and moved others to do the same.

  4. Do what is right
    In the face of adversity, hardship and even deceitfulness and unethical treatment by others, doing the right thing is not always easy — but doing what is right is the only way to bring about meaningful, durable and projective change. Jurich had a deep comprehension that doing what is right allows success to be built on an authentic and unwavering foundation. Whether doing the right thing was easy to do and fashionable or extremely difficult and unpopular, Jurich always was an advocate for what he ethically believed to be the right thing — and that is why so much of the systemic, beneficial community change he helped to lead has been so enduring.

  5. Seek out, affirm and utilize diversity
    Innovation and creativity are so often found at the intersection of diverse thought and life experiences. Mindful of this truth, Jurich relentlessly pursued respecting, engaging and partnering with individuals of all backgrounds — fully embracing diversity in all forms and maximizing the imaginative concepts that such diversity ignites.

  6. Lead by example
    Ever self-aware that the best way to provide nourishing leadership capable of galvanizing a thriving community commitment in others, Jurich firmly "talked the talk and walked the walk." The best way to make the most of all these Tony Jurich Core Leadership Tenets is to lead by example, while inspiring others to do the same … and that is just what Jurich did — producing productive, sustainable community change at every step along the way.