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K-State Today

November 19, 2015

K-State students serving globally 'Yes I am making a Difference' panel

Submitted by Mary K Pyle

Join the Office of International Programs at noon Thursday, Nov. 19, in 207 K-State Student Union to meet K-State students who are making a difference in the lives of families around the globe. This panel is a part of the Office of International Programs International Education Week.

Shawna Jordan, assistant dean in the College of Human Ecology will moderate the panel.

"We are thrilled to present the stories and experiences of these accomplished KSU students," Jordan said. "They are an inspiration to me and they are changing not only their lives but the lives of those they touch."

The students participating in the panel presentation are Kaitlyn Rippel, a senior in sociology and international studies; Garrett Wilkinson, junior in nutritional sciences; and Cassie Slaymaker, a junior in public health nutrition.

Rippel also is working on minors in Spanish and entrepreneurship and is a fan of her service-learning experiences abroad.

"I was a part of the Staley School of Leadership Studies International Service Teams Program my freshman year," Rippel said. I spent the summer in Ocean View, South Africa living with a host family and working alongside a community organization on various service projects — working in a kindergarten classroom, after-school tutoring sessions, and holiday camps for the youth in the community. As a result of this experience, I now work with the program as the student coordinator. I also studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador at La Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Leadership Studies is now partnering with this university in a program where students can complete the Leadership minor abroad, with the course in service-learning."

Wilkinson is a Morse Scholarship recipient.

"The Morse Scholarship allowed me to travel to Narayanpur, Nepal with the Open World Cause, a non-profit organization that works to establish cross-cultural partnerships and extend educational opportunities to students around the world," Wilkinson said. "In Narayanpur, our team was able to collect media documentation of a new school, distribute technology to the school's teachers, issue demographic questionnaires, distribute water filters to students' families, and collect assessment data from previous classes of students under the school's teachers in other areas of Nepal. Summer projects like this are hard for most students to pursue, as they cost money and don't allow for working a summer job. The Morse Scholarship made it possible for me to pursue what I am passionate about without any worry for my financial capabilities during the upcoming semester."

Slaymaker is the vice president of the Human Ecology College Council. She traveled to Lima, Peru for a week to volunteer with MEDLIFE, or Medicine, Education, and Development for Low Income Families Everywhere, an organization that helps impoverished families improve their health and lifestyle. She spent three days in a mobile clinic, assisting in pharmacy, triage, OBGYN, primary care, and dental hygiene.

"We assisted the patients under the guidance of a physician in each station where the physician explained the diagnosis to us while we helped with various tasks," Slaymaker said. "We also taught the children how to brush their teeth. Another day we spent focused on the development project, where we built a staircase in a community and then we visited communities that MEDLIFE had helped in the past.

Join us today for the panel and tonight for the International Week Awards Ceremony at 4 p.m. in the K-State Alumni Center Tadtman Board Room honoring:

  • 2015 International Educator of the Year awarded to: Charles W. Rice
  • 2015 Outstanding Support for International Initiatives: K- State Alumni Association
  • 2015 Innovative Education Program of the Year: Comite Paraguay Kansas