March 29, 2023

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Kansas State tradition unfold to native communities via new scholar group

President Richard Linton talks alongside junior Kady Figge and graduate scholar Mark Estares on the first Related ‘Cats occasion. This group go to occurred in Manhattan for the Flint Hills area. (Carter Schaffer | Collegian Media Group)

President Linton’s initiative, Related ‘Cats, goals to share Kansas State College tradition with communities throughout the state. 

“Most significantly it’s about relationship constructing — relationship constructing with our 105 counties, relationship constructing with our nice leaders via cooperative extension,” Linton stated throughout the Flint Hills group go to. “It’s also about having the ability to re-engage after COVID and to have the ability to work on a problem that is essential to all of us, particularly the Manhattan area, which is scholar enrollment.”

Mary Tolar, school chief in Related ‘Cats, stated the group is a strategy to characteristic scholar voices by permitting Okay-State college students to share their tales and spotlight Okay-State’s connection to native communities. 

The Workplace of the President is visiting 9 Kansas communities this yr, in response to the  Regional Group Visits webpage.  Throughout every go to, two Related ‘Cats college students function occasion leaders whose roles are to inform their Okay-State tales and assist lead the day’s occasions, in response to the webpage. Tolar stated every occasion chief may have a connection to the host group they go to.  

“This is a chance for [the event leaders] to behave on their dedication each to their college expertise and likewise to their dwelling communities and spotlight these connections,” Tolar stated. 

The coed expertise is a central a part of the brand new presidential initiative, in response to the Related ‘Cats webpage

Stacia Mendoza, senior in finance and an occasion chief for the higher Kansas Metropolis space, stated being an occasion chief permits her to share Okay-State together with her group. 

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“I feel it’s a good way to kinda, mix the 2 largest communities in my life — my hometown, Kansas Metropolis, however then additionally my dwelling at the moment: Manhattan, Kansas,” Mendoza stated.

Tolar stated the occasion leaders begin every go to with a group open discussion board.

“That’s the place the 2 Related ‘Cats occasion leads will share their story,” Tolar stated. “They assist lead that discussion board with the president.”  

After the discussion board, numerous periods will likely be held locally all through the day. 

“We raise up totally different partnerships specializing in group areas of group want or curiosity,” Tolar stated.

For instance, the schedule for visiting Ford County this previous Tuesday included periods targeted on getting ready the native workforce, informing individuals in regards to the watershed and getting ready and responding to disasters, in response to the Ford County Go to Schedule.

The day ends with an occasion named “Calling All ‘Cats,” Tolar stated.

“Throughout the Calling All ‘Cats session and locally discussion board, we attempt to join with native alumni and likewise potential college students to share the scholar expertise,” Tolar stated. 

Related ‘Cats college students additionally take part in a zero-credit hour class taught by Tolar, Emily Lenhing, director of the presidential regional group go to initiative and Jeff Ebeck, a senior in finance and economics. This class meets for one hour each week to assist construction the group, Tolar stated. 

“We put together for the visits by doing analysis on the totally different communities and the partnerships with Okay-State,” Tolar stated. “We additionally develop and refine abilities round facilitating, convening, internet hosting and storytelling.”

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The category focuses on studying from the knowledge gathered within the communities, Tolar stated. 

“Following up on what we be taught locally visits, particularly round alternatives for future engagement is a crucial a part of the initiative,” Tolar stated. “Related ‘Cats assist seize conversations and work with members of the core planning staff and the Workplace of Engagement to attach and share curiosity and alternative with colleagues throughout the college.”

Totty Norwood, junior in English and Related ‘Cats member, stated she has grown to like Okay-State via this program. 

“I didn’t come from a Okay-State household,” Norwood stated. “I simply have such an enormous love for Okay-State now, particularly since being part of Related ‘Cats, as a result of the president actually is pushing this initiative ahead, speaking about not solely rising enrollment numbers however eager to share, once more, that Okay-State story.”

Each Norwood and Tolar stated they’re excited for the way forward for Related ‘Cats.

“That is the primary yr of this initiative however the expectation is that this continues and so we’re trying ahead to having the Related ‘Cats develop and evolve as a scholar group,” Tolar stated.