K-State First is dedicated to creating a space where all of our colleagues and students are valued and celebrated. We believe this is an essential component for an effective learning environment. This also allows us the chance to demonstrate to our students the value and importance of diverse perspectives to prepare them for the world outside of the university.
We are working to engage with and embed diversity, inclusion, equity, and intercultural learning in all that we do. Over the course of the next year and beyond, we plan to explore and consider some of the ways these can be connected and incorporated into our program. This focus is connected to the broader university community through K-State’s Principles of Community, the KSUnite movement, engaging in courageous conversations inside and outside of the classroom, and finding ways to prevent and respond to incidences of discrimination and prejudice.
Our Assistant Director, Mariya Vaughan, and our Learning Assistant Coordinator, Brent Weaver, will be part of the first cohorts of Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrators. “The Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) is the premier cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence that is used by thousands of individuals and organizations to build intercultural competence to achieve international and domestic diversity and inclusion goals and outcomes.” These IDI Qualified Administrators at K-State will work across university programs and disciplines in partnerships to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus community. Our training for Learning Assistants also has built in IDI educational components as a pathway to include intercultural learning in first-year courses and experiences to directly impact first-year students.
Additional program-wide efforts include our new K-State First textbook with two chapters dedicated to understanding and exploring diversity and inclusion. Our KSBN common book for this year, The Hate U Give, will also provide ample opportunities to seek a diverse range of voices and perspectives when planning our events and we will partner with and actively participate in broader campus diversity and inclusion programming.
As Dr. Eiselein mentioned in his letter, as we continue to move forward, we would love to hear from you and incorporate your ideas, feedback, and participation. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call (785) 532-1501. We want to continue to foster partnerships and find meaningful ways to engage in diversity initiatives across the university.