Kansas State University


Center for Engagement and Community Development

Author: Gabby Meeds

Letter from the Director

David Procter, DirectorFrom the Director,

Summer has finally arrived in Manhattan, Kansas.  Flowers are blooming, vegetables are ripening, and the sun is shining.  A lot!  The summer is also a great time to relax just a bit from the busy school year and reflect on Kansas State University’s many engaged partnerships and initiatives.

We have to start with the big news and that is Kansas State University submitted its official application to the Carnegie Foundation to be reclassified as a community-engaged university in April. Submitting this application capped a year-long effort by the Center for Engagement and Community Development and a 25-member Carnegie task-force. The K-State team compiled a great deal of information and data regarding engagement, conducted numerous interviews with campus engagement stakeholders, and facilitated five focus groups representing nearly 50 domestic and international partners. This application revealed an amazing breadth and depth of engagement at K-State. We won’t know if our application is successful until January, 2020, but a big thank you to everyone involved in this important effort.

The other stories in this newsletter represent the breadth of engagement that is characteristic of Kansas State University and that was revealed in the Carnegie application. The newsletter stories highlight engagement ranging from the local to the international. The engagement stories focus on K-State’s commitment to be a partner on the significant issues facing our local and international communities. Stories in this newsletter feature campus and community partnerships that are working to address housing, food access, civic participation, and reconciliation following decades of armed conflict. Partnerships in this newsletter are being led by faculty, professional staff, and K-State Research and Extension educators. They represent collaborations with high schools, K-State students, small business owners, funders, philanthropic foundations, and housing stakeholders.

The stories in this newsletter remind readers of the type of engaged work that has been at the core of Kansas State University since our land-grant beginning.

We hope you enjoy.

David E. Procter, Director

K-State Applies for Carnegie Designation

Carnegie SymbolThe Carnegie Foundation’s Classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification based on voluntary participation by institutions of higher education. The elective classification involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments and requires substantial effort invested by participating colleges and universities. There are currently 361 campuses with the elective Community Engagement Classification, which opens for application on a five-year cycle.

To view the entire story, click here.

Dr. Debra Bolton discusses Engagement Incentive Grant project, Geospatial Analysis/STEM, Females of Color


Dr. Debra Bolton, director of intercultural learning and academic success, started this project with hopes of getting girls, specifically girls of color, to understand the significant role that geospatial thinking and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) topics play in their everyday lives.

To view the entire story, click here.

Engagement Incentive Grant awardees Kanost and Garavito organize Memories in Color Project

Laura Kanost, associate professor of Spanish, has utilized the Memories in Color project to engage students, faculty and the Manhattan community to connect and learn more about the significance of having a diverse, intercultural community. Through this project, Kanost and others have made efforts to spread awareness of the tragedies in Colombia by preparing workshops to present symbolic art pieces of victims and victimizers and shine light on the Memories in Color project. To view the entire story, click here.

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing Graphic2In Manhattan, Kansas, the dearth of affordable housing is being highlighted in election forums, thanks to growing citizen engagement with the problem over the past two years. The Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy (ICDD) has taken a leading role in supporting public forums and issue learning on this topic with its project, Community Solutions to Affordable Housing (CSAH), funded by the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF). ICDD collaborates on the KHF grant with Kansas State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning (LARCP) in coordination with the Flint Hills Wellness Coalition, to convene conversations and build consensus across private, government, and non-profit sectors.

To view the entire story, click here.

K-State Votes

K-State Votes, a campus coalition to increase election turnout, was featured at the 2019 Midwest Campus Compact Conference in Minneapolis on May 31. Two student leaders, Hayley Spellman and Corbin Sedlacek, joined Donna Schenck-Hamlin, ICDD Program Manager, to share methods and challenges for student voter participation in a session titled “All Things Political: Connecting Student Well-being, Discourse, Equity, Activism, and Voting.”

To view the entire story, click here.

Chapman Success Story

Chapman Grocery StoreThe town of Chapman, Kansas is small but mighty. When a tornado tore through much of the city in 2008, many Chapman residents stayed to rebuild.  Still, about one-third of the town moved away and the city recognized that the community was likely to continue to fade if something wasn’t done to attract new businesses to the community. The city put forth funds and worked with a local businessman to build and open the Chapman Food Mart, the first full-service grocery store in Chapman since the 1950s.

To view the entire story, click here.

Mildred Success Story

Loren & Regena Lance, Mildred StoreWhen the local grocery store closed after 100 years in business, dedicated new owners created a way to honor the rich history of the community, provide groceries, and social opportunities to community members in the area surrounding the Southeast Kansas town of Mildred. The Mildred store hosts a monthly music night that brings together neighbors and friends to share in food, entertainment, and connection. The Kansas Healthy Food Initiative funding helped to provide matching funds needed to upgrade equipment to increase energy efficiency and reduce utility bills.

To view the entire story, click here.

KHFI: Summary of Funded projects

KHFI logoThe Kansas Healthy Food Initiative (KHFI) was launched in November of 2017 with funding from the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF). The Center for Engagement and Community Development (CECD) at Kansas State University serves as the food access organization for the KHFI. CECD provides technical assistance and determines eligibility for funding. Partners in the KHFI include CECD, NetWork Kansas, IFF (a Community Development Financial Institution), and KHF. The Food Trust provides consulting support to the KHFI. Through the end of the first quarter in March 2019, the KHFI provided 214 instances of technical assistance to food access stakeholders in 46 Kansas counties including 24 out-of-state requests. Almost one-third of the requests come from existing business owners who are interested in sustaining healthy food access for their communities.

The KHFI received 33 applications for funding through the end of March 2019. 13 projects received funding approval totaling almost $740,000 in loans and $320,000 in grants.  To learn more about the projects funded by KHFI visit their website here.