Kansas State University


K-State Parents and Family Program

Author: Mindy Weixelman

K-State’s Black Student Union is Best in Big 12 for Ninth Time


For the ninth time in 12 years, the university’s Black Student Union, or BSU, was awarded the Clarence Wine Award for Outstanding Big 12 Council of the Year at the 40th annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, Feb. 16-18, at the University of Texas, Austin.

“I could not be prouder of the hard work and dedication that our BSU continues to demonstrate year after year,” said Brandon Clark, program coordinator in the university’s Office of Diversity.

To be considered for the award, the organization had to assemble a book and presentation about its successes in serving students and celebrating diversity. Clark said K-State’s Black Student Union continues to win the award for several reasons:

• Maintaining, promoting and growing annual traditions, including the Welcome Back Barbecue in August for more than 20 years.

• Connecting freshmen and new students with upperclassmen through the Black Student Union’s mentorship program.

• Consistently inviting keynote speakers for Black History Month events in February.

• Presenting these accomplishments and more in a clear and enthusiastic way at each year’s conference.

“While winning awards is nice, I’m just glad that this organization is committed to its mission of focusing on the development of the K-State community,” Clark said. “Our BSU works to advance academic stability, political action and leadership of black students while promoting black culture across all aspects of life.”

In addition to the Clarence Wine Award, members of the university’s Black Student Union received three awards at the conference:

• Alexis Cushshon, freshman in architectural engineering, St. Louis, Missouri, and president of the Black student Union’s Freshman Action Team, was honored with the Mickey Leland Award for Outstanding Community Service.

• The Freshman Action Team received the Most Outstanding Freshman Action Team of the Year Award.

• Bryan Davis, junior in management information systems, Topeka, and president of K-State’s Black Student Union, was elected as the 2017-2018 chair of the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government.

Zelia Wiley, interim associate provost for the Office of Diversity, said the Black Student Union’s achievements show its commitment to welcoming and retaining diverse students at the university.

“I’m so pleased with the student leaders in our BSU,” Wiley said. “The Office of Diversity stands behind BSU and all our multicultural student organizations.”

Delegates of Kansas State University’s Black Student Union at the Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government.


Content provided by:  Office of Diversity Program Coordinator Brandon Clark

Keeping K-State Students Safe and Healthy

As part of K-State’s comprehensive and proactive approach to encourage students to stay safe and healthy, K-State requires all students to complete the annual (July 1 – June 30) web based Alcohol and Sexual Assault Prevention Program (ASAP).

Health Promotions Director Julie Gibbs

K-State’s ASAP uses the Think About It series of modules from Campus Clarity© to address alcohol and other drug use and sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention through interactive educational content and scenarios.

The ASAP program is designed to help students:

  • Make healthy decisions.
  • Know and understand state laws and K-State campus policies.
  • Be aware of university community resources associated with these topics.
  • Be aware of how to report concerning behavior.
  • Learn how to safely intervene when suspicious or concerning behavior is observed.

There are four ASAP modules.  Each module is updated annually and has content specifically designed for a particular student group:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students (21 and younger) enrolled in their first term at KSU receive the “Think About It: Part 1” training.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students (21 and younger) enrolled in terms two and beyond receive the “Think About It: Campus Save” training.
  • Adult learner undergraduate students (22 and older) receive the “Think About It: Adult Learner” training.
  • Graduate students (22 and older) receive the “Think About It: Graduate Student” training.
Program to reduce risky student behavior and prevent sexual assault on your campus.

Continue reading “Keeping K-State Students Safe and Healthy”

Meet Career Center Executive Director: Dr. Kerri Keller

Director of Parent & Family Relations Mindy Weixelman sat down with K-State Career Center Executive Director Dr. Kerri Keller in her office to learn the latest news about career development resources available to K-State students.

Career Center Executive Director Dr. Kerri Keller

Mindy:  Thank you so much for meeting with me, especially late on a beautiful Friday afternoon!

Kerri:  The Career Center enjoys the partnership we have with parents, so I’m glad to visit with you. I think I have information that will benefit parents and families.

Mindy:  Yes, you do!  Let’s jump right in.

We know that most parents send their student to college because they want their student to get a JOB. Tell parents and families about the K-State Career Center and your team of staff.

Kerri:  The Career Center facilitates the career readiness of all students throughout the K-State community. We help students explore majors and careers, develop their potential through internships and career-related experiences, tell their stories through their resumes and interviewing, and connect with employers and other opportunities. Each student has a friendly and knowledgeable Career Center advisor who works with their college and is available for in-person appointments, classroom presentations, email consultations and more to help your student.

Mindy:  You have such a talented staff. I completely agree that they are friendly and knowledgeable. I would also share that they have a reputation for being very effective with employers and students.

I think it’s important for parents and families to understand your role at the Career Center.  Give us a feel for what your role includes.

Kerri:  As director of the Career Center, I provide leadership and overall management of our department. I am fortunate to work with a committed, hard-working and enthusiastic team of nearly 50 full-time and student employees. I see my job as being similar to an orchestra conductor – I’ve played several of the instruments among our group but my goal now is to help everyone else be the best at their part so that we can create a powerful career services harmony – one that is music to the ears of our students, families, employers and others within the K-State community.


The team of professional staff at the K-State Career Center located in the Berney Family Welcome Center

Mindy:  I love that answer!  I think a lot of people can relate to your analogy of an orchestra conductor.

Do you hire student employees at the Career Center?  If so, can you provide some examples of how student employees advance the work of the department?

Kerri:  Yes, student employees are vital members of the Career Center team. Our student staff welcome current and prospective students to our facility, greet employers and other campus visitors, and answer questions about utilizing our services. Our career specialists assist their peers with major/career exploration through individual assistance and our 1-credit hour career class. Other student employees throughout our center assist with planning events, entering jobs, marketing our services and managing our Career Closet. Our graduate assistant staff provide career advising to students, provide outreach to student groups and manage a variety of other projects and programs. Continue reading “Meet Career Center Executive Director: Dr. Kerri Keller”

Over 40 Years of Helping Students Achieve Academic Success

Educational Supportive Services (ESS) is a FREE service that helps first-generation, low-income and disabled students earn undergraduate degrees. ESS students can take advantage of one-on-one tutoring, peer mentoring, workshops (academic, financial, career, etc.), and more—all designed to make sure students improve academic success, graduate and achieve their life goals. ESS is funded by a federal TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant.


Do you know a student who would benefit from this program? For more information:  Call (785) 532-5642 or visit Educational Supportive Services.




The Ronald E. McNair Baccalaureate Achievement Program  (McNair Scholars Program) prepares talented under graduates for graduate study, with the goal of increasing the number of Ph.D. recipients from underrepresented socio-economic and ethnic groups. The hallmark of the program is its Summer Research Internship where students conduct original research, report their finding, write an abstract, and present. Additionally the program provides classes, colloquia, advising, tutoring, and faculty mentoring to support academic success, assist with completing the application process, and preparing students for the graduate study environment. The McNair Scholars Program is a TRIO program funded from the federal Department of Education.

For more information: Call (785) 532-6137 or visit McNair Scholars.


McNair Scholar presenting at the Heartland Research Conference on September 23, 2016.





Continue reading “Over 40 Years of Helping Students Achieve Academic Success”

President Myers writes about sportsmanship


As the first year of my presidency unfolds, I continue to be even more impressed by the wonderful accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff. I hear daily about a student’s accomplishment or a faculty member’s significant research. What a pleasant surprise to discover our university is even better than I knew. This is why I decided to compete to become your president.

One surprise that has not been pleasant is hearing a vulgar chant at sporting events targeted at our in-state rival. It’s easy to see how one can get caught up in the moment. However, many of my friends across the nation reached out to me following last week’s men’s basketball game and expressed their dismay. The chant was clearly heard from coast to coast on national television. It was personally embarrassing and not what one expects from a world-class university.

The strength of the Wildcat family lies in passing our legacy from one generation to the next. K-Staters are known for doing the right thing. Whether our fans are 8, 18 or 80, they deserve the best fan experience in the Big 12. I think about those younger fans sitting in the stands or watching on television and know they represent our next generation. As we continue the spring competition season, let’s show them the Wildcat Way.


Meet Director of Recreational Services: Steve Martini

Steve Martini
Director of the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex, Steve Martini

K-State Parents and Family Association (PFA) Intern Annie Jewell ’18 met with Steve Martini, Director of the Chester E. Peters Student Recreation Center to learn about the services and programs the rec has to offer to students, faculty and alumni. She also wanted to learn more about their role and the vision for overall student wellness.

Annie: Thanks for your time today, Steve. Tell me more about the history of the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex and your leadership since starting at K-State.

Steve: Well, I’ve been here since 1980, and it’s kinda become my way of life. When I got here, the original building was just being finished. Prior to the current location, we were located in Ahearn Fieldhouse with only two professionals working for the rec. The students then primarily utilized intramurals as a source of exercise before the cultural switch to individualized sports. Now students can watch a TV show or read a book while working out which wasn’t too common back then. K-State Athletics had control of the courts during basketball season until late in the evening, meaning intramural basketball teams would be playing until 2 AM! As a result, students passed a referendum to pay for more space and equipment. That building was opened in the fall of 1980.

Annie: Since 1980, how much has the recreation complex grown?

Steve: The first building was about a third of the size it is now. Since then, exercise has become more popular. Not in the sense that its a fad, but people are more aware of their bodies and how to take care of them. The latest renovation, with another student referendum, was opened in 2012 at 265,000 square feet. We were able to add more cardio area, more equipment, more space for fitness classes and personal training.

Continue reading “Meet Director of Recreational Services: Steve Martini”

Fraternity and Sorority Recognized for Excellence

The K-State Panhellenic and Interfraternity communities had an incredible 2016, which was recognized at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Conference February 2-5 in Indianapolis.

The 2016 Panhellenic Council was recognized for Excellence in Membership Recruitment, Philanthropy & Community Service, as Risk Reduction & Management.

Members of K-State’s Panhellenic and Interfraternity Executive Council pose for a picture at the AFLV Conference in Indianapolis, IN.

Fraternity and sorority life continues to grow. In August, 649 women joined the Panhellenic community and 450 men joined IFC fraternities. The total population on the final grade roster is 3,900. That is up 542 members since spring 2014.

Scholastic achievement continues to be the leading priority of the 3,900 women and men involved with one of the 25 IFC fraternities and 13 Panhellenic sororities. For the past 51 consecutive semesters, the all fraternity and sorority average was higher than the all undergraduate average. In December, 190 fraternity and sorority members graduated.

The 1,654 men in the fraternity community earned a 3.134 gpa. A total of 216 men achieved a 4.0 this past fall. It also has 229 first generation students. There are 475 men in the college of engineering or 28.7%. With 468 men in the college of business, 28.3% study in that field.

The 2,246 Panhellenic women earned a 3.352 gpa. With 30.8% of women studying in a major with in the college of arts and sciences, it has the largest concentration of sorority women. Architecture has 52 women, or 2.3%.

More than 24 percent of the PHC membership earned a 4.0 in fall 2016…that’s 540 women with 4.0s this fall. A total of 757 members earned a 4.0. Of that number 317 have a cumulative 4.0 gpa.

Besides succeeding academically, the 13 Panhellenic chapters alone raised more than $96,000 last spring alone. The 25 IFC fraternities donated more than 26,000 hours of community service this past year.

Continue reading “Fraternity and Sorority Recognized for Excellence”

Students Plan Mental Wellness Week

Student Body President Jessica Van Ranken is a senior from Lindsborg, KS majoring in Political Science. Vice-President Trenton Kennedy hails from Frankfort, KS and is majoring in entrepreneurship.

While running for Student Body President/Vice President last spring, Jessica Van Ranken and Trenton Kennedy shared a campaign priority to increase awareness for mental wellness among the student body. K-State junior Olivia Baalman was listening to their message, and was inspired to apply for Student Governing Association’s (SGA) Health and Safety Director.

According to the SGA website, the Health and Safety Director is responsible for campus programming designed to increase the safety of students, both on and off campus. The position represents the interests and concerns of students on matters pertaining to health and safety, and will work with campus officials, local businesses and community partners to accomplish a safer campus and community environment. This position is specifically charged with executing key elements of the Van Ranken-Kennedy administration’s focus and initiatives related to mental wellness on K-State’s campus.

Olivia Baalman is a junior majoring in Computer Science from Wichita, KS.

Baalman was selected as health and safety director, and quickly went to work creating plans for a first-ever Mental Wellness Week.  Olivia shared that her personal knowledge and experiences are a motivating factor for creating programs and events that de-stigmatize myths centered around mental illness.

Olivia assembled a committee of students, faculty and staff to prepare a schedule of activities that includes opportunities for students to have fun while learning about mental wellness. Committee representatives include WellCat Ambassadors, Union Program Council, Counseling Services and Student Governing Association. Continue reading “Students Plan Mental Wellness Week”

Academic Coaching: The Purpose Project

The Academic Coaching program offered under the Division of Student Life, is a free resource made available to any student at any level of any degree. Students will be assigned a professional academic coach, made available to meet one on one without a limit on duration.  The notes below are thoughts from the Director of Academic Coaching, Scott Voos.

The Purpose Project

What do you want to do? Said clearly and succinct. I normally leave that statement open ended without direction to see where a student wants to go with it. I don’t mind waiting a few seconds for a student to squirm a bit. When they squirm it usually means that they know I mean business and this isn’t going to be that typical elevator chat about the weather. I have found that a lot of students simply don’t know what they want to do. A lot of students will go their entire college career without really paying mind to this simple question. That usually leads to some anxiety near graduation day and a fear of what’s next. Of course this is what college is meant for, but somewhere along the line this question is being delayed longer and longer.

Continue reading “Academic Coaching: The Purpose Project”

Meet Assistant VP for Student Life: Dr. Stephanie Bannister

Director of Parent & Family Relations Mindy Weixelman sat down with Assistant VP for Student Life Dr. Stephanie Bannister in 122 Anderson Hall to learn about resources available to K-State students for academic support.

Mindy:  Thank you so much for meeting with me today.  Parents and families often share with me that academic support is one of their main areas of interest, concern and sometimes even a little anxiety.  They want to make sure their student takes advantage of all the resources available.  I’ve compiled a list of questions that I think will respond to some of the frequently asked questions. Are you ready?

Stephanie:  You bet!  Lets dive right in.

Mindy:  The term academic support or academic assistance can mean a lot of different things to students and their families. Tell us what academic support means at K-State?

Asst. VP for Student Life Dr. Stephanie Bannister

Stephanie:  Accessible, Empowering and Affordable. The Academic Assistance Center located in Holton Hall has a rich tradition of supporting student success at K-State. Any K-State student at any juncture during their time at K-State can take advantage of our programs. Academic coaching is tailored to support the student in identifying growth areas, setting goals, and building a toolkit to help them achieve more. This program along with our Tutoring Services are free to students. At no cost a student can sign up online for small group scheduled or walk-in sessions in a wide range of subjects and at student centered time. For a student who is seeking a more intensive support for a course like Intro to Biology we offer supplemental instruction. SI (supplemental Instruction) can be enrolled in and is a 1 credit course that meets weekly with a peer leader who has excelled in the content area and actually attends the lecture each week and then teaches study techniques and reinforces content. These are just a few of the support options.

Mindy:  That’s a helpful definition.  Now that we’re all on the same page with what academic assistance means, give us a feel for how many students the Academic Assistance Center serves throughout a semester?

Stephanie:  A semester average for students taking advantage of tutoring is 1,700, academic coaching 450, and supplemental instruction 400. We also offer presentations and workshops to the university community and through 70 outreach sessions a year reach hundreds of students.

Mindy:  At this time of the year, many students are looking to secure a part-time job on campus.  Are there part-time job opportunities for students within Academic Assistance?

Stephanie:  WOW! Yes, the Academic Assistance Center is 1 of the largest on campus employers at K-State. This year more than 100 students are serving as tutors, Supplemental Instruction leaders, and student office assistants!

Mindy:  I’m glad I asked!  I want to make sure parents know that part-time job opportunities can be found online at the K-State Career Center website.

I’m going to switch gears on you for a minute.  You have a new role at K-State!  Congratulations on your recent promotion.  What does it mean to be an Assistant Vice President for Student Life focusing on Educational & Personal Development? Continue reading “Meet Assistant VP for Student Life: Dr. Stephanie Bannister”