Kansas State University


K-State Parents and Family Association

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”

Explore Your Options with Housing & Dining Services

If your student hasn’t decided where to live next year, now’s the time to consider the options. Current on-campus residents are able to step in and reserve a space before Housing and Dining Services opens the contract to new students. Deadlines are quickly approaching! The application and contract are now available for completion, and the earlier they’re submitted, the better your student’s chances of securing the space they want.

Continue reading “Explore Your Options with Housing & Dining Services”

Counseling Services: The Body Project

K-State Counseling Services is facilitating a new eating disorder prevention program called The Body Project which is being offered this Spring to K-State students.   The Body Project is a joint collaboration among K-State Wildcat Wellness Coalition group members, co-chaired by Wendy Barnes of Counseling Services and Dianna Schalles.  Please take a moment to read the news release that includes program details.

The Body Project:  Equipping Students to Resist Unhealthy Appearance Ideals

Source:   Contact Dianna Schalles, 785-532-5240 or Wendy Barnes, 785-532-6927

MANHATTAN – Empowering college students to think healthy and respect body diversity in themselves and others is the ideal when it comes to body image. That concept is the focus of a nationally acclaimed program being implemented at Kansas State University by the Wildcat Wellness Coalition.The peer-led program, through a series of oral, written and behavioral activities, asks participants to challenge the appearance-ideal standards of our culture.  The Body Project is proven to reduce eating disorder risk factors in its participants.

“Body dissatisfaction is a risk factor that may trigger the onset of eating disorders in susceptible individuals,” said Dianna Schalles, Coordinator of Nutrition Counseling at Lafene Health Center and Body Project Co-Chair.

The evidence-based program for college-aged females was originally developed by Carolyn Becker, professor of psychology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and Dr.  Eric Stice, Senior Research Scientist at Oregon Research Institute.  To date, the program has been used by more than 100 higher education institutions and delivered to over 200,000 students across North America.

Continue reading “Counseling Services: The Body Project”

Counseling Services: Peer Education and Life-Skills Workshop

Peer Advocates for Mental Wellness Success (P.A.W.S.)

Counseling Services introduces a new Peer Education opportunity for K-State Students

P.A.W.S is a peer education course that prepares students to go out and make timely, informative presentations about various mental wellness topics to their peers across campus. Studies have shown that peers learn best from fellow peers, therefore, Counseling Services sees this group as an integral part of our educational purpose on campus that strives to help students succeed personally, academically and socially.     

The course is structured around the Certified Peer Education curriculum developed by the NASPA Bacchus initiative as well as Dr. Fred Newton’s, “Students Helping Students”, text. Over the course of the semester, they will learn about various mental wellness topics: stress management, suicide prevention/intervention, drugs and alcohol, depression and stigma reduction. In addition to mental wellness topics, students will also learn the fundamentals of becoming a peer educator. Skills such as listening, providing feedback, program development, and effective presentation ability will be covered. Upon completion of the course, students who pass the Peer Educator certification exam will be eligible for potential hire by Counseling Services as part of the Peer Educator team. All students who pass the certification exam will also be invited to become active members of the P.A.W.S. student group.

Feel Better Fast

We are proud to offer a life-skills workshop called Feel Better Fast. The Feel Better Fast program is based on principles of mindfulness, emotion regulation, resiliency and distress tolerance, and meditation for relaxation.  Through mindfulness, we teach students to focus on the present moment, rather than living in the future (anxiety) or living in the past (depression).  This can allow them to focus on what has to be done and how to effectively complete it.  With emotion regulation, we focus on developing skills to manage painful emotions when they occur. So often, we try to run from our emotions, rather than listen to them and successful use them to motivate us for positive change.  Through resiliency and distress tolerance, we discuss those factors that will most likely increase our chances of surviving a “crisis” whether that crisis is failing an exam or learning one of our loved ones is terminally ill.  Finally, in meditation, we cultivate a sense of peace and safety through breathing for relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery.  

These presentations are free to all students and they do not have to be clients at Counseling Services.  We will be offering 11 weeks of training this semester on the following days, times, and locations: ●Tuesdays, beginning January 31 from 1:00-2:00 pm in Leadership Studies 112 ●Wednesdays, beginning February 1 from 4:00-5:00 pm in Leadership Studies 111         ● Thursdays, beginning February 2 from 11:30-12:30 pm in Leadership Studies 126.

Source:  Wendy D. Barnes, Ph.D., Online Programs/Outreach Coordinator, Counseling Services, Kansas State University, Office:  (785) 532-6927 Email:  wdb3838@ksu.edu

Academic Coaching: Magic Answers

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.

Magic Answers

One of the most common reasons students seek us out is to talk about poor grades. This is usually phrased in a statement like “I’m not good at math.” There is so much context within that statement and our eyes light up when we hear something along those lines. As an academic coach
we are naturally inquisitive and particularly curious to know more about that negative experience. We are drawn to explore the brick wall a student has run into and that’s where the conversation really begins. Continue reading “Academic Coaching: Magic Answers”