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Potential for Students to Earn Minor Abroad The School of Leadership Studies continues to grow and expand students’ horizons as they consider their place as citizens in a global community. The International Service Teams program is one way leadership studies experiences abroad have been supported. The School of Leadership Studies is excited to announce a developing partnership with the Office of International Programs to grow new experiences abroad. Through a developing initative in Ecuador, the School will continue offer leadership studies students opportunities to practice and learn leadership around the world. Chance Lee, an instructor teaching LEAD 350: Culture and Context in Leadership and LEAD 420: Theories of Nonprofit Leadership, recently traveled to Guayaquil, Cuenca, and the University of San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador to explore opportunities for the School of Leadership Studies to expand international learning for minors. Working with Ecuadorian community organizations, the first International Service Team based in Ecuador will A Word from Mary Kay I have tried several times in my 13 years with Leadership Studies to explain to my now 86 year-old mom what I do at K-State as well as the all too common question ‘what do you mean you teach leadership.’ Her context of teachers and students is based on her 32 years as a school secretary in Dorrance, Kansas where the average graduating class size was about 12 students. Of course, mom created her own noble version of what I do at K-State. She is quite adamant in her mind that Coach Snyder and I are the best of friends, that I know most everyone who works here or who is a student here, and that I pretty much run K-State. In addition, she directs anyone who is having difficulty with K-State in any way – from a friend’s grandchild flunking a class to a wildcat fan wanting tickets to a sold-out basketball game – to call me so that I can help them. As you can tell, Mom is quite proud of what I do, but she hasn’t been able to get a handle on the context of the word leadership. Mom has asked several times if I teach people how to be the boss of their own companies, teach them appropriate rules on running a meeting or how to be a great public speaker. Of course, I share with her that is not what we are about, but I’ve always found myself struggling to share a story with mom that would connect with her. Then 12 launch in the summer of 2015. Development of international partnerships in Ecuador will not stop there, Lee said, “We’re still doing research, but we would like to offer a leadership studies semester abroad program in Ecuador. Similar to how International Service Teams is a trip abroad focused on service-learning, the program would let students study abroad through a servicelearning curriculum while working in local communities. We would include classes like Culture and Context, where what the student would be learning is very relevant to where they are and what they are doing.” The School of Leadership Studies is working toward offering this semester abroad program as an opportunity that moves students toward completion of the minor in leadership studies. A community-based learning model will be used to engage students in unique learning experiences in Ecuador working alongside local community organizations. The curriculum will invite students to consider global citizenship and global leadership through practical experience and coursework. “We have a while before we’ll be able to create this focus,” Chance said, “but we hope that by offering this to students, they’ll be able to expand their lens to consider the global community.” it hit me, I just had to use mom’s own life stories to make the connection. I asked mom why she and dad were involved in so many community organizations in their little hometown of Dorrance, Kansas with a population of less than 250 people. That question opened the floodgates of her memory and her response was classic: “Well, we loved the people and we just wanted to make it a good place to live for everybody. That’s why your dad and a few others started a Lions Club. They wanted to update the broken-down city park that didn’t have any children’s play areas. After the high school burned down in 1982, we formed the DCBA (Dorrance Community Betterment Association) to try to rebuild the school. We called it ‘ashes to classes.’ It wasn’t such a good idea to rebuild, it was better for the kids to go elsewhere to school. We figured it out a year after having classes in buildings all around town. We tried, but it just wasn’t the right thing for the kids. And then there was the committee to bring low-income housing to Dorrance because there wasn’t a place for older poor people to live. And then there was…..” I stopped mom, told her that she knows leadership because what she just described is what we hope our students will do in their communities – identify a need and then mobilize people to make progress on it. Sometimes our efforts work and sometimes they don’t. (cont. on next page)

The Loop - June 2014

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