Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Donnelly College offering Community Leadership class to the public

Kansas City, Kan. will become a community laboratory this fall as students enrolled in The Art and Practice of Community Leadership, a semester-long class offered by Donnelly College, explore the people, places, politics and potential of Wyandotte County.

Students will study the hallmarks of various leadership styles and put newly acquired knowledge into community context through conversations with leaders and off-campus experiences  that highlight notable neighborhoods and landmarks.

The class, co-taught by Carol Marinovich, former Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas; Susan Keim, director of Donnelly’s Organizational Leadership bachelor’s degree; and Pat Brune, community leader, is open to the public and will combine fun, interactive, in-class exercises with community-based activities including meetings with local elected officials and tours of important community buildings.

“The primary focus is providing participants with a unique opportunity to connect with current community leaders,” said Marinovich. “We’ll examine different leadership styles and help students discover and refine their own approaches for managing projects and processes. We believe the cultivation of capable leadership is essential as KCK continues to move forward.”

The course, now in its second year, falls under the umbrella of Donnelly’s baccalaureate program in organizational leadership.

The course can be taken for non-credit at a cost of $200, or for three credit hours. There are no prerequisites required.

“In addition to gaining understanding of leadership theory, students and community members gain a new perspective and appreciation for the community,” Marinovich said. “Our hope is that they pass this new knowledge and KCK-pride along to others.”

One community member enrolled in the Fall 2011 class admitted he had a negative perception of Wyandotte County when he enrolled in the course.

“It was around the third class period when I realized how incredible KCK really is,” said Gary Shults, Lee’s Summit, Mo., resident. “Everyone was so passionate and proud to be a part of it, which made me feel proud as well. We learned about countless non-profits, businesses and local resources that keep the community running – many of which I didn’t even know existed. My opinion is forever changed. This class has made me eager to explore and learn more about all the things Wyandotte Country has to offer.”

“We developed this program in response to the need for expanded leadership capacity in our students,” said Keim. “This course is accomplishing that goal and more. It’s really ignited a new wave of awareness as well as pride in the culture and contributions of KCK.  It is our hope that Donnelly students will find more ways to engage in community activities.”

The Art and Practice of Community Leadership is a semester-long course that takes place each Wednesday evening from 6:45-9:30 p.m. at Donnelly beginning Wednesday, August 22.

Contact Keim at (913) 621-8738 or to learn more.