Dean John Floros recognized for ‘outstanding diversity accomplishments’

Dr. John D. Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture, speaks about the importance of diversity after accepting the 2017 Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award on Feb. 15 2017. (Regan Tokos | The Collegian)

Students and faculty assembled to recognize John D. Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture, who was awarded the Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award. The reception, hosted by Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, was held Wednesday in Waters Hall.

The award is given to a faculty or staff member who has “outstanding diversity accomplishments.”

“It means a lot,” Floros said. “It’s recognition from a group of students to a dean. It’s not something we get everyday. What it tells me is that all of us, faculty and staff, are really helping support the community, the diverse community of students that find this place to be more like home and they really like it and flourish here and that was really our goal from the beginning. I don’t view this as a personal award, I view this as an award for the position.”

The Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award is given to a faculty or staff member every other year. Nominations for the Wallace Kid Memorial Award take place in November.

Floros was nominated by PhD candidate Tiffany Carter. Several students presented and gave remarks about the assistance they have received from John Floros.

“It meant a lot to me because the efforts that MANRRS has done for me as a student, and to know that dean Floros is encouraging this diversity,” Frantina Williams, senior in agribusiness and modern languages, said. “It was really an honor to speak on his behalf for the assistance that he gives not only our group, but diversity groups throughout.”

Zelia Wiley, interim associate provost for diversity, said she still remembers Floros’ impact on her during her first week on the job.

“It was his very first, he might not remember this, but it was his very first week on the job,” Wiley said. “He took the time to talk to her and he’s always taking the time to talk to her and that’s why (Carter) nominated him.”

According to Kansas State, MANRRS is a student group aimed at providing support to students enrolled in agriculture and related sciences. The Wallace Kid Memorial Diversity Award is sponsored by MANRRS to honor the diversity efforts of faculty, staff and students.

“Wallace Kidd was the first African American graduate of entomology,” Wiley said. “He had a business here in Manhattan, Kansas, and he was very instrumental here back in the 70’s. What he did was the reason we put the emphasis on diversity, is because he truly invested in the students.”

According to K-State College of Agriculture, the Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award was established in memory of Wallace Ray Kidd, the first minority graduate of the College of Agriculture Entomology Department. Kidd served in the US Army from 1941 to 1945. After being honorably discharged from the Army, Kidd attended K-State. Graduating in 1950, Kidd had dedicated his time at K-State to helping minority students on campus.

“We have really grown in terms of the diversity within the college and the university,” Floros said. “We’ve grown in the number of students we’ve brought in over the years. We’ve grown in the success of those students.”