Wildcat Dialogues spark conversation, intercultural learning

During Wildcat Dialogues, first-year student Tayeeba Muhammad Khan shares her experience moving to the U.S. from Pakistan and starting her degree in software engineering. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

Wildcat Dialogues, held Monday in the Kansas State Union Ballroom, is a new event intended to promote intercultural learning and help new students gain a new appreciation of the diverse K-State community around them. Though events like these are geared toward new students, they are open to everyone and encourage participation.

“The Wildcat Dialogues idea really came from students who were calling for a campus wide event that would create a space for dialogue and conversation,” Kerry L. Priest, associate professor of the Staley School of Leadership Studies and coordinator of the event, said.

The event was split up into two parts, starting with a panel of six people of varying backgrounds speaking about their K-State experience.

“I was really hesitant at first, it felt nerve-wracking being in front of all those people, I have never spoken to that meany people at once,” said panelist Francisco Cardoza, junior in management information and student coordinator for international service teams, said. “But it was also really humbling to see that many people listening to my story.”

After the panel finished speaking, the audience broke into small groups facilitated by another student who helped lead the discussions.

“I hope they gain a better understanding of ways in which they can create a more inclusive and diverse K-State,” Abigaile Molzer, senior in anthropology and a facilitator of the event, said. “There are times when not everyone feels that they are part of the K-State family, and conversations like these are important to make sure that everyone feels part of it.”

Wildcat Dialogues is one of the many events happening this year to promote respect and understanding of the many identities on K-State’s campus and to help students learn about themselves and others.