March 11, 2014                                                                                                      NewsBlast Vol. 4 No. 11
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Matthew Sanderson, associate professor of sociology, asks his rural sociology students on the first day of class, "What in rural Kansas is worth saving?" Some say their families or their farms. The majority are silent. Rural communities are facing challenges such as decline of small businesses and loss of young people to more urban areas. Sanderson teaches the rural sociology class every fall semester, and each year more students say they do not plan to return to the rural towns in which they lived.

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When diagnosing most patients, Dr. Francis Koopman believes "when you hear hoofbeats, look for horses." But when it comes to certain patients, like those from Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute, his team "looks for zebras." The BRI researches many significant zoonotic pathogens that could spread from animals to humans. Swine flu, yellow fever, tularemia, rift valley fever, anthrax and even plague are all studied in the building. Mercy Regional Health Center performs special health surveillance for uncommon diseases as part of a medical partnership that keeps zoonotic research safe for the scientists and the community.

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ICDD holds eighth Facilitating Public Issues Workshop

The Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy hosted its eighth Facilitating Public Issues workshop from March 3-5, in the Alumni Center at Kansas State University. Fourteen participants received certificates for completing the 16-hour facilitation-training course. The workshop taught the participants how to best facilitate a public issues forum and how to resolve conflict if it shall arise.  


Along with the workshop, ICDD hosted a mental health forum on Monday, March 3. The groups at the forum discussed different options to approaching the issue of mental health care. Thirty-five members from the community discussed whether individuals with the mental illnesses should be able to decide for him/herself what treatment to receive, if the community should be able to decide what treatment is necessary and the cons of incarceration regarding the mentally ill.   

Kansas State University established the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy (ICDD) in 2004 to enhance democracy through improved community deliberation. Soon after, the Center for Engagement and Community Development (CECD) was created by K-State in 2006 to connect the resources of the university to significant issues of public need facing Kansas and communities worldwide. To help sustain rural communities due to growing economic problems, CECD launched the Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI) in 2008.
Center for Engagement and Community Development | | | 
202 Ahearn Field House
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS, 66506

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