A December 2020 Fort Hays State University (FHSU) Honors College graduate receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership, Caden Frank is now pursuing a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) at FHSU with a projected graduation of May 2023. He also serves as a graduate research assistant under the purview of FHSU's Director of Civic Learning and Engagement. Throughout his undergraduate experience, Caden demonstrated exemplary leadership as a selected participant in the Voss Advanced Leadership Undergraduate Experience (VALUE) program through the Leadership Studies Department where he focused on civic and non-profit leadership and the application of adaptive leadership. He also served as a social change project leader with area businesses and brought community members and FHSU students together to identify the root causes of issues impacting the community and to co-create solutions. He received multiple honors for his tireless service and was named the 2018 Peer Mentor for the Honors College. He is a dedicated and accomplished student leader. Our campus is both proud of and grateful for his contributions as an undergraduate student and we look forward to his continued contributions to meaningful engagement as a graduate student.
Intentional connection is at the core of all I do both personally and professionally. Connection comes in many forms from friendships to romantic relationships to business endeavors. However, some of the connections with others never reach the depth that is needed to make real progress. Making the conscious choice to understand the deepest parts of a person and their individual complexities breaks down barriers between people and reveals commonalities that can be used as fuel toward mutually beneficial solutions to problems that exist currently in the United States. In a society that is increasingly more polarized politically, economically, and socially, making the choice to understand another person, to focus on the common ground and to view differences in lifestyle, opinion, or world view as sources of energy rather than conflict, is to make the first step toward unity. In order to engage meaningfully in the democratic process and find the heart of social issues, we must genuinely understand one another. My work with a local non-profit focused around intentional dialogue and mental health and my undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership have provided the skills to begin the important conversations and to inspire people to commit to long term change.