McPherson College joins national Racial Equity group

McPHERSON – McPherson College is among the 51 inaugural member institutions of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance recently announced by the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center.

The USC Race and Equity Center works with professionals in educational institutions and corporations to strategically develop and achieve equity goals, better understand and correct climate problems, avoid and recover from racial crises, and cultivate sustainable cultures of inclusion and respect.

McPherson College has participated in the Center’s Campus Climate Survey since 2019, and as a member of the new Alliance will have access to several additional resources developed by the Center.

"McPherson College understands the importance of equity at all levels on our campus," President Michael Schneider said. "Having access to the research and organizational resources of the USC Race and Equity Center will provide us with powerful tools as we continue to improve our strategies and practical approaches surrounding diversity and inclusion."

As a member the college can participate in 12 eConvenings, professional development sessions that focus on particular aspects of racial equity, conducted by nationally respected leaders in race relations.

The Center is also developing an online repository of resources and tools for Alliance members that includes equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, and other resources.

McPherson College’s most recent efforts to become a more inclusive campus include working with the Kansas Leadership Center to diagnose and engage the campus in solutions to develop a more inclusive culture through meaningful dialogue, training, and new initiatives.

A campus task force meets regularly to evaluate progress on its goals, which include engaging and inclusive programming, retention of underrepresented students, more diverse applicant pools, ongoing education and conversations with employees, and serving as leaders in the community.

The college has also supported diversity and inclusion training for all student leaders, as well as any interested student, through the Student Government Association.

A student workgroup began meeting over the summer to discuss actions that the college can implement to support student efforts in creating and promoting antiracism activities, and a student-initiated organization, VOCAL (Voices Of Change And Leadership,) has facilitated campus-wide conversations this semester.

Creekstone Farms Kansas Exporter of the Year

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today recognized Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC as the winner of the 2020 Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award, the top export business award presented by the state.

Creekstone was one of five finalists for this award, joined by Kice Industries of Wichita, Petron Plus Global of Hutchinson, Dragon-Line of Ulysses, and Compass Minerals of Overland Park.

The announcement of the winner was made during a virtual award ceremony on the Kansas Department of Commerce Facebook page.

"Creekstone Farms is an impressive Kansas company, whose beef can be found in nearly every corner of the world," Governor Laura Kelly said. "All five companies have demonstrated sustained and superior exporting performance worthy of making each one a strong contender for this year’s award – but there can be only one winner. Congratulations to Creekstone Farms on this outstanding recognition."

Creekstone sends premium beef to 68 foreign markets, with exporting as an essential element of its overall business success and sustainability. According to Creekstone, 20% of company sales are generated from export.

The company has made a significant impact on the surrounding community, having contracted with 315 different vendors in Kansas in 2018 for a total of $87 million. Currently, a $115 million expansion is underway, with more projects slated for the future.

Groups can contract with WSU COVID-19 testing lab for 24-hour response

Businesses and organizations can now contract with and receive 24-hour COVID-19 test results from Wichita State University’s Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory.

Organizations may begin the process by reviewing information and filling out the forms at

Wichita State created the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory to support the community and state with better capacity to live with the pandemic and help people return to work and school faster and support our health care, service providers and first responders. The State of Kansas and Sedgwick County have both pledged to support expanded testing provided to the community by WSU MDL using Federal CARES funding.

Wichita State’s MDL provides highly accurate, 24-hour turnaround on both saliva and nasopharyngeal swab FDA EUA approved PCR tests. As a CLIA approved testing laboratory, it uses CDC protocols and state-of-the-art automation and robotics along with a digital portal for contracting organizations and patients to order tests and view results.

Any group, such as businesses, non-profits, medical groups, schools, childcare, long-term care facilities and more, can contract directly with WSU. Pricing represents a 40 to 60 percent savings over typical tests.

Once an organization contracts with Wichita State’s MDL lab, they will receive training in the process of collecting saliva samples and using the portal for ordering tests and viewing patient results.

For now, Wichita State is contracting for tests through groups and organizations with individual testing available through groups.

To request more information or to contract with WSU, forms and information are available at Groups can also e-mail The lab phone number is 316-978-8600. The person working with groups to begin testing is Tonya Witherspoon.