Photo page header


Our Stories

Alumni, donors, students, faculty and staff

Read and hear from Ichabods who are making a difference at Washburn and in their communities. Many of these articles appear in our publications like The Ichabod, Bell Tower and Washburn Lawyer.


"If you see something powerful in someone, tell them. If you think someone has the power to grow, be that supportive system"

Wake Up with Washburn - Nov. 2022
Janice Watkins, ba '05, presented "Building a Solid Foundation: Education, Servant Leadership and Housing" during Wake Up with Washburn.

Jerry Farley speaking at a Recycled Rides eventHello, Everyone: Farley carried out his grand vision for Washburn over 25 years as president

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
From a small town in Oklahoma and as the first in his family to graduate from college, Jerry Farley became president of Washburn University in 1997. Retiring 25 years later, he built a vibrant student life, a strong residential feel, multiple campuses to meet the needs of the region, solid financial roots and a healthy endowment built by supportive alumni and donors.

Susan Farley posingPaving Her Own Path: How Susan Farley found her place and made an impact as first lady of Washburn

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
When Susan Farley’s husband, Jerry Farley, took the role of Washburn president in 1997, it took her a little time to discover her role on campus. “I wanted to grow up and be a math teacher, which I was,” Farley said. “When we moved here, I was a little lost." So, she set to work trying to figure out how to best contribute to the cause. And she did just that.


Soph thankful Washburn gave him a chance, now he works to give others a chance as addictions counselor

Alumni Fellows - 2022
Dillan Soph is a licensed clinical addictions counselor and he has been clinical program director for the Atchison Valley Hope Addiction Treatment and Recovery since 2018.

Brown v. Board of education students at a digUnder the Surface: Archaeology students explore Brown v. Board site before historic court case

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
The Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park is an icon in Topeka and a landmark on the road to racial equality in the United States. This summer, Washburn University archaeology students dug deeper into the history of the land owned by the National Park Service.

Stacy Conner teaching a classRoad to Recovery: Addiction counseling program meets needs of growing problems

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
After going into recovery from drug addiction, Nick Casarona worried he’d wasted too much time – that his past, including jail, would keep him from making a meaningful professional impact. But he quickly discovered his struggles could allow him to help others. “I decided to study addictions counseling because of my own personal experiences,” he said.

Group posing in work roomMaking a Trade: Washburn Tech, Explore the Trades create new plumbing program

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
Washburn Tech made an addition to its program offerings for the new school year. Starting this fall, students can enroll in the plumbing technology program and get the knowledge and skills needed to equip them for the plumbing industry. Plumbers are in high demand, meaning this two-semester program will benefit the institution and community greatly.

Emily Lauritsen playing goalieGoal-Oriented: Law student achieving academic, athletic success following stroke

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
Emily Lauritsen is a goalkeeper in every sense. When she suffered a stroke in her third semester at Washburn Law, those familiar with her work ethic didn’t doubt she would one day return to her degree. But what nobody anticipated – especially while retraining muscles and learning to speak and write again – was she would win a gold medal in the process.

Group posingLifting Off: With help from Washburn alumni, Mammoth explodes into creative atmosphere

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
“We were joking that it’s like a rocket ship. Rocket ships aren’t always a smooth ride. But it's fast, and it's fun. And the view is great,” said vice president of creative for Mammoth Creative, Kip Kraisinger, ba ’05. The creative group has expanded its Meridan, Kansas, team – now including six Washburn alumni and a Washburn intern.

Lora Westling posting outside Lee ArenaBack for More: New basketball coach Lora Westling excited to be back at Washburn

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
New women’s basketball coach Lora Westling is no stranger to success. Nearly 20 years ago, Westling, bba ’05, mba ’07, helped the Lady Blues win Washburn’s first NCAA national championship, cementing her place in the school’s history.Westling called her four years playing basketball a transformational experience that put her on track for a coaching career.

Softball team with their trophyRising Pitch: Facility upgrades add appeal to championship-winning softball program

From The Ichabod - Fall 2022
Since beginning play on Gahnstrom Field, named after Bill and Emilie Gahnstrom for their generous support of the team, no team has been better at defending its turf. In 2022, the Ichabods were 26-0 at home, 45-15 overall, won the MIAA regular season championship and qualified for the NCAA tournament, the second appearance in Holaday’s five years.

Jerry Farley delivering a speechEnding an Era: With April announcement, Farley begins transition into retirement

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
Jerry Farley announced that he will be retiring as president of Washburn University on Sept. 30, 2022, after serving in the job for more than 25 years. “It has been my great honor to serve Washburn as president,” Farley said. “Susan has served right alongside me and we have been blessed with great colleagues and a highly supportive community.”

International Programs participants holding a globeAbroad Approach: International travel programs resuming flight   

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
Studying abroad is an essential experience for students in several majors, but during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the thought of international travel felt like a foreign concept. As restrictions eased in recent months, more students have expressed interest in traveling. Eighty-five already signed up to study outside the U.S. in summer and fall 2022.

Susie Hoffmann poses with Bob DoleMemories of Dole: Washburn alumni share recollections of the iconic senator 

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
Washburn alumni whose careers and lives were influenced by Sen. Bob Dole shared their stories. He passed away in 2021 at the age of 98, but his legacy lives on in the memories of those who knew him and seek to emulate his trademark graciousness, humor and humility.

Ron McHenry coachingOff the Bench: Ron McHenry, ba '85, Washburn’s winningest coach, retiring after 22 years

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
Ron McHenry has been a mainstay in the athletic department for most of the past 40 years, first as a basketball player, then as men’s golf head coach, men’s basketball assistant coach and for the past two-plus decades, the leader of a winning women’s basketball program. Now, he’s moving into an unfamiliar role with the Ichabods: a fan.

Jeannette Wood, her son and her teacher, Shirley Waugh pose at a playgroundHonored to Teach: Shirley Waugh, msn '09, guided and mentored many through nursing honors program

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
Entering college later in your life can be a daunting experience. Having mentors along the way can make a big difference. Shirley Waugh has been providing mentorship to students as an associate professor in the School of Nursing and director of the nursing honors program. Retiring this May, Waugh taught at Washburn for 13 years. 

Sheronika Simeon posing on campusA Whole New World: Miss Teen Bahamas International pursues joy and passion at Washburn

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
For winning Miss Teen Bahamas International, Sheronika Simeon was awarded a college scholarship. After looking at many options, Simeon chose to attend Washburn and major in kinesiology with plans to become a physical therapist. “Helping someone heal and preventing them from having to have surgery – that would bring me so much joy," she said.

Men's basketball team and team impact player posing in the locker roomHope and Belonging: Basketball teams connect with children facing serious and chronic illnesses

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
For a child with genetic disorders and complications at birth that gave him a stroke in utero, Cash is the real winner. He was connected with the Washburn men’s basketball team four years ago through Team IMPACT, and Cash, his family and the team have all benefited from the experience. The women's basketball team adopted Mallorie with similar results.

Kaydee Emperley advising Yler Clark-ChiapparelliAdvising Matters: Students find success with academic advising 

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
When Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli started college, he thought he could figure everything out on his own and didn’t need to ask for help. Turns out, he needed all the help he could get. Washburn’s Center for Student Success and Retention has been critical to helping him hit required academic benchmarks as well as achieve overall college success.

Juli Mazacheck posing on campusA True Honor: Mazachek, longtime leader at Washburn, named president at Texas university

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
In March, JuliAnn Mazachek was named president of Midwestern State University. “I have enjoyed working with students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and the community, to make a difference for the future," she said of her 30 years at Washburn. "It's been a true honor."

Melissa Tovar posing on campusCreating the Change: Melissa Tovar, bcj '20, begins her pursuit of justice for refugees

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
When Melissa Tovar started at Washburn, she was ready to create the change she wanted to see in her community. She now works at the Office of Refugee Resettlement at The Villages in Topeka, helping family members of children separated at the border. She plans to attend Washburn Law and work in immigration law for refugees.

Chelsea Armstrong posing on campusNew Perspectives: African American and African diaspora studies minor now available

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
The African American and African diaspora studies minor has its first graduate this spring. This minor is significant to senior Chelsea Armstrong as a mixed-race person. “Seeing how each (parent) was treated by society, and then also how people reacted to them being a couple and toward myself and my two siblings – it is an important part of who I am.”

The three 2022 data analytics majors posing on campusData is the Future: Three Ichabods become first graduates of data analytics program 

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
With a new data analytics program, the School of Business is looking toward the future. This forward-thinking curriculum not only benefits businesses, but also helps graduates get hired. When Cate Moody interviewed for an internship, she mentioned she was considering majoring in data analytics, and the company said they would have a permanent job for her.

James and Mary Baker wedding photoHelping Hand: Baker makes historic gift to Ichabods Moving Forward

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
Long after the kids were grown and the Bakers no longer needed the income from his retirement accounts, Jim and Mary started talking about ways they could give back. Jim could still remember being a struggling Washburn student and the help he recieved, so he decided to create a fund which will assist Ichabods Moving Forward.

Martin and students from both Washburn Law and Osaka University, at Osaka University, June 2018. Photo submittedInternational and Comparative Law Center: Connecting students to international law practices

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
When Professor Linda Elrod, ba ’69, jd ’72, traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, as a Washburn undergraduate in 1967, she experienced what she called “an awakening.” During her journey, she came to understand how foreign legal systems could inform her point of view on family law. As a professor, she returned to Denmark more than a decade later.

Jerry Seales, ’88. Photo submitted Singing Judge: Multitalented attorney Jerry Seales lays down the law and the beats in Grenada

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
When Jerry Seales retired as chief magistrate judge in Grenada in 2018, news sites described him as a “thorn in the side of traffic violators” for his “strict sentencing” and “hard adherence to the law.” With a reputation for harsh punishments, the results that come up when you type his name into YouTube may come as a surprise.

John Shoemaker, ’04, and his wife, Kelli, show off their fun lifestyle in Singapore. Photo submittedStaying Active from Afar: John Shoemaker working to connect with, support others who work internationally

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
When the pandemic hit, John Shoemaker, ’04, was looking for a lifeline as he found himself distanced from friends and colleagues. It was during this time he began to reconnect with faculty and fellow alumni while attending online happy hours. The virtual format was essential for Shoemaker, who has lived and practiced law in Singapore since 2015.

The Jessup Team in DenverThe Fraternity of Jessup: Students compete to develop advocacy skills

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
Each year, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition lets law students expand their international law knowledge and develop their advocacy skills by arguing a dispute between fictional countries. Prof. Craig Martin said the Jessup “develops advocacy skills like no other competition can.”

Matti Asino, ’91. Photo submittedReturning Home: Matti Asino went back to Namibia, Africa to put legal training in practice

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
When Matti Asino, ’91, first moved to Omaha, Nebraska, from his home country of Namibia, Africa, in 1981, it was the middle of summer. His family was pleased to find the weather warm and the landscape lush and green, which reminded them of the rainy season back home. A few months later, though, Asino’s first Midwestern winter came as a surprise.

Laura Ice, ’84. Photo submittedTaking Off: Laura Ice helps lead effort to take Wichita-based company global

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
As general counsel at Textron Financial Corporation, Laura Ice, ’84, has traveled all over the world – but she conducts most of her international business from her office in Wichita, Kansas. Her successful career serves as a prime example of how a lawyer’s influence can span the globe while staying anchored in the Midwest.

John WesterhausEducation After Law School: Graduates are inspired to seek further education abroad

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
As many Washburn Law graduates can attest, a successful international career often starts in Kansas. For John Westerhaus, jd ’12, curiosity about the world began long before law school. His inquisitiveness influenced his decision to pursue his LL.M. at University College London in the United Kingdom after graduating from Washburn.

Cas-en-Bas Beach, St. Lucia. Photo submitted Digging in From Afar: Law students take on special project to protect ancient burial site in St. Lucia

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
While many students could have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a time to not take on new endeavors, two law students did just the opposite. Elizabeth “Kinsella” Brunetti, jd ’21, and Deisy “Pam” Saenz, jd ’21, worked on an international law research project to assist with litigation in St. Lucia to protect indigenous rights and preserve indigenous cultural heritage. 

Paul Maricle with an intern from Germany in the Honorary ConsulateGerman Immersion: Studying abroad leads to successful career and honorary consul position

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
Paul Maricle has maintained a passion for Germany, the German language, and German culture since he was a high school foreign exchange student. He wasn’t formally trained in the German language before he went abroad, but was immersed in the language and the culture immediately – an experience that shaped his career today.

Lori Callahan, BBA ’80, JD ’83, and Linda Parks, BA ’79, JD ’83.Life Down Under: Lori Callahan finalizes fulfilling career in Australia

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
Since Lori Callahan, bba ’80, jd ’83, moved to Sydney, Australia, two decades ago, she jokes she became an amateur tour guide for visitors from the Midwest. Originally from Olathe, Kansas, Callahan moved to Australia to pursue a job opportunity, and now her family spans the globe along with her career.

Kurt Kerns, ’91, with his legal assistant and clientA Home in The Hague: Wichita lawyer fulfills goal first established during studies overseas

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
Kurt Kerns, jd '91, is one of just 26 American lawyers authorized to appear before the International War Crime Tribunal at The Hague. Kerns eventually achieved his goal, but the journey to practice overseas was far from direct. He maintains a successful record in murder trials and has been featured as a legal commentator on national TV networks.

Jim Slattery, BS ’10, JD ’74,  Photo by Jeremy WanglerRep. Jim Slattery: Taste of international law in school leads to lifelong career

From Washburn Lawyer - 2021-22
Jim Slattery, bs ’70, jd ’74, is well known as one of the most prominent Kansas politicians of his generation. He ran his first campaign while a first-year law student at Washburn Law. He served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1973-79. He later served in the U.S. Congress from 1983-95 and ran for Kansas governor and the U.S. Senate.

More stories

The Ichabod Fall 2022 magazine cover

The Ichabod tells our story with features on alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, along with the latest campus news. View the current and past editions


Please enter your username and password below. If you do not have a username and password, click "New user registration" to register.

New user registration
Forgotten password

1729 MacVicar Avenue
Topeka, KS 66604 Phone: 785.670.4483