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Alumni, donors, students, faculty and staff

Read the latest feature stories from people who are making a difference for Washburn. Many of these articles appear in our publications like The Ichabod and Bell Tower.

Jak KendallEnlightening Work: Fellowship lets students curate Mulvane exhibit, create accompanying piece

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
Stevie Delgado perked up at the opening of the Rita Blitt Gallery and Sculpture Garden in 2017 when she heard a new fellowship would allow a student to work closely with the Rita Blitt Legacy Collection. A year later, Delgado was essentially handed the keys to the gallery – with guidance from staff – as the inaugural recipient of the Irwin Blitt Fellowship.

Inside Out t-shirt that says moving beyond the walls that separate usOutside and Inside: Traditional students and prison inmates learn, share together in new program

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
This spring, traditional Washburn students participated in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, gaining new perspectives on the criminal justice system during a blended class with incarcerated students. The quickest lesson learned was also the most vital: The students inside and outside the prison found out they actually had a lot in common.

Jak KendallMaking the Most: Working toward college degrees in high school gives students early advantage

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
It is not uncommon for students to graduate with a high school diploma, Washburn University Institute of Technology certificate  and Washburn University associate’s degree within a year of each other or sooner. Free and reduced-price tuition give students many advantages along the way when they choose this path.

Kelsey AlfordShe Can Do That: Radiation therapist Kelsey Alford, c '16, battles obstacles to overcome dystonia, doubters

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
Kelsey Alford proved doubters wrong when they said she couldn’t work in a medical field while battling the pain and discomfort caused by dystonia. She found encouraging faculty members in Washburn’s radiation therapy program and now works as a radiation therapist. She competes in Spartan Races in her spare time.

Michael RyanIn His Opinion: Michael Ryan, ba '81, discusses important issues as KC Star editorial writer

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
Michael Ryan offered to help a fraternity brother and contribute a column to the Washburn Review. He quickly learned to type on a manual typewriter and hammered out a column in the style of comedic writer Woody Allen. He's since had a 30-year career in journalism and works as an opinion writer for the Kansas City Star.

Jak KendallSound of Silence: Theatre alumna Kelie McIver, ba '82, remembers overcoming damaged vocal chords

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
“The doctor said you have soft nodules on your vocal chords, and if you don’t let them heal, they can become permanently damaged.” Kelie McIver took that warning seriously. But for the vocalist and theatre major, healing her damaged vocal chords with complete vocal rest was easier said than done. Well, maybe easier written than done.

Jak KendallBig-City Style: Celebrity photo shoot opens avenues for Dawson Hiegert, c '18, and his mane adventure

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
Last year, Dawson Hiegert decided the time had come to go from “hair” to “there” – with the best perk of “there” being moving to New York City to work with some of the nation’s highest profile hair stylists on a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot. Not a bad resume builder for a 19-year old who recently completed the cosmetology program at Washburn Tech.

Jak KendallValuable Assets: Master of accountancy prepares graduates for critical problem-solving roles

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
The Washburn University School of Business master of accountancy program doesn’t just produce number crunchers. The program takes the rules-based knowledge learned in an undergraduate accounting program and furthers it by making the students ask ‘why?’ The resulting degree makes alumni especially valuable to their company or clients.

Jak KendallEverything’s Rosie: Internship leads to role with Dept. of Commerce for recent graduate Rosie Nichols, ba '20

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
Rosie Nichols, ba '20, interviewed for a job this spring at the Kansas Department of Commerce while using the WiFi in a McDonald’s parking lot while visiting her grandmother in Russell, Kansas. She got the job and works as an international development representative.

Kyle HintonNext in Line: In year of long waits, offensive lineman Kyle Hinton, als '20, in final push to play in NFL

From The Ichabod - Fall 2020
From his earliest practices as a freshman on Washburn’s football team, coaches pegged Kyle Hinton as an eventual pro football prospect. The offensive lineman from Peoria, Arizona, with a zero-star rating and little recruiting buzz exceeded the expectations and was drafted this spring by the Minnesota Vikings.

Washburn Welcome Center outdoorsResolute but Adaptive: Washburn remains committed to mission amid COVID-19 disruptions

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
As Washburn was on spring break, much of the world was beginning to make decisions regarding closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Washburn decided, like most other academic institutions, to move its spring classes online. Faculty and staff had one week to make sure students could continue getting the resources important to their success.

Student Adam Young with Elizabeth WarrenOn the Trail: Political science students study firsthand the uniqueness of Iowa presidential politics

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
Iowa commands months of attention in presidential politics every four years. Campaigns and dreams are born and die in this state as the two major political parties begin the process of choosing their nominee for the nation’s highest office. Washburn University students get a front-row seat.

Washburn nursing students at a clinicalRenewed and Well: School of Nursing using $5 million grants to help care in underserved areas

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
Natalie Peterman shadowed a nurse in rural Kansas during a pre-nursing class before coming to Washburn University. “I absolutely loved it,” she said. “I saw the hard work rural nurses do and the impact it makes for the community, and I thought it was something I would really like to do in the future.”

Chief Justice Marla Luckert being sworn inLeading from Atop: The Hon. Marla Luckert, ba ’77, jd ’80, sworn in as chief justice of Kansas’ highest court

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
Outside Chief Justice Marla Luckert's desk, the Kansas State Capitol sits proudly, seeming to scrape the Midwestern sky. “It’s a good reminder. I want to do everything I can for citizens of Kansas to make access to justice more than just a statement we throw out. It’s something real and meaningful.”

Tom AverillThe Kansas Story: Mabee Library celebrates decade of thriving collection

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
For the last 10 years, the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection at Washburn University has become an exhaustive body of work dedicated to Kansas literature. Housed in Mabee Library, the collection enhances the study of Kansas literature through the state’s folklore, history, geography and culture.

Paul Humann with books he's publishedGetting the Picture: Paul Humann, jd '64, going on 60 years of scuba diving, underwater photography

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
“A huge school of hammerheads came straight toward me out of the blue. They went right over me and then just stayed there. So I wondered, how close would they let me come? I rose up out of the crevice and swam up in the open water right into the middle of the school and got a couple of unbelievable pictures.”

Mariana Yoshita holding a childGoing Places: Mariana Yoshita, bba '16, travels the world and inspires others to do the same

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
Mariana Yoshita is a world traveler by heart, a Brazilian citizen by passport, a proud Washburn alumna, and has already visited 34 countries. “My experience at Washburn University was exceptional,” Yoshita said. “It was just the start of my international business career.”

Eric HinostrozaClubhouse Veteran: Military, fatherhood experiences come into play for first baseman Eric Hinostroza

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
At age 25, Eric Hinostroza already has a lifetime of experiences. Between his first and second seasons at Kansas City Kansas Community College, the Brandon, Florida, native got married, became a father of two and spent four years serving in the U.S. Army. Now he's a leader on the Ichabod baseball team.

Ron WassersteinIt All Adds Up: Good-natured Ron Wasserstein, ba '78, in 14th year leading national statistics organization

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
One of the things Ron Wasserstein is remembered for at Washburn is his ability to have fun while raising funds for the school. In 1996, he made a challenge to faculty and staff for their annual campaign: If half the faculty contributed at least a dollar, he would belly flop into the White Concert Hall fountain. They rose to the challenge, and that fall he had to pay up.

Bill EldienIn Good Spirits: Bill Eldien, b ed '71, leading 300-year old distillery that produces Ketel One Vodka

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
Running a 300-year-old business is no easy feat. It takes passion, commitment and creativity – and for Bill Eldien, personal enjoyment of the product he’s selling. As CEO and president of Nolet Spirits USA, a family-owned distillery founded in Holland in 1691, Eldien still remembers the time he tried Nolet’s Ketel One Vodka on a whim. It was love at first sip.

Jake LebahnCalling the Shots: Ichabod announcer, father-to-be Jake Lebahn, ba '07, enjoying life at home and on the road

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020
When he’s not hosting his weekday sports talk show, the 6-foot-4 former wide receiver crams into a car and travels to nearly every Washburn football and basketball contest to call the game. After all the uneventful drives, it may come as a surprise to hear the Voice of the Ichabods refer to a 2014 flight to Hawaii as his “trip from hell.”

Whiting FieldhouseStudent-Athlete Spotlight: Ichabods staying connected, focused after seasons canceled, classes moved online

From Athletics Spotlight - Spring 2020
Washburn student-athletes were preparing for competitions in March as leagues around the world were canceling because of COVID-19. The Ichabods went on as usual until they got the same heartbreaking news about their seasons. As it sunk in, they have been finding ways to finish classes and remain connected while looking ahead to brighter days.

Tommy and Lou OlsenSpecial Connections: As fans and donors, Olsens enjoy watching student-athletes grow, build careers

From Athletics Spotlight - Spring 2020
Lou Olsen has worked at Washburn for 36 years, spending all but two years in Human Resources. As supporters of Ichabod athletics, Lou and Tommy Olsen enjoy watching local athletes come to Washburn, have successful playing careers and return as employees or fellow donors and fans.

Larry and Lois DimmittLarry, jd ’68, and Lois Dimmitt: New plans excite alumnus, encourage gift to School of Law building fund

From Law Alumni Newsletter - Spring 2020
Larry Dimmitt, jd ’68, finished the last two years of his legal education taking classes in trailers. After graduating, he proudly watched a new law school building rise on a campus scourged by a tornado. Now, 50 years later, he and his wife, Lois, heartily made a $100,000 gift toward a new building that will meet the changing demands of legal education.

Tom Bayles and Lindsay BaylesBayles Family: Second-year Washburn Law student Lindsay Bayles guided by family advice

From Law Alumni Newsletter - Spring 2020
Lindsay Bayles’s family history at Washburn goes back two generations, but when she and her husband decided to study law, the decision to attend Washburn was not an automatic one. They ultimately decided on Washburn, the same school Lindsay’s father, Tom Bayles, mba ’94, jd ’97, chose, and her grandfather, James Bayles, taught law at.

Kate Langworthy at Highland gamesKate Langworthy: Scottish Highland games and agricultural law interest 1L

From Law Alumni Newsletter - Spring 2020
Like most things, Kate Langworthy’s success as a Scottish Highland games athlete is dictated by her amount of training. “Trying to juggle law school, motherhood, and life in general, sometimes training gets pushed to the wayside,” she said. “Just like in law school, if you're not putting in the time outside of class, it's going to translate to your outcome.”

Be the voice, voter registration formDriving Discussions: Anniversaries of voting amendments will draw focus on citizenship, suffrage

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
In an election year, census year and year that celebrates milestone anniversaries of the right to vote in the United States, the theme of this year’s WUmester, citizenship and suffrage, is not only timely, but important. Washburn University will make the topic prevalent in many of its courses and events this spring semester.

Maya Angelou's portrait in "I Dream a World"Stunning Collection: Mulvane acquires photos from Pulitzer Prize winner’s book

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
The oldest art museum in Kansas celebrated its 95th birthday with a special announcement of its acquisition of Brian Lanker’s photographs from his book “I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.” The exhibition and book presents an African American female view of the world, accompanied by the critically-acclaimed portraits.

Marian McGaw WellhouseFighting Words: Washburn alumna active in national suffrage work prior to 1920 amendment

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
The words and actions of a Washburn alumna more than 100 years ago helped fuel the national fight for women to vote. Marian (McGaw) Wellhouse, ba 1911, moved to the east coast prior to adoption of the 19th Amendment. She marched at the White House, met with Congressmen and had her words published, becoming part of the collective voice.

Voter registration driveParty Lines: Bi-partisan efforts better equip students for citizenship roles

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
In a country that seems more politically divided than ever, Washburn students from opposing sides of the political spectrum have united with a common goal. Members of the Washburn College Democrats and College Republicans organizations teamed up in the fall to encourage fellow classmates to register.

Nashville Public Library director Kent Oliver, ba '77Celebrating Suffrage: Kent Oliver, ba '77, brings access to roles of citizenship as Nashville library director

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
One hundred years ago sounds like a long time, but the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote is just as significant today. At Nashville Public Library, director and Washburn University alumnus Kent Oliver is honoring this critical component of democracy by spearheading a multimedia experience celebrating the amendment.

Faculty members Alexandra Klales (left) and Ashley Maxwell lead the Washburn University Forensic Anthropology Recovery Unit. Washburn is one of only five U.S. schools to allow undergraduate students to do active forensic casework. Active Investigators: Forensic anthropology students get an edge with crime-scene casework

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
Law enforcement agencies have surveyed the scene and need help identifying human remains. Everything the forensic anthropology students learned will now be put to work. This is no longer an exercise in the dig site outside the KBI lab on campus. This is an active investigation and the beginning of a recovery process hopefully bringing closure and justice.

Katie GlatczakThese Bods Care: New program connects student-athletes with area school children

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
With messy faces and between bites of pizza, kids at Meadows Elementary School in Topeka visited with four student-athletes from the Washburn University women’s basketball team in October. This was one of hundreds of visits Ichabods have had since Bods Care started in 2018, each one a chance for a priceless connection.

Lauren Edelman (left) has been a mentor for senior Claire Leffingwell. Mentoring Matters: Leadership Institute celebrates 10 years of its flagship event

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
Lauren Edelman, ba '11, was a senior at Washburn when she served as the first Leadership Challenge Event student fellow in 2011. Today, she’s the interim director of the Leadership Institute and mentors the current fellow, senior Claire Leffingwell, for the upcoming 10th annual Leadership Challenge Event.

Janice Watkins and her family posing at a build siteBuilding Community: Commitment to serve is lifelong charge for Janice Watkins, ba '05, director of Habitat for Humanity

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
Janice Watkins is executive director of Topeka Habitat for Humanity. As a Washburn student, she earned Washburn Women's Alliance scholarships for single parents. Now, she’s helping give back by serving on the WWA board.

Suzanne Lane posingEnergized Executive: Suzanne Lane, mba '01, grows in her leadership of energy co-op

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
Suzanne Lane’s career in the energy industry has surged in the past year. The CEO of Kansas Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. recently attended a nuclear reactor technology program at MIT to learn more about the safety aspects, benefits and challenges of nuclear energy and bring the knowledge back to her company's 300,000 rural Kansas customers.

Dina BennettMusical Culture: Life surrounding African American music inspires museum curator Dina Bennett, ba '90

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
Dina Bennett grew up around blues and gospel music, or whatever her father’s band Roland Bennett and the Rockin’ Whalers were playing that evening. Now she's helping build the National Museum of African American Music from the ground up, curating exhibits that show the legacy of African American music from its beginnings.

student athlete advisory committee meetingBe Well, Be More: Mental health screenings help Ichabod student-athletes improve their game

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
If an athlete sprains an ankle or pulls a hamstring, treatment will undoubtedly take place until the injury heals. Mental health hasn’t always received the same kind of attention in the world of sports. Washburn University’s athletic and psychology departments have been proactive about changing that mindset.

Richard Ochieng and Lydia Akumu OikaLegendary Legacy: Alumna from Kenya started nursing agency; her brother carries on her dream

From The Ichabod - Winter 2020
During her lifetime, Lydia Akumu Oika, bsn ’02, was always a pioneer. In 1998, she moved to Topeka from her home in Nairobi, Kenya, to pursue a degree in nursing at Washburn University. The result is a family business she started and a legacy of hard work and determination.

The Marching IchabodsA Feather in Their Cap: New band uniforms honor memory of former director, excite students

From Bell Tower - Fall 2019
New marching band uniforms were purchased following one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in University history, which raised $100,000 for 200 new uniforms. The campaign was kick-started by a $50,000 matching donation from David Woods, b music ’65, and his husband, Ted Yungclas, who honored the memory of former band director James Van Slyke.

Softball renovations ribbon cuttingField of Dreams: New softball field turf, facility upgrades surpass expectations

From Bell Tower - Fall 2019
Bill and Emilie Gahnstrom set up a challenge gift to rally financial support for upgrades to Washburn's softball facilities. The resulting new fieldturf and other features were unveiled during a ribbon cutting this fall, giving the Ichabods a facelift to their home field that was only able to host four games in 2018 due to weather constraints.

Jim and Kathy MaagConnecting a Legacy: Volunteer work inspires Jim, ba '61, h '04, and Kathy, bba '64, Maag to plan for future

From Bell Tower - Fall 2019
As alumni, Jim and Kathy Maag have served the University extensively through volunteering and with their financial resources. They have also chosen to make Washburn a permanent part of the legacy through a planned gift to support three scholarships for the School of Business, music department and tennis team.

Brenda and Steve KitchenHenderson Facelift: Renovations focus on creating collaborative space thanks to Steve, bba '70, h '05, and Brenda, bba '95, Kitchen

From Bell Tower - Fall 2019
When major renovations began at Washburn University’s Henderson Hall this summer, one fact became quickly apparent: The almost 50-year-old building has good bones.

Bill RichFostering Engagement: Bill Rich to retire from law faculty after 43 years

From Washburn Lawyer - Fall 2019
During his 43 years as a professor at Washburn Law, Bill Rich has seen a lot of changes in legal education. Class sizes have gotten smaller, resulting in better opportunities for interactions with students. Long-time faculty members have become well versed in the art of teaching. And perhaps the biggest change of all: Technology has taken on a prominent role.

David PierceMentoring Students: After 30 years, David Pierce reflects on career at Washburn Law

From Washburn Lawyer - Fall 2019
When it comes to his 30-year career as a professor at Washburn Law, David Pierce, jd ’77, says he has his wife, Martha Pierce, bsn ’77, to thank. The couple married while they were both undergraduates at Pittsburg State University in Southeast Kansas, and Martha attended nursing school at Washburn while David studied law.

Jay and Danielle HallCollaborating, Connections, Competition: Halls coach trial advocacy team at Washburn Law

From Washburn Lawyer - Fall 2019
For Jay and Danielle Hall, Washburn Law’s trial advocacy program is the gift that keeps on giving. Jay, ba ’04, jd ’07, and Danielle, ba ’06, jd ’09, each participated in the program while attending law school, and the married couple has been coaching trial advocacy teams together since 2010.

Law ClinicEducating Future Lawyers: Largest law firm in Kansas looks to support future generations

From Washburn Lawyer - Fall 2019
Washburn Law remains the ideal place to impact the world through a legal education. The impact may best be seen in the roles Washburn-trained lawyers played in the landmark Brown v. Board case ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Washburn hosted a celebration of the 1954 decision with a banquet on the 65th anniversary earlier this year.

Dale and Lynn WardSupporting Each Other: After the Wards met in law school, they have enjoyed flourishing careers

From Washburn Lawyer - Fall 2019
When Lynn Ward, jd ’90, attended Washburn Law, she got much more than just a quality legal education. In some of her classes, another student caught her eye. Dale Ward, jd ’90, was not afraid to answer or ask questions, and Lynn said she could tell right away that he was “pretty smart.”

Lanna Allen and Prof. Tonya KowalskiTonya Kowalski: Students and faculty work to expose others to needs of Native American communities

From Law Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2019
Exposing students to Native American legal issues is the goal of the re-activated Native American Law Student Association and its organizers. Tonya Kowalski, professor of law, is advising the organization. "The lawyers we are training need to have exposure to these issues because they can do harm without even realizing it,” Kowalski said.

Justice Lee JohnsonJustice Johnson Retiring: The Honorable Lee Johnson, ’80, has served on Kansas Supreme Court since 2007

From Law Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2019
The Honorable Lee Johnson, jd ’80, had the chance to observe appellate arguments and study appellate briefs while a student at Washburn University School of Law. When he graduated and returned to Caldwell, Kansas, to practice he knew where he wanted to go in his career.

 
More stories

The Ichabod magazine fall 2020

The Ichabod tells our story with features on alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, along with the latest campus news. Read the 2020 fall edition online and look for it in mailboxes in October.

View past editions

 

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