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Students from Across the Midwest to Participate in Washburn Leadership Institute Leadership Challenge Event Feb. 28 and March 1

Students from Across the Midwest to Participate in Washburn Leadership Institute Leadership Challenge Event Feb. 28 and March 1

This is the ninth annual LCE the Leadership Institute has hosted. This event grows in popularity each year – the Leadership Institute allowed more teams to join the competition when the original 36 slots filled completely during early bird registration.

The LCE simulates the real-world process of leadership through a two-day event consisting of a live, interactive leadership simulation. Student teams compete to fulfill the challenges and overcome the obstacles placed before them in a manner that demonstrates exemplary leadership knowledge and execution.

“The Leadership Challenge Event is the only event of its kind, offering students a unique space to practice leadership skills they will need when navigating challenges in the real world,” said Lauren Edelman, associate director of the Leadership Institute at Washburn University. “We are excited to be able to offer so many high school and college students the opportunity to learn leadership together while spending time at Washburn University and in Topeka.”

During the first day, Feb. 28, students will visit Washburn University and will hear from many influential leaders from the Topeka area. Thursday night will conclude with a keynote address by Matt Pivarnik, president and CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership. 

The leadership simulation will start at 8:00 a.m. Friday, March 1 at the Maner Conference Center at the Topeka Capital Plaza. Students will participate in planning and strategy meetings, written tasks, and individual and team leadership decisions. During this time, they will interact with volunteers role-playing as members. The simulation encompasses three rounds, all observed by judges who score participants’ leadership acumen on a variety of metrics, including a group presentation defending all their decisions at the conclusion of the exercises. The event concludes with an awards ceremony beginning at 3:45 p.m. in ExpoCentre Heritage Hall. This ceremony is open to the public. 

As with any event this size, volunteers and sponsor dollars are essential. This year, the LCE has broken past records, with 190 individuals from the Shawnee County and Washburn communities volunteering to make the event a success. Moreover, the students in the Leadership Institute have raised more than $44,000 in sponsorship to fund the LCE. Title sponsors include the Capitol Federal Foundation® and Westar Energy®. 

“The Leadership Challenge Event has been important to my personal and leadership development, forcing me to understand the complexity of leadership,” said Brooke Manny, a Washburn University senior history major and the 2019 LCE student fellow. “I have taken this year's theme and made a competition that will encourage 215 high school and college students to think critically about their actions. This is not an easy task. However, the overwhelming community and campus support make this event possible. I hope each student participant is able to leave LCE a better leader.”

College Participants:

Arkansas Tech University (two teams)

Cottey College

Fort Hays State University

Metropolitan Community College - Maple Woods

Midland University

Southwestern College

Union College

University of Nebraska - Lincoln (two teams)


High School Participants:

Baldwin High School

Derby High School 

Emporia High School

Eureka Jr. Sr. High School

Highland Park High School (two teams)

Northeast Magnet High School (two teams)

Piper High School

Salina South High School

Seaman High School (two teams)

Shawnee Heights High School

Topeka High School

Topeka West High School (two teams)

Wabaunsee High School

Washburn Rural High School (two teams)

Wichita East High School (two teams)

Wichita Heights High School (two teams)

Wichita High School South (two teams)

Wichita North High School (two teams)

Wichita Northwest High School (two teams)

Wichita Southeast High School (two teams)

Wichita West High School (two teams)

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