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Peer Educators

FYE Peer Educators

WU FYE Peer Educators are students who have have "been there, done that" at Washburn University. This year we have twenty-five Peer Educators who are excited to help first year students transition to college life.

Your 2015-2016 FYE Peer Educators are:

Kinsey Ashworth
Trevor Bollinger
Chris Bowers
Brooklynn Breckenridge
Breana Butrick-Calhoon
Slater Champlin
Caroline Clark
Leah Coons
John Copeland
Camille Cortez
Rachel Darey
Mikayla Douglas
Sarah Edelman
Patrick Eldringhoff
Emily Engler
Hannah Ewy
Shaylee Fetters
Christina Foreman
Annastasia Glover
Emily Green
Erin Habig
John Hart
Becca Hill
Aaron Hung
Blake Hunter
Elaine Januszka
Kayla Johnson
Alexis Jurgensmeier
Aubrey Keirns
Julian (Soren) Lamb
Abby Lechner
Natasha Martinez
Katie McAfee
Jordan McDowell
Caitlin McGee
Bridget Minellono
Vameshia Perry
Dustin Plankey
Jessica Rankin
Hannah Ray
Lainey Rochester
Alex Rottinghaus
Rubyt Sandoval
Aldrick Scott
Abigail Stuart
Kevin Sullivan
Travis Thayer
Eries Thompson
Jack Van Dam
Shannon Van Hercke
Sarah Walter
Abigale Welch
Kristen (Hope) Wensel
Alexis Yelland

Kinsey Ashworth

Kinsey Ashworth
History Major/English Minor
Class of Spring of 2016 (woo!)
Indianapolis, IN
Student Friends of Mabee Library President, Archery Association President, member of Phi Kappa Phi, and member of Mortar Board.

What do you love about WU?
What I love about WU is the community that the students, faculty, and staff create. I love that all my professors know my name and can say "Hello" if I pass by them. I also love that I can go to the union and chat with Kenny or any of the other workers on campus and they all are genuine & care about students.
 
Where would / have you studied abroad and why did you choose this location?
If I get the chance to study abroad before I graduate, I'd like to study in London because as a history major my favorite history has always been the Tudor time period in England.
 
What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Bobos, HuHot, Tumtim Thai, and Panchos

Trevor Bollinger

Trevor Bollinger
Major- Criminal Justice/Business, Minor- Military Studies
Class of 2017 (or 2018 with 2 Bachelor Degrees)
Dighton, KS
Sigma Phi Epsilon, Executive Board: Chaplain, Inter-fraternity Council, Executive Board: Chief Justice, Student Ambassadors, Executive Board: Treasurer, Criminal Justice Association, Gamma Chi Lambda Greek Leadership, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Sigma Lambda Honor Society, Sagamore Honor Society
 
What do you love about WU?
I really love the size of Washburn University. It’s big enough to meet a lot of new people, but small enough to build personal connections with the faculty and staff.
 
What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
Get involved! It might sound strange to say involving yourself with multiple organizations will give you more time to relax and enjoy college, but it is true. The more clubs and organizations you get involved with, the better you’ll be at managing your time, and you’ll quickly realize you are getting a lot of enjoyment from your college experience. Campus involvement is also a great way to meet people with the same interests as you, and you’ll likely make some lifelong friends because of this.

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
If you want a great breakfast, go to Hanover’s and order one of their pancake wraps. If you like sushi, Oriental Express on 29th Street is one of the few places in Kansas that I’ve found serves good sushi. Really anywhere you can find that isn’t a chain restaurant will have some great food, such as Bobo’s. It’s a great little burger place, and I’ve heard they even brew their own root beer.

Chris Bowers

Chris Bowers
My names is Chris Bowers. I am a History major with a minor in Kansas Studies. I am of the graduating class of 2017. I am from Beloit, Ks. My organizational interests at Washburn include Ecobods, which is about taking care of our environment and the Nontraditional Student Organization which I am president. I love Washburn University because of its diversity that welcomes all students into its fellowship. That fellowship includes building a great relationship with faculty, staff and the wonderful professors that teach our courses. I chose Washburn University because it is a custom shop of academics where I can talk one on one with professors so that I have an academic advantage versus being a number in a giant academic institution where I would probably never speak one on one with my professors. As a first year student do not be afraid to reach out to all of the resources available to help you succeed. Peer educators are your first resource to go to when finding the resources that you need for a successful first year experience.


Brooklynn Breckenridge

Breana Butrick-Calhoon

Breana Butrick-Calhoon
Nursing
Class of 2016
Hiawatha, KS
BOD Squad
 
What do you love about WU?
What I love about WU is the way it feels like home. It is hard enough to move away from all you have grown up around and with all your life, but coming to a campus that feels like home made the transition a lot smoother. At WU you have so many opportunities to get engaged in different campus activities, while meeting new people.
 
Why did you choose WU?
I chose WU because the campus felt like home when I came for a visit. In addition, the class sizes were comparable to those that I had in high school. Coming from a small town, I wanted a college that had similar characteristics that I would be more familiar with. The smaller class sizes allowed for me to be able to adjust more to the bigger city, rather than to both a big college and a big city. Also, the entire faculty was extremely helpful.
 
What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
As a first year student, the best thing for you to do is to keep your interests broad, engage in on-campus activities, and meet new people. Getting engaged on-campus or meeting new people will allow for you grow personally, academically, and even professionally. Also, take advantage of the resources that are offered through WU101! The individuals who taught my WU101 class were a great resource when I had questions about a class, financial aid, and even a job.

Slater Champlin

Slater Champlin
Forensic Chemical Science
Graduating May 2016
Concordia, KS
Greek Life, WSGA, Desk Assistant, Chemistry Club

What do you love about WU?
The faculty and staff are awesome! The are the only college employees I've ever known to take the time to learn my name and ask me how my day is going. I, even as a senior, still see professors I had for one class freshman year that will know who I am by name and proceed to hold a 20 minute conversation with me.

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. All the other first year students are just as excited, nervous, and anxious as you and the other students know what that feelings like, so meet new people and have fun with it!

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Tortilla Jack's, McAlister's Deli, China Pavilion, Cook's American Grill, HuHot Mongolian Grill

Caroline Clark

Caroline Clark
Currently I am majoring in elementary education, but it changes every day!
Graduating class of 2018
I am from the Kansas City area
Alpha Phi sorority, Leadership Institute, Student Ambassadors, Peer Educators
 
What do you love about WU?
I love Washburn because we have such a good community here. In the past year I have been invited to get involved so many things and have had so many opportunities to meet new people and test my limits. I don't think any of those things would've happened if I hadn't met a few people right off the bat that connected me to the rest of campus.
 
Where would / have you studied abroad and why did you choose this location?
 I studied abroad in Belize for two weeks over winter break. I chose this location because while we were there we would get to work in schools and at orphanages, I thought that sounded like a wonderful cause and opportunity. While we were there we also got to see Mayan ruins, which was something I had always wanted to experience. Overall, I loved my two weeks in Belize and I hope others take the opportunity to study abroad.
 
Why did you choose WU?
Honestly, when I was beginning the college search I really wanted to go to MU. However, it was ridiculously expensive and my parents had to sit me down to have a little chat, they gently urged me to come here and join my older sister. In the end I am so happy that I did because I love everything about Washburn. From the friends I've made, to the classes I took, I wouldn't change a thing.

Leah Coons

Leah Coons
Major: Accounting
Minor: Marketing & Leadership
Class of 2018
Lawrence, KS
Alpha Phi Sorority - Director of Events, WSGA - Budget Director, Leadership Institute - Social Media Chair, YoungLife, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society
 
Why did you choose WU?
I chose WU because I liked the small class sizes, and how you not just a number your professors actually care about you and want to help you!

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
What you put in is what you will get out. AKA if you apply your self and just do what needs to be done you will receive the most benefits!

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
1. Burger Stand on Mondays! Half price with your WU ID Card! 2. El Mez!

John Copeland

John Copeland
Majoring in Exercise Physiology
Graduate in 2016
From Topeka, KS
Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Peer Educator

If I had the chance to go and study abroad I would go to Ireland or Scotland. Firstly, because they already speak english, with accents, so that would make for a smoother transition. Secondly, I would like to go because of the beautiful landscapes and vast history that went on over there. The final reason is because that is where my family originally came from back in the colonial days so that would be cool to see where my family is from.

If I could give any words of wisdom they would be to work hard and enjoy yourself. By that I mean get your stuff done as early as you can and have it assigned and give it your absolute all so that you can enjoy yourself later on. Put in the work early so that you arent playing catch up at the end of the semester and it is smooth sailing instead. Finally, my last words would be to take part in everything that you possibly can and get the best experiences you can and meet some great people in the process.

My favorite food places that are specific to Topeka or at least that I know of would be Taco Villa over by Topeka West High School at 21st and Fairlawn. Another great choice near there is El Mez. If you are looking for some old fashion burgers and fries Bobo's on about 10th and Macvicar is spectacular. Burger Stand has a great burger too and is close to campus. Then you have your obvious choices like Chipotle, Jimmy Johns, Noodles Co., and Pie Five. If you are looking for a place to sit down and have dinner you can never go wrong with Applebees or HuHot.

Camille Cortez

Camille Cortez
Major: Social Work
Minor: Psychology
Class of 2017
Topeka
Greek Life, Recruitment Counselor, Student Ambassador, Summer Orientation Counselor, STAT

Where would / have you studied abroad and why did you choose this location?
I want to study abroad in Austria my graduate year! They have a Social Work program and Austria is only a train ride away from Belgium where my best friend lives.

Why did you choose WU?
I grew up a block away from Washburn and my mom, dad, brother and sister have all attended or are attending Washburn. I have always loved the small size of Washburn but I really just love the opportunities that Washburn has given me and the people that I have met.

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
Time management is your best friend. Don’t just survive freshmen year, live it. Have fun, go eat out with friends, watch movies until the morning but always remember you’re here for school and that should always come first.

Rachel Darey

Rachel Darey
Accounting
2017
Wamego, KS
Christian Challenge, Honors Program, Bods Feeding Bods
 
What do you love about WU? I love a lot of things about WU.  I love the faculty and staff because they are so helpful and truly care about helping their student succeed.  I love the various ways to be involved on campus and the opportunities that brings of developing friendships with fellow students.  I love how much everyone cares for each other.  Each individual looks for ways to improve the lives of others on campus.  
 
Why did you choose WU?  I chose WU because I loved the smaller campus and the community that is created through that.  I felt very welcomed here because everyone I met was so friendly and genuinely cared.    
 
What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?  I enjoy El Mezcal, Pizza Pub, Qdoba, Paisanos, and Kiku’s! :)

Mikayla Douglas


Mass Media with an emphasis in Public Relations
Class of 2017
Wellsville, Kansas
Peer Educating, WSGA, Student Media, Delta Gamma, and WRC

I truly love everything that Washburn University has to offer. I love the atmosphere, the personable faculty, individualized attention from professors, always seeing a familiar face, and feeling like I truly belong on campus.

My best experience my first semester at WU was living in the LLC. I made some of the best friends and memories over the course of my freshmen year in the dorms. It was a learning and growing experience, and one that I will truly never forget.

College is a place in which you truly find your interests, your best friends, and most importantly, yourself. College is a huge transition, but one in which everyone on campus has experienced, and is there to help make this process easier for you. Get involved, go out of your comfort zone, go to class, and truly make the most of these four years!

Sarah Edelman

Sarah Edelman
Major in Business Management and Marketing, minor in Leadership Studies
May 2017
Sabetha, KS, USA
Leadership Institute, PEER EDUCATOR   greek life (I prefer we put greek life for now because I am a recruitment counselor, and actually I think it'd be better if everyone just put greek life because it is more PanHellenic), Honors Program, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Student Ambassador, Summer Orientation Counselor, Bod Squad, Student Alumni Association, Desk Assistant for Residential Living
 
What do you love about WU?
Help is always just around the corner; if you have questions about ANYTHING, all you have to do is ask and someone will help you find the resources to answer those questions. Faculty and staff make time for their students, and really truly care about them.
 
Where would / have you studied abroad and why did you choose this location?
I want to go on the School of Business trip to Europe! They study abroad for twenty days and learn about culture and different business environments.
 
What was your best experience during your 1st year at WU?
Having different organizations/departments on campus come speak during class! I loved learning about different opportunities and resources Washburn provided for students. I was afraid to ask some questions, and those sessions usually answered them for me.
 
Why did you choose WU?
It was home from the beginning. During my visits, everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I felt they were also genuine when speaking of classes and students here at WU. If I was going to be away from home, my college campus still had to be home, and this was that place for me.
 
What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
If you come to a fork in the road, take it. But really, your college experience only happens once. If you have an opportunity, take it. The last thing you want to do is look back on your time here and wish you would have done it differently.
 
What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
G'S FROZEN ICE CREAM IS MY FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD. Ice cream cones, ice cream dishes, friendly workers, cheap date and SO GOOD. KiKu's on Fairlawn is really really good, and two people can share a meal and still have leftovers! They cook your food right in front of you and sometimes even throw shrimp in your face.

Patrick Eldringhoff

Patrick Eldringhoff
My name is Patrick Eldringhoff and I am a human services major with an emphasis in addictions counseling. I’m still unsure if this where I will continue my education or if I will switch to social work with a minor in psychology.  Either way, I intend to end up in mental health. If all goes as planned, I will be graduating in 2018. I was born in Kansas City, MO, grew up in Topeka, and spent most of my life here. I’ve gone to a couple of the meetings for non-traditional students, and I feel that it’s a great way for adult learners to get involved on campus.

I love how personable Washburn University is, with small class sizes and down to earth teachers that have made my time at Washburn comfortable. I think of students at universities like K.U. and of those 400+ student classes, and I think of everything they’re missing out on because the student to professor ratio is so disproportionate. I like the ability to participate in my class and add to the experience. I like to discuss what I’ve learned and ask plenty of questions. It allows the information to stick.  I don’t feel that I would get the same experience in a bigger campus setting. I have yet to have a class I didn’t like.

I don’t know that I could pinpoint the “best” moment of my first year at Washburn. The whole year has been a game changer for me; college has changed my life. I remember checking out the observatory on an open night. I looked at the stars and thought how incredible it was to be a student here on planet earth. My first semester was a little rough and my grades were not the best, but I used what I learned and applied it to my second semester. I strived for for a 4.0 and I showed myself that I could obtain it. The moment I found out that I was going to be a peer educator was really gratifying, the opportunity to pass on strength is what I live for. I love looking out the third story window of Henderson and stretch my eyes to Burnet’s Mound. This helps to relieve my anxiety on test days. After hitting the books all day, I love sweating it out at the gym before hoping on my bike and riding a mere half mile home. I even meet my girlfriend/partner on campus, so I can be a little cheesy when I speak highly of Washburn. I just love it here.

I love to eat. As a matter of fact, besides running, it’s my last vice. If it’s pizza I want, definitely want Pizza Pub, which is located just north from school. I also like Tuptim Tai and the Globe Indian restaurant.

Emily Engler

Emily Engler
Major: Physics
Minor: Mathematics and Leadership Studies
Furthering my Education: Higher Education with an emphasis in Administration or Academic Advising
Spring 2016
Basehor KS, but I have lived many other places since my father was in the military.
Honors Program, Honors Student Council, Research Assistant to Dr. Brian Thomas, Peer Educator (FYE)

Why did you choose WU?
I saw Washburn University for the very first time on a cold, rainy, quite frankly miserable day. Yet despite that, I still saw Washburn's campus as nothing but beautiful. The small class sizes really drew me in, their living quarters were some of the best I had seen so far, and everyone I had met was so kind and willing to help. Though, what really sold it for me was that by the time my tour was over, I already felt at home.

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
As a senior I have tons of advice, but here are my best go to pieces of advice for a freshman:
Invest in a planner, and one that will suit all of your needs. Staying organized is key to a stress free first year at Washburn. Don't ever feel intimidated to ask someone for help, student or teacher. We want to help you just as much as you want it. It really brightens our day when we are able to help you. If you ever feel lost and don't know what you want to do for a career do not panic. Focus on finding what is meaningful to you in a career. And don't ever feel bad about wanting to change majors or deciding that your major isn't what you want to pursue anymore. Take it from me. I thought I wanted to pursue Physics and teach or research, but when I became involved with the Peer Educators, my love for student success re-emerged and I discovered that not only did I love working with the Peer Educators, I was really good at it.

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Burger Stand is by far my favorite place on College Hill. It is expensive, but not if you go on Monday! Washburn Students get half price all food with a valid student I.D. Pizza Pub, also located in College Hill just north of Burger Stand, is also wonderful if you want to make your own custom unique pizza for a decent price! Subway: I know this is a chain fast food place, but honestly if you love sandwiches and are on a budget take advantage of their $6 dollar deals. A 6 inch sandwich from the ones listed, a bag of chips and a 21 ounce drink. It's walking distance to campus on 17th, plus every receipt has a survey on the back that will earn you a free cookie, and it only takes about 3 minutes to complete!

Hannah Ewy

Hannah Ewy
Nursing
Graduating class of 2018
Manhattan, Kansas
Zeta Tau Alpha, Bod Squad

I chose WU because of the personal atmosphere and the great nursing program WU offers.  The class sizes are small enough that I have a real relationship with all of my professors but the campus is big enough to really get the "college feel".

Some words of wisdom I have for future students:
1. Don't skip class to nap, it is not worth it.
2. Always be as involved as possible. It might be stressful, but a full resume and many different friends from different groups can never hurt anybody.
3. Do not be afraid to seek help for anything. If you are stressed or depressed or struggling with classes or simply can't find a certain classroom on campus, ask for help, everyone at WU is more than willing to help you with absolutely anything.

My favorite food places in Topeka are Burger Stand, Pizza Pub, and Kikus. Also, can't go wrong with Steak N' Shake.


Shaylee Fetters

Shaylee Fetters
Nursing
Either December 2017 or May 2018 – undecided if graduating early
Council Grove, Kansas
Bod Squad, Zeta Tau Alpha, peer educator, work at human services

Best experience during 1st year at WU:  My best experience was going through recruitment and finding a new home. No matter how cliché it sounds, being part of something so special and creating a bond with girls I would have never met has changed me tremendously.

Why did I choose WU:  I chose Washburn University based off of the nursing school and the class size. Coming from a small town, I am use to only have a small amounts of people in my classes and being able to know my teachers, and I wanted to continue with that.

Favorite Food Places: Pizza pub, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Oriental Express Restaurant

Christina Foreman

Christina Foreman
Double majoring in management and entrepreneurship & innovation, minoring in music.
Graduating class of 2017.
Topeka, KS!
Washburn choir and singers, search committees for the Mabee Library, peer educating, Washburn Young Life.

What do you love about WU?  I love Washburn because of my professors. In the past two years that I have spent at Washburn I have come to find some of the most amazing teachers.  It is clear that the greatest teachers at Washburn are great not because they are necessarily the most advanced in their field, but because they care about their students and they want them to succeed. Now this doesn’t mean that these instructors make their classes easy (far from it!), but they are willing to work with you until you get it. This is why I love Washburn, because I love my instructors.

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?  I certainly don’t consider myself the wisest person at Washburn, but I do believe that after being in college for two years my wisdom has grown.  That being said, I have to pieces of wisdom to offer you that go hand in hand. Don’t skip class and don’t give up. Too often it happens that if a class is simply “too hard” many students will just stop going to that class all together, DO NOT DO THIS!! If you are struggling in your math class, history class, biology class, etc, do not skip class because it is hard! The more you skip that one hard class you have, the harder that class becomes. Go to class every day, ask questions, talk to your professor, form a study group, go to the tutoring center, do whatever you need to do in order to succeed, but never give up!

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka? My all-time favorite place to eat is El Mez Cal (29th & Fairlawn)! If you like Mexican food, this is the place for you!!

Annastasia Glover

Annastasia Glover
Music Performance and English with a Writing Emphasis
Junior
Leavenworth, KS
Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Marching Band, Pep Band, TWLOHA, Ichtus, Young Life, Sigma Alpha Iota, Alpha Lambda Delta, The Honors Program, The Washburn University Mentorship Program, and Sigma Tau Delta.
 
What do you love about WU?
I love how friendly our campus is. The teachers are wonderful and enthusiastic, the students are bright, interesting, and unique, and the school itself is an environment that encourages community, diversity, and pride.

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
It might be hard at first, but try and put yourself out there. Try new things and meet new people. Don’t stay cooped up at home— explore! Join groups, get involved. Become an Ichabod!

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
I love Pizza Pub because it’s cheap and tasty. It also stays open late and delivers which is awesome. Other favorites of mine are Denny’s and Perkins because you get a nice place to sit down and eat, plus pancakes. What more could a college kid want?

Emily Green

Erin Habig

Erin Habig
Radiologic Technology (Associate of Science) and Bachelors of Health Services Administration
Class of 2016
Hoyt, Kansas
Delta Gamma Sorority, Campus Activites Board- Greek Delegate, FYE Scholar, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, YoungLife, Christian Challenge

What do you love about WU?
What I love most about Washburn is the fact that I can receive an outstanding education from a smaller university. I have had amazing experiences with my professors and all of the staff at Washburn. From one on one study sessions when I was struggling in one of my classes to helping me prepare myself for my future, Washburn is full of staff that will do all they can to help you succeed. I am so happy with my choice to become an Ichabod. GO BODS!

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
Your first year of college is a big adjustment, but everything will work itself out. Use all of the resources that Washburn offers you. Your WU 101 success team is here to help you. No question is too small or ridiculous. After all, we have all been through this change. If we do not know the answer, we can point you in the right direction.

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Some of my favorite food places in Topeka include Tacos El Sol, HuHot, and Qudoba.

John Hart

John Hart
History/ Kansas Studies
2016
Wakarusa, KS just south of Topeka
 
Campus Involvements:
I am heavily involved in off campus activities. I work for the Legislative Services of Kansas as a tour/program coordinator, and with the Shawnee County Historical Society as the Director of Public Relations

What do you love about WU?
I really enjoy the small class sizes of Washburn and that the tuition is less than half of the other two big schools in Kansas.

Where would/have you studies abroad?
I have not had an opportunity to study at a university abroad, but I have deployed several times while I was in the Air Force. I would love to study in Russia or in Germany. I have spent a little time in both places and to study history in such deeply historical countries would be a dream.

What advice would you give to first year students?
To the first year students; Do not get intimidated by the college experience, remember that you have faculty and Peer Educators to help you through your transition. If the school did not think you were capable to success they would not have accepted you as a student.  Most importantly, get involved in your education, school organizations, and the community.

Becca Hill

Becca Hill
My name is Becca Hill and I am a sophomore nursing major from Olathe, Kansas. I am happily a member of Greek Life's Zeta Tau Alpha sorority where I hold a leadership position to help plan many events throughout the year. I am employed at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Not only do I love my job there, but I love working out and taking many fitness classes they have to offer. I also participated in an intramural soccer team last fall. I chose to come to Washburn because it is close to where I am from but is also a wonderful place I can consider my home away from home. Another main reason I chose Washburn is because of their amazing nursing program. One of my favorite things about WU is how much everyone on campus cares about your success. There are many resources to get help when needed. My biggest advice that I can give to a first year student is to expand your horizon and reach outside your comfort zone. Here at Washburn we are family and there are places for everyone to fit in, so don't be afraid to just be yourself!

Aaron Hung

Aaron Hung
My name is Aaron Hung, a Business Major, graduating class of 2018. I am from Topeka but originally from Dodge City. I'm currently not involved with anything on campus right now as I coach a 5th grade basketball team.

What do you love about WU?
Well, WU is certainly a great place to get involved. Involved with campus life, peers, as well as professors. WU doesn't have student teachers which allows students to get instructors who know what they're doing.

Why did you choose WU?
I was actually part of a new program called the Spring Senior Academy which allowed high school students to get their feet wet in college life while they're still attending high school. I actually wasn't planning to go to WU right out of high school. My plans were to take classes at Allen County and finish my gen ed's over there before transferring over to WU. However, because of the Spring Academy, I decided to go to WU instead.

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Chipotle, Five Guys

Blake Hunter

Blake Hunter
Pre-Engineering, Physics Major, Biology Minor
Graduating Class of 2018
Topeka, KS
Tennis, AMSA, Biology Club

What do I love about WU?
My favorite thing about Washburn is the size of the campus and the amount of students.  It is not too small, but not too big.  The class sizes are perfect, which gives you one on one attention with your instructors. This is something you can't get at KU or K-state.

Why did you choose WU?
I chose Washburn because I was offered an athletic tennis scholarship to play at the university.  Getting my education paid for was a must for me.

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
TIME MANAGEMENT. College is much harder than high school.  Although you are not in class as often, time outside of class is essential.  Learn how to balance school, social life, and other activities and you will be successful.

Elaine Januszka

Kayla Johnson

Kayla Johnson
Business Finance and Marketing, continuing my education for Student Affairs next year. I love visiting family and friends across the country and making memories. I am a crafter and am very involved with Greek life here at Washburn.
Graduating class of May 2016
Bismarck, North Dakota
Greek Life, Campus Activities Board, First Year Experience, Mortar Board, Alpha Lambda Delta

Where would / have you studied abroad and why did you choose this location?
If I could go back in time, I would study abroad in a heartbeat! If you have the chance, DO IT! No questions asked. I almost studied in France, as I have traveled there before. Now that my diet is restricted, I hear that Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand have AMAZING gluten free food!

Why did you choose WU?
After my personal tour on campus, I felt right at home. Everyone who helped me was kind and respectful. The program I originally came to school for was accredited and well-known. I choose Washburn University because its my home away from home.
 
What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
My words of wisdom for first year students would be to not sweat the small things and enjoy all the memories because school goes way too fast. The first thing to remember is you are here to further your education. Grades do not define you, but allow you to be successful in finding careers after graduation or when furthering your education with graduate school. So in-between the studying parties and classes, remember to take time to enjoy your college experience. Go to events you never thought you would attend because college will allow you to learn about things you never knew existed! As the time will go fast, appreciate every moment and meet the friends that will be there for a lifetime!

Alexis Jurgensmeier

Alexis Jurgensmeier
Nursing
Class of 2018
Topeka, KS
Vice President of Zeta Tau Alpha, Leadership Institute

Why I chose WU: I chose Washburn University because of its small campus and huge student involvement. Washburn has great opportunities for anyone and everyone.

What are some of my favorite food places in Topeka: Definitely Taco Villa is a must try! Also Bobo's, which is super close to campus! But always go to Burger Stand on Monday's because you get half off!

What was my best experience at WU my 1st year: When I danced for Washburn it was the best time I had! I got to attend all the football and basketball games which were so much fun!

Aubrey Keirns

Aubrey Keirns
Major: Nursing
Minor: Religious Studies
Year: Class of 2018
Hometown: Derby, KS
Involvements: Alpha Lambda Delta
 
Why did you choose WU?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to major in so I picked a few schools to visit and I instantly loved Washburn more than any of the other options. I had originally heard about Washburn from a friend who was about to graduate high school when I was a sophomore and she had planned on going to Washburn and told me all about it and it sounded like a really nice option. Everyone I talked to on campus was very friendly, they all made me feel welcome.
 
What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Pizza Pub, so many options and amazing combinations.
Burger Stand, real good veggie burgers!

Julian (Soren) Lamb

Julian (Soren) Lamb
Mass Media Major
Graduating Class of 2018
Topeka, Kansas
Kappa sigma, WSGA, Leadership Institute

What do you love about WU? That Washburn is like a home away from home.

What was your best experience during your 1st year at WU? My initiation into my Fraternity.

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka? Any Chinese Restaurants in Topeka.

Abby Lechner

Abby Lechner
My name is Abby Lechner.  I am pursuing a social work degree with a emphasis in child abuse along with a minor in Leadership.  I will be graduating with the Class of 2016.  I am from Topeka, Kansas.  I am very actively involved on the campus.  I am a peer educator, member of the Leadership Institute, Campus Activities Board, Bod Squad,and a member of Alpha Phi Sorority.  

What was your best experience during your 1st year at WU?  
My best experience was going through sorority recruitment and finding my home away from home.  Without going through recruitment, I would not have experienced leadership from serving on Executive Council for three years, better grades and study habits, but most importantly finding my best friends.  

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?  
Enjoy your first year!  Just relax and remember that everything is going to be okay.  The professors want to help you succeed and they truly care about a higher education.

What do you love about WU?  
The squirrels are pretty awesome.  That is the only thing I love about Washburn University.  Just kidding!  Everyone is so welcoming on campus and there is constantly some event going on so you can never get bored!

Natasha Martinez

Natasha Martinez
Political Science with a minor in Leadership
Class of 2018, I hope!
Excelsior Springs, Missouri (Home of the Black and Gold Tigers!!)
 
Campus Involvements (any student orgs, honors clubs, etc): Alpha Phi, Leadership Institute, Hispanic American Leadership Organization, Washburn Student Government Association, Summer Orientation Counselor, Alpha Lambda Delta, and guess what? I am a Peer Educator!
 
What do you love about WU?
I love WU because I have met some of my best friends here. The faculty and staff know me by name, and they are willing to listen to my questions or concerns whenever I need it. I don't have to be afraid to ask for help and it is so easy to get involved. There are always free events going on that make the semester fly by, almost too fast. I love the passion and care that everyone has and especially the love for the things that I have got involved in. Opportunities at Washburn University have been endless and I wouldn't change that for the world.
 
What was your best experience during your 1st year at WU?
My best experience was honestly the experience I had taking my Washburn Experience class. I did not realize how much I loved this class until it was gone. I got lucky enough that some of my best friends ended up being in that class with me, although during class I wasn't sure they were my best friends until we didn't have class every day together! I also had an amazing teaching team that made us feel very welcome at Washburn University, One of my favorite examples of this was when things were not super easy I had people to go to, I was able to talk to my lead faculty and this made me realize the support system I had at Washburn University. Second, I would say living in the LLC. I LOVED IT! Can I just go back to my freshman year?
 
What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
GET INVOLVED!! When I say this it means anything, whether that be in class or out, find ways to be involved. If you cannot find an organization that you love, first of all find me and maybe I can help, second if not you can make one! I believe with all of my heart that Washburn University has a place for every student to find their niche. College sometimes isn't easy and when you have a support system it can make things a lot better, whether it be helping you study for that big test or just being there when you need someone to talk to. Washburn has so many opportunities for students and you should take advantage of those, you never know because when you sit with that stranger at lunch during welcome week they could end up being your best friend (true story). I would also suggest getting sleep before big tests, finding a routine that works for you to study before stressful times. Also as soon as you get the syllabus for each class, write the important dates/assignments/exams in your planner or even your phone's calendar! Finally, HAVE FUN, but know when to be serious, don't pass up a dance party with your roommate or going to the corner store to get a candy bar when you really don't need it unless you have to, but understand that they will get it when you have an awesome GPA or exam grade (I promise it is all worth it). Welcome Home Ichabods!

Katie McAfee

Katie McAfee
My name is Katie McAfee and I am a history major with a political science minor. I am from Gardner, KS and will be graduating (hopefully!) in May 2016. On campus I am involved in Mock Trial, Prelaw Club, Alpha Lamba Delta, Phi Alpha Theta, and I also play viola in the Washburn Orchestra.

My best experience during my first year at WU was living in the LLC dorms. Although I did not always get along with my roommate, I still met so great friends living there and felt extremely connected to campus while living in the dorms. Living in the LLC is what really made Washburn feel like home for me and I highly encourage any student to live there!

Washburn was the only campus tour I went on while I was in high school and as soon as I stepped on campus, I knew it was the right place for me. I thought about attending the big schools, KU and KSU, however, they always seemed so disconnected from their students. When I took my tour of Washburn every single person I met was extremely nice and genuinely seemed like they cared about the students and wanted to help them succeed in college, which is why I chose Washburn.

Once of my favorite places to eat in Topeka is Classic Bean. They have some amazing pasta salad that is always worth the visit and they have named all of their sandwiches after famous composers, which I really appreciate! I also loves Cooks American Grill. They have delicious burgers and chicken tenders that I always crave.

Jordan McDowell

Caitlin McGee

Caitlin McGee
Major/minor: Psychology with a minor in Art
Graduating: 2018
From: Omaha, NE
Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, bod squad, Psych Club

Where would you choose to study abroad?
I would love to study abroad in Ireland! Much of my family is from Ireland so I would love to experience the culture and see where my family came from! Because my major is psychology with a focus on children I would love to work with kids from that country.

Why did I choose WU?
I chose WU because right when I walked on campus I felt welcome. My tour guide was amazing and she really influenced my choice of coming to Washburn. I felt at home at WU and that was something I felt was very important since I would be here for four years. I knew there were many clubs and activities I could get into and that was a plus too.

Favorite places to eat?
Some of my favorite places to eat are just a walk away from campus. Burger Stand and Pizza Pub are campus favorites and I agree! Pizza Pub and Burger Stand are favorite hangouts for most students so you see a lot of friends there and it's a great atmosphere!

Bridget Minellono

Vameshia Perry

Dustin Plankey

Jessica Rankin

Jessica Rankin
Hey Ichabods, my name is Jessica Rankin. I am majoring in Elementary Education emphasis in Early Childhood with a minor in Poverty Studies. Graduation date is a little fuzzy for me right now, I’m just trying to enjoy the ride. Hopefully I will be done in the Spring of 2017! I was born in Charleston, South Carolina and have lived in Michigan as well as Iowa before moving to Kansas during my freshman year in High School. On top of being a Peer Educator I am involved with STAND and am highly involved within the community volunteering.

There are many aspects of Washburn that I have fallen in love with but my absolute favorite is the LINC program Washburn offers. LINC helps you get involved within your community, expands your mind and helps you grow leadership skills. I have completed over 800 volunteer hours within the community since joining LINC my first year at Washburn. I have made so many new friends, connections and references through the program. The program has also helped my passion for teaching grow even stronger.

I knew Washburn was the school I wanted to attend from the first day I stepped on campus. Because it is a smaller school, everyone is friendly and like family. There is always a friendly smile or a helpful hand waiting for you. I have met so many great professors that I still keep in close contact with and act as my mentors now. I hope you all enjoy your first year at Washburn University and remember to have as much fun as you can. Step outside of your bubble to explore. Study hard but remember you are more than a grade. There are going to be classes you love and classes you get irritated of, but remember each class is making you into the great scholar we know you can be! You all have great potential and you will continue to grow and learn more about yourselves as you push through the year!

Hannah Ray

Hannah Ray
Major: Elementary Education
Class of 2018
Ottawa, Kansas
Linc Program and Bod Squad and in Zeta Tau Alpha

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Two of my favorite places to eat in Topeka are Qdoba and The Burger Stand.

Why did you choose WU?
I chose Washburn because it is only an hour away from home and I like that Washburn has smaller class sizes than some of the other colleges I looked at.

What was your best experience during your 1st year at WU?
My best experience during my first year at Washburn was working at a local elementary school in Topeka through the Linc program. I earned a lot of experience while working at the elementary school to help me for my future of becoming a teacher.

Lainey Rochester

Lainey Rochester
Respiratory Therapy (Associate's), and Sonography (Bachelor's)
Class of 2017 (for Respiratory Therapy)
Baldwin City, KS
Bod Squad, Peer Educator
 
What do you love about WU?
WU is basically a home away from home for me. I reminds me so much of my hometown with the same small community and friendly people. Everyday I see familiar faces. What I love most about Washburn is being able to build relationships with people and create close friends. Washburn also provides so many opportunities for students to connect with each other or school (Ex: student organizations, rec. events, ...etc.).

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
I know that the first year can be incredibly stressful, but just try to have fun and put yourself out there. This first year is for exploring and experimenting to see what path you want to go down. Try to attend as many events that you feel comfortable with, and try to be social to meet friends that will stick with you the rest of the time you're at Washburn.

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
One of my favorite food places to eat in Topeka is Chipotle. There is also the Blind Tiger off of Topeka Blvd. They have really good BBQ there. There is also Pizza Pub on College Hill where you can create your own pizza, and they are open 3 am, so it makes for a good late night food run. One other place that I like to go to is PT's Coffee. I have never bought their food but their coffee is amazing!

Alex Rottinghaus

Alex Rottinghaus
Actuarial Science
Year of Graduation: 2018
Hometown: Seneca, Kansas
Involvement: Intramurals, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Math Club

My best first year experience was the entire year of living in the LLC and getting to know everybody else that lived there. We turned into a big family, and I really think that is something that makes Washburn special. There’s not so many people that everyone seems like a stranger. No matter where you go, it seems like you see a familiar face and that is something unique to small schools, and Washburn in particular.

If I could study abroad, I would choose to go to England or Scotland. Mostly because I can’t speak any other languages… Another reason for choosing those places would be to see all of the differences in our two cultures. I want to travel the world one day to experience the diverse world cultures and landscapes, and I figure that I could start by visiting the cultures I can actually communicate with.

The best place to eat in Topeka, is hands down Lonnie Q’s barbecue out by the Shawnee Country Club. It’s only opened for lunch, except for on Fridays, but it is the best barbecue in Topeka. Trust me on this one. I am kind of a barbecue connoisseur, and I would honestly compare it to some of the best in Kansas City, which is kind of a big deal. Not to mention, that Lonnie is really nice and loves to meet his clientele. If you’re not big on barbecue, El Mezcal is a great Mexican joint on 21st and Fairlawn in front of Walgreens I believe. Not feeling either of those? Any fast food restaurant will be available on a college budget. Don’t forget about half-priced burgers for Washburn students on Monday nights! Also, Pizza Pub stays open until three in the morning every day and now they deliver. My minor at Washburn could very well be culinary appreciation, so if you need any suggestions, shoot me an email!

Rubyt Sandoval

Rubyt Sandoval
Criminal Justice major
Legal Studies minor
May 2017
Bonner leader & peer educator

I love that WU is all about their students! They are always here to help us in any way we need! I have studied abroad in Scotland! I chose this location because it was a criminal justice class.

Aldrick Scott

Abigail Stuart

Abigail Stuart
English with a writing emphasis
Junior, Class of 2017  
Valley Center, KS
YoungLife, Christian Challenge, Student Media, and Alpha Lambda Delta.
 
What do you love about WU?
I love all of the relationships I have made at Washburn.  I have grown closer to old friends, made dozens of new friends, and have made a few professional relationships as well.  It is so important to treat people well because everyone matters.  I love seeing how my friends use this philosophy in their daily lives and flourish because of it.  It's exciting to know that I might be making friends that I'll keep for a lifetime and that we'll continue to grow together.
 
What was your best experience during your 1st year at WU?
My best experience during my first year was growing as a person, which is funny because it was super uncomfortable and even painful at times.  But I would not exchange that growth period for anything.  I have grown so much spiritually, socially, and academically during my first year at Washburn.  Going into my first year, I never expected to grow so much.  I honestly thought I would get out of college pretty much "unharmed," but that was a total lie, which I am thankful for now.  It might not be fun to grow, but it's always worth it.
 
What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
Make good choices while enjoying every second of college.  I know that this can sound like a contradiction on the surface, but you can totally make good choices and still have fun.  It's important to remember that the choices you make now will effect you for the rest of your life and will impact other people, either now or down the line.  That being said, you're only going to experience college once.  So go to Welcome Week activities.  Go to homecoming.  Try out that organization that interests you.  Reach out to that student no one talks to.  Get involved in something that strikes your passion.  Live.  Make choices that allow you to live to your fullest potential not only now, but later on as well.  You can do this; this is only the beginning of one of the best journeys of your life.

Kevin Sullivan

Travis Thayer

Travis Thayer
Majoring in Criminal Justice; Minoring in Psychology
Graduating class of 2018
I’m representing BIG ‘OLE Silver Lake!!
Member of Christian Challenge, Bod Squad, and CJ Club

What I love the most about Washburn?
I love the small classes and the fact that everyone knows everyone! It really gives Washburn a community feeling that you cannot get anywhere else!

Why did I choose Washburn?
I chose WU for really a couple of reasons. First being that I am only 20 minutes away from home and if I ever need more money I always know where to go! ;) Secondly is because the campus tour had me sold from the second I saw how beautiful our campus is! We have determined and dedicated staff here at Washburn that take care of anything and everything they possibly can! That’s why the campus stays beautiful and the environment here at Washburn is friendly and entertaining! Lastly I would say due to the good Criminal Justice program and the AMAZING Law program we have here at Washburn.

Words of Wisdom for incoming students?
Never lose touch with the people from back home! It is amazingly tough to live to separate lives while being away from home. I would say to definitely go home when you can, but making friends on campus is a blessing in every way!  Stay focused with what you came here to do and never lose sight of how you got here! Ask lots of questions and always stay true to yourself!

Eries Thompson

Eries Thompson
My Name is Eries Thompson, my major is Criminal Justice and my minor has not been officially declared yet, but it will most likely be military studies. I plan to graduate from Washburn University in 2018. I was born and raised in Junction City KS, about 53 miles from Topeka. My campus involvement is not as big as it should be due to ROTC being one of my main focus'. Even with ROTC, I still found the time to involve myself in a small group. Last year I signed up in a sisterhood organization and we adopted a child during the holiday and spoiled them with gifts and we also encouraged students and staff on campus to register and vote.

Some advice that I would give to incoming freshmen is to find a balance. The hardest thing for me was to balance school work, outside work, ROTC, having fun with my friends and still having time to take a nap. Before classes started, that first weekend I had moved in my dorm room, I felt so free and I had so much time to have fun with my friends and get to know other students on campus, but I soon learned that time wouldn't last forever.  So my advice to you is to have fun, enjoy the freedom and independence, but don't forget to prioritize and take care of the most important things before going out to party.

Jack Van Dam

Jack Van Dam
Political Science/Leadership
Junior, 2017
Wichita, KS
Peer Educator, Leadership Institute, Student Leadership Council, Resident Assistant, Sagamore Honor Soicety, Summer Orientation Counselor

What do you love about WU?
I love the whole entire atmosphere of Washburn! It’s an environment where everyone knows everybody, and that is something that is very important to me. Washburn also has small class sizes, so this gives me the opportunity to really be able to connect with my friends and classmates, and not just be a number in a classroom with 400 of my closest friends.

Where would / have you studied abroad and why did you choose this location?
I’ve had the opportunity to study abroad three times so far at Washburn. I went to Estonia last summer to study European and Russian Relations, England in May to study and observe the 2015 British General Election, and recently in July I just returned back from a study abroad trip to South Korea to study Korean Language and culture. I absolutely love to travel, and be able to learn about different parts of the world that relate to my major, so I saw the opportunity to study abroad, and it has been by far some of the best experiences of college!

Why did you choose WU?
I really wanted a place that I could fit in. I came from a high school with 750 students, and I knew a vast majority of everyone, and I couldn’t walk down the hallway without seeing someone that I didn’t know. I wanted the same experience at the university level. The first time I came to campus, I absolutely fell in love with it from speaking with the faculty to touring our beautiful campus, Washburn is a magnificent place to be, and going to school at WU is by far one of the best decisions that I have ever made!

Shannon Van Hercke

Sarah Walter

Sarah Walter
History Education major/Political Science minor.
I will graduate in Spring 2017.
Topeka, KS
Member of the Washburn branch of the To Write Love on Her Arms U-Chapter.
 
What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
Learn how to be organized, no matter how hard it is to be. It makes for an extremely less stressed out student, in my personal experience.

Why did you choose WU?
I chose WU because after getting to experience a semester of on-campus classes while I was still in high school, I realized that the entirety of the professors and staff truly care about your success in university. Because of the small size, it’s easy to build professional relationships that help you succeed in furthering your education.

What are some of your favorite food places in Topeka?
Some of my favorite food places in Topeka are actually pretty close to the Washburn University campus. Pizza Pub is top-notch pizza that is definitely at a fair price. If you’re looking for something a little more savory, PT’s Coffee has wonderful sandwiches (and also extremely tasty coffee drinks). The Pad in North Topeka is also a favorite of mine when I’m craving great American food!

Abigale Welch

Kristen *HOPE* Wensel

Kristen *HOPE* Wensel
Major/Minor: Biology and Sociology
Class of: 2018
Born and raised in Iowa, lived in Lawrence, KS for 5 years.
Peer Educator, Bonner Leadership and Linc, Biology Club, Bods Feeding Bods and the Pantry
 
What do you love about WU?
The diverse students and all the opportunities available on campus that you could not get at many other schools
 
Where would / have you studied abroad and why did you choose this location?
I am hoping to study abroad in Ireland over summer of 2016/2017 because I have strong Irish heritage and it has been a dream of mine

What words of wisdom do you have for a first year student?
Be open to any opportunities that come your way and always watch your popcorn carefully when you cook it in the microwave.

Alexis Yelland

 Alexis Yelland
Major: Athletic Training Minor: Biology
Graduating class of 2018
West Franklin High School in Pomona, KS
Employee at Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Marketing Director for Leadership Institute, President of Alpha Lambda Delta, President of Washburn Residential Council, L.E.A.P AmeriCorp Volunteer, and Peer Educating! :)

My best experience during my first year at Washburn:
Honestly, I have had many great moments from my first year at college, but if I had to choose the most influential one it would have to be the Majors and Activities Fair along with the Career Fair. If it would not have been for the Majors and Activities Fair, I would not have be exposed to the Biology department. By just taking the lower level classes I have discovered an true interest of mine that led me to my new major. The Career Fair also was a major motivator because going as a freshman and just talking to all the vendors about potential life opportunities has pushed me to continue to work hard and accomplish anything I set out to do.

Why I chose WU:
Funny story actually. As a high school senior, I struggled a lot with finding a college and accepting the new chapter of my life. Before coming to Washburn I had attended a couple other senior days at other schools, and I left every single one crying because of stress and unease. I just didn’t feel comfortable. Not too long after that, I had a WU rep come to my school (honestly hadn’t even heard of Washburn) and I decided to give it a shot. I fell in love with what I heard, and set up a senior day on a whim. My parents and I made it up to Topeka and the first great thing happened: We were lost by what I know now as the LLC and Henderson and were able to pull over a student who actually walked us to the Union without even thinking twice. Finally, at the Senior day and I soaked up everything. Every person you meet smiles; everyone we were with ran into at least a handful of people they knew every time we walked outside, and the size was perfect.The day was over and back in the car ride, Mom and Dad were happy and so was I; no tears. That day I decided what school I wanted to go to.

My ‘wise’ words of advice:
1. Get Involved. I cannot stress enough how important that is; it makes the transition and the rest of your college experience so much better. 2. Don’t Stress too much.  There are times for stress and there are times when you need to sit back and relax for a little bit. Find that equal balance between school and activities and you will be just fine. 3. Take some risks. Personally, I am very inside the box thinker and do not like to be out of my comfort zone; however, if you take a risk and try something new, you may actually enjoy it. Even if it’s as simple as trying new foods.. and 4. Build your Resume. Whenever I decide to do something or to add another thing onto my list of things I need to accomplish, I need to ask myself what am I getting out of it? Is it truly worth my time? Am I enjoying it? If those answers aren’t what you want them to be, maybe you need to reevaluate what you’re doing and see if it really is beneficial to you.

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Mabee Library
Mabee Library

Mabee Library hosts a coffee shop, tutoring services and access to the people and information materials that are central to success in the Information Age.

iREAD
iREAD

The iREAD Program encourages a common reading experience and involvement for students across campus.