Meet YourCounselor

Meet Your Counselor

Meet Your Admissions Counselor

Meet the friendly faces of our Admissions team! 

Live in Shawnee County, KS?  Choose your high school to find your counselor:

Kansas students, select your county to find your counselor:

If you live outside of Kansas, please choose your state:

Are you a non-degree seeking student?  Meet Brett.  He'll help you through the process!

Transferring from another institution?  Interested in completing your degree?  Nicole would be more than happy to assist!

Joseph Tinsley

Joseph Tinsley, Director of Admissions

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Call Joseph: 785-670-1288

Joseph was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky.  After graduating from Owensboro High School, he accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.  Once he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1996, Joseph quickly migrated into the world of higher education.  With more than 20 years of experience in the Admissions arena, he still remains intrinsically motivated to help prospective students find their path and purpose in life.  Outside of work, Joseph enjoys the auditory bliss of really good music.  He has found that good music is home to no specific age, background or race.  John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Nirvana, Earth Wind & Fire, Ahmed Jamal, Robert Glasper, Stevie Wonder, Hall & Oats, Chet Baker, Sting, A Tribe Called Quest, Bobby Caldwell, De La Soul and countless others prove so.

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Brett Johnson

Brett Johnson, Associate Director of Admissions

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Call Brett: 785-670-1904

Raised in Bonner Springs, Kansas, Brett moved to Topeka to attend Washburn University.  He graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Physiology and Associate of Arts in Computer Information Science.  After spending time working in his field of study, he returned to the University as an Admissions Counselor, eager to share his passion for Washburn with prospective students.  Along with Washburn, he is also passionate about fitness, sports, music and learning.  Brett works locally with students from Washburn Rural High School, as well as high school students in north central Kansas, Jackson County in Missouri and Colorado.  Brett’s most important advice is to have a fun and successful college experience by getting involved in a co-curricular activity or organization on campus.

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Leah Brown

Leah Brown, Associate Director of Online Admissions

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Call Leah: 785-670-2181

Leah is a Topeka native and graduated from Topeka West High School. In 2009, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media with a minor in French from Washburn University.   After working a year, Leah moved to Los Angeles, where she received her Master of Fine Arts.  While completing her program, she found a passion for higher education by working with graduate students as a thesis reviewer.  Leah is the Associate Director of Online Admissions and works with associate degree nurses completing their bachelor’s degree in our RN to BSN online program.  When not working, Leah enjoys reading suspense novels and spending time with family and friends.

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Christa BixlerChrista Bixler, Admissions Counselor


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Call Christa: 785-670-1652

Born and raised in southeast Misouri, Christa relocated to Topeka during the summer of 2017. She graduated from Missouri State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and completion of course work in Chemistry. After working for several months in a high school classroom, Christa discovered an interest in higher education and moved to Topeka to join the Washburn Admissions team. As an Admissions Counselor, Christa will be visiting southeast Kansas and many schools in Missouri. She looks forward to guiding prospective students through the admissions process and helping them transition into life at Washburn. Outside of the office, Christa enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family and exploring Kansas.

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Priscilla Samarripa

Priscilla Samarripa, Campus Visit & Events Coordinator

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Call Priscilla: 785-670-1289

Priscilla is a Texas native who has lived in Topeka since 2006, the same year she earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. As an Admissions Counselor at Washburn, she works with high school students from Topeka West High School. Between spending time with her two dogs, Ruby and Jiggy, she enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling and with family and friends.

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Sydney Tebo

Sydney Tebo, Admissions Counselor

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Call Sydney at 785-670-1625

Sydney is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before attending graduate school at the University of Kansas, where she received a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration. Sydney enjoys working in Admissions because of her desire to help others gain access to higher education and loves having the opportunity to share information about Washburn with students from all over the area. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys reading, cooking and hiking with her golden doodle, Floyd.

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Nicole Vavra

Nicole Vavra, Admissions Counselor

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Call Nicole at 785-670-1626

Nicole is an Admissions Counselor from Topeka, Kansas. She graduated from Washburn University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Human Services, an emphasis in Youth Services and Victim/Survivor Services, and a minor in Sociology. She recently received her Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas and is delighted to be back at her alma mater as a new professional. Nicole works primarily with transfer students, helping them make the wonderful transition into life as an Ichabod. In her free time, Nicole enjoys baking sugar cookies, spending time outside and relaxing on the couch with her cat, Kato. 

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