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.


Brett Johnson

Brett Johnson, Associate Director of Admissions

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Call Brett: 785-670-1988

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.  After previously recruiting as an admissions counselor, Brett now serves as the Associate Director of Admissions.  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.


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.


Katherine Kobzar

Katherine Kobzar, Admissions Counselor

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Call Katherine at 785-670-3808

Kate is a Topeka native who attended Seaman High School. She graduated from Washburn in 2017 with a Sociology degree and minors in Leadership and Criminal Justice. After working in program development at a homeless shelter, Kate discovered a love of adult education and decided to pursue that interest at her alma mater. Kate works primarily with high school students at Topeka Seaman, Hayden, Cair Paravel, and in several Kansas counties from Southwest Kansas to Central Kansas, as well interstate tuition waiver state Colorado. She also works with GED students. In her free time, Kate enjoys walks on campus with her dog Cricket, camping, fishing, hiking and reading. 


Iam Marples

Ian Marples, Admissions Counselor

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Call Ian at 785-670-1904

Ian is a Topeka native and graduate of Topeka High School. He graduated from Washburn University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Ian also graduated from the Washburn Institute of Technology with a certificate in Computer Repair and Networking. He discovered a passion for helping prospective college graduates find a pathway to success while working with socioeconomically underprivileged youths on a college-headed pathway in the secondary and elementary education fields. He is a true believer in the Washburn mission of providing a student-focused collegiate experience and is eager to help students discover how Washburn can make their college experience exceptional. Ian works with students from north-central Kansas and interstate waiver state Nebraska, as well as Shawnee County students from Washburn Rural, Silver Lake and Rossville. In his free time, Ian enjoys reading, writing, playing with his cat and working on his 1964 Chevy C20. 


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.