Ichabods In Depth

Published Nov. 19, 2012

Washburn's Hughes named top young leader in Topeka

Amanda HughesWashburn’s own Amanda Hughes was recognized Thursday as one of Topeka’s top 20 leaders under age 40.

The 20 Under 40 program is sponsored by the Jayhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The program uses a nomination, application and stringent selection process based on personal and professional goals, leadership, professional experience and community involvement.

“She is the consummate Washburn supporter. She is always thinking about Washburn,” said Marsha Sheahan of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, who nominated Hughes for the honor. “She is an encourager.”

Hughes, 33, graduated from Washburn in 2000 and became assistant director of university relations in 2004. She calls it a dream job to work for her alma mater where she plans and coordinates events, shares happenings on campus with local media and oversees the Ichabod mascot program. She currently serves as a co-chairwoman of the Washburn sesquicentennial committee.

More than 100 Topekans were nominated for the 20 Under 40 recognition.

Hughes hasn’t limited her involvement to Washburn. She is a graduate of both Leadership Greater Topeka and the inaugural class of Leadership Washburn. She is involved with the Chamber, its Fast Forward group for young professionals and the Washburn student organization Top City Live.

“Topeka is a great place to live. It’s small enough to be involved but large enough to have a lot of options,” Hughes said. Of her role at Washburn she said: “At the end of the day, the interaction I have with students is the best part.”