2014 LCE

2014 Leadership Challenge Event

"Incredible! Very pleased! This is the best high school event that I have ever attended."  Anonymous School Advisor through evaluation

"It was such a great experience and I can't wait to come back next year. I learned a lot about myself and my team." Anonymous Participant through evaluation

The fourth annual Leadership Challenge EventTM took place on April 3 and 4, 2014.


Day 1: The Orientation (Thursday, April 3, 2014)

 The orientation portion of the Leadership Challenge Event was more traditional and allowed students to learn from area experts about key leadership competencies, many of which would be evaluated during the leadership simulation on Friday.

 Leaders from the Washburn campus and community provided insights and leadership lessons in break-out sessions:

 Session 1: Collaboration

Lucas Mullin

 Session 2: Healthy Ways of Handling Conflict

Mike Grogan

 Session 3: Managing Nonverbals so They Don’t Manage You

Dr. Tracy Routsong

 Session 4: Diversity and Social Responsibility

Marsha Carrasco Cooper

 On Thursday evening student participants, team advisors, event sponsors and community members gathered at the Washburn Memorial Union for a dinner and a simulation video that revealed a flash flood was occurring in the fictional county of Central Kansas County.

  • Banquet Featured Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Munro Richardson

 Munro Richardson is co-founder and CEO of LigoSphere, a Kansas City-based startup company focused on helping students succeed in college. Previously, Munro was co-founder and COO of myEDmatch, a recruitment and job matching start-up focused on the K-12 education market. Prior to his startup life, Munro was Vice President of Education at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. While at Kauffman he helped start the Kauffman Scholars college access program and the urban college prep Kauffman School. A Kansas City native, Munro has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas (where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa), master’s degrees from Harvard University and Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Day 2: The Competitive Simulation (Friday, April 4, 2014)

 The full-day competitive leadership simulation expected students to work both individually and as a team to solve critical leadership challenges. Students were judged at each step of the competition, and winning teams were announced at the end of the day.

The simulation recreated real-world leadership scenarios for students using a variety of methods:

  • Live interactions—community leaders role-play to enhance the reality of the simulation
  • Video and audio feeds provide real-time updates and simulation theatrics
  • Online environments for information provision
  • Planned and unplanned tasks, meetings and presentations for team members

Student Team Participants

27 teams participated in the 2014 LCETM.

  • 20 high school teams
  • 7 colleges and university teams
  • Teams represented four states: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Florida

High Schools

  • Rossville High School (Rossville, KS)
  • Hayden Catholic High School (Topeka, KS)
  • Highland Park High School (Topeka, KS)
  • Shawnee Heights High School (Tecumseh, KS)
  • Topeka High School (Topeka, KS)
  • Topeka West High School (Topeka, KS)
  • Washburn Rural High School (Topeka, KS)
  • Louisburg High School (Louisburg, KS)
  • Marian High School (Omaha, NE)
  • Seaman High School (Topeka, KS)
  • Wichita North High School (Wichita, KS)
  • Northeast Magnet High School (Wichita, KS)
  • Wichita Northwest High School (Wichita, KS)
  • Wichita West (Wichita, KS)
  • Wichita High School East (Wichita, KS)
  • Wichita High School South (Wichita, KS)
  • Wichita High School Southeast (Wichita, KS)
  • Wichita Heights High School (Wichita, KS)
  • Educational Credit Union (Topeka, KS)
  • Salina South High School (Salina, KS)

Colleges and Universities

  • Florida Gulf Coast University (Florida)
  • Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
  • Tabor College (Kansas)
  • Metropolitan Community College (Missouri)
  • Southwestern College (2 teams) (Kansas)
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Nebraska)


There were 136 volunteers made up of Washburn University students, faculty and staff as well as the Topeka and Shawnee County communities.

  • Community – 49, representing 35 organizations
  • Washburn University Faculty/Staff – 24, representing 20 departments
  • Washburn University students - 61

 Volunteer opportunities included:

  • Judges—individuals that engaged in the evaluation of the competitive teams in the leadership simulation, focusing on elements of both leader and leadership effectiveness
  • Simulation role players—individuals that played fictional roles as part of the simulation in a live interactive format; examples of these roles include:
    • News Representatives
    • Highway Patrol
    • Small Business Owners
    • Red Cross Branch Managers
  • Administrative volunteers that help manage the logistics of the two-day activities

Award Recipients

Capitol Federal Foundation High School Division Co-Champion Awards:

Louisburg High School (Louisburg, KS)

Shawnee Heights High School (Tecumseh, KS)

Marian High School (Omaha, NE)

 Brewster Place High School Division Outstanding Team Collaboration Award:

Shawnee Heights High School (Tecumseh, KS)

 High School Division Outstanding Team Communication Award:

Northeast Magnet High School (Wichita, KS)

 Capitol Federal Foundation College Division Champion Award:

Tabor College (Hillsboro, KS)

 Security Benefit Corporation College Division Outstanding Team Collaboration Award:

Southwestern College #1 (Winfield, KS) 

J.F. McGivern, Inc. College Division Outstanding Team Communication Award:

University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Lincoln, NE)

Community Involvement

The LCE is truly a representation of the Heartland Visioning initiative strongly underway in Topeka and Shawnee County.  The LCE requires the involvement and support of the entire community in order to produce this event.

 Advisory Board

10 Members on the Leadership Institute Advisory Board, representing 7 separate organizations:

  • Easter Seals Capper Foundation
  • E2 Communications
  • Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce
  • Grogan Coaching and Consulting
  • United Way of Greater Topeka
  • Educational Credit Union
  • Washburn University


The Capitol Federal Foundation was the title sponsor for the LCE 2014 providing significant financial and human resources for the production of the event.

Westar Energy was the college division sponsor for the LCE 2014 providing all of the team sponsorships for that division, including an additional team sponsorship for the high school division. 

 Award sponsors

  • Anonymous
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
  • Brewster Place
  • Capitol Federal Foundation
  • J.F. McGivern, Inc.
  • Security Benefit Corp.

Team sponsors

  • Advisors Excel
  • BA Designs
  • Berberich, Trahan and Co., PA
  • BNSF Railway
  • Capitol Federal Foundation
  • Educational Credit Union
  • GoTopeka EMBD
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • Lyndon State Bank
  • Security Benefit Corp.
  • The Craig Group, Inc.
  • Topeka Community Foundation
  • Washburn University Foundation
  • Washburn University International Programs
  • Washburn University Office of Student Life
  • Westar Energy

General and in-kind sponsors

  • Panera Bread
  • Washburn University Admissions
  • Washburn Dining
  • Washburn Memorial Union
  • Westside Stamps and Awards


  • Heartland Visioning
  • Content Contributor: EM Fusion, LLC
  • Advisor Session Content Contributor: Kansas Leadership Center