Past Leadership Challenge Events

2017 Leadership Challenege Event


The Leadership Challenge Event™ is a two-day leadership development program that consists of a half-day educational orientation conference and a full-day competitive leadership simulation in which small teams of high school and college students interact within a variety of leadership environments. This is a student-led event and is facilitated by the students of the Washburn University Leadership Institute.

Day 1: The Orientation (Thursday, March 2, 2017)

The orientation portion of the Leadership Challenge Event™ is more traditional and allows students to learn from area experts about key leadership competencies, many of which are evaluated during the leadership simulation on Friday.
Leaders from the Washburn campus and community provided insights and leadership lessons in the following break-out sessions:
Session 1: Incident Command System Workshop

  • Ron Brown
Session 2: Everybody Likes That Guy: How to Be That Guy
  • Andrea Engstrom and Zach Haney
Session 3: Leadership Isn’t Colorblind
  • Dr. Eric Grospitch and Danielle Dempsey-Swopes

On Thursday evening, student participants, team advisors, event sponsors and community members gathered at the Washburn Memorial Union for a banquet and the Centennial celebration of the HoneyDaze Festival. The festival that has been occurring for 100 years in Metropolis, Kansas, is a staple and has been a significant source of revenue for the county.

Additionally, the banquet featured Earl Kemper as the keynote speaker. Earl believes that the key to success in life and business is to have a burning passion to be the best that you can possible be, have clarity, and confidently take action. He helps business owners achieve freedom, finances, and fulfillment in their life and in their business. He is passionate about helping people realize their potential and equipping teams for massive results. He is a Master Coach with ActionCOACH Business Coaching in Topeka, Kansas, and is booked internationally with speaking, coaching, and training engagements. His team serves organizations ranging from small business to Fortune 500 companies.

Day 2: The Competitive Simulation (Friday, March 3, 2017)

The full-day competitive leadership simulation prompted students to work both individually and as a team to
solve critical leadership challenges. Students were judged continuously throughout the competition, and
winning teams were announced at the end of the day.
The simulation recreated real-world leadership scenarios for students in a variety of methods:

  • Live interactions in which community leaders role-played scenarios with participants to enhance the reality of the simulation
  • Video and audio feeds that provided real-time updates and simulation theatrics in order for participants to gain information and make decisions
  • Planned and unplanned tasks and meetings for team members
  • Recruitment presentations where students had to create and present innovative proposals to professionals.

Student Participants

33 teams participates in the LCETM this year:

  • 25 high school teams
  • 8 college and university teams
  • These teams represented three states: Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri

High Schools

  • Chase
  • Derby
  • Emporia
  • Highland Park
  • Louisburg
  • Omaha Westside (2)
  • Piper
  • Rossville
  • Sabetha
  • Seaman (2)
  • Shawnee Heights
  • Topeka High
  • Topeka West
  • Washburn Rural
  • Wellington (2)
  • Wichita East (2)
  • Wichita North
  • Wichita Northwest
  • Wichita South
  • Wichita West

Colleges and Universities

  • Fort Hays State University
  • Kansas State University
  • Metropolitan Community College - Maple Woods
  • Southwestern College (2)
  • Union College
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (2)

Award Recipients

High School Division

Champion Award: Piper High School
Second Place Award: Derby High School
Third Place Award: Shawnee Heights High School
Outstanding Team Collaboration Award: Shawnee Heights High School
Outstanding Team Communication Award: Derby High School

College Division

Champion Award: Fort Hays State University
Second Place Award: University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Red Team
Third Place Award: Union College
Outstanding Team Collaboration Award: University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Red Team
Outstanding Team Communication Award: University of Nebraska-Lincoln – White Team