Leadership Institute

Ruth Garvey Cochener Fink Visiting Professors of Leadership

The Ruth Garvey Cochener Fink Visiting Professorships in Leadership are made possible at Washburn University and Washburn Tech through the generosity of the Ruth Garvey Cochener Fink family.  Visiting Professors serve as guest lecturers in courses at Washburn as well as presenting in Topeka community and civic settings.  While many areas may be addressed by Fink Visiting Professors including academics, government, industry, constitutional law, philanthropy, community service and civil/corporate governance, the professorships are intended to consistently address concepts of leadership in various settings such as business, government, communities, and educational settings.   Washburn’s Leadership Institute provides opportunities for presentations to students in developing leadership abilities.  

Typically, Fink professors are in residence at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas for a brief time (e.g., a week) but other models may be possible.  Fink professors come from various fields including higher education, business, government, and other areas of public service.  Fink Professors have the opportunity to contribute to campus conversations on leadership through contributions in both their respective fields, but also in larger campus formats.

Those interested in the Fink Visiting Professorships should contact the Office of the VPAA at 785 670-2546 for more details.   


Information on 2016-2017 Fink Visiting Professors will be coming soon.


Dr. John Zubizarreta: September 10 and 11, 2015

  • Professor of English, Director of Honors & Faculty Development, past Dean of Undergraduate Studies: Columbia College
    • Facilitated a lunch discussion with emerging campus (faculty/staff) leaders
    • Hosted a conversation on critical thinking
    • Facilitated a workshop on learning portfolios
    • Engaged faculty and staff in workshop on teaching and administrative portfolios
    • Held conversation about honors program
    • Provided a keynote on inspiring exceptional teaching and learning

Ms. SuEllen Fried: October 7-9, 2015

  • Child Advocate, Community Activist, Founder of BullySafeUSA (co-author of “Bullies & Victims”, “Bullies, Targets & Witnesses”, “Banishing Bullying Behavior” & “30 Activities for Getting Better at Getting Along”)
    • Met with Criminal Justice students regarding the Reaching Out From Within program
    • Traveled with Criminal Justice students to Topeka Correctional Facility to experience the program
    • Took Social Work/Education students to Randolph Elementary to attend Student Empowerment (anti-bullying) Sessions
    • Provided a keynote presentation to campus and community members related to Reaching Out From Within and Student Empowerment Sessions

Dr. Carrie Janney: February 2-4, 2016

  • Professor of History at Purdue University
    • Spoke to my women’s history class about her research in women’s history and experience as a female historian of the Civil War Era
    • Gave a faculty luncheon on being a public intellectual
    • Spoke to a leadership class
    • Gave a public lecture entitled “What they Thought it All Meant: The Civil War Generation Remembers."

Dr. Mia Bay: March 2-4, 2016

  • Professor of History and Director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity: Rutgers University
    • Engaged with students enrolled in a U.S. women's history class (taught by Dr. Erby) about your scholarship of women's history and the construction of race, ethnicity, and gender
    • Spoke to faculty and staff members about how to incorporate the teaching of race and gender into their curricula
    • Gave a public lecture on the themes of women's history and race and gender
    • Spoke in LE300 Leadership Skills Development
    • Contributed to a brainstorming session regarding the Michael Tilford Conference on Diversity and Multiculturalism


Dr. Thomas McGowna: Associate Professor & Chair Rhodes College
November 5-7, 2014
HICEPS Committee
  • Q&A with HICEPS committee
  • Debrief session
  • Assessment workshop
  • Met with Student Life directors
  • Workshop with Deans and Directors
  • Faculty development workshop
  • Luncheon with community partners
  • Dinner and keynote presentation

Leadership Institute

  • Spoke with LE300 students and Bonner Leaders regarding value of community engaged learning

Dr. Steven Hahn: Roy F. Jeannette P. Nichols Professor in American History at University of Pennsylvania

February 4-6, 2015


  • Dinner with “Cleo’s Circle” and Washburn administrators
  • Harman Memorial Lincoln Lecture on “What Slaves Thought of Lincoln"
  • Fantastic Kansas Field Trip

Leadership Institute

  • Spoke with LE200 Ethics course about leadership of Abraham Lincoln


  • Spoke to History 300: Early National US
  • Student lunch with undergraduate students “Why Does a Liberal Arts Education Matter?”

Dr. Jamie Ratliff: Associate Professor of Art History at University of Minnesota Duluth

April 8-10, 2015


  • Spoke with IS400/CJ390/HS390 Human Traffic and Modern Slavery course
  • Spoke with AR398 Art & Culture Abroad: Peru class about Viceregal period of Peru and aftershocks of colonialism
  • Gender Brown Bag Lecture about Mexican Feminist Art and its approach to the female body
  • Spoke with Dr. Watt’s AR300: Art in Theory course about art and art history as social activism


  • Public lecture at Mulvane Art Museum

Leadership Institute

  • Spoke in LE300 course about leadership messages conveyed through artwork

Jeff Kready and Nikki Renee Daniels: Broadway Performers

April 13-17, 2015


  • Coached Music Theatre scenes (several times)
  • Musical theatre masterclass including 4 high school students


  • Outreach presentation at Shawnee Heights High School
  • Performed Broadway in the Heartland Concert

Leadership Institute

  • Spoke with LE300 students about the many connections between Broadway and leadership


Mr. Harry Craig: Former President and CEO of Martin Tractor Co., owner Craig Group, Inc., past member Washburn University Board of Regents

Fall Semester 2013

School of Business

  • Spoke with Dr. David Sollars/Stacy Woltje WU101 course
  • Spoke in BU954 Managerial Skills and Professional Experiences course (MBA)
  • Spoke at MBA Association Event

Schools of Business and Law

  • Networked with students from the Schools of Law and Business during Leadership Luncheon on April 10, 2014

Leadership Institute

  • Audited fall LE100 course and was a guest speaker
  • Guest speaker in spring LE100 course on “finding voice”
  • Spoke with LE300 course on leadership journey

Dr. Maynard Oliverius: Former President and CEO of Stormont-Vail HealthCare

Fall Semester 2013
Community and campus
  • Facilitated Affordable Care Act Panel including: Dr. Kent Palmberg, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Stormont-Vail; Randy Peterson, President and CEO of Stormont-Vail; Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance; Cindy Samuelson, Vice President of Member Services and Public Relations at the Kansas Hospital Association
Schools of Applied Studies and Nursing
  • Networked with students from the Schools of Law and Business during Leadership Luncheon on April 10, 2014
Leadership Institute
  • Spoke with LE300 course on leadership journey

Dr. John Stauffer: Professor of English and of African and African American Studies

February 6-7, 2014

Community and Campus

  • Delivered the Harman Memorial Lincoln Lecture public address and other various activities associated with the Harman Memorial Lincoln Lecture

Leadership Institute

  • Spoke with LE100 students about Leadership Traits of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas

Ms. Richetta Manager: Internationally Recognized Soprano Vocalist

May 4-9, 2014

Community and Campus

  • Provided informal recital and discussion of Brown v. Board of Education case with University Academy students
  • Performed in 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board concerts in Helzberg Hall at the Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City as well as President’s Concert

Leadership Institute

  • Spoke/performed for LE200 students on topic of growing up in Topeka during Brown v. Board Era