Forrest Scene

March 2013 News Releases

Leadership Challenge Event to bring 28 teams to Washburn for simulation March 7 and 8

Note: Leadership Challenge Event participants will have photo/video releases on file. Questions about this can be directed to LCE staff upon your arrival to Henderson Learning Resources Center, Room 100, Thursday from 1-5:30 p.m. or Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The third annual Leadership Challenge Event will bring together on the Washburn University campus 28 teams of high school and college students from three states. Participants will be challenged with real-time, real life leadership simulation in a judged competition on March 8.

An orientation on Thursday, March 7 will prepare the 140 participants representing 28 teams from 18 high schools and six colleges in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska for the March 8 competition. The event is one-of-a-kind, completely designed, planned, organized and executed by students involved with the Washburn University Leadership Institute. There are about 140 volunteers involved as well, nearly all of them Washburn students. The Leadership Challenge Event has grown each year, with more teams participating and more volunteers involved.

Kristen Onions, student director of the challenge, said volunteers are putting the finishing touches on the two day experience that is designed to push all participants to be their best. Onions and a core team of students began working on the event nearly a year ago.

Onions said Thursday’s orientation, which begins at 1 p.m. in Henderson Learning Resources Center, room 100, will feature workshops for all Leadership Challenge Event. Thursday’s presenters include David Kensinger, former chief of staff for Governor Sam Brownback.

Jason Kander, Missouri’s Secretary of State, will address all participants at a banquet Thursday evening, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in Washburn’s Memorial Union. Kander, a former U.S. Army Captain, was sworn in in January, 2013. He is America’s youngest statewide elected official.

What actually will happen during Friday’s simulation is kept close to the vest to ensure no team has an advantage in preparations.

Three rounds of competition will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Henderson Learning Resources Center, Room 100. Final presentations begin at 3:15 p.m. The simulation will be as real-world as possible, with scenario updates with technology such as video conferencing.

A recognition ceremony for all teams begins at 4:20 p.m. in the Washburn Room, Memorial Union.

Learn more about the Leadership Challenge Event at


Kristen Onions, student director,  913-748-5922. It is best to call her before March 7. She will be unavailable during the simulation.

Shea Kirsop, simulation coordinator, 785-408-0993. Find him at Henderson 100 from 1-5:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

Michaela Saunders, university relations, 785-670-2154, will be at simulation activities Thursday and Friday.