Forrest Scene

Washburn Engage puts volunteer opportunities at students fingertips

Finding the right volunteer opportunity in Topeka is now as easy as touching a button for Washburn students.

Known as Washburn Engage, the 42-inch touch screen installed recently at Mabee Library already displays the volunteer opportunities of more than 30 community partners. The number of partners continues to grow. The new technology is unique to Washburn and is one of the first projects of the campus-wide High-Impact Initiative.

As one of only 18 schools in the United States signed on to the Bonner Foundation High-Impact Initiative, Washburn is specifically focused on integrating community service and the classroom experience. Washburn Engage aims to more seamlessly connect any interested student with volunteer options that fit his or her academic and personal interests. With this tool, students can spend less time looking and more time doing.

“I want to see students connecting how service learning, community and school go together. It makes you feel complete. You’re actually doing something,” said Micaela Sands, High-Impact Initiative intern in the Learning in the Community (LinC) office. She spent many hours developing the system’s volunteer opportunity database.

Washburn Engage will be officially unveiled at an event at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 on the main floor of Mabee Library. The schedule for the presentation is as follows:

Rick Ellis, director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement and its Learning in the Community programs, will speak about Washburn Engage and the University’s High-Impact Initiative.

Darin Whitegon
, match specialist for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Topeka, will speak about the importance of Washburn Engage to community partners.

Micaela Sands
, a junior from Ozawkie, Kan. who is studying social work, will speak about Washburn Engage from the student perspective and demonstrate how it works. 

A question and answer session will follow, as well as time to use Washburn Engage.

Learn more about Learning in the Community
Learn more about Washburn’s High-Impact Initiative

Michaela Saunders, university relations, 785-670-2154 or
Rick Ellis, Learning in the Community, 785-670-2117 or