Forrest Scene

Leadership Exchange took five Ichabods to New Orleans for spring break

Five Washburn leadership students traveled to the University of New Orleans during their spring break to observe, interact with and experience a variety of leadership styles and practices.

The fourth-annual Washburn-UNO Leadership Exchange allows Washburn students to get a feel for another institution and a broader perspective on what they’ve learned in class about leadership styles and practices, said Michael Gleason, director of the Washburn Leadership Institute.

“They’ll observe and learn about what the organization does; what styles and leadership skills are at work there,” Gleason said before they left last week.“Being exposed to a lot of different types of leadership helps you understand the importance of those difference styles.”

The students also collaborated with University of New Orleans students on a service project at The Green Project and presented at a small leadership conference.

Each of the five students selected for the leadership exchange program submitted an application and then completed a research project. In teams, the students presented for 45-minute sessions at the conference on teamwork and motivation, servant leadership and self-awareness and leadership development. In addition to putting their study into practice while on the exchange, Gleason said the students will share what they learn with others in a presentation later this spring.

Gleason said the cultural exchange aspects will be valuable for the students and the institute as a whole.

"Knowing how culturally diverse New Orleans is, how can we take what we learn and embrace diversity more as a campus and within the leadership program?" he said.

The group toured New Orleans by bus and explored French Quarter and Mardi Gras World in addition to campus life at the University of New Orleans.

Participating students, their majors and hometowns:

  • Rachel Klaus, a senior in psychology from Garden City, Kan.
  • Katelyn Rollins, a sophomore in secondary education with emphasis in English and math from Topeka
  • Sara Roth, a senior in technology administration from Topeka
  • Kaitlyn Truesdell, a sophomore in business management and marketing from Topeka
  • Robert Zimmerman, a freshman in psychology from Topeka


Michael Gleason, director, Washburn University Leadership Institute, 785.670.2001
Michaela Saunders, university relations, 785.670.2154