The Leadership Institute has partnered with Residential Living to create an engaging learning opportunity for students interested in leadership. Students now have the option to live in the Leadership Learning Community in the Living Learning Center. Students in the Learning Community will live with peers who share an interest in leadership development in order to foster a community of learners within the residence halls and to connect students with similar interests. Participants will have an academic requirement in the fall semester and will be responsible for attending various co-curricular events in both the fall and spring semester. Participation in the Learning Community is limited to 40 people, and spots will be filled on a first-come, first serve basis.

Requirements for Participation

  • Enroll in LE100: Exploring Concepts of Leadership in the Fall (meets a general education requirement)
  • Attend Fall and Spring Leadership Institute Orientations
  • Attend at least two additional leadership development opportunities each semester
  • Meet one-on-one with the Leadership Learning Community Residential Assistant each semester
  • Be an active learner both in and outside the classroom to engage in personal leadership development and the development of your peers

Why Participate?

The Leadership Learning Community will:

  • Introduce students to and encourage them to participate in the Leadership Institute (LI) academic program (minor, certificate, WTE)
  • Create an opportunity to engage students in co-curricular programs associated with the LI
  • Create a sense of community and a cohort support system for students interested in leadership
  • Increase retention within the LI and at Washburn University
  • Positively influence GPA of students involved in Learning Community compared to non-Learning Community participants

How Do I Sign Up?

First, complete your housing application and preference the Leadership Learning Community! Housing applications are available starting December 1.

Participation in the Leadership Learning Community is also dependent on your enrollment in the LE100 course. In order to sign up, you MUST SIGN the Consent to Enroll Form and submit it to Lauren Edelman at (in a scanned PDF) or mail it to the Leadership Institute, 1700 SW College Ave, BE408, Topeka, KS 66621. Please return this form by April 1 for priority consideration.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Lauren Edelman, Director of the Leadership Institute at (785) 670-2000 or

shayden-hanes_thumb.jpgby Shayden Hanes, Leadership Learning Community RA 2020-2021.

When I began my journey at Washburn University, I was terrified of being in a new city that was six and a half hours away from my family. However, my first night on the Leadership Hall, I met people who I connected with instantly and who became some of my closest friends. These people, added the color of laughter and joy to my college experience. Our time together was filled with furniture forts, karaoke nights, Marvel movie marathons, family hall dinners, and long late night talks. Here, I learned that despite our various backgrounds, I had more in common with this group of people than anyone I have ever encountered. Together, we increased our knowledge of ourselves and how to not only be a leader but also a community.  The Leadership floor was the right choice for me. Without it, my first-year college experience would lack the color that only Leadership students can fill. 

As for me, I am pursuing a major in Business as well as minoring in Leadership Studies and Political Science. I am involved with the Leadership Institute and Residential Living as this year’s Leadership Residential Assistant (RA). I could not be more excited about this! I also participate in Washburn Student Government Association (WSGA), Washburn Residential Council (WRC), Alpha Lambda Delta, and the Student Leadership Council (SLC). Socializing is one of my favorite activities as well as reading. I am a terrible speller and I laugh at almost everything. My greatest joy is bringing smiles to people’s faces and knowing that I impacted their day in a positive way.

My goals and plans for the Leadership Learning Community are to build a safe environment that encourages residents to challenge themselves to become a well-rounded leader. In addition, my goal is to help foster friendships that will last each resident a lifetime. I hope the students in the Leadership Learning Community gain a better understanding of the world around them, as well as the positive and negative impact that they can have. Through the programs that are provided by the Leadership Institute as well as my plans for the hall, I am fully confident that these goals are achievable. I look forward to interacting with every new student as well as pushing them to grow and succeed for their first year at Washburn University. 

By Jack Van Dam

For the residents of the Leadership Learning Community, they are more than just a group of residents with a shared interest, they are a family. Freshman, Social Work Major Sydney Masters described living in the hall: “The Leadership Institute brought us all together, and from there, we became more than we thought we could. We have all challenged each other and pushed each other to grow. I feel as though I gained more knowledge and experienced more diversity in my first four months here at Washburn University than I had my whole entire life.”

Masters illustrated how close her hall has become by showcasing how her friends stay up until 2am working together on homework, watching Harry Potter every Sunday, and being each other’s stylists. Having the opportunity to live in the Leadership Learning Community has helped these students not only get heavily involved in the Leadership Institute, but has truly created a strong sense of community these students will have for the rest of their lives.

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