New campus minister joins WU

Jena Dean, [email protected], is a sophomore mass media major.

The Washburn faculty gained a new member this year as Megan Otto, filled the position as campus minister. Otto, who began her career at Washburn just last month, leads Ichtus, the United Methodist Campus Ministry.

Otto, a native of Manhattan, Kan. and recent graduate of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, comes to Washburn with high hopes of getting students involved and excited about college.

“Students are at a really great time to figure out what they want to do with their lives and who they really are,” said Otto. “I’m here to help them.”

Otto also wants to bring a few changes to Washburn student life and Ichtus, by incorporating art and colors to everyday life. Her goal is to add more personality and learning experiences into group activities.

“I’m very interested in how art plays a part in people’s lives,” said Otto. “That is something new that I have started experimenting with in Ichtus and with people that come to the house to hang out.”

Returning member of Ichtus, Madison Wambsganss, freshman in mass media, also feels the excitement of having a new campus minister and new activities.

“She has a great attitude, and I can easily tell that this is where she wants to be,” said Wambsganss.

Otto, who serves part time at the First United Methodist Church of Topeka as associate pastor of Congregational Care and Young Adult Ministry, has extended plans for the future of the campus ministry.

“We have a great group of students here. We are not judging here, just accepting,” said Otto. “I want to reach out to the student body and get more people involved in groups and activities. Everyone is welcome here for our worship, bible study, dinners, or even just to hang out.”

Otto plans on joining up with other organizations this year to stay involved on campus and to create a sense of unity for students.

“We are getting involved in other organizations to connect to the campus. To Write Love on Her Arms is one that I’m really looking forward to working with,” said Otto.

To Write Love on Her Arms is a national association that holds a chapter at Washburn which promotes hope and provides outlets for those who are struggling with addiction, depression and self-injury, among other struggles.

Wambsganss has similar goals as Otto for the future of the campus ministry.

“I have seen a lot of growth in members,” said Wambsganss. “I would love to see Ichtus reach out to more students on campus. Ichtus is a very friendly environment and everyone is welcome.”

Otto aims to succeed at Washburn by using past experiences to guide her. She completed nine months of clinical pastoral education residency at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the hematology and oncology unit, along with the psychiatric unit.

“I learned one of the most important things you can learn while working there. It’s so important to have a good attitude with whatever you are doing,” said Otto. “That is what I plan on doing here at Washburn.”