JuliAnn Mazachek starts her first day as Washburn’s new president

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, JuliAnn Mazachek, Washburn’s new president, kicked off her first day meeting students and staff.

Mazachek’s first day started at Washburn Tech’s main campus, where she held a meet and greet with students and faculty. In the afternoon, Washburn University students were able to meet Mazachek at the “Sip, Sip, Hooray” event in the Student Union where coffee and hot chocolate was served. Her day ended with the “Pop By and Say Hi” event, which was another opportunity for the Washburn community to greet the new president and grab a bag of popcorn.

Mazachek was excited to be starting her presidency on the first day of Black History Month as the first female president of Washburn, stating that it was “appropriate” and “historical.”

Looking towards the future, she plans on having an open dialogue between herself and students.

“I really believe in working together and collaborating and I do have some ideas. But, I intend to listen, meet with students, faculty, staff and people in the community and listen to what they think our best ideas are going forward,” Mazachek said. “Then, together we’re going to develop our plan and move forward.”

Before her presidency, Mazachek held several positions at Washburn allowing her to meet and foster relationships with current staff members.

Sean Bird, interim dean of Mabee Library, has known Mazachek for more than a decadeand he expressed that Mazachek would be a great leader for Washburn.

“I am a big believer in hitching your star to a leader that has the best interests of Washburn at heart,” Bird said. “She is fearless. She is strong. She is committed to students. She is committed to the success of the institution, to the relationship that this institution has with the city of Topeka and the larger community.”

Bird believes that Mazachek will make a big difference on campus and is grateful that she’s in this role.

Other faculty and staff members spoke highly of Mazachek and were excited to see her take this step.

Ernie Webb, director of strategic marketing and communications, also a Washburn Alumunus who graduated in 1999, has known Mazachek since he was an undergraduate at Washburn. At that time, Mazachek was the dean of the School of Business. In addition, Webb worked with her at the Alumni Association as the media specialist from 2011-2015.

Being familiar with Mazacheck, Webb was able to describe her in five words: kind, caring, generous, professional and innovative. Webb also wanted to emphasize the fun side of Mazachek that many don’t get the chance to see.

“My wife and I have sat with her and her husband at events and she has a good sense of humor. She loves students and she’ll do a really nice job,” Webb said. “I’m very excited to work for her.”

Mazachek has shown a dedication to Washburn in past years and her future in presidency is bright. Students, faculty and the community look forward to the plans she has in store.

Edited by LeSha’ Davis and Glorianna Noland