Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Erika Yoder’s contribution to Washburn sets her apart from other Ichabods

If there is one thing about Erika Yoder, she is an Ichabod through and through. With the work that she does plus the impactful memories she’s made as a student athlete and employee, Yoder’s Washburn pride cannot go unnoticed.

Recently, Yoder was employed as the assistant athletic director of external relations and fan experience. Although she’s only held this position for about a month and a half, her connection to Washburn has been shown over many years.

Her responsibilities in this role are broken into two sections.

One section is focused on the marketing aspect of Washburn athletics. Yoder works with local Topeka companies and businesses helping to promote them at Washburn.

The other section is focused on running all game day operations. Yoder is in charge of operating every home game day.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s so much fun and any way that we can highlight our student athletes is something I’m really passionate about,” Yoder said.

From 2014 to 2017, Yoder was a player for the Washburn women’s basketball team. During her sophomore year, she was a dual sport athlete playing both basketball and volleyball. Soon, she decided to transition away from volleyball and finish the rest of college playing basketball.

During her basketball career, Yoder averaged 29.8 minutes per game over a total of 79 games. She played as a starter for 69 of those games and put up impressive numbers. With an average of 9.2 points per game, a 40.3 shooting percentage from the field and 33.7 percent from the three point line, Yoder was a valuable member of the team.

After her time as an athlete, Yoder still contributed to the program. She found a job as a student assistant for the basketball program and worked alongside her former coach, Ron McHenry, for one year. After graduating, Yoder took on a teaching job that didn’t last her very long.

Yoder always found her way back to Washburn.

After a year of teaching, another opportunity to work with McHenry presented itself in 2019. She took the opportunity and served as the assistant coach for the women’s basketball team and held the position for three years.

After her tenure as an assistant coach, Yoder spent some time away from college athletics and worked at Mammoth Sports Construction as their Training and Development Specialist. Not long afterward she found her way back to Washburn to pursue the position she is currently working at..

Yoder is a valued member of Washburn Athletics. Over the years, she has done a lot for Washburn and is greatly appreciated by her colleagues.

Men’s basketball head coach Brett Ballard is a colleague of Yoder who has noticed and appreciated her efforts.

“You can tell she really loves Washburn. She played here and is from this area so you can tell she really loves this place,” said Ballard. “She’s very dedicated on a lot of levels but you can tell she is really invested in the success here at Washburn.”

Matt Hutchinson, the associate director and director of development for Washburn Athletics, commends Yoder as a professional and colleague.

“Things that come to mind about Erika are her organization, her passion for what she does and her willingness to jump in and do the work on what’s required,” said Hutchinson. “She has a really strong work ethic, she’s very organized and passionate about the things she does. I think that exudes in the results of her work.”

Yoder’s passion for Washburn Athletics stems from the memories she’s made as a student athlete. One of Yoder’s special memories includes meeting teammates from around the world.

“Some of the teammates that I was able to meet were from all over the world from places like Denmark and France. I met a lot of really cool people,” Yoder said.

Another special memory she made as a student athlete was from the time she played with her team in Florida.

“We were playing the third ranked team in the nation on their home floor in Florida. It was a cool trip. We won on their home floor and we had a lot of fun in Florida,” Yoder explained.

It’s clear that Washburn is a special place for Yoder. Another memory that cements her connection to the university is meeting her husband, Luke Yoder, who was a football player at Washburn.

In 2016, during Erika Yoder’s senior year, Luke Yoder proposed to her in front of Morgan Hall. Knowing that Washburn was a special place for both of them, he was sure to make the proposal just as special.

The proposal took Yoder on a memory filled scavenger hunt throughout different spots on campus. At each spot, a friend was waiting with an envelope that had a heartfelt message with instructions that led her to the next spot.

The hunt started in Lee Arena and went through Kuehne Bell Tower, Yager Stadium, the waterfall on 17th and Washburn Avenue and then finished on the Ichabod Plaza in front of Morgan Hall.

From her efforts for Washburn Athletics to the memories she’s made as an Ichabod, Yoder’s Washburn pride is radiant. Her impressive track record as an Ichabod proves that Yoder is an Ichabod through and through.

Edited by Larissa Morgan and LeSha’ Davis

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Humphry Del Castillo
Humphry Del Castillo, Content Creator
What's up! I'm Humphry, a junior mass media major with a concentration in film and video. In Student Media, I work as a content creator and videographer by writing stories and creating instagram reels. one of my biggest passions is filmmaking, so you might see me walking around campus with a camera. In my free time, I enjoy doing freelance video work, eating good food and petting my dog. For the future, I plant to make a career out of travel filmmaking.
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