Exploring the concepts of leadership instructs students by planning and processing a group campus action project that develops throughout a semester.
Semester after semester, students practice the fundamentals of leadership and learn about Washburn’s necessity for positive change at the Living and Learning Center.
The first step is to identify something that needs positive change.
Following steps to build upon leadership theories and self-reflection there are learning outcomes focused on CAP group projects brainstorming ways to address student activism for reformism.
“Leadership is important because our issues facing society in the world are complex,” said Madeline Lambing, program coordinator and lecturer.
“Not just thinking globally, but in Topeka. It takes skill to create great environments for people,” said Lambing.
Kimi Patterson, freshman nursing major, is enrolled in LE100 this semester. According to Patterson, students in the class collectively establish 5-6 ideas that affect the Washburn community.
“We [my group] want to make a website to buy, sell and trade books,” said Patterson. “It is a big cost at colleges. My anatomy textbook was $300, but I did not end up buying it because it was too expensive.”
Carolyn Shump, freshman psychology major, manages to play catch-up during the LE100 transition from in-class to online school. Shump’s group proposed a 24-hour Mabee Library Service that would be offered every Wednesday.
“This is to provide students with quiet downtime,” said Shump. “Students may not have resources at home, so they would be able to use the libraries without distraction. Hopefully, this idea will raise attention in the community.”
According to Shump, library access is unavailable for students who work early mornings or late at night – including students with children or families that pose a distraction from studies.
Shump’s group estimates this project will cost the school approximately $13,000.
Paula Taylor, sophomore psychology major, plans to use her leadership skills to encourage residents to open up to her.
Taylor’s group noticed the lack of involvement with dorm community gatherings in Lincoln Hall.
“We were going to talk to Resident Hall Coordinator for Lincoln Hall, Kaylianne Weber,” said Taylor. “I might work on becoming an RA on campus to see this project through.”
As the learning comes to a close – action is needed.
“It is not a requirement but after the semester they have the option to carry out the project,” said Lambing.
Another benefit to helping the community is creating a group of leaders to establish a need, and then meeting those needs at Washburn.
“We all have different roles,” said Patterson. “There are a few [in the group] who are more vocal, whereas some are more behind the scenes. We’re all working hard.”
In the business world, a leader often shares a vision with a group, enables others to act and encourages effort.
According to washburn.edu, the Washburn Leadership Experience approach, experience and empower all students to practice and consecrate their leadership skills.
“The littlest things can make so many changes,” said Taylor. “It is the snowball effect.”
Edited by Hannah Alleyne, Joelle Conway, Wesley Tabor