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Washburn University to Celebrate Approximately 900 Students at Commencement Ceremonies May 12, 2018

05/10/18 09:05 am CDT
"My education at Washburn has helped me grow both as a person and a professional social worker. I have learned to be able to advocate better for people who are oppressed, and I have also learned to advocate for myself when needed"

Topeka, Kan. – Washburn University will host four commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 12. We are sharing three stories that help highlight the class of 2018.

San Diego Native Discovers Love for Nursing Far from Home – Katherine Orme

A nursing major from San Diego, Cal., Katherine Orme is the first Ichabod in her family. Orme learned about Washburn while earning degrees at Kansas State University and she knew it was the right choice for her to study nursing.

“The best part about being a student at Washburn University is the involvement of the nursing faculty, the respect between classmates/professors, and the amazing relationships I have been able to build with my fellow nursing students,” said Orme.

Orme is a busy student involved in many activities both on and off campus. She is a part of Student Nurses of Washburn organization, a mentor for the Nursing Peer Mentor Program and she volunteers for Habitat for Humanity at the ReStore.

Orme will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has accepted a registered nursing position at Overland Park Regional Medical Center in their Intensive Care Unit. She plans to start graduate school at Washburn University this summer to earn a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Orme’s goal is ultimately to become a family nurse practitioner.

“The nursing program at Washburn has given me all of the necessary tools and helped me build my confidence, knowledge and self-motivation to allow me to excel in the nursing field. I would not be where I am today without the immense support and resources given to me by my nursing professors and fellow nursing students.”

Nepal Native Grows Through Diversity and Relationships at Washburn – Lakpa Sherpa

Lakpa Sherpa, an international student from Kathmandu, Nepal, originally came to Washburn due to its affordability for international students. She is graduating with a Master of Social Work, and a newfound appreciation for diversity and advocacy.

“My education at Washburn has helped me grow both as a person and a professional social worker. I have learned to be able to advocate better for people who are oppressed, and I have also learned to advocate for myself when needed,” said Sherpa. “Being in a diverse learning environment has also taught me to be more open to other cultures.”

Sherpa’s time at Washburn has included involvement in several student organizations and working as a student intern at the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment. She has also volunteered for the Washburn VOCA victim advocate.

Sherpa’s favorite memory at Washburn is when she organized the “What Were You Wearing” exhibit in the Memorial Union. The exhibit focused on giving a voice to victims of sexual assault and creating a space for the Washburn community to show support for each other. The exhibit combined Sherpa’s knowledge of social work and the experience she gained in her internship with the YWCA.

Mission Work Leads Nursing Student to Washburn University – Elizabeth Lockhart

Elizabeth Lockhart didn’t start her collegiate career at Washburn. A student at Benedictine College, Lockhart felt called to mission work. After spending four months volunteering in India, Lockhart knew she wanted to become a nurse. Washburn’s affordable education led Lockhart to become the first Ichabod in her family. She says her time as a student at Washburn has prepared her to become a better nurse and missionary.

“The best part of being a Washburn nursing student is having so many healthcare opportunities right in Topeka. We are able to do pop-up clinics for blood pressure checks and accuchecks, as well as sit in on major surgeries or care for very critically ill patients right here in Topeka,” said Lockhart.

She was able to volunteer overseas again when she studied abroad in Haiti. She was one of five healthcare students who volunteered in a free clinic.

“We spent a few mornings sneaking to the roof of the orphanage to watch the sunrise. Spending that time with other people who come from different backgrounds but share one common goal, to help the poor, there's nothing quite like it,” said Lockhart.

Lockhart has accepted a position in the emergency department at Stormont-Vail Hospital.

Commencement Ceremonies and Live Stream Details
Events are open to the public and no tickets are required. Doors open to the public one hour before each ceremony and each ceremony is expected to last approximately 90 minutes. Parking is free on campus. The closest lots are those surrounding Petro Allied Health Center. Parking for persons with disabilities is located south of Petro, in Lot 5.

Each ceremony is also being streamed live. See below for live stream links.

9:30 a.m. - School of Applied Studies, Lee Arena in Petro Allied Health Center

12:30 p.m. - College of Arts and Sciences, Lee Arena in Petro Allied Health Center

3:30 p.m. - School of Business and School of Nursing, Lee Arena in Petro Allied Health Center

6:30 p.m. - School of Law, Lee Arena in Petro Allied Health Center


Note: Patrick Early will be at the ceremonies and available for media assistance.


Washburn University
Patrick Early, (785) 670-1711
Director, Public Relations
(717) 385-1119 (cell)

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