February 17, 2004
Wellington native named Cowley's February Student of the Month
Nathan Markley is only 19, but it appears he has a lot of career options.
The Cowley County Community College freshman psychology major is an exceptional math student (he scored a 33 on the ACT and has thought about engineering), works well with elementary school-age students, has an acting part in the spring play, and is a member of the student newspaper staff.
His interests vary, and recently he was named February Student of the Month.
"I was really surprised," said Markley, the son of Matthew and Sandra Markley.
"There's a lot of people who do a lot of things on this campus. I feel like I'm just getting into the swing of things."
Markley has spent a little more than six months on campus (he lives in the William R. Docking Dormitory), but he already has completed 29 credit hours with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. And this semester alone, the former co-valedictorian of Wellington High School is enrolled in 25 credit hours.
"My senior year of high school, I was involved with everything," said Markley, who is attending Cowley, not surprisingly, on an ACT Scholarship. "I was class president, yearbook editor, in National Honor Society, and I did sports. This year at college feels like a major slowdown."
Extracurricular, maybe, but certainly not academically. Markley is an active member of Campus Christian Fellowship, Act One drama club, and works on special sections and writes opinion pieces for The Cowley Press. As if that schedule weren't enough, Markley secured a 10-hours-per-week job at Francis Willard Elementary School in Arkansas City after impressing teachers and administrators there in only one day last fall.
"It was in Cathy Hendricks' sociology class and we had to volunteer," Markley said of the fall 2003 experience. "I started working part time in October or early November. Right now I'm helping with the math centers, where we help students with their homework or problems."
Markley auditioned for and landed the role of Paul Hanson in Cowley's spring play "Cocktails With Mimi." Markley will play a fun-loving waiter who pulls practical jokes on people. As a senior at WHS, Markley was recruited for the lead role in a play after a student dropped out.
"They asked me if I was interested, so I did it," Markley said. "I enjoyed it, so I did another one. I don't do musicals, though."
Just about everything Markley does, he does well. That's why he has so many paths he could take for a career. His plan is to transfer to the University of Kansas and major in journalism.
"We didn't have a newspaper at Wellington, so I never worked on a newspaper staff before Cowley," said Markley, the grandson of William and Marjorie Markley of Alma and Bob and Emma Fifer of Kansas City, Mo. "Since I was in the Honors English program, I had to proofread everything. I was most aware of how people were going to react to certain things in print. That's what's gotten me into it."
Self-proclaimed as opinionated, Markley's ultimate goal is to write a regular column for a large newspaper. "I am careful about how I say things," he said.
He's also been careful with his life. Cowley wasn't in his plan after high school, but it was thrust to the forefront after what Markley thought was a scholarship to Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee didn't work out. He's happy things turned out the way they have.
"I didn't know what to expect," he said. "I thought that two years wasn't very much time to get to know the college. But every day I'm here, I like it more and more."
Markley, who has one younger brother, Tyler, said a student of the month was someone who "gets involved with their school inside and outside of the classroom. Someone that other students can look to as an example."
That description fits Markley quite well.
When he's not working to keep his straight-A report card, Markley enjoys writing and playing his guitar.
He said he's grateful for the award.
"It's a big honor for me, and I appreciate it," he said. "It's nice to have the staff honor people like this. It's neat, especially to recognize academics and leadership."