December 17, 2003
Winfield native named Cowley's December Student of the Month
Rebekah Krusemark wasn't involved in many extracurricular activities as a high school student in Winfield. She was home-schooled three of the four years.
She has more than made up for it as a student at Cowley County Community College. Her involvement, her talent, and her genuine kind personality all contributed to her selection as the December Student of the Month.
"I was very surprised," said Krusemark, the daughter of Nancy and David Krusemark of Winfield. "I wasn't expecting it, especially this soon after being nominated."
Krusemark is a sophomore computer graphic arts major who stays extremely busy. She is a member of the Art Club, Chess Club, Math & Science Club, Campus Christian Fellowship, Phi Theta Kappa, and Mu Alpha Theta. She's also a member of the Jazz Band, Concert Band, and the Winfield City Band. She serves as librarian for the Winfield City Band and is an Art Club volunteer for an after school program at the Denton Art Center.
She has been listed on the National Dean's List, received the Silver Key award from the Scholastic Art Show and Competition in 2002, and took second place in Cowley's first Hutzbah Awards, sponsored last year by the Art Club. She is attending Cowley on an instrumental music scholarship, an Arkansas City Area Arts Council scholarship, and a St. John's Alumni Scholarship.
Krusemark, who has three siblings, Kimberly McBride 23, Sharon Krusemark 17 and Jonathan Krusemark 14, summed up a Student of the Month.
"It's someone who's focused on their studies and very involved in campus activities," said Krusemark, whose grandparents are Raymond and Lillian Krusemark of Pratt and Gladys Hay of Girard. "They also put forth a lot of time and effort to help others."
Krusemark has adjusted well to Cowley. She attended Trinity Lutheran School in Winfield from kindergarten through sixth grade, was home schooled, then attended Winfield High School her sophomore year, where she played in the band. She then returned to be home schooled her junior and senior years.
"I decided to go to high school to see what it was like," she said. "I decided to go back home because my sister got sick. I did enjoy public school."
Her sister, Sandi Krusemark, was a freshman at Cowley in fall 2000. She died in September. Rebekah said Sandi's death was devastating to the close-knit Krusemark family.
"I know that when Sandi was sick, she was hurting," Rebekah said. "And so were we. It was hard when she did pass. It was like a part of your heart's gone."
Rebekah's strong faith has helped her cope with the loss. She believes there will be a reunion.
"You just have to trust in God," she said.
After her home schooling, Krusemark had thought about enrolling at Concordia University in Seward, Neb., a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod school, or Pensacola Christian College in Florida.
"I talked to Mom, and I liked the size of the school (Cowley), and everyone was real friendly," said Krusemark, who earned 16 credit hours from Cowley while being home-schooled. "I could live at home and get my basic classes finished. Then I could choose what college I wanted to go on to."
Krusemark isn't sure where she'll transfer, but Concordia may have the edge since it has a computer graphic arts program and she's already visited the school. Her involvement in art (she took three classes from Winfield High School) helped her decide on computer graphic arts as a major.
"My sophomore year, I took a class in computer design and thought it was interesting," she said. "And in home school, we had to do a research paper on what you'd like to do in the future. I'd like to illustrate books, design cards, or get into advertising. I thought it would be cool. I really like it."
Although Krusemark would like a bachelor's degree in computer graphic arts, recently she's thought about another career: elementary education.
"I'm not sure yet," Krusemark said.
What she is sure of is her fondness for Cowley.
"I really like it here," she said. "I like how the teachers talk to you and take time outside of class to explain things. They're concerned about how you're doing. If they notice something, they'll come talk to you. And I like all of the friends I've made."
When Krusemark isn't attending one of her many activities or studying, she enjoys reading, painting, and playing the saxophone and piano. She also enjoys summer hiking trips to Colorado.
Krusemark said she's grateful to everyone at Cowley.
"It's amazing how much everybody does for you," she said.
She also credited her parents for their guidance.
"God's had the most influence over who I am today," she said. "My parents have had a big impact. They raised me in a Christian home and given me the foundation I need to prepare me for when I'm out on my own."