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November 2, 2004

Theatre major Gubichuk Cowley's October Student of Month


Theatre major Gubichuk Cowley's October Student of MonthLike most kids his age, Mark Gubichuk was impressionable as a youngster.

Two things happened to the Arkansas City native that have had a major influence on him to this day. First, he landed a background chorus part in the musical “Brown County Fair.” At the time, Gubichuk was a fourth-grader at Jefferson Elementary School. Two years later, he auditioned and was chosen to perform with the Tulsa Ballet, which was in Arkansas City for a performance at Cowley County Community College.

Recently, the Cowley sophomore theatre major was chosen as the October Student of the Month.

“I was kind of surprised,” said Gubichuk, the son of Roger and Lynne Gubichuk of Arkansas City and the grandson of Al Bronder of San Bernardino, Calif., and Jackie Tobin of Las Vegas, Nev. Gubichuk has one older brother, Daniel, 22, who is a finance major at Wichita State University.

Gubichuk, who attends Cowley on the Patrick J. McAtee Scholarship, is a very visible student. He is president of Act One Drama Club, is a Student Ambassador, and is a member of the CC Singers and Phi Theta Kappa.

But where he’s most visible is on the Robert Brown Theatre stage. Gubichuk has had roles in two musicals—“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and “Into the Woods”—and one play, “Cocktails With Mimi.” The stage also is where Gubichuk is most comfortable.

“I always liked to sing and being on stage in front of people,” he said.

Gubichuk realized theatre was a good fit for him during his sophomore year at Arkansas City High School.

“We had auditions for our musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and I got called back,” Gubichuk said. “I thought that maybe I had something going on here. It ended up being just a chorus part, but just the call-back was great.”

The next year, Gubichuk played the title role in the musical “Lil’ Abner.”

“The traveling ballet group really sparked my interest,” he said of the Tulsa Ballet. “That’s when I first saw the green room, the dressing room, the shop and costume shop.”

Until a few months ago, Gubichuk was a pre-nursing major.

“I always wanted to influence people’s lives,” he said. “I either wanted to be a teacher or something in the medical field. I wanted to help people in some way.”

He leaned toward nursing because it paid better. Now, he wants to become a teacher.

“I’ve decided to go back to teaching with theatre,” Gubichuk said. “I’d love to teach at the community college level.”

Gubichuk plans to transfer to either Southwestern College or Wichita State University and continue to work in theatre and eventually earn a master’s degree. His mother is a fourth-grade teacher at Whittier Elementary School in Winfield. His father works at General Electric at Strother Field.

Despite Gubichuk’s fondness for Cowley, the school wasn’t his first choice.

“I had actually enrolled at WSU until May (2003), and that’s when I decided to come here,” Gubichuk said. “I was offered a theatre scholarship (to Cowley), and there were a lot of things I liked about staying here in town. I’d always seen Cowley’s theatre programs, and they’ve always been top-notch, better than most four-year shows I’d seen.”

His mother also influenced him to attend Cowley.

“My mom went here when I was in high school, so I’ve always seen how good a college this is,” he said.

Despite being from Arkansas City, Gubichuk decided to live on campus.

“I love the dorms,” he said. “I wanted to come into college and meet new people. In the dorms, you’re forced to go to meetings and meet people. You learn how to live with different people. You learn patience.”

Gubichuk said students chosen for Student of the Month should possess quality traits.

“I think it’s nice that you’re getting recognized for all of the things you’re doing and, hopefully, you set an example for other people,” he said. “A Student of the Month is a person who gives 110 percent in everything they do. They don’t have to be involved in everything, but whatever they do, they give it their best.”

Gubichuk was born in Upland, Calif., moved to Renton, Wash., as a toddler, then came to Arkansas City when he was 8. He describes himself as “a very easygoing person.”

His hobbies are watching movies, particularly “musicals and laugh-out-loud comedies,” hanging out with his girlfriend, Mary Bagot, a student at Southwestern, and hanging out with friends.

Gubichuk said he was pleased he chose Cowley, which has taught him a lot since high school.

“I’ve become more outgoing, and I’m learning different ways to get to know people and how different people can be,” he said. “In high school, you had your certain group of friends and that was it. Here, you’re friends with everybody. I think I made the right decision.”