Student Life

Student of the Month

 

Theatre major selected as Cowley's February Student of Month

 

February 2002


Amanda KruegerAmanda Krueger was like a lot of her classmates graduating in May 2000
from Winfield High School.

She visited the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University. But Cowley is where she ended up.

"I got a theatre scholarship from Cowley, which was by far the best offer I had received from anyone," Krueger said. "But the class sizes were the biggest thing for me. I liked getting to feel that I was a part of the class and not just a number."

Krueger, a sophomore theatre major, recently was named February Student of the Month at Cowley County Community College. The daughter of Melody and Terry Krueger, Amanda has had a busy two
years at Cowley. She is president of Act One, the college’s drama club, is a member of the Concert Choir, and the Forensics team. She also manages a part-time job at her parents’ business, the Daylight Donut
Shop in Winfield. It’s a business they’ve owned for more than 25 years.

"I’ve been a manager there since I was a freshman in high school," Krueger said. Her younger brother Keegan, 16, also works at the store. Krueger, who had a 3.69 grade-point average entering the spring
semester, has immersed herself in drama. That’s no surprise, since she got her first taste of the stage at age 8.

"My mother took me to see the traveling show Peter Pan in Wichita when I was seven," Krueger recalls. "I was so impressed by the whole thing. I told my mother then that I would be on stage some day. She started
helping me find auditions."

Krueger’s first role was that of an orphan in "Oliver," performed during Southwestern College’s summer theatre program Horsefeathers and Applesauce. She had one line, or one word, if you will, "Marvelous."
"Back then, it was so cool to watch everybody’s parts and see how they fit together, and the costumes and lights and makeup," Krueger said.

Krueger, who plans to transfer to KU this fall, has been heavily involved in Cowley’s four stage shows during her two years. She was in charge of costumes in the fall 2000 musical "Annie Get Your Gun." Then
she stepped out in front of the camera and played the role of Cookie in the spring 2001 play "Rumors." She was the Widow Douglas in the fall 2001 musical "Big River," and secured the part of Kate Keller in this
spring’s play "All My Sons."

Krueger’s performance in "All My Sons" earned her much respect as a serious actress, something that even surprised her.

"That was my first big dramatic part with a lot of depth," she said. "I got a lot of positive feedback after the show. That’s kind of changing my mind a little bit about my future."

Krueger, who served as president of the Thespian Society at Winfield High School and graduated as an Honor Thespian, said she’s glad she chose Cowley as the starting point of her college education.

"I had to choose whether I wanted to start out at a smaller, more close-knit school, or jump into a big university system," she said. "I decided to come here. I like the class sizes, and you can get to know
your instructors. This has given me more transition time.

"And I love the Theatre Department here because we are very close. I know my instructors and directors on a more personal level. We’re more like a family. There is a lot of teamwork that goes on, and that’s cool to watch."

Krueger said she was happy to be named February’s top student.

"I’m really excited about it," she said. "It’s great to know that the work I’ve done here is recognized. It’s a good feeling. "A Student of the Month is a hard worker, and someone who sets a good example for other Cowley students. Somebody who puts in an extra effort beyond class work. Someone who takes a leadership role."

Krueger’s acting career sparked her mother into giving it a try. "I had been in 10 shows, and I said to Mom, why don’t you audition," Krueger said. "She went ahead and did it. She was cast as a citizen of
Oz in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ She fell in love with it, too. She is on the Board of the Winfield Community Theatre and is really into it now. But it took a little encouragement from me."

Krueger isn’t sure what she’ll be doing after earning a degree from KU, but it’s a good bet it will involve theatre. "I’ll probably focus on the areas of theatre and film, American studies and communication," she said. "I’ll probably get into running a theatre some day."

Krueger, who is engaged to Chad McElwain, enjoys reading and going to movies. She said Cowley has been great to her. "Cowley has given me a lot more time to figure out exactly what I want to do," she said. "Coming here, I was a little unsure exactly where I was supposed to go and what I wanted to do with my whole life. The two years here helped me focus on my interests and where my talents lie."