Student Life

Student of the Month


Gibson named September Student of Month at Cowley


September 2002

Rochelle GibsonRochelle Gibson loves being in front of the camera.

She loves it so much that one day she hopes to be an anchor for a television network affiliate.

Gibson, a sophomore journalism major at Cowley County Community College, recently was named September Student of the Month. The daughter of Charlotte and Fred Gibson of Arkansas City, and granddaughter of Imogene Gibson of South Haven, is a 2001 graduate of Arkansas City High School.

Gibson is president of Cowley’s Act One drama club, is a Student Ambassador, is a staff writer for The Cowley Press student newspaper, and is involved in Campus Christian Fellowship.

Her thirst for theatre helped land her the part of Andy Lee in Cowley’s fall musical "42nd Street."

"Andy Lee is the choreographer for ‘Pretty Lady’," Gibson said of her role in "42nd Street," which actually is a musical within a musical. "The part is written for a male, but we’ve changed a few of the ‘hes’ to ‘shes.’ "

Gibson, 19, said she plans to audition for Cowley’s spring play "Crimes of the Heart."

Gibson, who holds a 3.85 grade-point average, said being involved at Cowley was a key element in being named September Student of the Month.

"I think it’s someone who is involved and shows leadership in a way," she said. "I think you have to be known with the faculty and they have to see those qualities in you that are different than anyone else. I’ve managed to keep my grades up, and I’ve never come into class and said I had play practice last night and couldn’t study for the test. I think a student of the month is probably someone who does all these things and doesn’t realize they’re doing them.

"When I got the nomination, I thought it was cool. I did a lot of things in high school and never felt that I got recognized for it. Here, people tell you when you’re doing a good job."

Gibson, who has two older siblings, Stephanie LeMaster 26, and Donnie Bland 23, said she wasn’t always set on going to Cowley.

"I was going back and forth, but this seemed like the best place for me," Gibson said. "That way I could stay at home with mom and dad and save some money."

The theatre scholarship Gibson was awarded didn’t hurt, either. Had it not been for her high school drama instructor, Gibson might not have enrolled at Cowley.

"I took a drama class in eighth grade, and that started it," Gibson said of how she became interested in theatre. "My junior year, I auditioned for the play. I was intending to try out for the cheerleading squad in college, but Mary Young, my high school theatre instructor, encouraged me to go toward theatre."

Gibson had all of seven lines in the ACHS production of "Flowers for Algernon." But, she said, she enjoyed being on stage, in the spotlight. That’s one reason why she plans to transfer to Wichita State University and major in broadcast journalism.

"I’d like to be a news anchor, maybe start out as a morning show host, then do the evening news," she said. "I job shadowed at KSN (Channel 3 in Wichita) a few years ago."

Gibson also was involved with the Ark Light, the ACHS student newspaper, which helped fuel her interest in journalism.

"I like journalism because I love going out and getting the story and putting it together," she said. "With broadcast, I don’t know if it’s the whole thing to be known, being on camera, or theatre. I think there’s a relationship to the theatre."

Gibson hopes her study at WSU will some day land her an internship at one of the network affiliates. "I want to go to WSU for broadcasting," she said. "And the fact that it’s in Wichita, I hope I can get an internship. Plus, it’s close enough that I can drive back home."

Gibson said she’s happy she chose Cowley.

"It’s been a great experience," she said. "I feel like I can go and talk to anyone. I’m never afraid to ask someone. And a lot of people know my name, the Humanities Office in particular."