Actress branches out with help from Honors
For Kelsey Bunner ’14, who received a Bachelor of Arts in acting with a minor in dance performance, joining the Honors Program seemed like a natural and beneficial choice from the beginning of her journey at Illinois State.
“When I came to Illinois State to be a theatre major, they auditioned us as a people and not as a product,” Bunner said. “I felt very much at home here. The Honors Program offered me a really good way to have a support network right off the bat.”
As a Presidential Scholar, Bunner was automatically accepted into the Honors Program during her freshman year. From day one, Bunner took advantage of the extensive resources within the program.
“It (the Honors Program) offered me a way to get any questions I had answered, and it gave me access to other programs that were more geared toward my focus and extracurricular interests,” Bunner said.
Bunner followed a Presidential Scholars curriculum while balancing performances every semester within the Illinois State School of Theatre and Dance. She also completed countless dance projects across campus, including the student choreograph concert and being a part of Swinging Redbirds.
Bunner branched out of her major by participating in the tutoring program at Thomas Metcalf School. She also participated in many volunteer projects across the Bloomington-Normal area through her involvement in the Presidential Scholars Club and the National Study for Collegiate Scholars.
The most beneficial experience the Honors Program allowed for Bunner was her completion of the Service Learning Project. Through this project, she created Crossing Borders Mentoring Program. Her pilot program matches international students with American students to help international students receive more of an American experience, and gives the American students the opportunity to connect with a different culture.
Now as she prepares to begin her career, Bunner credits all of her training and preparation to the School of Theatre and Dance and the Honors Program. She believes that to be a decent artist of any kind, one needs to understand the world as whole— lessons enforced through her experiences at Illinois State.
“The Honors Program has given me a well-rounded knowledge base and a way to connect different ideas and bring them together in my art. By being involved in a variety of opportunities within the program and having a well-rounded curriculum, Illinois State gave me a really enriched view of the world and how my art can make a difference,” Bunner commented.
Bunner will begin using her extensive knowledge base and wide variety of experiences she gained in the Honors Program at an acting internship with the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.