Kansas State University


Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

One Theatrical ACJ Student

Story by Jackie Newland, junior (ACJ)

Agricultural communications and journalism majors keep busy by exploring other interests unrelated to their major. Some are involved with different areas in agriculture, other hobbies, or extra curricular activities. For Mallory Diekmann, sophomore in ACJ, her outlet is theatre.

Diekmann on stage in a recent performance.
Diekmann on stage in a recent performance.

Diekmann found herself passionate enough about the arts and theatre that she has made it her minor. “As an ACJ major I need to fulfill 12 hours of humanities electives,” Diekmann says. “As a theatre minor I have 15 credits that I need to take. I decided that the perfect way for me to combine these two education paths was to use up all my humanities electives with my theatre classes. After that, I only had three more hours to fulfill (one class) to earn my theatre minor.”

Diekmann can personally attest that theatre and ACJ can and do overlap. “I have always been a strong believer that theatre applies to many other aspects of life. As an actor you learn skills that assist in public speaking, thinking on your feet, working together with a group of people towards a common goal, and following a boss while still making smart decisions for yourself. Acting has also, always, been a stress reliever for me,” says Diekmann. The similarities don’t stop there; they play a vital role in Diekmann’s future plans.

“No matter what direction my career(s) take me, writing will be a vital skill. I believe everyone should try to excel in writing; it is really becoming a lost art. I have also learned a great deal in my Layout and Design Principles Class (Ag Comm 210). The ability to utilize Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator effectively could help me stand out in any job,” says Diekmann.

It isn’t always easy balancing the two different programs since both require a large time commitment. “There are times when I have felt overwhelmed this year, but that has mainly been because of my duties as a residence assistant on top of my major and minor,” says Diekmann. “I really like how different the two disciplines are though, because I get to have two different worlds here at K-State. I have more close friends in the theatre department, but that is because it is how I spend my free time too.”

Despite the effort that each program demands, Diekmann has managed to excel in each. “I was voted president of the Kansas State Theatre Organization for the 2015-2016 school year. Also, despite the two disciplines being extremely different, I will be graduating college a semester early,” says Diekmann.

Diekmann exemplifies the well-rounded graduates of College of Agriculture and Kansas State University. She is living proof that it is possible to have multiple passions in life as long as you apply a little hard work and dedication. Students, like Diekmann, may even grow to find that the interests they have aren’t so different after all.

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