Kelsey Mankel: More than music
After two competing music schools in Michigan provided Lowell native Kelsey Mankel with scholarship opportunities she found herself weighing the options between the two. She had auditioned and been accepted into both programs, she had met both band directors at an honors band event, but the pieces seemed to fit together better at C.M.U.
“I was just slightly more comfortable at CMU, and I am so glad I came here,” sophomore Mankel said. “I like feeling home at CMU and I am constantly referring to the School of Music as my second home. My mom says I am not a normal college student.”
Mankel is studying neuroscience, music and psychology with hopes to collaborate the three into music therapy for a future career.
When she is not in class she can be found assisting on the volunteer staff for the Chippewa Marching band, practicing with the Woodwind Quintet or Symphonic Wind Ensemble, fundraising for Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity and helping found Nu Rho Psi, the first honor’s neuroscience society in the entire state of Michigan.
“At a bigger university I think I may have been lost in the shuffle,” she said. “At CMU, I have been given so many opportunities that I know I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
It wasn’t until mid to late junior year of high school that Mankel began to look at music as option for her collegiate career. She had always been interested in human behavior and studying psychology. Her oboe teacher introduced her to Lindabeth Binkley, professor of oboe at CMU, and Mankel said they connected instantly.
When Mankel discovered the depth of CMU’s neuroscience program she began getting more interested in potential undergraduate research and other forms of growth at CMU.
“I’ve been so lucky to have such amazing relationships with advisors and professors at CMU,” Mankel said. “Even when I am uncertain about where I am going, they are encouraging in all consuming way. They have provided me with a spring board to give me the foundation to find confidence in getting what I want, even if I’m still trying to figure it out.”
This summer Mankel will be studying abroad to the United Kingdom. She said with the help of her honors advisors she is finding many ways to build her resume to be a good candidate for national scholarships such as the Marshall Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship to help her with research or an assistantship.
As for other influencing staff, Mankel credits Dr. Batcheller and Dr. Williamson for their way of uniting students and bands.
“They have created such a welcoming experience for us to make music,” Mankel said. “The faculty is so accommodating and there’s so much to love here at CMU. The music program is truly outstanding to be a part of. I’ve connected with so many people. When I walk down the hallways I feel like I can say “hello” or smile to anyone and we are just one big community”