“I like to stay busy,” said O’Neill Honors student Zach Kibel.
If you’re curious about how he fills his days, it might be easier to ask which groups he’s not involved with. After completing a gap year volunteering for a nonprofit in Tel Aviv, Kibel pledged Tau Epsilon Phi, joined a tight-knit group of students working at the IU Auditorium, and volunteered with the IU Student Foundation, where he helped organize the Little 500. Already a member of the all-campus band, all-campus jazz band, and a jazz combo, he decided that he might as well join a mariachi band, too.
“We got to play the Lotus World Music Festival during the pandemic, which was wild. Because I play the trumpet, I was the only band member marching through Switchyard Park not wearing a mask,” he said of the annual event celebrated in downtown Bloomington.
When he was invited to join the O’Neill Honors program his sophomore year, Kibel almost declined. His plate was already full, and he was intimidated by the thesis requirement. However, he’s glad he accepted the challenge.
Taking honors courses has enabled him to build important relationships with faculty. “This semester, there were only two honors-track students in a 55-person course. I had to do an extra project, but it helped me get to know my professor on a deeper level,” said Kibel.
It’s not all work, though—he plans to join his friends for Honors program trivia nights, too.