My First Semester


Theater major on a roll

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 3, 2019) — For first-year student and aspiring actress Riley Borst of Marietta, Kennesaw State has turned out to be a very good first act.

“I enrolled at KSU not only because of the theater program, but also so that I could audition for shows with professional theaters in Atlanta,” said the 19-year-old, who was bitten by the acting bug at an early age. “I am planning on auditioning throughout the spring semester for shows in Atlanta.”

An active thespian who appeared in several productions at Roswell’s Fellowship Christian School prior to enrolling at Kennesaw State, Borst is clearly at home on the stage.

Riley Borst“I have always wanted to do theater since middle school,” said Borst, who is majoring in theatre and performance studies with a concentration in musical theater. “Creating a character has always been the most exciting and rewarding thing in the world for me.”

While Borst concentrated on her studies her first semester, she was able to land a role in two productions during KSU’s popular 24-Hour Play Festival.

“In the first one, I played the ingenue in a piece about Tinder, the dating app, and how my character got catfished on social media and then sang songs about it,” said Borst. “The other one was a stage reading of the play “Broadsword” by a student director in the Onyx Theatre. I really love the Onyx because it allows you to get so close to the audience.”

She also was able to take advantage of an opportunity to star in a funny Facebook video created for KSU’s annual Ethics Awareness Week in mid-November. In the piece, Borst pretends to cheat on a test, park in a handicapped space, surreptitiously steal money while playing the board game Life and act obnoxiously in the library.

“It was fun to do and everyone who worked on it was really encouraging and worked with my crazy schedule, which I thank them for immensely,” she said. Judging by the number of views it received, the video was well received on the social media channel.

As a residential student, Borst has found living on campus allows her greater access to all sorts of opportunities.

“I thought it would be easier to get involved if I lived on campus,” she said. “It’s all been exciting and college is full of new experiences.

“The theater department is super welcoming, so making friends was not really that difficult,” Borst said. “I joined the KSU Swing Dance Association, which is run by some people in the department, but there are people from many different majors, and I have been able to make some great friends through the club.”

When she’s not studying or dancing, Borst can be found scaling the rock-climbing wall at the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation Center.

“I go to the rock-climbing wall almost every day. The community that I have built there has pushed me out of my shell and has made me more confident,” she said.

It’s also a good way to burn off the calories from her favorite meal at the Commons.

“I always get pasta with Alfredo sauce, and then a salad.”

– Robert S. Godlewski

Photos by David Caselli


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit