A Balancing Act
November 19, 2018—There’s really no such thing as a typical day for Anne Yeomans ’19. A working actor since childhood, she balances voice lessons, acting, coaching, auditions, and an undergraduate course load.
“I wanted to get my degree but not sacrifice my ability to keep performing,” said Yeomans (Yeomans is her professional name; her given name is Anne Gibbons-Brown). A performer since childhood, she did not want to lose any career momentum. That’s why the School of Professional Programs (SPP) was a perfect option for her. SPP specifically works with nontraditional students, helping them to make coursework fit their lifestyle. Yeomans knew about SPP because she “practically grew up on the Marist campus.” Her father, William Brown, has been a professor in the School of Management for more than 20 years and her mother and sister are alumni. “I participated in summer camps in soccer, swimming, basketball and baseball. Marist has been my home for almost as long as I can remember, so my graduation day will be a huge celebration for my family,” she said.
Yeomans has appeared on Law & Order, As the World Turns, in numerous theater productions and even sang on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She also spent three years at Radio City Music Hall working on the show "Heart & Lights" with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright, director and choreographer Linda Haberman, and The Rockettes.
Yeomans is a Liberal Studies major concentrating in film, television, music, and theater. “I’ve had such a positive experience at Marist. SPP has been just great; it’s structured to allow you to work at your own pace. I pick up my laptop and bring my education with me wherever I go.” Since she divides her time between New York City and the Hudson Valley, long rides on the Metro North Railroad provide ample studying time.
Strong advising has been a major part of Yeomans’ success at Marist. Her SPP advisor Jenn Becker “has been an indispensable help,” in assisting her through the process of transferring life credits for her professional work and helping her choose courses.
Becker, Assistant Director of Student Services for SPP, recognizes that adult and nontraditional students have different needs. “They typically have more priorities to juggle when it comes to school—it’s a greater work/life/school balance for them. Marist has many options for individualized scheduling, but it starts with letting the student set the pace. There is no particular formula to serving and advising these students because each one has a different story and therefore needs different things at different times. The best service I can give them is being ready and available in a way that works for them.”
While there’s plenty of juggling involved (“I often have textbooks in my dressing room and find myself doing schoolwork while in the make-up chair,” Yeomans quipped), it has been worthwhile. She is in the final stretch and will graduate this spring. But she’s not resting on her laurels; she’s in the process of applying to conservatory programs in the United Kingdom to deepen her skills.