Mari Fox “There are so many older adults studying here, and I certainly don’t feel like the ‘old lady.’ SMC has made me feel very comfortable about coming back to education.”

There aren’t many moments of free time for the Kansas City transplant. But the scant downtime she has, Mari Fox fills with “all the California stuff: beaches, mountains, rollerblading. But after two years in Graphic Design, I’m almost finished, so it’s really time to buckle down.” When her career as a model left her feeling vaguely dissatisfied, Mari decided a field with “a little more substance” was the way to go. “I want to work in the Industry in some aspect of advertising, probably designing the packing for film and video,” she says. “But whatever I do, I’ll always consider myself an artist first.” And as it is in every other field, it’s the computer that is the midwife to artistic vision.

“I’ll always be going to school, touching up my techniques on various computer programs,” says Mari. “But I’ve had wonderful teachers at SMC, like Don Gerds, who have provided me with a really solid knowledge of graphic applications. The work with computers is intensive, but we’re also involved in the tactility of paints and chalk. Our teachers insist that we have both skills, so the variety of learning experiences we’ve had has been fantastic.”

Mari reports that “studying in the Academy of Entertainment & Technology building has been a big improvement: There’s so much more space, and the computers there are the very best.” But though she’s firmly committed in her new direction in life, she adds that it wasn’t always so. “I’ve changed my major three times, so I can give this advice: Decide on your direction early, and get those core classes out of the way. There is time to experiment,” Mari says. “But once you’ve made your decision, put everything else out of the way and finish it up. Use your time at SMC wisely.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.