This CNM Student Just Got Accepted to Yale

Katherine Marshall is a local dance studio owner who came to CNM during the pandemic. She’s now off to one of the country’s most prestigious universities
June 16, 2022

Back in 2020, Katherine Marshall was running her dance studio and helping train both dancers and competitive figure skaters. But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and she had to shut down and figure out what to do next. 

“We all thought the shutdown would be just a couple weeks. But when I realized it was going to last, I figured that it would be a great time to go back to school and that’s how I ended up at CNM,” she says. 

At CNM, Katherine decided to study liberal arts because she wanted to explore topics like pedagogy, psychology, art history, and philosophy—all things she felt would help her explore the art of choreography and help her improve as a teacher and coach.  

At CNM she maintained a 4.0 GPA and soon joined Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community college students. As a Phi Theta Kappa member she started receiving recruitment information from a number of prestigious four-year universities and that’s how she came across Yale’s Eli Whitney Students Program.

That program is designed for students like Katherine who’ve had interesting and successful careers outside of college but now want to return to get a four-year degree. She applied in October of 2021 using letters of recommendation from her CNM instructors and learned this May that she got in. 

“Being accepted felt amazing. I honestly didn't know what to think,” she says. “I was shocked because it felt like such a long shot. You hear about other people getting into these amazing universities but you don’t expect that it’s going to be you.”

In addition to being accepted, Katherine also received a 91-percent scholarship.

"I want to credit CNM for giving me the confidence to apply to Yale," she says. "I attribute so much of my success as a student to my time at the college."

Katherine, who’s now 29, is moving to New Haven, Connecticut in August and says she’s ready but also a little nervous. 

“The thing I’m most nervous about is that I’ve been in Albuquerque my entire life. But if there was ever a reason to move, this is the one,” she says. 

At Yale there are several degrees she’s interested in but says she’ll most likely study Theater and Performance Studies because that closely relates to her background. She’s excited about studying with some of the most talented professors in the world and about being part of a student body that includes world-renowned athletes in her field including Nathan Chen, who brought home a figure skating gold medal last winter. 

She’s going to leave the door open in terms of the future, but Katherine says that if she can get her degree at Yale and return to Albuquerque to continue teaching at a higher level, that would be a dream come true.

“If this all brings me home eventually, I’d be really happy,” she says.