Mercyhurst Magazine Summer 2016

#TheAcceptanceMovement Jordan Zangaro Corcoran ’10 learned about the cathartic power of writing as an opinion columnist for the Merciad . For years, she wrote mostly about daily life as a Mercyhurst student – light fare like her distaste for the ranch dressing in the dining hall or how annoying it is when a well-meaning neighbor throws your delicates into a hot dryer. But then, late in her senior year, she took a leap of faith and opened up about the crippling anxiety she’d been dealing with since high school. By that time, she was healthier, thanks to counseling, medication, writing therapy and support from close friends and her then-boyfriend (now husband) Connor Corcoran ’10. Still she knew she was taking a risk by

She wrote the frst post herself, and then encouraged others to share their own stories. Posters have written about everything from body image disorders to alcoholism, from self-doubt and anger to death and loss. Jordan says her message is simple. We need to accept ourselves and whatever hand we’ve been dealt and to accept other people as they are, understanding the struggles they face. Her goal is to create a less judgmental and more accepting world. She calls it #TheAcceptanceMovement . The T-shirts she sells through her site advise

revealing her struggle.

“The support I received when people outside my little circle found out

readers to “Build yourself up, don’t beat yourself up.”

was overwhelmingly wonderful,” she recalls.

Listen, Lucy also ofers Pay It Forward cards. When you do a random act of kindness, you hand out a card to encourage others to pay it forward. The cards, created by Jordan’s dad, promote Listen, Lucy and have helped

Convinced that others could feel the same kind of freedom by writing about their internal struggles, in 2013 she created an online community she titled “Listen, Lucy.”Two years later she gave up her job with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Pittsburgh to manage her growing

spread her message around the country and the world.

initiative full time.

Jordan does a lot of public speaking and is now planning a major college tour this fall that will form the basis for a documentary about her project.

Here’s how she defnes her project: Listen, Lucy is a place to express yourself. Freely. Creatively. Anonymously. To fnd comfort in seeing that you are not alone.

Learn more about the project at .

Photos: Steven Menendez

Markley’s career on rise

Ann Markley got her Mercyhurst degree in 2015 – a full decade after she was scheduled to graduate. But she put the years in between to good use, taking fourth place on America’s Next Top Model and then launching a successful career in modeling and acting. She flmed the reality show during the summer after her junior year. When she returned to campus in fall 2004, she knew she wanted to test the waters in New York City once she “But once the show began airing in September, I realized I couldn’t wait – opportunities opened up for me right away and I needed to take advantage of them,” she says. She withdrew during winter term, just seven classes away from earning her degree in management information systems. She was also part of Mercyhurst’s brand-new water polo program. graduated. She has modeled steadily ever since, under

contract with Wilhelmina Models and other top agencies, doing runway work as well as print ad campaigns, including several magazine and

book covers.

Branching out into commercials, she decided to pursue acting classes. That led to a variety of appearances in TV and movies using the

professional name Annalaina Marks.

production this summer and Ann says Rachel is

expected to be a recurring character.

One recent job paired her with Stephen Colbert in a promo for his late-night talk show. Parodying well-known drug commercials, “Ask Your Doctor about the Late Show with Stephen Colbert” asked “Are you sufering from premature bedtime? When 11:35 rolls around,

Ann married Colin Branca, who’s also an actor, in 2013, and they moved to the Philadelphia area when their daughter, Frankie, arrived last year. Both commute regularly to New York City for By 2014, she realized she was too close to earning her degree to not fnish. Over the next year, she fnished the courses she needed online and got her degree in general studies with a auditions and jobs.

will you be ready?”

She also played Rachel Greenbaum on The Breaks , an original movie from VH1 that chronicles the rise of hip-hop music in the 1990s. A series based on the movie goes into

business concentration.


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