Visual Arts Specialist Credits SCC as Educational Foundation


Visual Arts Specialist Credits SCC as Educational Foundation


Michael Wadkins

Michael Wadkins snaps a photo at the top of the Empire State Building earlier this year when he attended Social Media Week in New York City.

Just eight days after graduating from the University of North Carolina—Wilmington (UNCW), double majoring with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, Michael Wadkins was hired as a Visual Arts Specialist at the UNCW College of Health and Human Services. Michael, a Stanly Community College (SCC) Alumnus, earned his Associate in Applied Science in Advertising and Graphic Design in 2010. "I chose SCC because it was close to home and when I learned SCC was offering graphic design courses, I got super excited," he recalls.

Michael touts being a creative person at a very early age. He remembers in elementary school drawing popular cartoons and selling them for a dime a piece. During his middle school years, he and his best friend produced their own comic books with original characters. "For the biggest portion of my life, it was art—drawing and painting. I was deeply influenced by artists such as M.C. Escher and Jackson Pollock."

During his studies at SCC, Michael admits that math was a tough subject. "The hardest part for me was the math. I'm more creative and a lot less analytical; however, the Student Success Center was an invaluable resource for me. The tutors there were amazing!"

Not long after he finished his math tutoring, he was able to secure a job as a lab assistant in the Student Success Center through the work-study program. He credits his time there well spent, learning employability skills that would later prove to be invaluable when searching for work in Wilmington. Michael admits that he is very lucky to be able do what he loves at UNCW.

"I do all things marketing and promotions: graphic design, content writing, journalism, website design, and manage video productions. Basically, I write and design, which is everything I went to school for. It doesn't get much better than this!"

Michael confessed that the most rewarding aspect of his new job is the amazing people that he works with. "They make me want to come into work. I'm happy for the first time in my life, and I owe that to the degree choices I made along the way. Advertising and Graphic Design really paid off."