Graduate Finds Solace in Photography

For North Central State College graduate Taylor Ruiz, a love of photography first brought him to the Mansfield Campus to major in Visual Communication and Media Technology (VCMT). He explains, “The class that had the most impact on me was the photography class. I had no idea how much I loved photography until then. I would go back to North Central State College just to take a follow-up photography class.”

Ruiz attended NC State from 2012 to 2014. He chose to attend the campus after graduating from Ashland High School because he wanted to go to a college that offered smaller classes sizes. “I knew I wanted to go to college, but I was not ready for a large university. I was lucky to be able to come to North Central State, which was close to home and provided more intimate class sizes.”

During his time on the campus, he was the vice president of the design club and took the majority of his classes at the James W. Kehoe Center in Shelby. As a VCMT student he was able to take advantage of the photography studio. Ruiz says, “I used the photography studio quite often (even if it wasn’t just for a class!)” Students are encouraged to learn and use the facilities as much as possible while studying at North Central State College.

The VCMT program teaches students to use multimedia technology to assemble graphics, text, sound and video into meaningful production. Many VCMT graduates go directly into the workforce. Others, like Ruiz, transfer to other schools to complete their bachelor’s degree.

After graduating, Ruiz transferred his credits he received from his associate degree to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He is studying applied communications. He feels that NC State College truly prepared him for his time at Kent. “I feel that VCMT will eventually compliment my communications degree.”

Ruiz also serves with the Army National Guard.