James Wilson: Digital Media

James Wilson: Digital Media

James Wilson


     When James Wilson, 19, attended CF Preview Night in January 2014 — months before his Lecanto High School graduation — he didn’t know where he was going to college, let alone what he was going to major in. While perusing the booths at Preview Night, however, Wilson noticed a flier for the college’s burgeoning Digital Media program, and it piqued his interest.

     “I always enjoyed my high school drawing classes, and I enjoy taking photographs so I thought Digital Media might be a good fit for me,” said Wilson.

     His decision ended up being spot-on.

     ­­While Wilson was busy deciding what path his future would take, Duke Energy and AT&T were taking note of CF’s newest program.

     Duke Energy presented the college with $100,000 to expand the Digital Media program from the CF Ocala Campus to the CF Citrus Campus. The grant allowed the Citrus Campus to create an 18-station media lab, complete with equipment and software, and hire additional Digital Media instructors.

     AT&T provided $30,000 in scholarships to prepare students to participate and succeed in Florida’s fast-paced digital media industry. Six students received $5,000 scholarships. Wilson is one those students.

     “It’s all coming together,” said Wilson, whose career goal is to be a web designer and freelance photographer. “I didn’t really have a lot of exposure to art in high school, outside of my drawing class. My Digital Media classes, well, they are my creative outlet for the week. Our lab is awesome, and our instructor is awesome. He really knows what he is doing.”

     Digital Media instructor Budd Dees, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in Art and Technology from the University of Florida, said he works to help things come together for students like Wilson.

     “My goal is to maintain the broadest possible application of our course of study while still being able to mentor individual students on their specific goals,” said Dees. “Our program here at CF is the seed for a huge number of developing careers and creative possibilities.”