A Passion for Design
Class of 2022
"My Wake Tech experience was such an amazing experience. My instructors were very helpful and prepared me for the real world."
— Daniel Bent
When Daniel Bent enrolled in an Adobe Photoshop class at Wake Tech, he never imagined he'd eventually be named the college's 2022 Dwight O. Ryan Outstanding Student of the Year.
"I was so surprised and grateful at the same time," Bent said. "My Wake Tech experience was such an amazing experience. My instructors were very helpful and prepared me for the real world."
Bent was first introduced to graphic design as a student at Enloe High School in Raleigh, where he was intrigued by creativity, photography and typography. As he researched colleges, he discovered Wake Tech's Advertising and Graphic Design associate degree program.
He decided to take a few non-degree Adobe software classes, like Photoshop and InDesign, to further test the waters to make sure his heart was in it. "I've had other interests, but my love for design kept bringing me back," he said.
Bent started his degree at the onset of the pandemic, and with a lot of hard work, support resources and encouragement from his instructors, he learned to navigate challenges along the way.
He is the kind of student instructors appreciate, said Carla Osborne, associate professor of Advertising and Graphic Design.
"He is a self-starting go-getter who never shirks his duty or backs down from a challenge," Osborne said. "He is courteous and professional, answering questions and taking the kind of risks with his work that gives most students pause. He had a few things that happened during his time at Wake Tech that could have derailed him, but he didn't let that happen. He has a lot of grit and is very talented."
While maintaining a 3.9 GPA, he served as vice president and then president of Wake Tech's Graphic Designers Association for students, increasing membership and participation tenfold. He also spoke at this year's commencement ceremony, encouraging his fellow graduates to follow their dreams.
Bent is currently showcasing his creative talents as a part-time graphic designer for the Communications and Marketing team at Wake Tech. He says he hopes to continue to grow as a designer and become better skilled in motion graphics.
What's his advice to other students?
"Hard work equals success, and Wake Tech is definitely a great place to learn new things."
Do you have a Wake Tech success story? Share it here.