by Samantha Carvallo
Piedmont University’s Graphic Design and Photography Professor, Joshua McGowan, did not always envision himself as a teacher.
“I always thought I would work for a non-profit that had some humanitarian or conservationist component,” McGowan said. “But then I found out what I was really interested in along the way was helping people reach their full potential.”
McGowan graduated from Piedmont in 2016 with an undergraduate degree in fine arts and became a fine arts recruiter for the art program here. He would travel to different schools and host workshops that highlighted what exactly Piedmont’s School of Art had to offer prospective students who showed artistic potential.
“There weren’t any difficulties in regard to Piedmont University because I do firmly believe that Piedmont has one of the most exceptional visual arts programs I have ever been a part of. What the most challenging aspect of being a fine arts recruiter was going into high schools that had funding issues and trying to identify talented students who never had access to proper facilities,” McGowan said. “It was fairly challenging to me since this was right after I finished my undergrad. Luckily, our department chair, Chris Kelly, offered me a lot of guidance in terms of what kind of students to look for.”
Later on, McGowan chose to go back to school. He moved to Pennsylvania and completed his master’s degree at Temple University in 2019 when he coincidentally took on the role of being the professor of professional practices at Piedmont. Finally, in 2020, professor McGowan was chosen to be the graphic design and photography professor for the art program, and is in his second semester of teaching both art forms.
“Higher education seemed like a fantastic avenue to pursue,” McGowan said. “I was always in contact with people who were achieving and striving for their best, so it has ended up being a really good fit for me. So far, everything has worked out wonderfully and I plan to keep on doing it.”