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Alumni Spotlight: Armand Woodley

When did you graduate from TFA and where did you go to college?

I graduated in 2015 and ended up attending the University of South Carolina for both my Bachelors and Masters.

Please tell me about your family, occupation, and/or volunteer service.

Bachelors in Media Arts with a Minor in Studio Arts (2019), Masters in Animation (2022), 3-minute 2D animated thesis film completed, Completed character design, storyboarding, animation, and compositing.

armand woodley alumniCompeted collegiately in Division 1 in Men’s Pole Vault with a mark of 5.36m (17ft 6in), Top 5 All-Time Pole Vaulter (U of South Carolina) – Competitor at the NCAA National Championship (2017) – SEC Bronze Medalist (2018) – Runner- up at Penn Relays x3 – Team Captain (2019), SEC Academic Honor Roll (x4) – NCAA All-Academic (x4) – Gamecock Leadership Academy. Graduate Assistant for Track and Field & Rhodos Fellows. Rhodos Fellows – Living Learning Community. Responsible for the creation and maintaining of their creative “Makers Space”.

Freelance Animator, Contracted for various animated/media projects, Edited full-length theatre production (She Kills Monsters), Created 2:30 second infomercial (OTR MEDIA GROUP – SC RESPITE COALITION), and several other projects in development.

My current occupation is Freelance animator\Athlete. I compete post-collegiately in the Men’s Pole vault and I also take on animated projects. I specialize in 2D Character animation but I have a wealth of knowledge in motion graphics, graphic design, film, composition, and so on.

Please tell me where you attend church now and your ministry involvement.

The church I attend here in South Carolina is called Sandhill’s Community Church.

I have been blessed to use my journey and the experiences I faced in ministry. Ending up at South Carolina, excelling both athletically and academically, my entry into graduate school and even opportunities that present themselves now, all doors opened in accordance to God’s timing. Often times I would be impatient at progress or stressed about what opportunities would come next, but everything happens in his time. My hope is that I can share points in my journey as an example of God’s overlook and preparation for my true potential.

How did TFA prepare you for the next steps in your life?

TFA was actually the birthing ground for the majority of activities I am involved in today. I got my start pole vaulting at TFA which eventually allowed me to be recruited to a Division 1 school. The numerous talks with my advisor in preparation for college that allowed me to come to the realization that animation was my end passion instead of architecture. I have been blessed to build lifelong relationships with the people I went to school with.

Most importantly, TFA taught me to value the importance of connections and relationships. Everyone you meet and interact with has the potential to bless you and help you along your journey. So many of the bonds I built at TFA laid the groundwork for my success or still bless me today and I will cherish them always.

What teacher(s) and/or coach(s) had the most impact on your life, why/how?

Mr. Bohner – He really looked out for me my first couple of years in all aspects. He was really someone I could rely on and confide in.

Coach Ricky – Another strong mentor that prepared me for this next stage in life after high school. He was key in developing me athletically as well as delivering lessons on toughness and perseverance to be able to compete on the highest level.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about the impact or connections TFA has made in your personal and/or professional life?

The friendships I made at TFA are still some of the dearest and most meaningful in my life. I met some of my closest friends there.

I wouldn’t be where I am without the spiritual foundation that I gained from TFA. My faith grew exponentially from the lessons and love poured out on me at TFA. I learned to fully trust and lean on the Lord, which has shaped me and helped me more than anything else.

I’m so thankful that TFA encouraged service. It’s something I’ve tried to continue in my personal and professional life.