Grace Woodard will graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio art, and a concentration in sculpture, ceramics, and papermaking. During her time at WCU, Grace has received numerous accolades including an Honors College scholarship, Friends of the Arts scholarship, Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship, and the Tara and Jim Miller Art Fund Scholarship. Her thoughtful and nuanced work has also been recognized through a project grant award, and with the “Best in Show” and the Chancellor’s Award at the 51st annual Juried Undergraduate Exhibition.
Earlier this year, Grace also received the Bascom Education Fellowship from the Bascom Center for the Arts in nearby Highlands and gave a presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research on environmental damage caused by garbage that draws upon her artistic ability.
Grace is a young artist who remains committed to her craft and expanding her skills through all of the avenues available. She supports her community by serving as an independent art tutor, homeschool co-op art instructor, student teacher at Swain County High School, and as a part of the Exit Art Collective here in Cullowhee. Grace also works as a peer academic leader and mentor through the Office of Mentoring & Persistence to Success, serving as a role model and guide for other students academically. She counsels the students with whom she works, “to find something they love and let that be the focus of their studies at WCU, because it’s much more motivating and rewarding to work hard at something that you’re passionate about.”
To incoming students, Grace offers this advice: “Work hard and be fully invested in what you do; there is no question that it pays off in the long run. It may take several classes and changes in major to figure out what your passion is, and that is really okay. Figuring out what you do not like is just as valuable as figuring out what you do like. Aside from academics, be immersed in the location in which you are. Surround yourself with a positive and encouraging community of friends and support — of which WCU has many. Hopefully, you will not only enjoy being a student at WCU, but also enjoy living in the Western North Carolina area.”