Lander M.A.T Program Was ‘Perfect’ for Rowe
Story by Jeff Lagrone
Like other graduate assistants at Lander University, Drayton Rowe works approximately 20 hours a week. In return for providing services to the College of Arts and Humanities, he pays reduced tuition and fees, earns a stipend each semester, and gains experience in his area of interest.
A 2020 graduate of Lander’s bachelor’s program in graphic design, Rowe, a resident of Saluda, is seeking a Master of Art in Teaching with an emphasis in visual art.
He describes his assistantship as “helping the 2D art and design professors with anything they need help with as the department grows. I have helped with organizing studio spaces, overseeing studio hours in the Mac Lab, or small graphics jobs.”
He said that he has learned valuable lessons about setting up an art studio, such as how to store student work and paints, how to set up a documentation space for student work, and what materials are best for students to utilize in growing their art skills.
He described his own skill set as primarily painting and graphic design. “However, I still have a huge love for ceramics,” he said.
Although he likes to learn, he said, “I also love to teach. When Lander announced the art department was offering the M.A.T., I knew it was the perfect program for me to get my certification.”
He would like to work as a high school art teacher.
“My goal is to inspire students to think about careers in visual arts, or give students the art skills and vocabulary to take with them in whatever career path they choose. Art is so much more than paint, clay and drawing. Art is about problem solving, thinking creatively, and self-expression. That is what I want my students to take away from my classroom,” he said.
Rowe identified Professor of Art Elizabeth Snipes-Rochester as a faculty member whom he has found to be inspirational.
“She is everything I aspire to be as an art educator,” he said. “She is always willing to offer advice, resources, or just an ear for any student in need.”
Snipes-Rochester called Rowe “one of the most considerate, thoughtful and skilled students I’ve had the pleasure to work with. He thinks deeply and invests himself meaningfully in his creative and academic work, soaking up knowledge and feedback, and seeking and savoring life experiences big and small. It has been a genuine privilege to get to work with him as an undergraduate student and now as a graduate student pursuing his M.A.T. degree. He already is an incredible leader, and he will truly be a gift to his future students as he reaches his dream of becoming an art teacher.”