Nora Hewitt Scholarship Winner: Ryan Woods

Nora Hewitt Scholarship Winner: Ryan Woods

Ryan Woods:  Student Matters Spotlight

Meet Ryan Woods, the first recipient of the Nora Hewitt Scholarship – Dedication to Excellence and Creativity and future Douglas Education Center student.  Ryan was one of many participants to enter the contest and even though Nora thought all the portfolios received and reviewed were “amazing,” Ryan’s stood out well enough to be chosen as the first recipient.  Nora made the announcement via a phone video stating to Ryan, “I really, really appreciated your artwork.  I really enjoyed your paintings, your sculptures; I can see the passion in all your work, and I really think that this scholarship will help you put your artwork on the next level!”


The scholarship could not be more fitting as Ryan has been especially drawn to DEC because of Nora’s participation on the Syfy Channel’s Face Off.  Ryan has been impressed with the list of students that have graduated from Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program to have made it onto the show.  Nora grabbing the top prize in season 9 has been motivational.

The biggest motivational factor in pursuing his dream as an artist has been Ryan’s father who inspired him to take the leap and find a way for Ryan to apply his passion.  “My dad is also an artist and he never pursued his passion full time and regrets that decision to this day. He often reminds me to go after my dreams.”  Ryan has frequently been told that he needs to do something with his art.  His girlfriend Maureen also encouraged him by asking Ryan what would make him the happiest “We had just read an article my brother posted entitled “find the thing you’re most passionate about and do it on nights and weekends for the rest of your life.” That article and her question hit home and it made me reevaluate things.”  It was clear that it was time to invest in himself!

With Ryan wanting to be the best he could be, he planned a visit to DEC and that was all it took.  Ryan’s decision was made and it wasn’t long after his tour that he enrolled in the Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program . Ryan will be moving from Phoenix, Arizona in the fall of 2016.  “All my family members have been so supportive of my decision,” stated Ryan.  He looks forward to starting in the program.

Until he arrives at DEC, Ryan will continue to work his 9-5 job, doing sculpting and painting on the side, and playing electric guitar in a Celtic rock band.  We wish Ryan the best of luck in his upcoming endeavors and send out a big congratulation as the first recipient of the Nora Hewitt Scholarship – Dedication to Excellence and Creativity!

You can view Ryan’s video submission to the scholarship program below:

Learn more about Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program
Read Nora Hewitt’s Story
Read Jason Baker’s Story
Read Brittany Fontain’s Story

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