PENDLETON --- John Woodson, program coordinator for Media Arts Production (MAP) at Tri-County Technical College, was honored May 10 with the highest award presented to the faculty.  He received the Presidential Medallion for Instructional Excellence at the College's spring commencement.

            Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, president, presented the medallion to the Anderson resident.  The medallion is presented each year to the instructor who has contributed the most during the academic year to the profession of teaching, to the development of the College and to the students.

A well-known media personality in the Upstate, Woodson has been leading the Media Arts Production (formerly Radio and Television Broadcasting, or RTV ) program since 2002.

"John is an enthusiastic faculty member and student advocate.  Through his actions, he exhibits a grounded commitment to the success of students and colleagues alike," said Tom Lawrence, department head for the College's business and public services division. "He takes an active role in ensuring that all individuals reach their educational and professional goals.  He proactively seeks new responsibilities, actively engages the College community and external stakeholders, and delivers process improvement on a College-wide scale," Lawrence wrote in his nomination letter.

"John's service to the MAP program and the division is exemplified by his novel approach to curricular design and ability to forecast market needs," added Lawrence. 

Woodson and MAP instructors worked with the program's advisory committee in 2014 to redesign the program's curriculum as it moved in the direction of multimedia and content creation.  The RTV program was renamed Media Technology Arts and later in 2015 became MAP to more accurately capture the array of skills and technical competencies developed in the program.  "John's work with the advisory committee has been identified as a best practice and the committee was named the College's Advisory Committee of the Year in 2015," said Lawrence. The College's MAP program remains one of the few two-year broadcasting/media production programs in the nation.

The program's restructuring allows students to earn certificate(s), along with the associate degree.  They can choose from three media certificates --  Graphic Communications, Digital Production Techniques, and Digital Photography.   The certificate gives them a specialty and the new degree has three electives.  If they choose properly, they can graduate with two credentials -- a degree and a certificate. 

"John recognizes that there needs to be continuous improvement for Media Arts Production to remain state of the art," said Jackie Blakley dean of the Business and Public Services Division.

"He is truly an advocate for the College and a great representative to the community.  He is well known in the media and is always looking for ways to provide opportunities to students," said Blakley.

"John provides quality instruction to his students is evidenced by the quality of jobs that his students receive upon graduation," she said.

For many years, graduates predominantly worked behind the camera and microphone.  They still are getting jobs in traditional media and are working at TV stations as cameramen and women, and as producers and announcers at radio stations, but they also are working in hospitals, non-profits, churches, and businesses as videographers, graphic designers and freelancing as photographers.

Since 2012 the department has hosted Media Mash-Up, a media festival and exhibition of student projects including audio, video editing, animation and photography.  Student entries are judged by advisory committee members and community leaders who often are looking for potential hires.

"He is always available to help students and they know they can depend on him.  They respect him as a person and a professional and know he is an expert in television, radio and media," said Blakley, adding that Woodson works weekends at Rock 101 in Greenville. 

Woodson's curriculum work is an outgrowth of his desire to make the MAP program functional, relevant and cutting edge, said Lawrence.  He developed a project charter that resulted in complete renovation of two computer labs including design and structural changes, with new hardware, software and functional learning spaces included.  As a result a Tri-County student-led radio station, 95.1 The Hill, is now on the air.

Woodson is active in college committee work and during 2013 - 2016 he served as chair of the curriculum committee, as well as other standing committees.   He attends broadcast educators conferences yearly to stay abreast of the changing dynamics in his field.

For the past several years he served as the College's representative for the South Carolina Technical Education Association and was recently elected president of the organization. 

He is equally dedicated to his community. He is a graduate of Leadership Anderson and was elected to the Board of its Alumni Association.  He is the S.C. Broadcasters Association representative to the S.C. Congressional Delegation in Washington, DC.   Last year he provided technical and professional experience to Greenville Technical College's Holocaust Remembrance Week.  He also facilitated the transfer of archival papers for Walter Brown, a leading S.C. broadcaster, to the University of South Carolina.

Prior to joining Tri-County in 2002, Woodson served as radio personality and general manager at WRIX in Anderson.  He worked in every aspect of radio broadcasting, include DJ, production manager, program director, general manager and the co-host of the Talk 103 morning show.   He also taught broadcasting classes at Tri-County on a part time basis from 1993 - 97.   Additionally, Woodson is a weekend announcer for Classic Rock 101.1. 

A 1985 graduate of Tri-County's RTV program, Woodson also holds an associate in arts degree from Tri-County (1994) and a bachelor's in journalism from Anderson College (1997).  This year, he earned a master's in communication from Walden University.

He and his wife, Julia, live in Anderson and have six children and seven grandchildren.