The sisters of Malcolm Smith ‘20 considered him the Michelangelo, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, of the family when they were kids. He loves making people laugh and says he enjoys being part of a conversation that makes you either die from laughter or question the universe.
Because of his interests in engineering and art, Smith chose to pursue a technology, engineering, and design education major with a concentration in graphic communications. At the time, he was interested in a product or industrial design career.
About Malcolm Smith '20
Hometown: Franklinton, N.C.
Major: Technology, Engineering, and Design Education
Why He Chose the NC State College of Education: “During high school, I had a passion for mentoring younger students and working with others in class to help them understand concepts we were learning. I was interested in teaching but did not have a clue on what I wanted to teach. However, after orientation I knew I found an excellent place in the Wolfpack community with caring people that would help me continue my higher education.”
He added minors in business entrepreneurship and psychology in hopes of using those skills to guide his research and methods in design. And he has found his business minor to be impactful.
As the son of a father who served in the military, Smith was raised to be curious about the world. He was able to travel across the country and to parts of Africa as a child. But his study abroad trip to Australia as part of his business minor had the biggest impact on his life.
“I traveled to many places as a kid, but the experience of going halfway across the world without family and staying there for five weeks was like no other. The trip changed my perspective on my ability to succeed in the world,” he said. “I got the opportunity to listen to many great entrepreneurs as they told us how they used their failures to guide their success.”
In Australia, he explored different cities and beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, street art, a wide range of wildlife and went skydiving. Smith says his study abroad experience is something he holds very close to his development as an adult throughout college.
He also credits the NC State College of Education for providing him with so many opportunities to develop professionally and for giving him a platform to show his abilities and knowledge.
Over the past four years, Smith has been a member of the Students Advocating for Youth (SAY) Village, served as an assistant in the Office of Student Success and Advising, volunteered as a group leader for the Brothers United in Leadership Development (B.U.I.L.D.) Summit and served as a student speaker during open houses.
“Over the past four years, my experience within the College of Education has been a journey of working with genuine people like Ms. Tremaine Brittian, Dr. Kevin Sutton, Dr. Cameron Denson and so many more. I made it a point to drop by Dr. Tamecia Jones’ office every time I was on the 5th floor for candy,” Smith said. “I also value the mentoring opportunity I had. My mentee was in elementary school and was also excited for our weekly meetings. He is definitely the little brother I never had.”
Smith has also worked as a graphic designer for research conducted by Cameron Denson, Ph.D., associate professor of technology, engineering, and design education. In 10 years, he plans to be a creative director, spearheading his own team of designers.
“Human interaction is the most important thing in the world to me and I believe it is in everyone’s life,” he said. “I challenge myself and everyone to continue building and maintaining meaningful relationships throughout life. Not for the goal of having a large friend group, but so that we can continue to develop our sense of self.”