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Wydelah Campbell

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Wydelah Campbell


Graphic Design

Wydelah Campbell '15 found her voice at Moore, and during her four years at the College, she became a leader as well.

As the recipient of this year’s Happy Fernandez Women’s Leadership Prize, Campbell will speak at Sunday’s commencement about how her leadership experiences had a positive impact on her time at Moore and how she has progressed as a woman and a designer.

“I want to show people that everyone can be a leader and everyone is important,” she said. “You just have to find it in yourself. You can’t wait for someone else to show you.”

Campbell, a Graphic Design major, came to Moore with abandonment issues and struggled with feeling “good enough.” The summer before coming to Moore, her mother had been arrested and jailed for drugs and her younger sister had been taken into foster care. Her father wasn’t there for her. Campbell, her older brother and another sister tried to keep things together, but it was difficult.

“I’m the understated backbone of the family,” she said. “I was trying to handle everything and help everyone instead of focusing on going to school. I wasn’t able to focus on myself. It was really hard.”

Being involved with Student Government and later becoming Secretary taught Campbell how to speak up and get through tough times.

“Once I learned what my strengths were and applied them to being a good student and a leader, I applied them to my personal life as well,” she said. “I finally felt like I had a purpose. I was encouraged to speak up and to have ideas, something I didn’t have growing up. I honestly believe I wouldn’t have made it through college without the skills and relationships I gained through leadership.”

She would need to use those skills when she became pregnant with her son, Davian, during the summer before her junior year. She stayed at school until she was eight months pregnant, finishing the first semester and then taking a year off.  She returned to Moore in her senior year to complete her studies with the support of her friends in student government. In the beginning, Campbell brought her baby to class several days a week when she couldn’t find a babysitter. She also worked a part-time job.

“It was hard to get work done with a baby and I couldn’t get work done at home – it was too distracting,” she said. “I got everything done here. I had to learn to juggle school and being a mother.”

Campbell hadn’t really thought about the benefits of attending an all women’s college until after her son was born.

“I felt way more empowered as a woman being here,” she said. “The strength of a network of women – it was a bonus. There was more support to bring my child in. If it was a coed school, I don’t know if I would have gotten as much support.”

A lot has changed for Campbell over her time at Moore. Her son is now two and thriving in an apartment with Campbell and her sister. Her mother is clean and lives right down the street. She will be at graduation to hear her daughter speak.

“My mother is very proud of me,” she said. “I’m proud of myself too and nervous but excited about the future. I intend to take everything I have learned about myself with me after college. I want to have a career in which I’m able to take on a leadership role and work closely with people so that I can offer others the same opportunities I had.”

Campbell said that strength of character and self-motivation got her to the finish line, ready to graduate.

“I just knew I needed to finish and succeed, so I kept going,” she said. “The best thing about coming to Moore was discovering that I am a leader. I was never one to bite my tongue, but at the same time, I didn’t know how to handle certain situations. Now I know I can handle anything.”

Visit Wydelah's website

Student Interview // Wydelah Campbell
Hear from Wydelah Campbell, a Graphic Design Junior, at Moore College of Art & Design. Learn about her introduction to Moore and her subsequent passion for the school, (0:13) the ease and benefits of being on campus and having everything she needs at her finger-tips, whether it's work space, the dining hall, clubs to participate in, activities with peers, (0:46) the empowerment she feels being part of an all-womens college, (1:17) her experience being a full-time mom and student simultaneously, and how supportive everyone has been, (1:30) her introduction to Graphic Design with Moore faculty Dorothy Funderwhite, (1:59) Wydelah's subsequent interest in Branding, and her hopes of interning with local Design Firm GD Loft, (2:09) her love of Moore's and Philadelphia's active & vibrant Art community, (2:35) and the plethora of things you can find to do in Philadelphia, (2:56) Moore is... (3:12)
GDLOFT is a collaborative design studio. They are based in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia with over 15 years of experience working with not-for-profit organizations, higher education, and cultural art institutions—locally and internationally. GDLOFT specializes in bringing a specific perspective to design that is rooted in a conceptual approach.  They have earned a reputation and have been garnished with national and international awards by creating work that conceptually resides between fine art and graphic design. Our work is process-driven, borrowing from various methods and strategies inherent in fine arts, music, architecture and social sciences. We apply this approach to project large and small, always creating a solution that ultimately fits the clients needs, budget and time schedule.
Moore College of Art & Design Marketing & Communication Department
Director & Interviewer: Roy Wilbur
Multimedia Producer & Editor: Dave Rizzio
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