Thomm Beggs Helps MCC students transform design skills into professional quality

Thomm Beggs

For the past 15 years, MCC Graphic Design instructor Thomm Beggs’ has shared his passion for visual communication to help students prepare for careers as graphic artists, designers, multimedia artists, animators or web designers. “I teach my students to become accustomed to dealing with clients, to come up with multiple ideas that expand their creativity and to learn as many different software programs as they can,” he said.

In recent years, several of his students have showcased their talents and have won countywide billboard contests and t-shirt design contests. Many have gone on to earn bachelor’s degrees, while others have landed jobs in the graphic arts field right after completing their Associates’ Degree in graphic arts. The most rewarding part of teaching, he said, is when he watches students go from struggling with an idea to having an “aha moment” and seeing students transform their abilities into professional quality.

Beggs brings his artistic knowledge and real-world experience as an artist, business owner, consultant, and computer instructor to the Digital Media Department, which he helped develop 10 years ago, along with Meri Winchester.

Beggs originally earned a two-year degree in music, but became fascinated in art while attending Illinois State University. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree and later his Master of Fine Arts degree, he taught art, 2D design, jewelry design and sculpture at Joliet Junior College and at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, Minn.

When PC’s arrived to the workplace in the early 1980s, he started his own company, specializing in computer-based training, network, and database and presentation design for 15 years. He also worked as a consultant at Motorola and developed courseware for Microsoft. “I like the hands-on quality of working with art and (being able to) construct everything visually on the computer.”

“Graphic design is amazing. It provides an opportunity for people to apply all art skills and imagery, along with design principles, typography, photography and have a gigantic influence on society.”

Beggs, along with fellow MCC faculty members, Meri Winchester and Bill Skrzypczak are part of a National Science Foundation grant project to develop a new associate degree in mobile application design and development.

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