Candise Lockett of Birmingham, England came to the United States in 2017 to play sports. Recruited by the University of Mount Olive to be a member of the Trojan Track and Field team, Lockett was unsure of what major she wanted to pursue.
“I was interested in the wide range of academic subjects and classes that were available at UMO, but had a hard time narrowing my choice” she said. “The flexibility of UMO’s liberal arts program gave me the chance to try different subjects and the time to figure out what I really wanted to do.”
Over the course of her college experience, Lockett found her true passion in the Department of Art and Visual Communications. This fall, Lockett will enter her senior year. She is double majoring in graphic design and art with a minor in business marketing. This spring, in addition to her studies and participation on the track and field team, she served as the team’s assistant, focusing on social media posts. “This was the best opportunity for me,” she said. “I was able to provide more to my own team while combining my love of design and sports.”
Athletically Lockett has earned numerous awards while at UMO including being named a two-time All-American, five-time Conference Champion, six-time Team Conference Champions, as well as having earned the title as UMO’s school and conference record holder in hammer and weight throw. In 2020 she was the Trojan Globes Scholar Athlete of the Year and a Conference Carolinas Murphy Osbourne Nominee.
In the classroom, Lockett pushes aside mental distractions to focus on her studies and her art. She enjoys the medium of watercolors the most. “Watercolor painting is so free and unique,” she said. “The colors bleed into each other and create beautiful effects. I love painting because it elevates a drawing to the next level and can be anything you can imagine with whatever colors you want.”
For Lockett, painting is a process that takes many hours and layers upon layers to complete. “You have to stay positive throughout the entire journey, as often times the painting will not come together exactly how you envisioned it until right at the very end with the finishing touches.” Lockett understands that art is much like life, and often times, the bigger chances you take, the better the rewards. “I have learned from my journey in art that you just have to go for it. Starting is often the biggest hurdle. Don’t be afraid to try new things or push outside your comfort zone.”
Lockett takes the motto of trying new things to heart. She volunteers with the local soup kitchen, reads to children at Carver Elementary School, participates in the Mount Olive town clean-up
event, and in a pen-pal project called Paper Bridges. She has been a UMO Resident Assistant, member of the Campus Activity Board, and UMO Bookstore employee. “I have met so many people and had so many opportunities at UMO,” Lockett said. “Every day there is always something to do. I have so much fun with the people around me doing and discovering the things I love. I couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else.”
Lockett is on track to graduate in spring of 2022. After graduation, she would like to settle in US permanently and pursue her career in art and possibly attend graduate school. “UMO has given me the confidence and inspiration to know that anything is possible,” she concluded.