Arts NC State Student Spotlight

The Arts NC State Student Spotlight features amazing students engaged in the arts at NC State University. Even though we don’t have traditional majors in the arts, we believe that the arts are for everyone, we make arts experiences accessible to everyone, and our students exude art!

This spotlight features Tia Canada, a recent graduate student intern in the Arts Outreach and Engagement office with Arts NC State. Learn more about the student who came to NC State for the experience and left with a bachelors degree, a master’s degree, and special place in her heart for the arts and the University.

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Canada celebrates the pack and all her accomplishments on campus.

Why did you chose NC State for college and graduate school? Degrees earned?

I am originally from Jacksonville, NC. Thinking back to why I chose NC State in 2016, I believe it had to do with my idea of a college experience: big school, D1 sports, located in a cool city, and alumni pride. As my 6-year journey at NC State ended, I realize the reason why I picked NC State was because of how communal it is for it to be such a larger university. There is something special about this school, its spaces, and Raleigh that has made me into the person I am. 

While at NC State, I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, American Politics with a minor in Africana Studies in 2020. I earned my Master of Education in Higher Education Administration in May 2022. 

Canada, who served as an student aide for the Chancellor’s office, experiences another Wolfpack moment.

What drew you to your Arts NC State position as a graduate student?

I was drawn to Arts NC State (ANCS) as a graduate student because of my experiences as an undergrad and my background in the performing arts. Prior to coming to NC State, I had been playing instruments since the age of 10 and was consistently in performance ensembles. So, when I first arrived on campus, I immediately got involved with the Department of Music, which then introduced me to the Arts NC State Outreach & Engagement office. Since then, I consistently supported programs within ANCS and knew that I wanted to still keep the arts in my life during my graduate studies and as a potential career field.

What projects have been the most meaningful to you and why?

The project that has been most meaningful to me has been a project I spearheaded spring semester centering on “Sense of Belonging and the Arts.” This project is important because I was able to talk to many people within the arts on campus. The conversations allowed them to reflect on how they feel the work that they do allows students to feel like they belong on campus and in the community. This project also had a lot of personal meaning because the arts have truly shaped me into who I am and doing this work has allowed me to reflect and show gratitude.  

“Tia was an incredible student and arts advocate. She accomplished so much in her internship, including her project “Sense of Belonging and the Arts” and it is clear that she belongs in the Arts too!” 

Amy Sawyers-Williams, Manager of Arts Outreach and Engagement

What other commitments and heart projects that kept you engaged at NC State?

Since being at NC State, I have led and been a part of many organizations. Some of the most significant projects include the work that I have done with the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) and  TRIO offices, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and my participation in the Black Graduate Student Association. The offices and organizations have allowed me to grow professionally and have provided me with amazing opportunities and support as a graduate student.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

One piece of advice I would give to an incoming student is to make the most of every experience and cherish the moments that you have on campus doing the things that you love. The time flies by, so really lean in and enjoy it!

What are your future plans and where do you see art in your life in the future?

As far as future plans, I am still on the job search. However, I would love to land a role supporting students or a role in the arts either inside or outside of the education space.

Interested in getting involved with the arts programs? Check us out at or email Amy Sawyers-Williams