Student Spotlight: Alex Cowell
Major: Computer Information
Alex Cowell went through a difficult time as a boy when he moved with his grandparents from Illinois to Florida.
“Because of this big change and also because of leaving all of my friends from grade school, I was overcome with a great depression. The result of this was me being homeschooled by my grandfather in Florida,” he said. “Having no friends there, I attended church in hopes of meeting people. It was in the church’s youth group where I saw Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal, the third game in the Ratchet and Clank franchise.
“I then bought a PlayStation 2 and the game and fell in love with it. In the game was a documentary of how it was made. I remember seeing the game developers act like a family and that caught my interest. A career in where everyone in it acts like a family to compete a creative goal is my dream career.”
Cowell initially wanted to attend Full Sail University in Florida. However, because of the cost, he opted for a community college and found his way to College of DuPage, where he is enrolled in the Computer Information Systems program pursuing a game design degree.
The courses he found at COD exceeded his expectations.
“I originally assumed the courses available would be very dumbed down compared to Full Sail University, but I was happily wrong,” he said. “The game design professors know the subject that they are teaching and help students one-on-one with understanding the subject.”
In 2018, Cowell was the College’s nominee for the All-USA Community College Academic Team sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa. He plans to transfer to Bradley University where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in game design. He ultimately would like to run or be part of a game development company.
Cowell advises prospective students to pay attention in class and never overestimate your own knowledge.
“Focus on what the professors are teaching and ask questions about the subjects. Then get involved in student game groups and try to make friends within the game design classes,” he said.
“I sold a video game to a publisher in 2015. I made the game by myself and thought because of this, I knew mostly everything about game design. But during my first classes at College of DuPage, I learned new knowledge about the game design process and how to work with others in making a game.”
College of DuPage
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2019 College of DuPage