Jane Woodin congratulates her daughter, Francie, after her valedictory address in the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles at the FIDM graduation in June.
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Jane Woodin congratulates her daughter, Francie, after her valedictory address in the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles at the FIDM graduation in June.

Valedictorian Woodin speaks at STAPLES Center

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Francie W. Woodin, 25, of Rocky Mount was the valedictorian at the June 16 graduation ceremony for the FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.

Speaking to more than 12,000 people in the downtown STAPLES Center, she urged the 1,800 graduates present from four campuses to continue the concept of “collaborative networking” that they adopted in their classes.

“Collaborative networking denotes a group of people who look out for each other as they grow in their creative careers,” Woodin said. “FIDM has provided our first building block in establishing such a network, which focuses on our working together instead of competing against each other,” she continued.

As each new class built upon previous instruction, students became familiar with each other, Woodin said.

“We were sharing Illustrator and Photoshop tips, correcting each other’s sketches and giving more informed reviews on our projects,” she said. “We were engaged in those symbiotic relationships that will form the base for our individual collaborative networks as we embark upon our careers.”

To achieve professional goals, collaborative networks will be essential to their development, Woodin said.

“This is where we’ll need to work positively with each other to trade ideas and to help each other by using our growing network for future opportunities.”

Francie Woodin is the daughter of Rip and Jane Woodin of Rocky Mount.

She attended Rocky Mount Academy and Virginia Episcopal School before graduating in 2009 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising offers both associate and undergraduate degrees in various aspects of design and production in the fashion, jewelry, graphics and costume industries.

Woodin earned an associate degree and was nominated for the merchandise product development award.

She is employed as a design assistant and product developer at J and Company, a start-up venture in Los Angeles that will produce junior clothes for mass merchandisers.