Daniel Didok '14 with some of the artwork he created this summer when he studied art in France.
- Daniel Didok is a man of science, an aspiring physician. He also is a man of art, an artist in his own right.
Didok doesn’t think he has to choose one over the other, so before entering his senior year at Wofford that he anticipates will lead to medical school, he spent the summer not studying biology and anatomy, but instead studying art in a dream-come-true location – the Marchutz School of Fine Arts at IAU College in Aix-en-Provence, France.
“As uncertain and risky as it sounds, I found myself weighing a desire to help and to heal, and the necessary investment of time to become a doctor alongside a desire to create, to build, to remind the world of the depths of beauty, and the accompanying uncertainty and struggle necessary to become a great artist,” Didok says of the internship opportunity made available to him through the generosity of a Wofford alumnus who funded eight varied internships for students this summer – allowing them all to follow a passion.
“For the next few years of my life,” Didok, a biology major from Taylors, S.C., continues, “upon graduation from Wofford, I’m going to pursue intellect and art. At the moment, I am still very unsure of where my life is heading in the long run. I know that I can trust God to carry me through, and I’ve had an incredible education that allows me to pursue anything, anywhere, with anyone.” He says he would like to return to Marchutz to continue art studies, particularly sculpture.
Didok says the opportunity to study art in France was a dream come true, especially as a pre-med student. He also used it as a chance to travel across Italy, France and Spain “to get a feel for the modern and classical cultures and arts of Europe.” Now, he is developing artworks based on this travels and experiences, which he will exhibit at Wofford later this fall.
Mixing his love of medicine with his love of art seems right to Didok, whose interest in medicine grew while shadowing several doctors during Wofford’s Interim. He plans to either be a plastics surgeon or go into obstetrics/gynecology. “I do believe that a man can be well-rounded and pursue at the same time many lines of work,” he says. “My experiences abroad have given me new and interesting perspectives and new skills, and have reignited a passion in me that I’ve had to let simmer of late due to academics and busyness.”
While Didok wanted to intern at the prestigious Aspen Institute in Colorado, he didn’t receive a placement after applying. Those posts were being made available through the generosity of a Wofford alumnus, who was paying travel and living expenses for several students to intern there. Instead, the donor called him to tell him he wasn’t a “good fit” for Aspen. “I was heartbroken as I’d spent many hours planning my application and dreaming about Aspen,” but the donor continued to tell the young student that he had noticed “I had a passion for art” and he wanted to fund that passion.
“He gave me the opportunity to travel to any place in the world this summer to study art.” At first, Didok was too disappointed in not getting to go to Aspen to recognize the opportunity being offered to him was “much, much better for me, personally. (The donor) wanted me to pursue my passion,” which had been inside since elementary school.
Being pre-med rarely gave Didok a chance to pursue art much at Wofford, though he was able to take some studio art classes as electives and exhibited artworks in multiple student shows and juried art exhibitions at the college.
Didok adds that without the generosity of the donor, “countless faculty and staff members and donors whose faces I’ve never seen, I would not be the person I am today. I would not have seen the things I’ve seen, felt the things I’ve felt, or have had the conversations I’ve had. At Wofford, you learn that every opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
If you are interested in internship opportunities
at Wofford College, or if you are an alumnus interested in funding an internship, providing one (or more) through your company, or can help connect our students through your business network, contact Erin Emory, assistant director of The Space, at firstname.lastname@example.org