Christopher “Chris” Riddle, of Winston-Salem, says the Digital Media certification that he earned at Surry Community College gave him the tools he needed to advance his career and work in an industry he loves.
“I used my Digital Media skills to sharpen my tools as a video editor within the professional wrestling industry, leading to work with legends, hall of famers, and now I even have an on-air role,” Riddle said.
Riddle explains the dynamics amongst students in the Digital Media program.
“I grew extremely close to my fellow Digital Media students while we were studying together, and they all remain close friends. My friend Edwina is like a mother figure to me and really mentored the whole group,” he said.
The general education degree that he received from Surry Community College helped him advance in the hospitality industry from Front Desk Clerk to Assistant General Manager for Fairfield Inn. Riddle graduated with an associate’s degree and Digital Media certification in 2016.
As a young wrestling fan, Riddle is living out his dream working in the wrestling industry. He stepped down from his managerial role at the Fairfield Inn in High Point to return to his front desk position in Winston-Salem to be closer to home and work on his wrestling efforts.
“I've loved wrestling since I was three years old. It's always been my outlet to escape the world. I had been wanting to get involved in some way for a long time. I had produced many music videos and podcasts, but wanted to do more. When the opportunity to get into the commentator field arose, I had to take it. It's been a lifelong dream, and I'm so happy to be able to finally fulfill it,” he said.
Riddle is a commentator for the Carolina Wrestling Federation along with being a host for the Golden Era Podcast that can be accessed through Apple Music and Spotify.
“I want to continue to use my Digital Media skills to progress in my field. I would love to work for World Wrestling Entertainment one day in Connecticut as an editor,” he said.
As a non-traditional high school student, Riddle sought alternative means to get high school credentials.
“I was homeschooled growing up, so when I turned 18, I went into the HSE program to be able to enroll in college. I was able to learn and be refreshed on so many topics and learned much more than I expected to. I graduated from that program and entered into an associate program a few months later,” he said.
In 2013, Riddle graduated from Surry Community College with a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma.
“I grew up outside of Dobson until I was 12, when we moved to Yadkinville. I was lucky enough to go back and forth between the Surry campus and the Yadkin campus during my time at the college,” he said. “I learned from great teachers like Sandy Swift, Frieda Eakins, and Kennette Thomas. I've lived in Winston Salem for about a year and love it. However, I love going back and visiting the country sometime.”
He appreciates the relationships he developed with staff and faculty with attending classes at Surry.
“Ms. Kennette Thomas became not only a teacher but an inspiration in my life. Everyone that has her is treated like an individual with their own personal feedback and not just another student. She’s truly an asset to the college,” he said.
The advisor-advisee relationship is important to a college student and one that may surpass time requirements.
“Sabrina Terry, Dean of Student Services, became much more than an advisor. She became a mentor during my days at the college, and even after I graduated, I’m proud to call her a friend. She’s truly a leader and leads by example,” he said.
Sabrina Terry said, “Christopher was one of my first advisees when I began at SCC. He and I built a positive rapport immediately, and I quickly became one of his biggest supporters. To say that I am proud of Chris is an understatement. I enjoy inviting Chris back on campus to deejay many of our campus events where his love and dedication to the college is infectious.”
As a huge fan of music, Riddle loves discovering new artists and being able to introduce students to them when he deejays.
“I recently returned to Surry to deejay a few campus events, and I was so happy to see the Knights Alliance Club. It's something we've sorely needed on campus and in our area for a long time, and I was so proud to see some great individuals put it together.”
The purpose of the Surry Knights Alliance Club is to provide a safe place on campus for LGBTQ+ students, along with their allies or those students who may be questioning their identities. The club’s mission is to educate the students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community about resources, support services, and volunteer opportunities both on campus and in the surrounding area as they relate to the LGBTQ+ community.
Riddle is happy to call himself a Surry alumnus and recommends SCC to other students.
“I'll be honest, in the beginning of my time at Surry, I wasn't too sure about it, but over the years after the relationships, friendships, and mentorships I was able to make, I am really proud to be an alumni and visit whenever possible,” he said.
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