Student Ambassador: Ben Brown

Ben Brown

Ben Brown
Hometown: Randolf, VA
Program: Master of Science in Medical Illustration
Mentor: Bill Andrews, MA, CMI, CCA, FAMI
Focus of Masters Project:  Orthopedics

Why did you choose Medical Illustration? 

Long ago I met Patch Adams, the social activist and physician who trained at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University), who asked of me, ‘What’s Your Passion?’ At the time, I was 14 and very committed to becoming a physician, but strangely enough, what erupted from my mouth was ‘Art!.’

Many years later while serving in the Peace Corps I found myself working with an illiterate population who wouldn’t benefit from pamphlets or textual information. So, I went about making drawings which I could use to convey preventative public health measures and taught my community leaders how to replicate it so that the information could be passed on when I left.

Much to my surprise, when one of the other volunteers observed my methods they quickly pointed out that I was doing Medical Illustration. I’d never heard of the term before, but I quickly did some research and discovered what had all along been my dream job.

When I visited Augusta University to take a tour of the department, I immediately knew AU was the right fit for me and where I was meant to be. 

Mentorship Perspective:

My advisor, Bill Andrews, is wise in many ways. His greatest asset, which is evident in the way he teaches and mentors, is his prolific knowledge of history and application of methods in communicating information. Diversity in skill sets as well as interests are what he instills in me with encouragement to try new mediums and draw upon films, nature and other cultures to find innovative ways of making effective artwork.

Favorite AU Memory: 

My favorite AU memory is when we had our first critique on the patient education brochure assignment. When I came for my entrance interview, it happened to be on the day that 1st year students were being critiqued on the same assignment. I was allowed to sit in. So at moment, the realization set in that I was really here and doing something that I was only hopeful of doing a year previous. 


As a film producer and director, one of my favorite hobbies is watching films, which I now draw inspiration from for artwork and animating. I also write poetry, travel extensively when possible, and have recently begun sculpting wedding cake toppers.

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