Name: Nicklaus Martin
Hometown: Thayer, Mo.
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, Calif. (North Hollywood)
Occupation: Sound designer/engineer
All Degrees Received: Associate of Arts in General Studies with a Specialization in Honors, Missouri State-West Plains; Bachelor of Science in Electronic Arts – Audio with a minor in Music Composition, Missouri State University-Springfield
“It gave me the time I needed to figure out what I wanted to do…”
By the time many students graduate high school, they have some idea what they want to do as a career. Not Nicklaus Martin. The future was an open highway, and he needed some direction.
Attending Missouri State University-West Plains seemed like a great place to start the journey. “When I first enrolled, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do. I hadn’t experienced very much outside southern Missouri,” he said.
“(Missouri State-West Plains) was close to home. It gave me the time I needed to figure out what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. And, on top of that, it was an option that kept me in the positive, in terms of my bank account, which is something that cannot be overvalued today,” he explained.
“My time at Missouri State-West Plains taught me how to think outside the box and work through difficult problems.”
Nicklaus took advantage of the William and Virginia Darr Honors Program and the study away opportunities at Missouri State-West Plains to challenge his perspective, which helped him chart his path into the future.
“By the time I graduated, I had figured out what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go; but more importantly, I had burned through a set of experiences that changed my world view, opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, and helped prepare me for a life where you never know what the next problem to tackle is,” he said.
“Traveling internationally with Missouri State-West Plains and taking classes that challenged me through the honors components really helped shape who I am today.”
Although Missouri State-West Plains didn’t have a true media program, he was exposed to some of its basic concepts on campus, which allowed him to select the major for his baccalaureate degree and future career in Hollywood.
“My greatest professional accomplishment has been my ongoing work on the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” he said. “I helped develop the sounds of the UI in the game, as well as edited and designed sounds for all of the game’s cut-scenes and trailers, leading me to winning two MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) awards this year, alongside the rest of the team at Source Sound and Infinity Ward.”
“My time at West Plains was a blast!”
Nicklaus credits his time at Missouri State-West Plains for helping him become a well-rounded individual who can achieve the goals he has set for himself.
“I learned a ton about both myself and how to turn total strangers into close friends. I learned how to set and achieve goals for myself, and how to see things from many perspectives. And the value of staying close to home for the first couple of years is one that cannot be overstated for me,” he said.
“Missouri State-West Plains can be a valuable hub of experience and growth…”
Nicklaus believes anyone who attends Missouri State-West Plains can be just as accomplished as he is, if they take advantage of the opportunities the campus offers.
“I always felt I saw too many of my peers fall into the comfort of what was easy instead of what was challenging. If you’re from southern Missouri and going to Missouri State-West Plains, do something other than stay in southern Missouri the whole time. Go, see and do weird stuff you’re not sure you’ll even like, because the school would love to take you there, and you’ll be wiser for it!”