Faculty Art Show

"Westhill Homecoming" by OCC Faculty member Allen "Skip" Frost is part of the Faculty Art Show.
“Westhill Homecoming” by OCC Faculty member Allen “Skip” Frost is part of the Faculty Art Show.

OCC Faculty members are the stars of the latest gallery show at the Ann Felton Multicultural Center. Art work from 16 faculty members make up the exhibit. Among the highlights are a series of pictures by Photography Professor Lida Suchy. Her work titled, “Portrait of a Village: the People of Kryvorivnya” portrays residents of a small European village over the course of 20 years. Her outstanding work has resulted in her being named a Fulbright Scholar and a Guggenheim Fellow.

The Faculty Art Show opened November 14. Exhibit hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday’s through Thursday’s. The final day of the show will be Thursday December 8. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

A slideshow of some of the art is below.

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Featured OCC Faculty Artists include Marcus Acevedo, Meredith Cantor-Feller, Randy Elliott, Allen “Skip” Frost, Deborah Haylor-McDowell, Paul Molesky, Carmel Nicoletti, Richard Pardee, Donalee Peden-Wesley, Larry Royer, Andy Schuster, Elisha Stasko, Lida Suchy, Richard Williams, Mark Williamson and Mark Zawatski.

Global Education

OCC Philosophy Professor David Bzdak
OCC Philosophy Professor David Bzdak

David Bzdak is loving his academic journey. While he admits he misses his favorite season (autumn) and the OCC community, Bzdak is enjoying his time teaching and living in India. “It’s been a great experience so far. Students have responded positively and it’s been really nice being close to my wife’s family.”

Bzdak (pronounced BIZ-dak) is a Philosophy professor at OCC who was named a Fulbright Scholar. Fulbright is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Bzdak is teaching philosophy at Savitribai Phule Pune University in Pune, India. His wife earned her master’s degree there and most of her family still lives in Pune. “It’s been really nice being close to my wife’s family. My children are getting to know their grandparents for the first time and being spoiled rotten by all their aunts, uncles and cousins!”

In the classroom Bzdak has enjoyed teaching in a different culture. “Students have responded positively even though my methods are a bit different from what they’re used to. For example, I give lots of in-class work, and I have a greater expectation of participation from them than they’re used to.” Bzdak is also spending time being a student while he’s in India. He’s taking classes and developing an “Intro to Asian Philosophy” course which he will bring back to OCC with him.

Bzdak, his wife and three children will return to Central New York in April 2017. While he’s enjoying his time in India he knows he’ll be happy to return to campus and see familiar faces.  “I’ve realized what a tight community we have at OCC and I’ve missed the interactions with the students, my colleagues and everyone at the College.”

We’ll look forward to his return to campus next April! In the meantime you can keep up with Bzdak’s daily adventures on his blog at davidbzdak.com.

Fulbright Scholar

Psychology Professor and 2016 Fulbright Scholar David Bzdak
Philosophy professor and 2016 Fulbright Scholar David Bzdak

Higher education brought  David Bzdak and his wife together. Soon it will bring them and their children to her home country. Bzdak (pronounced BIZ-dak) has been named a Fulbright Scholar. The distinction means he will spend nearly a year teaching at a university in India where his wife earned her master’s degree.

Fulbright is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Bzdak is OCC’s first Fulbright Scholar since Psychology Professor Valerie Melburg in 2013. “When she came back from her Fulbright in Russia she encouraged all of us to apply. I thought, ‘it can’t hurt to apply but I didn’t really expect it would happen.’”

Applying for a Fulbright is a time consuming process. Candidates must fill out a lengthy application, submit a description of what he or she would do, list academic credentials and compile letters of recommendation. One of Bzdak’s letters of recommendation came from OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.

The application deadline was August 2015. Bzdak’s included a specific request he teach philosophy at Savitribai Phule Pune University in Pune, India. Not only did his wife attend there but her entire family still lives in Pune.

Bzdak and his wife met while they were pursuing doctoral degrees at Syracuse University. She is a biochemist who teaches at both S.U. and Le Moyne College. They have three children ages 10, 6 and 4. The entire family will move to Pune in late June and will stay there until May 2017. “We’re excited about it,” said Bzdak. “We haven’t been there in eight years. Two of our children will meet their family in India for the first time.”

While teaching at Savitribai Phule Pune University Bzdak will also take classes and develop an “Intro to Asian Philosophy” course. He will bring that knowledge home with him and teach the class at OCC.