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Alumni Highlights

Taking the high trail

Steve Czompo ’88 visits “The Priest” in Virginia along his six-month trek.

Suggest that he “take a hike,” Andor “Steve” Czompo ’88 (film/video) isn’t likely to think twice about it. The avid outdoorsman completed a 2,173-mile trek of the Appalachian Trail in September.

Formerly a TV director for WOKR, Channel 13, in Rochester and Televideo (DaimlerChrysler) in Detroit, Czompo put his career on hold to fulfill this longtime dream. Despite rugged terrain, unusually heavy rainfall and a brief bout with Lyme disease, Czompo hiked from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, in just six months.

“The beauty of the trail is its simplicity,” he says. “There is something enormously liberating about heading out into the wilderness, knowing that all you really need in this world can be carried on your back.”

Images from Czompo’s adventure can be viewed online at http://homepage.mac.com/sczompo/AT/.

Glass action

Glass artist Eric Dahlberg ’02 (MFA) is one of 149 recipients of 2003 fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. The award helps Dahlberg continue his work and create an “artists and audiences” exchange project. The body of work that won the award was glass sculpture in the form of books.

A resident of Scottsville, N.Y., Dahlberg is head instructor and shop manager at More Fire Glass Studio in Rochester. His work “Old Friends” won two awards in the 59th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition at the Memorial Art Galley in Rochester. Samples of his work can be viewed online at www.morefireglass.com/edimages/dahlberg.htm.

Book work

After moving to the Pennsylvania Dutch country five years ago, Pete Beckary ’90 (business administration, finance) found inspiration for a book on the signs outside churches in the area. Lancaster County Signs of Faith is a collection of these spiritual gems such as “When Trouble Grows, Your Character Shows,” “Come In For A Faith Lift,” and “Praise Loudly, Blame Softly.”

Beckary paired each message with a passage from the Bible and included photos of the rural landscape by Robert Leahy. The postcard-size volume is available at gift shops in the region, and also on the Internet through Amazon.com and Borders.com.

“RIT and the education I received is due credit for my success in self-publishing this book,” he says. The self-employed accountant and computer consultant adds that he already has enough material for two more books.

Career recognition

William Keyser Jr. ’61

William Keyser Jr. ’61, who taught furniture design for 34 years at RIT’s School for American Crafts, received The Furniture Society’s Award of Distinction at the organization’s annual conference in Philadelphia this past summer. Keyser was honored as a teacher and furniture maker.

His furniture, sculptures and paintings are represented in residential, corporate, ecclesiastical and public art collections including the American Craft Museum.

Fire works

A ceramic plate by Douglas Kenney ’89 is displayed in Oahu, Hawaii.

Humanity and nature in harmony form the main theme of the ceramic art of Douglas Kenney ’89 (MFA). His designs incorporate American Abstract Expressionist ideas with earth and landscape. Since moving to Kailua, Hawaii, from Santa Barbara in 1999, Kenney’s work has taken on a Hawaiian accent.

In 2002, the city of Honolulu purchased three of his large, high-fire, ceramic plates. Kenney, who has worked in clay for more than 23 years, also has works in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Renwick Gallery and the Shigaraki Ceramic Park Museum in Japan, as well as many other public and private collections.

Feeding the troops

Rick Farran ’03

Rick Farran ’03 (M.S., service management) is serving in Afghanistan as a food service sergeant with the Army Reserves. A reservist for more than 15 years (he joined at age 17), he manages and trains staff, supervises food production, purchases rations and is responsible for maintaining the equipment and dining facility. “It’s the equivalent of a restaurant manager,” explains Farran.

Farran, who grew up in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., gained plenty of civilian experience at the Woodstock Inn in New Hampshire and the Highlands of Pittsford. He expects to return from Afghanistan in the spring and will be seeking a corporate position in the restaurant field in either training or quality assurance.

New waves

Mickey Fagan ’47 pursues a passion for painting maritime subjects.

As a semi-retired advertising executive, Gordon “Mickey” Fagan ’47 (printing) picked up a paint brush and answered the call of the sea. He’s done well as a marine artist: His work has been included in shows in New York, Ohio and Florida, and he’s won several awards.

Fagan is a professional member of the International Society of Marine Painters and had two paintings selected in the organization’s juried exhibition this year. The ISMP has 150 members in the United States, Canada, Australia, England and Portugal.

Fagan, who lives in Hamburg, N.Y., serves as public relations director for the Centennial Art Center there, and is also a member of the Arts Guild Inc. of Old Forge, N.Y. Some of his work can be viewed online at www.geocities.com/marineartmickey/.

Information for Alumni Highlights may be submitted to Kathy Lindsley, University News Services, RIT, Building 86, 132 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, or via e-mail to kjlcom@rit.edu