Syracuse University Magazine


Kenneth A. Shaw, Chancellor

Sandi Tams Mulconry ’75, Associate Vice President for University Communications; Publisher

Jeffrey Charboneau G’99, Executive Director of Creative Services;
Executive Editor

Jay Cox

Laurie Cronin ’81

Amy Shires, Christine Yackel G’75

Margaret Costello, Kathryn Smith

David Marc

W. Michael McGrath, Amy McVey

W. Michael McGrath

Jennifer Merante

Velita Chapple

Emily Gaines G’02, G’03, Lisa Miles ’03,
Kristen Swing ’03

Nicci Brown G’98, Catrina Carrington G’02,
Nia Davis G’02, Melissa Dittmann G’02,
Jonathan Hay, Judy Holmes G’86,
Cynthia Moritz ’81, Kevin Morrow, Sara Mortimer

Syracuse University Magazine (USPS 009-049, ISSN 1065-884X) Volume 19, Number 2, is an official bulletin of Syracuse University and is published four times yearly: spring, summer, fall, and winter by Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244. It is distributed free of charge to alumni, friends, faculty, and staff. Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY, and additional mailing offices.

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Contents © 2002 Syracuse University, except where noted. Opinions expressed in Syracuse University Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of its editors or policies of Syracuse University.

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To promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment, and service.


To be the leading student-centered research university with faculty, students, and staff sharing responsibility and working together for academic, professional, and personal growth.


Chasing Clouds with a Camera

Jay Cox

Whenever I wander outdoors with camera in hand, I’m warned about taking pictures of clouds. “Don’t waste all the film on cloud shots,” my wife says. “Just take a couple.” She does not censor my snapshots, but she does know I’ll kill a roll of film in minutes, especially if cumulus puffs are crawling by, or a thunderhead is bulking up on the horizon on a steaming summer day. I’ve never exactly figured out why I’m so attracted to clouds, except that it’s nice to look up and see a blue sky streaked with white, odd-shaped, floating arrangements after surviving long stretches of upstate New York’s gray days.

Last year at a photography exhibition in Rochester, I was amazed when I came across a black-and-white series on clouds by Alfred Stieglitz. Naturally none of my cloud shots rated with the art of the famed photographer, but I made it a point to tell my wife that, yes, a cumulonimbus can make for good subject matter.

Clouds, of course, aren’t my only photographic interest: I enjoy viewing a good picture, too. Here on the Hill, two of my favorite places to peruse pictures are the Menschel Media Center and the Menschel Photography Gallery in the Schine Student Center. Supported by SU Trustee Robert B. Menschel ’51, H’91, these two locales always feature fantastic photography. As you’ll learn by reading Amy Shires’s article, Creative Developments, the media center serves as home base for Light Work, a nonprofit organization devoted to contemporary photography, and the Community Darkrooms, which provides photography and imaging facilities for the University community and the public.

Aside from an obvious devotion to photography, the two organizations are dedicated to creating a positive learning environment and community for photographers of all skill levels. This sense of community is apparent when you talk to folks who use the facilities. They see the center as a place to develop skills, nurture interests, exchange ideas, and become inspired.

Considering that the University has several photography-related programs of study and many students who pursue picture-taking as a hobby, there’s certainly no shortage of photography aficionados on campus. For these people, no matter their ambitions, the Menschel Media Center is a valuable asset that’s worth taking advantage of. Not only does it provide an encouraging atmosphere and first-class facilities, but it also serves as a place where photography is honored and celebrated as art. Those who appreciate such surroundings won’t be disappointed, whether they’re learning to develop black-and-white film, admiring images in an exhibition—or looking for expert advice on capturing clouds.

—Jay Cox



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