Theater Arts and Communication Studies minors
Found by Cazenovia College, Amber Bacchus finds a home away from home.
Cazenovia College found Amber Bacchus. She shares, "I received a brochure from Cazenovia College with pretty flowers and beautiful buildings and it intrigued me." From Brooklyn, New York, she heard more about it as quite a few students from her high school, the Academy for Young Writers (part of the New York City public school system), knew about Cazenovia College.
Bacchus came to Cazenovia for the first time during Summer College before freshman year. She states, "I knew that I needed to be at Caz as soon as I arrived on campus." Many of her closest friends at Cazenovia College are also from Brooklyn, two of these friends she met at Summer College. Bacchus has also made "upstate friends" as well, especially from the Rochester and Syracuse areas.
During fall move-in day, Bacchus was even more impressed as everyone was so friendly. "The students encouraged my mom to relax while they helped me move all my things into third floor Park. It was like becoming part of a family, the students made me feel like I belonged here," she shares. The experience made such an impact on Bacchus that she became an orientation staff advisor, and then a leader her senior year.
Bacchus majored in English, with minors in Theater Arts and Communication Studies. She states, "I have always been interested in reading and writing. Because I came from a school that specializes in writing, I became an English major." Her capstone project was a series of vignettes about multiple types of personal struggles and self-realization. It was a ten-part series of short stories and poetry.
A number of faculty have been inspiring to Bacchus including Professor Roxy Spano. As a master student, Bacchus helped Spano teach a first-year seminar. The class was about adaptations of literature to film, and she taught a unit of the class, which looked at the adaptation from comic to film of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Another professor Bacchus admires is Dr. Heather Ferrara, who taught her first-year seminar. She says, "I joined the Communication Studies program because of Professor Ferrara. She always made me feel like we were equals despite the fact that she has her Ph.D. and I was an undergrad. It was like we were learning together and I really appreciated that."
The financial aid package offered to Bacchus was the decisive factor in her attending the College, and she has received several scholarships during her time at Cazenovia. Due to being in the top twenty of her high school class with a high GPA, Bacchus received the Dean's Leadership Award. She shares, "The Financial Aid Office informed me about this scholarship, and walked my mother and me through my financial aid package, which was really helpful as I am a first-generation college student." Erin Byrnes, in particular has been very helpful to Bacchus during her time at Cazenovia. She also received a full Emerson Scholarship and the Col. Warren Lee Ammentorp Endowed Scholarship.
Numerous activities outside the classroom also fill her time; however, theater is particularly important to Bacchus. She has enjoyed participating in a number of the College's productions including Once Upon a Mattress, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sweet Charity, and The Crucible. Bacchus says, "Professor David Lowenstein is an amazing director; I always learned so much from him."
Bacchus is also involved in the Student Government Association, where she is a senior class senator; APO, a service fraternity; Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society; Kappa Pi, an art honor society; Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Studies Honor Society; Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success; the College Activities Board as co-special events chair; and SoED (Students of Every Diversity), where she helped with the past two cultural showcases.
After graduation, Bacchus is looking to take a paid internship with Creative Artists Agency, a talent and sports agency. The agency has offices in Manhattan, London, and Los Angeles, and Bacchus sees herself living and working in Southern California.
As her parting advice to Cazenovia College's future students, Bacchus shares, "I would say try everything. Go snow tubing, audition for a show, join multiple clubs, and take that painting class. Try everything at least once!"