Listen to the interview (14.8 MB)
Helene Tieger, '85
Kathryn Kaycoff-Manos attended Syracuse University for two years, but never felt that it was the right place for her. Realizing she was halfway to graduation at a place where she had never fit in, Kathryn decided to transfer. A friend told her about a place called Bard. She applied through the Immediate Decision Plan and was accepted.
And was it the perfect fit? Well, not at first. "I hated it," Kathryn laughs, recalling that she complained to her parents: "It's gloomy, there was a guy with a cape with white makeup following me around and acting like a vampire. There are, like, freaks here! What have I done?" They encouraged her to stick it out. She threw herself into her studies and did well. And she started to like it a little more. "I loosened up and made friends....then over the summer I got my head around what Bard was." She realized, " Y'know what, this is great, I do belong here. It was just so different."
Before coming here, Kathryn recounts that education was something she had to do; she was shocked to find students at Bard actually excited about going to class. At Syracuse, arts major focused purely on their major - "Here, the art majors studied history, and film - nobody was what their major was. People weren't stereotyped as much, you weren't categorized."
She recalls being accepted by the other art students for her rendering abilities, noting that Bard did not provide technical instruction. She continued to pursue that work, though she switched her major to sociology. Her senior project was called A Marxist Analysis of Media in Capitalist America. "I don't know how Marxist it was," she relates, "but I thought it was very Bard at the time." She would go into advertising soon after graduating, mostly "out of curiosity."
"I am the first to tell kids why Bard is amazing," she says. "I had never been taught that way before."
New Jersey, Syracuse University, Immediate Decision Plan, Stuart Levine, Down the Road, Kline Commons, Alan Cote, Iska Alter, Bernard Tieger, Stephen Andors, Nayland Blake, Jim Sullivan
BardCorps Trailer, Main Campus.
Kaycoff-Manos, Kathryn, "Kathryn Kaycoff-Manos, '82" (2012). Oral Histories. 29.
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