Ryan Brenizer, New Communications Coordinator at TC
You may have seen a new face roving the halls of Teachers College recently, camera and notepad in hand. Industrial espionage from another college? No, it's likely just TC's new Communications Coordinator, Ryan Brenizer.
Brenizer, who finished his tenure as the youngest Editor of The Lake Placid News when he moved from upstate New York to the city, hopes to use his experience in publication design and management to facilitate communication within the College and spread the word about TC's contributions to the field of education.
"I'm finding that Teachers College has already surpassed the high expectations I had for it on at least two levels," said Brenizer. "In terms of the school itself, I'm finding the effects and potential of TC institutions astonishing. You get a sense that a tremendous amount of brainpower and drive is being applied to servicing humanity and future generations, and I'm proud to be a part of that. In terms of the department, it's clear that it's a very positive working environment filled with talented, hard-working people with great attitudes. New Yorkers aren't supposed to be this friendly-you're ruining the stereotype."
Brenizer is no stranger to New York City, though, having attended Fordham University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper. Nor is he a stranger to educational issues-not only does he have a keen interest in them, they're in his blood.
"I come from what I call the Von Trapp family of teachers. My mother, father, stepfather, brother, grandmother, and most of my aunts are all teachers. I was raised on lesson plans."
His interest in education was sharpened in 2000, when he co-founded a project to allow students at an upstate New York high school to create a real student newspaper, using all the equipment used to produce the local news, that would be distributed to the schools and community. He supervised this project for three years.
According to Diane Dobry, Interim Executive Director of External Affairs, Brenizer has hit the ground running. "He is already proving to be a wonderful asset to the department, which translates to being a wonderful asset to the College," Dobry said. "I have no doubt that the community will quickly get to know and appreciate Ryan, not only because he is very capable at what he does in covering stories and in contributing to our multimedia approach to communications, but because he's a genuinely nice person to know."
Brenizer's experience with small newspapers-he was also City Editor of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise-forced him to be as versatile as possible, and he has won several statewide awards for work in design and photography, including a 1st-place award from the New York Newspaper Publisher's Association for photographs of then-President Bill Clinton and the First Family.
But Brenizer prefers to talk about those awards that underline his character. "I have a deeply-felt sense of kitsch," he admits with a grin, "I am probably the only person my age who has received a trophy for disco dancing."
Published Sunday, Sep. 12, 2004