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Prof. Paul Laincz

Associate Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts
Difference Maker

Nominator: John L. Perry '69 M'78

John's Memories: Paul C. Laincz was the Kutztown University faculty member who made a significant difference in my life. 

I developed an interest in photography while I was an art education student from 1965 to 1969. Paul was teaching photography at that time. When I signed up for his course, I soon realized that Paul had a love of photography as well as a thorough knowledge of the medium and aesthetics. More importantly, Paul had a unique ability to connect with students on a personal level. Paul recognized my interest in photography and nurtured that interest and my enthusiasm. I was the photography editor of "The Keystonia" for two years and took Paul's graduate-level photography courses. 

Over the course of my studies, Paul became a true friend and mentor. During my teaching career, I had the opportunity to teach an elective photography course at Harrisburg High School. I organized that course much as Paul had organized his courses at Kutztown. But, more importantly, I tried to connect with my students on a personal level as Paul had.

I particularly remember one young student who would stop by my room in the morning, after school and any other time he could, wanting to know if he could help prepare the darkroom for my classes or help in any other way. His enthusiasm could sometimes be overwhelming, but I tried to nurture his enthusiasm as Paul had nurtured mine a few years earlier. One day this young man and I were talking and he told me that his father had been shot and killed several years before. It was at this moment that I realized that one never knows how important our personal connections with other human beings can be. 

A few years later, I left teaching to study law. For the past 15 years, I have worked as a staff attorney in a legal aid office, where I often encounter clients who are in crisis. Every day I try to connect with these clients, not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level. I truly believe that I would never have developed this ability had I not met Paul many years earlier at Kutztown. 
Paul and I still keep in touch and see each other from time to time.