Adventures in the Big Apple were fulfilling for Stamats

Although the quiet, tree-lined sidewalks of Adams State College have little in common with the sights and sounds of New York City, Kacey Stamats '08 said she enjoys both environments.

Stamats took advantage of the National Student Exchange program offered at Adams State College. She attended New York University in the city for a semester last spring.

"I shopped downtown, rode the subway, took photos of Coney Island, and experienced what it is like to attend college in a large university setting," Stamats said. "I found it a wonderful place to write and take interesting pictures."

The City That Never Sleeps inspired Stamats to stay up late as well. She said she enjoyed drinking coffee and observing her surroundings at the corner cafe. "One morning, at 3 a.m., a man burst through the door of the cafe," Stamats said. "Everyone froze, as if they knew what he was going to say. 'Kurt Vonnegut is dead,' he exclaimed. For days afterwards, it was like the whole city was mourning - they had lost one of their own."

As a young author Stamats said some of her memorable experiences in NYC were meeting fellow writers. "I attended the opening night of "The Dutchman," and the playwrite, Amiri Baraka (formerly known as LeRoi Jones), was in attendance for a talk-back and book signing," Stamats said. "I also met Lawrence Ferlinghetti (poet, painter, and co-founder of the City Lights Booksellers and Publishers).

The university sent Stamats application materials, but she chose to return to Adams State for her senior year. "I thought, comparably, our professors were just as knowledgeable and exciting in the classroom as the professors at NYU."

Her professors at Adams State said they enjoy having Stamats as a student. "Kacey is one of the most brilliant students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching," Dr. Paul Newman, theater program coordinator, said.

This spring Stamats will direct "Fresh Ink, Fresh Faces," a series of one-act plays written by Adams State College students. "The first show I was cast in was "Fresh Ink, Fresh Faces," directed by Rocco D'Santi '05," Stamats said. "It is an annual tradition showcasing new talent at Adams State with freshman actors and student playwrights."

Besides theatre and writing, Stamats also expresses herself creatively through photography. She said her parents encouraged her to attend Adams State because of its reputation as an affordable college with an excellent teacher education program.

"As an incoming freshman my plan was to become an English teacher," Stamats said. "I took intro to theater taught by Dr. Taylor, and I was done for." She soon changed her major and said she now plans on becoming a college professor.

Stamats said she is interested in pursuing graduate work at NYU, Columbia University or the University of California in San Francisco.

Dr. John Taylor, associate professor of theater, said: "Kacey is a highly motivated student who brings passion and curiosity to everything she does. I know she will do great things when she heads off to graduate school."

Article By Marni Zabel