Professor Fred Herbst firing the CCC ceramics kiln

Gift supports Ceramics program

What is the average amount of time someone stays at a job? Three years? Maybe five?

Certainly not 19 – unless you’re Fred Herbst, SUNY Corning Community College Professor of Art. So, what has kept Fred here since 2000?

“It’s all about the students,” said Fred. “Every single year I get a great group of students that care about what they’re doing and want to improve. When you’re working with a student and they start to understand something they previously struggled with, you can watch that lightbulb moment happen for them. That’s really my favorite part about teaching.”

And to help great students flourish and succeed, faculty members must have great support.

“I’ve had support from the administration, other faculty members, and the community ever since I’ve been here, and that’s not always the case at some places,” said Fred. “That, and the connections I’ve made around Corning’s art scene are really the two things that have kept me here.”

The community support is what allowed Fred to purchase the College’s new Omnitemp Dual Pyrometer, which accurately monitors the temperature inside the wood kiln. The money for the Pyrometer was gifted through the Corning Community College Development Foundation’s Annual Fund.

“Our old Pyrometer was outdated and broken, so the new one will be able to benefit current students, as well as future students,” said Fred. “It has a large, digital read, which makes it safe and easy to use. The donation is really an example of how people can support what we’re doing here.”

Along with the new Pyrometer, Fred and his SUNY CCC colleagues have been working to implement a new program at the College.

“The Digital Design program is still in the works, but that will be a program that’s able to bring engineering, technology, art, and design together,” said Fred. “That’s really the future of this field. We’re going to bring old ideas and combine it with new, modern technology.”

Fred is looking forward to the future of the program he’s centered on two wood kilns – one built in 2003, and the other in 2009.

“This program is really a team effort,” said Fred. “The local artist involvement and the students step up to make this program what it is. I’m looking forward to continuing our success, while mixing in new opportunities for the students.”