role as chair of the new professional education department at the Savannah College of Art and Design
marks a return to her
"I spent 20-plus years in the public school classroom, teaching everything from kindergarten to middle school, junior high and senior high," she
"I really loved curriculum design and program design.
I think it's as creative a process as anything visual."
Bruzenak earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in art education and a Master of Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
After teaching for seven years, she
attended an in-service day lecture by Myron Barnstone, a Coplay, Pa.-based artist who specializes in classical drawing and design techniques.
"After an hour, my jaw was on the floor.
had shown me things I had never heard of before," she
"I was instantly both angry with my education and skeptical: If what he's
saying is true, then why haven't I heard it before?"
was intrigued enough with Barnstone's ideas that she
signed up to take classes at his
studio and studied with him for a decade, while she
also taught full-time and raised her
taught me classical drawing and design systems," she
decided that she
enjoyed teaching at the college level, and she
also wanted to specialize in a specific visual arts discipline.
So she enrolled in the Master of Arts in painting program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
There's an anecdote from her
time there that she
often shares with her
said: A local critic whom all the other students avoided complimented her
the first time he
"You're a natural draftsman," he
"I just chuckled under my breath, because I knew it wasn't natural," she
"You can teach yourself to do things that aren't natural.
They can become natural for you."
It was also as a graduate student that Bruzenak
developed a passion for foundation studies.
"I could see students struggling to express ideas they didn't have the tools to express," she
"I thought if they had a stronger foundation, they would have been able to reach the goals they set for themselves."
began interviewing for college teaching positions, she
background in classical drawing and design.
"I wanted to be hired because of who I was, not to try to fit into anyone else's mold," she
"[SCAD] was very interested in all of it, and I've been happy here.
It's good to see your ideas take shape."
Bruzenak, who will begin her fifth year at SCAD this fall, joined the college as a foundation studies professor.
taught 2-D Design and Color Theory classes, and developed the first online 2-D Design course for SCAD-eLearning.
But most of her
time was focused on developing and teaching Drawing for Design, a class that focuses on teaching students to draw - and view the world - in design-oriented ways, as if objects are transparent.
"The first quarter I was here, I was asked to write a course echoing what I did at Lehigh University
"It just took off like a rocket and became so in demand that I could teach nothing else."
enjoyed the class and giving it up to chair the professional education program was difficult, she
"It was not an easy decision, because foundation studies had been a passion for me," she
"Getting students off to a very sound start in their careers is something I've been committed to for years."
is striving to provide that same solid foundation for aspiring educators in her
And once again, the training involves learning to see the world in a new way.
"The coursework is very much about learning through experience and cooperative learning," she