He grew up in a dying steel town. A first-generation college kid from Youngstown, Ohio, Vaughn Wascovich spent his childhood in the heart of the Rust Belt. The city's steel production provided the financial backbone for the community, including his family. Wascovich studied at a nearby state university where he earned his BFA. Around the same time he graduated, all the steel mills closed, marking an end of an era for both him and the town. He left Ohio and pursued commercial photography for twenty years, doing work for many Fortune 500 companies. In the early 90's Vaughn moved to Chicago and earned his MFA at Columbia College. Since then, he often returns to his native valley, documenting the beauty of a once vibrant town. Vaughn now serves as a Professor of Photography at A&M-Commerce, where he has taught since 2007.
A Conversation with Vaughn
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
“We have a wonderful community of students and faculty in the graduate art program here. Whether you're looking to advance your career or learn new skills, this is a great place to do that.”
What makes you passionate about art?
“Art is the most challenging language. When you reveal one thing through your research, another emerges. I am constantly learning new concepts, new techniques and new ways of thinking and creating. It has been and continues to be my lifelong passion. My hope is to instill some of that passion in my students.”
What do you like most about your career?
“Meeting people and working with and building relationships with students. As the graduate coordinator for the Studio Art MA and MFA programs, I love being able to watch students grow and develop through their time in the program. What we teach one another is invaluable, and the relationships that we establish will hopefully last a lifetime.”
- MFA, Photography, Columbia College, 1998
- Post-Baccalaureate Studies, Art History, Kent State University, 1990
- BFA, Youngstown State University, 1982
- Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2017-present
- Associate Professor of Photography, TAMUC, 2011-2017
- Assistant Professor of Photography, TAMUC, 2007-2011
- Harvard Visiting Scholars Program, Harvard School of Public Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 2004-2012
- Assistant Professor of Photography, University of Missouri, 2001-2007
Awards and Honors
- TAMUC Research Award, 2019
- H.M. Lafferty Distinguished Faculty Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2013
- Gary B. Fritz Imagemaker Award, Society of Photographic Educators, 2009
- Anne Newman Memorial Prize for Photography, 2005
- International Photography Award, Forox Corporation, 1983
ARTS 503 Graduate Seminar
ARTS 525 Studio Hours I
ARTS 528 Studio Project