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New Faculty Profile: Anna Ozbek

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

By: Diana Gilday

Professor Ozbek teaches a Broadcast I class this semester. (Photo by Victoria Fennell)

Professor Anna Ozbek is a visiting assistant journalism professor. For the Fall 2019 semester, Ozbek will be teaching Editing with Premiere Pro and Broadcast News I and II.

Professor Ozbek started her decade long career in the University of Washington where she got her Bachelor's degree in political science. She then decided to go to Istanbul and began working as an assistant to a CNN camera person. Going to Istanbul is the reason why Ozbek decided to pursue journalism.

“I realized that Journalism combines my love of video and filming with my background in political science and concern with global affairs,” said Ozbek.

Professor Ozbek spent four years in Istanbul and spent the majority of her time there covering the Syrian uprising.

“It was very inspiring to see so many people standing up for their rights, but it was also very traumatic," said Ozbek. "There was an incredible amount of violence that came with that.”

After her time in Istanbul, she came back to the United States, specifically New York, and got her masters in media arts from Hunter College. She also began working for NY1 and later, Democracy Now! According to Ozbek, working for Democracy Now! has been the most rewarding experience of her career.

“One of the things that they do really well is cover grassroots movements in the United States," said Ozbek. "So now wherever I go with the show, or someone happens to hear that I work there, people will thank you for covering the stories that other people aren't covering or are paying attention to and so feeling appreciated, that you're really fulfilling the truth in terms of telling the untold stories, is really rewarding.”

Professor Ozbek finds teaching extremely rewarding as well. She has previously taught at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and Marymount College before coming to SUNY Purchase. What she finds most rewarding is “seeing students who are excited about the work or just in the project that they're working on, I really feel fulfilled to see their excitement.”

Her fulfillment in teaching has been transferred to SUNY Purchase where she has fallen for the beautiful location and the creativity of the students.

“The students here, I would say, tend to be a lot more creative than in my previous universities,” said Ozbek. “And since I teach a lot of stuff that has to do with both journalism and visual storytelling, that's really the important part. The creative approach to that is really exciting.”

By being both an educator and someone who works in the field, Ozbek has a lot of advice for those trying to make it in the industry.

“The advice I can give people is to have a lot of different skills in their toolkit. When you learn the fundamentals in journalism of like reporting, writing, video storytelling, audio storytelling, so even when the technology changes, which it will and does constantly, knowing the backbone of these skills is something that can really translate to all these future technologies,” said Ozbek. “In addition to that, I would say flexibility, because the industry is constantly changing.”


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