SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Sydney Grant, a Wofford College senior from Gaffney, South Carolina, recently has seen the campus in a different light after spending her January Interim with college photographer Mark Olencki.

Grant is interning with Olencki, a 1975 Wofford graduate and the college’s official photographer in the Office of Marketing and Communications, joining him on all of his campus photo shoots. “I have taken every opportunity to see ‘where thought leads’ me, and I believe this Interim has led me to working with one of the best photographers around. Just within the first three days of Interim, I met and saw so many things and so many people that I have not experienced in my three and a half years as a student here. Working with Mark will – and already has – helped me with not only my photography skills, but also my social skills.”

Wofford’s January Interim frees students and faculty to spend the month focused on a single topic designed to push through the walls of the traditional classroom, explore new and untried topics, take academic risks, observe issues in action, develop capabilities for independent learning and consider different peoples, places and professional options. Students have the opportunity to study abroad; participate in local, national and international internships; conduct research; or participate in on-campus non-traditional courses.

Serving as Olencki’s “second photographer,” Grant has attended – and photographed – a CPR class, the Wofford Theatre auditions for the upcoming production of “Cabaret” and other Interim classes and activities. “I had the privilege, too, of sitting in on the start of President Samhat’s cabinet meeting and watching Mark photograph that. We also work on editing photos and uploading them to SmugMug, the college’s photo repository.”

Grant, a psychology major and one of the college’s first studio art majors, developed an interest in photography after taking a digital photography course at the college. “One of my pictures made it into the juried exhibition at Wofford. Professor Jessica Scott-Felder (an assistant professor of studio art) really loved my photography and encouraged me to pick up a minor in studio art.”

While Grant says she “focuses” on photography because it’s her strongest art medium and the one she loves the most, she also enjoys and has taken classes in drawing and painting. She’s taken courses in ceramics as well.