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Fast Start: What I do

Rochester Business Journal
March 28, 2014

Amanda Sharpe, administrative assistant, Office of Academic Affairs, Eastman School of Music; lead photographer, Rochester Young Professionals

Age: 29

Job: I provide administrative support to the dean of academic and student affairs and the assistant dean/director of assessment. I handle the coordination and processing of professional development grants, affiliation agreements, the Conservatory Exchange Program, the musical arts major, certificate and diploma programs, Fulbright grant applications and changes of status.

Education: B.S. in English literature, SUNY College at Brockport, 2007; M.S. in higher education administration, Warner School of Education, University of Rochester, 2013

Studio work: In addition to standard office duties, while working at Paley Studios I helped to archive (Albert Paley’s) vast catalog of works, from rough sketches to finished sculptures. I was also involved with work on museum exhibitions and even some major art publications.

Many people don’t know that Albert started his career making jewelry like brooches and necklaces, not the towering sculptures he is known for now. If you ever have a chance to see some of these pieces, you definitely should.

For fun: I am a fan of the Public Market, and I like to visit on the weekends to stock up on my fruits and veggies. I love exploring the parks and historical landmarks in our area; I like to visit different places and take photographs of the many hidden gems that people often overlook. I also like to take time to see the latest exhibitions at the Memorial Art Gallery and the George Eastman House.

RYP photographer: I oversee a small staff of volunteer photographers and am responsible for interviewing and training new photographers. I am in charge of scheduling photographers to cover RYP events and often take photographs at events myself as well. I am also responsible for taking head shots of all the RYP board members.

My favorite project in recent memory is still a work in progress—the new head shots for RYP’s board members. They are asked to choose a location in Rochester that is meaningful to them, and I meet with them there to take their head shot. We’re hoping to highlight our board members’ individual personalities as well as some great locations in Rochester.

First photo: I’ve been lucky enough to make photography a huge part of my life; I’ve been taking photographs for going on 20 years, but I honestly can’t recall my first one. I imagine it was probably a photograph of the family cat with our old Polaroid camera!

Next up: As a photographer, I often find myself on the outside looking in, documenting the event without actively participating. I would like to find opportunities to expand my participation to help more during the planning and execution stages of events, possibly for RYP or other boards and organizations seeking to engage with young professionals.

3/28/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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