Dr. Lawrence Guzy, November 18, 2022


Dr. Lawrence Guzy, November 18, 2022
Dr. Lawrence Guzy
Emily Hilbert
Autokinetic effect
Cleveland, Ohio
Motion sickness
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Oneonta, New York
Pulleys and ropes
Research conference trips
Science Discovery Center
Sleeping in class
SUNY Oneonta
Traffic lights
Dr. Lawrence Guzy is a retired psychology professor from SUNY Oneonta, who taught between 1973 and 2012. Born in 1943, Guzy grew up in the Polish section of Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Catholic schools, including St. Stanislaus High School. He describes his childhood as being an idyllic one of going out to play and "being home before dark." He loves his parents, and thanks them for giving him such a good upbringing, as well as sparking his scientific curiosity early in life. From asking questions to seeking answers, it is not just his parents who supported him, but teachers and professors from every institution he attended.

Dr. Guzy loved teaching, being in the classroom, and engaging with students every chance he got. He spent much of his time thinking of new ways to involve students in the lessons, resulting in students leading lectures, research conferences, and independent studies. He also took time out of the classroom to pursue his own academic interests, taking him to various facilities that included Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and even to NASA-Ames Research Center for research with the space program. However, he always came back to the classroom, as that was his true passion in life. It was always about the students, seeing their bright, smiling faces, eager to learn.

Dr. Guzy discusses everything from his upbringing in Cleveland, Ohio, shifts in the field of psychology, the changing community culture in Oneonta, New York, and how students do not call his house nearly as much as they used to, looking for Domino's Pizza at 1 am. He talks of the various colleagues and mentors who helped him get to where he is today and recounts trips to conferences [in Atlanta, Georgia, Boston, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Reno, Orlando, to name a few cities] with undergraduate students who were mistaken for post-graduate doctoral students, with great pride.

I interviewed Dr. Guzy at the Alden Room in the Milne Library on the SUNY Oneonta campus. It was just before Thanksgiving, and he exclaims at the end that his grandchildren are all coming home from college to visit, and he is very excited. We also conducted the interview here because it was a familiar place to Dr. Guzy, and he felt comfortable on the campus he taught at for decades.

I have edited this transcript to accurately reflect the conversation I had with Dr. Guzy. Certain words are omitted due to repetition, and new sentences are created for grammatical reasons. No information was left out.

Edit: After the interview was over and the camera turned off, Larry indicated that he was thoroughly exhausted. That was the most talking at one time that he has done since retiring 10 years ago. Usually, he has an abundance of energy when talking about his grandchildren. He was upset that he failed to mention Heather and Holly. Heather is a graduate from Oneonta-State and Pace University and is now a certified Physician Assistant in the Emergency Department, while Holly is a graduate earning both her BS and MS in Sports Management from SUNY Brockport and is happily employed in her area of expertise.
Time Summary
Track 1, 0:26 - Introduction
Track 1, 4:50 - Teacher Impact
Track 1, 11:22 - Inspiration to be Professor
Track 1, 21:56 - Reflection on Students
Track 1, 27:39 - How the Field of Psychology has Changed
Track 2, 4:42 - Student Research Conference Trip
Track 2, 14:12 - NASA
Track 2, 22:47 - Visiting Campus
Emily Hilbert
Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York at Oneonta
Cooperstown Graduate Association, Cooperstown NY