Professor Profile: Cyle O’Donnell
Cyle O’Donnell is one of the newest faculty members of AUBG and is going to teach multimedia and video journalism as well as documentary film courses starting from Fall 2016 semester. He describes himself as an international educator, a filmmaker, a writer, a photographer and a digital multimedia producer. O’Donnell also keeps himself busy with client assignments or personal research projects. Currently, he teaches communication studies to undergraduate and graduate students at the head campus of the University of Maine.
O’Donnell achieved an Associate’s degree in Psychology as well as bachelor degrees in Journalism and Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies. He started his M.S. in Multidisciplinary International Communications & Pedagogy in the US and finished it while he was in Bangkok. Since 2014, he has been teaching in the University of Maine while completing a terminal Master degree.
“If I come to AUBG,” O’Donnell said, “it may also happen that I finish a PhD through the University of Maine while I am there.”
During his presentation on March 28, O’Donnell talked about his passions, hobbies, work, and projects. He also held a workshop on March 29. Though he may be simply labeled as a documentarian or a photographer, he called his professional track as a “niche” that he has shaped on his own. One of his major steps on his path was his blog containing personal stories and photos from his travels as well as podcasts with guests.
Born in Florida, O’Donnell has spent many years traveling and working in different places including Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, and Taiwan. Because of his interest in communications, he started a project which allows students from neighboring countries in conflict “to open dialog between university students.”
“I’d love to refine that and reinitiate it around Syria, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey,” O’Donnell said, “where unencumbered communication is so urgently needed between nations.”
For him, applying to AUBG “was no accident.” He believes Bulgaria as well as the university will provide him “with an opportunity to accomplish so many of my goals in one location.” O’Donnell would like to develop the interest in photography and documentary films in the region, and explore the influences of other cultures and ideologies on Bulgaria. He is also interested in documenting the conflict in Syria and presenting it to people who have less knowledge about the situation. “That is what Journalism is all about,” O’Donnell said.
Later on, he plans to document the Mongolian culture of the steppe regions, explore and describe architectural development from the Soviet Era to nowadays, and acquaint himself with Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
“From the genuine passion that I have seen in both the students and faculty at AUBG regarding the interests in research and hands-on projects, I’m excited to see what might happen when that zeal mixes with opportunity,” O’Donnel said.