MCC Alumni Hall of Fame
James M. Sydor '71
Stefan Sydor Optics
Nominated by Thomas Battley
As president and owner of Stefan Sydor Optics in Chili, N.Y., James M. Sydor will tell you that “Our world is flat.” That’s because he has helped carve a unique niche in the fabrication of precision quality, flat-surfaced parallel and wedged optics. His business, along with other optics firms in the region, is considered key to our economic recovery—both locally and nationally. His clients include the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense and NASA, as well as the motion picture industry.
Jim earned his associate degree in optical technology from Monroe Community College. He discovered optics by first studying photography. He fondly remembers MCC Professor Emeritus Charles Ball (Applied Technologies) and credits Professors Emeriti Robert Novak (Engineering Technologies) and Martin Dvorin (Optical Technology) for guiding him toward a career in optical technology.
Prior to joining his father at Sydor Optics in 1978, Jim was a methods engineer at American Optical's Scientific Instrument Division and later an optical fabrication department foreman and production planner for the Industrial Borescope Division at American Cystoscope Makers. Jim serves on the board of directors of the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster. In addition to hiring MCC graduates, he gives back generously by helping the college promote and grow its optics systems technology program through support of innovative programs such as the optics summer camp for city high school students. This summer, Jim turned a company van into a moving billboard for MCC in hopes of making more people aware of the good jobs that are available now in the optics field.