paw bullet

Cynthia Sifonis

paw bullet

Sometimes the easiest way to get to know someone is to see the company they keep .

Since the social life of a professor is limited, the company I keep tends to be the company of my immediate family.  This isn't such a bad thing when one has an intelligent, creative, and entertaining family as I do. Of course I might be more than a little biased in that regard.


My husband is an artist. 

Formerly a senior art director in an advertising firm, he is currently working independently as a freelancer.  However, he also designs motorcycles and motorcycle parts.  When he isn't doing that, he designs websites and apps.  Alternately, he paints, draws, or takes pictures.


My son just graduated college with a degree in French and a certificate in translation. As you might guess from his major, he is good with languages (he took a class in every language offered by the univeristy with the exception of Spanish...because everyone takes Spanish), and is a cartoonist.  He is currently working on two manga web comics - That Which is Summoned produced in collaboration with his friend, Ellen, and his independently produced comic, "Ken No Ten: Sword of Heaven."


And then there are our dogs. Lazlo, is senior dog. He's not much of a guard dog unless we are threatened by something smaller than a pre-teen.  However, he is always there for a car ride, a walk, or to provide solid, uncomplaining, loving companionship. Roxi is our "baby" dog. She is independent (i.e., only listens when she feels like it), fun loving, and the world's best cuddler.

I suppose one can also get to know someone by their activities outside of work.


I LOVE reading. I will read just about anything but SciFi and Fantasy are my favorite genres. My current favorite authors include Kelly Armstrong, Terry Pratchett, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Laura Joh Roland.

I've practiced martial arts on and off since I was 18.  I am currently studying Iaijutsu (a martial art that strives to suppress a sudden attack against the defender using a single, swift stroke of the sword).  I belong to the Southeast Michigan branch of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu and currently hold the rank of Sandan.

weapon of mass destruction

I enjoy riding motorcycles.  Since I moved to Michigan, I have had to be satisfied with hopping on the back of my husband's motorcycle.  However, he is in the process of building me my own bike. I try to help :-)


Gardening:  I find it surprisingly restful and satisfying.  I'm glad I have a large yard to learn and experiment with.

star wars galaxies

I've been playing video games since video games were invented.  I love playing them even though I have relatively little free time in which to do so.  Two games which used to be favorites were Star Wars Galaxies and City of Villains. Right now I am searching for another MMORPG to fall in love with. I have immersed myself in Second Life, managing to work it into my teaching and am looking into gamifying the Liberal Studies major that I direct. This Christmas I built my first computer and am THRILLED at being able to play all the new games. Borderlands 2 is my current favorite though I am also enjoying the carnage of Left 4 Dead 2.


geocaching logo

Ever heard of geocaching?  It's the ultimate tech geek's pastime so of course I thought it was cool.  It's treasure hunting with a GPS. Now that I have a geocaching app on my iPhone, it is even easier to find caches when I am out and about.



There is little I enjoy more than traveling. I have visited England and  Switzerland (2001), and  Italy (2005). In 2006, we went to Sturgis where we saw Devil's Tower and Deadwood, S.D.. The following year, as a high school graduation present, my son and I went to Tokyo.

My most recent trip involved a three week business trip to Bulgaria and Amsterdam to 1) teach at the Cognitive Science summer school in Bulgaria, give a talk at the Creativity and Analogy symposium at the Analogy '09 conference, and attend the Cognitive Science conference that followed. Last year the Cognitive Science conference took me to Sapporo, Japan from which I traveled to Melbourne, Australia to visit my brother and his family. I'll post pictures some day.