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Honors Program Spring Trips

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Honors students in several colleges (GCCIS, NTID, CIAS, KGCOE, and SCB) visited professional associations and industrial partners during intersession and spring break.  


GCCIS Honors Trip to Seattle 

The GCCIS Honors Trip to Seattle was extremely successful! Students visited six companies (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Unity, NullSpace VR, and Big Oven). Google, Amazon and Microsoft were the largest, Unity is mid-sized, and NullSpace and BigOven are both small startups. Differences in the sizes of these companies allowed students to observe differences in work environments, cultures, benefits, responsibilities, and much more. The companies did a fantastic job in facilitating meetings with students and individual employees. Students asked great questions and were very engaged. Students took full advantage of opportunities to mingle and converse with the representatives of the companies. Students also met with RIT alumni from all of the companies. Both students and alumni attended a successful alumni event. Other group events included a visit to the Space Needle and the Underground Tour. Students also had free time to explore Seattle. (pictured: GCCIS Honors Students

ASLIE Honors Trip to Boston 

In April, ASLIE Honors students traveled with Ms. Marissa Polvere, ASLIE faculty, to Northeastern University, Boston. Students had the opportunity to visit the Expo Hall and interact with many Deaf people from the Mass Commission on the Deaf/Hard-of-hearing and many other organizations in Massachusetts. Students interacted with working interpreters and students from the Northeastern University interpreting program. Students attended Northeastern University’s 20th annual ASL Festival, which featured the Marie Jean Philip ASL Poetry, Storytelling and Deaf Art Competition Awards Ceremony. Students attended a celebration with incredible performances from nationally-recognized Deaf talent. They saw fabulous performances by Jeremy Lee Sanchez (of “Deaf Jam”), Stephen Weiner (famous for his magic), and Rosa Lee (various ASL performance art).

CIAS Honors – San Francisco/Leadership Class

After class meetings and fundraising during the fall, 16 CIAS Honors students, assistant dean Debbie Kingsbury, and associate professor Brian Larson left for 10 days in the San Francisco Bay area over intersession. Their travels took them to locations such as Muir Woods, Walt Disney Family Museum, Alcatraz, SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), a cooking class in an art gallery, Yerba Buena on Dr. Martin Luther King day, on the cable cars, and even “biking the bridge”. They were privileged to meet with alumni over dinners and during company visits at Google, Pixar, Autodesk, Dolby, ILM, as well as various corporate contacts. This included a meeting with Brian Cantwell, a 2018 Oscar winner at Lucas Films/Industrial Light and Magic – and “meeting” the original R2D2 and CP3O at ILM!

Their experiences served as topics for late night discussions, early morning meetings during the trip, including historical context/social awareness and the impact on creativity, the gentrification of San Francisco neighborhoods, the conflict and visibility of million dollar homes and tent cities sheltering San Francisco’s homeless sitting side-by-side, and the struggles those images cause for us as individuals and human beings. Those discussions and bonding experiences continue through this spring semester, and are reflected in the students’ journals, and their project presentations in April.

KGCOE Honors Trips to Orlando, Florida and Greenville, South Carolina (March 2017)

During Spring Break, KGCOE Honors students traveled to the Orlando area and visited Lockheed Martin, Aviana Molecular Technologies, Correct Craft, Ocean Optics, NASA and Disney. The students assessed each company’s product development strategy to learn how companies execute their strategic visions. Students were encouraged to think critically about information presented by engineering representatives from the companies. After company visits, the students detailed a group Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) assessment.

KGCOE Honors students also traveled to Greenville, SC and visited various companies. Students observed the tire manufacturing process at Michelin (see picture), how capacitors are made at AVX, electric buses being assembled at Proterra and contract pharmaceuticals being produced at Patheon. They also visited GE Power, which produces and tests generators that can run small towns, and GE Aviation in Asheville, NC, which makes aircraft engines. Students also met with RIT alumni, who shared their professional experiences working with these diverse companies.

SCB Honors Trip to Seattle

During spring break, Honors students in Saunders College of Business visited Seattle, Washington to tour various companies. The trip included visits to companies large and small, non-profit organizations, an alumni networking event, and exploring Seattle. Students met with employees from Microsoft, Marchex, Liberty Mutual Insurance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They received important insights regarding daily responsibilities and business operations. Throughout the week, students participated in multiple events. They met with large employee panels at T-Mobile and Amazon, met with employees at Nordstrom, toured a factory floor at Boeing (in the world’s largest building), and visited multiple non-profit clients of 501 Commons. They benefitted from important opportunities to immerse themselves in industry. Students gained valuable knowledge and advice from this trip, and are excited to plan for next year’s trip! (photos can be viewed on the RIT Honors Program Facebook page)