Student Life

Peer Mentors

Taryn Brennan

Major: International and Global Studies

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Bryan Cammerino

Major: Criminal Justice

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Hometown: Clifton, NJ

Minor: ASL

RIT has become my second home, not just because I live here but because of the close community it creates.

The College of Liberal Arts community shares the love to all new and incoming students. In my department especially, everyday feels like a Friday!

Faculty and staff are always welcoming and entertaining. No matter what, they will be there when needed. My favorite part of the criminal justice program is the effort put in for events. They're always fun but also provide great learning experiences. Being a Peer Mentor is great; it's provided me the opportunity to form so many connections with my peers and the faculty, which is a great part of the college experience.

Sam Perricci

Major: Digital Humanities & Social Sciences


Minor/Immersion: Russian

Hometown: Red Hook, NY


My favourite classes and favourite parts of my major are graphic design and web development.  Currently, my favourite class is Digital Design in Communication, where we use numerous Adobe programs (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) to create designs such as a personal logo and business card, as well as a book jacket for a book being published by RIT Press. 

Additional activities, clubs, or organizations in which you are involved at RIT: College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Board as the Digital Humanities Representative.

Zach Grzelka

Major: Economics


Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Minor: Mathematics

I transferred to RIT as a second-year student with a growing interest in economics.  Initially planning to major in mathematics, I was drawn into the study of economics by the blend of qualitative and quantitative, and the immense variety present within the major.

What stood out most to me as a new student was just how close-knit the department was.  This is personally the most beneficial aspect of being a COLA student at RIT.  It is very easy to see how much the faculty cares about student success.  While new to the department, it was evident that working on research as an undergraduate student was not only possible but encouraged.  In spring semester of my first year at RIT, I took Environmental Economics with Professor Wagner.  Though at first simply an elective, this class quickly and unexpectedly became a passion for which I now use as the basis for my capstone.  My time at RIT and development as a student is largely shaped by my progress in the program, and I am fortunate to have found a home within the economics department.

Other activities: Business Manager for the Reporter Magazine

Claire Popoli

Major: Museum Studies


Hometown: Rochester, NY

Minor/Immersion: Visual Culture

Additional activities, clubs, or organizations:  Member of the Museum Studies Club, Student Archivist at the RIT Archive Collections and the Vignelli Center for Design Studies.

Annabella Kajtezovic

Major: Psychology


Hometown: Utica, NY

Minor/Concentration: Communication

My favorite experience in my program was in Research Methods II. The major assignment in the class was to conduct an experiment and write up a paper on it. It was a great experience for me because I learned how to come up with a research design and how to fill out an IRB form.

Considering that I am interested in pursuing research, it was awesome to learn how to write up APA styled papers and collaborate with my colleagues despite frustrations that popped up along the way. I also became more comfortable when speaking to a large crowd because of the required oral presentation. Usually, I am an outgoing person, but this class allowed me to present on something that I was really proud of and wanted to share with the rest of the class. I also used the paper that I wrote up as a writing sample which has been beneficial so far.

Additional activities, clubs, or organizations:  Student Government, the Center for Campus Life, the COLA Student Advisory Board, and Supplemental Instruction

Natalie Williams

Major: Psychology


Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Immersion: Social Inequalities

My favorite classes I've take so far are Abnormal and Cognitive Psychology. I had a rough start at RIT, but this department and program helped me get back on track.  I love the psychology program!

Additional activities, clubs, or organizations:  Margaret’s House

Jenna Rahrle

Majors: Public Policy and Political Science


Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Minor: German

When I first came to RIT, I was majoring in the College of Science. After my first semester, I realized the classes I enjoyed most were those in the College of Liberal Arts (COLA), specifically the Public Policy program.

I switched into the Public Policy program in my second semester and soon after added my double major of Political Science.  Being a part of the Public Policy program has helped me with my versatile skills of deliberation, debate and analysis, as well as leadership, teamwork and problem solving. The classes I have taken in this program range from the discussion of Supreme Court cases throughout history to the development of policies to promote renewable energy utilization. Not only are these classes incredible, but the faculty and staff are even more so. The Public Policy faculty is always willing to help out with new ideas to make the program even greater than it already is, and they are very accessible to students at all times with academic and personal advice. The department is very close-knit and it’s such a wonderful community to be a part of.

Eliza Austin

Major: Communication


Hometown: Highgate, VT

Minor: Psychology

I absolutely LOVE the professors in the School of Communication! They all work so hard to make sure that you learn the material and they are all really personable and want to see you succeed.

When I first came to RIT, I knew I was in the right program because my favorite classes were my communication classes!

Additional activities, clubs, or organizations:  Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority: Vice President of Recruitment, Division of Student Affairs, Marketing and Communications: Digital Content Manager; and Division of Student Affairs, Student Conduct: Student appeals board member

Alessandra Santarosa

Major: Political Science


Hometown: Youngstown, NY

Minor: German

I started off as an INGS major here at RIT and quickly found my home in the Political Science department. RIT has provided me with many opportunities and experiences. Through my department, I was able to go to a US State Department Conference in Albany.

I also studied abroad this past summer at the RIT Kosovo campus. There I took courses in Statebuilding and countering violence extremism, which both counted for my degree as well as helped me get a better grasp on where I was headed in my studies. The political science department is a home away from home with many diverse ideas, characters, and strong academics.

Involvement: DJ at WITR 89.7, Political Science Club, Global Ambassador, College Democrats.

Hayley Foran

Majors: Journalism and Political Science
Email Contact:
Hometown: Bridgeport, NY

The School of Communication offers wonderful, enticing opportunities for its students. The faculty and staff are incredibly supportive and do their best to provide prestigious opportunities that challenge you to put forth your best efforts all year long.

I learned this first-hand as a first-year journalism student. My professors acknowledged my strengths and supported me through my weaknesses and drove me forward to where I am today. I was privileged to work with WXXI, an affiliate of USA Today, based here in Rochester. This experience would not have been possible without the continuous support and guidance of my directors in the School of Communication. They believed I could do it. RIT truly is a unique place for a student to study journalism and the College of Liberal Arts is an inclusive melting pot of diverse, talented students. I couldn’t think of a more excellent place to immerse myself in the Liberal Arts. Never once have I regretted my decision to study at Rochester Institute of Technology and all can be attributed to the wonderful, supportive and community-driven School of Communication. Your professors, your peers and your mentors all work simultaneously to ensure that you receive the best internships, opportunities and, of course, support that they can offer.