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Rochester Institute of Technology

NTID Campus Footprint Expands

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Photo By: Mark Benjamin

After nearly two years of construction, one of the year’s most impressive building additions to the RIT campus is open. Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall, a new 23,000 sq. ft. research and innovation center located on the east end of M-lot and connected to the Shumway Dining Commons, is the first facility in the world that will specifically engage deaf and hard-of-hearing students and their hearing peers, along with faculty and corporate partners, in the innovation process. Faculty and staff moved into the building late last month.

The building was made possible through a $1.75 million grant by the Chicago-based William G. McGowan Charitable Fund. Additional outside private funds were raised to construct the building.

Rosica Hall is designed with maximum flexibility to house a variety of innovative projects, including those related to development and adaptation of access and instructional technologies; and innovative cross-disciplinary projects from fields such as science, engineering, imaging and business.

Students working on research or projects housed there will explore new ideas that lead to the development of critical problem solving and research skills. These experiences give students a competitive advantage for stepping into highly skilled jobs.

Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall will transform the lives of those students who invent, research and grow within its walls,” says NTID President and RIT Vice President and Dean Dr. Gerard Buckley.

These students will develop the leadership, teamwork and communication skills needed to propel their future career success,” adds Dr. James J. DeCaro, NTID dean emeritus and director of the Center on Access Technology. “Their experiences will inspire these students to pursue new business ventures, original research and develop new technologies and services.”

The building’s namesakes, Sebastian and Lenore Rosica of Buffalo, N.Y., were lifelong advocates for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Lenore Rosica, who worked as a speech pathologist, was the sister of William G. McGowan, CEO of MCI Communications Corporation. Her husband, Sebastian, worked as an audiologist for 40 years at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, and was a trustee of the McGowan Charitable Fund. Two of their sons work at RIT: Mark Rosica is chairperson of NTID’s Counseling and Academic Services Department, and Dan Rosica is an Execuive Staff & Global Support Program Manager.

The RIT community is invited to the Rosica Hall Research Festival on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Here, attendees will get to:

  • Tour NTID’s exciting new research facility.
  • Visit poster sessions and talk to faculty and student researchers and see the innovative projects they are creating.
  • Meet the center directors, discuss current projects, and explore opportunities for future partnerships.
  • Participate in demonstrations for teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students in mainstream settings.

If community members can’t make it to the festival, a formal grand opening celebration is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 as part of NTID's 45th Anniversary Reunion and RIT's Brick City Homecoming. 

For more information about the festival, contact Sue Roethel, 475-5326 or smrnvd@rit.edu.

For photos and more information about Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall visit www.ntid.rit.edu/rosica-hall.