It is important that all faculty, staff members and student organizations review and understand RIT’s guidelines concerning political and legislative activities on campus. Federal regulations pertaining to RIT’s status as a tax-exempt organization restrict persons acting on its behalf from certain activities. In addition, there are, from time to time, occasions where members of the RIT community may wish to express their views on political or legislative matters. The purpose of this statement is to provide some guidance as to institutional policies and procedures in this area. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Government & Community Relations, ext. 5-5040.
Deborah Stendardi has served RIT since 1979, originally joining RIT as director of Government and Community Affairs. Since, she has been promoted to interim vice president, associate vice president and now vice president.
Prior to joining RIT, she served in a variety of positions for six years with the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in Albany.
In addition to her RIT responsibilities, Stendardi is very active in the Rochester community, serving in a number of volunteer and leadership roles for the United Way, Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. She received the Miller Award given by United Way to the outstanding campaign coordinator of the year in 1996.
Stendardi holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master's from SUNY Albany
Kristina J. Owens, a RIT Alumna, joined the Government and Community Relations team in January of 2018. Prior to RIT, she was a Biologist for the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service for over 10 years. She is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Bolivia as a Natural Resource Consultant.
In addition to her work at USDA and now at RIT, She is an active leader in the Peace Corps alumni community. In 2011 she served as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, DC (RPCV/W) Event Manager for three signature events honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps. Since then she served on the Board of the National Peace Corps Association.
Owens holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from State University of New York at Geneseo, a Master’s of Science in Forestry from Michigan Technological University and a Master’s of Science in Science, Technology and Public Policy from RIT.
Lori joined RIT’s Office of Government and Community Relations in May of 2012. A native of Greece, NY, Lori brought many years of customer service, human resources and supervisory experience to RIT. She currently oversees the financials for the department and is responsible for assisting the associate vice president and directors. As the head of GCR’s front desk, Lori often handles inquiries from the community and assists individuals and organizations with the initial phase of RIT event requests. Lori assists in coordinating RIT’s presence at the Rochester Fringe Festival and is involved in supporting RIT’s participation in many events in the Henrietta and Rochester community. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree from RIT. Outside of campus, Lori enjoys supporting her children’s interests in dance and soccer and serves on many fundraising committees.