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  • Sep 3, 2014

    For first-year students and cousins MacKenzie Woodhouse and Abigail Austin, RIT is a family tradition. The tradition began with their grandfather, Lee Austin ’61 (electrical engineering), and continued with his son, Michael Austin ’89 (computer science), who married Elizabeth Austin ’89 (computer science). Their daughter, Abigail, started this fall in media arts and technology, and her cousin, MacKenzie, enrolled this fall at RIT in electrical engineering.

    Abigail, who grew up in Pittsford, N.Y., said she picked RIT because she wanted to stay close to home and she liked the new media arts program. “It is also great that it is a legacy school in my family, so I was already familiar with the campus and the school.”

    MacKenzie, who is from Addison, N.Y., said she decided to look at RIT because so many family members, including other second cousins, had attended RIT. “But I decided to come here because it felt like home.”

    Aug 15, 2014

    IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. -- Military and law enforcement personnel took part Friday in a Northern Border Security Full Scale Exercise at the Summerville Pier in Irondequoit. It was the third in a series of international security training exercises on and near Lake Ontario.

    Hundreds of military and law enforcement personnel from the United States and Canada were spread out across the northern border, covering nearly the entire length of Lake Ontario.

    "We've got an area-wide command with incident command posts in Buffalo, Rochester and Oswego," said Fred Rion, Monroe County Emergency Management. "We have a centralized exercise director who's working with everyone from Rochester out to those other areas, so they're all communicating and it's pretty large in scope this year."

    Communications were centered in Rochester, in Monroe County's Geographic Information Systems mobile unit, known as MCU-4. The vehicle is only two years old and allows the various federal, state and local agencies to correspond with one another on the same frequency.

    "A lot of our radios here in the vehicle allow us to talk to multiple agencies, so we have our public safety communications that will bring their technology, their frequencies into this vehicle and essentially you'd be able to use this vehicle as a command post," said
    Scott McCarty, Monroe County GIS operations manager.

    Students from RIT's amateur radio club were on hand to provide support logistics. Max Kelley, a senior electrical engineering major from Webster, worked side-by-side with those in the GIS unit. Besides amateur radio communications, RIT's involvement also included new technology developed at the college.

    "We've got many GPS trackers that are on all sorts of apparatus today from helicopters to boats to vehicles, and we're getting to see it pop up on our map and it really gives good situational awareness we won't be able to have otherwise," Kelley said.

    The exercise was paid for through a Port Security Grant from the Department of Homeland Security. It's a three-year grant that expires at the end of this year.

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