Newsmakers

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Geoffrey Sasaki, a fourth-year photographic sciences major, had his paper on “Creating Atmospherically and Temporarily Invariant Data Through Atmospheric Characterization of Imagery Collected by Small Unmanned Aerial Systems” accepted into the SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing conference, held April 15-19 in Kissimmee, Fla.


Matthew Seita, computing and information sciences Ph.D. student from Guilderland, N.Y., was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship, which supports three full years of tuition and a living stipend, is awarded based on intellectual merit and broader impact of the students’ proposed dissertation research.


Deanna LaManna, director of Margaret’s House, was honored by the Rochester Association for the Education of Young Children with the Exemplary Early Childhood Educator Award at a ceremony April 2 in Rochester, N.Y.


Tomicka Wagstaff, assistant vice president for academic access and success, Division of Diversity and Inclusion, was featured as a panelist at the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism Conference on April 12. Wagstaff and the other three panelists discussed the theme “Braving our History, Building our Future — Women of Color Working Beyond the Glass Ceiling.”


Patrick Scanlon, professor in the School of Communication, wrote an article, “Angling for Peace: Veterans find relief through fly fishing,” in the current (spring 2018) issue of PTSD Journal.


Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts, was a plenary speaker at the Illinois Language and Linguistics Society conference, held April 6-8 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On April 6, she spoke about “Sensing Humans with Language and Multiple Modalities.”


Amit Batabyal, the Arthur J. Gosnell Professor of Economics, was appointed Fellow of the Regional Studies Association in March 2018.


Gabriel Diaz, assistant professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, has joined the executive committee of the Vision Technical Group of The Optical Society.


John Oliphant, assistant professor in the physician assistant program, had an invited article, titled “Short-Term Medical Missions Done Well: What Every Sponsoring Institution Should Understand,” published in the March issue of the Journal of Physician Assistant Education. This paper was based on original qualitative and quantitative research conducted in both Haiti and the U.S.


Barry Culhane, executive assistant to the president, received the Eli Rudin Second-Half Hero Honoree award from the Al Sigl Community of Agencies during a luncheon on March 29 in Rochester. The award recognizes those who continue to provide community service in their “later years.”


Kaitlin Stack Whitney, visiting assistant professor in the science, technology and society department and the environmental sciences program, was invited to serve as judge for Cards Against Humanity’s Science Ambassador Program, a scholarship competition for college-bound girls interested in science, technology, engineering or math.


Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts, and Reynold Bailey, associate professor in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, co-chaired the 2018 IEEE Workshop on Human-Centered Computational Sensing in Athens, Greece, on March 19.


Andrew Phelps, director of RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios, was the keynote speaker at the International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events on March 18 in San Francisco.


RIT Curling won the consolation bracket at the USA College Curling Championship in Eau Claire, Wis., March 9-11. The team beat Wayne State, Hamilton and then University Oklahoma, finishing the weekend with a 4-2 record. Team members include James Reilly, Tommy Bohde, Zachary Blough, Michael Nixt and Morgan Shine.


Steven Galbraith, curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, presented an all-day program about the history, printing and influence of the King James Bible at the Smithsonian on March 17.


Student Affairs staff presented at the NASPA conference March 3–7 in Philadelphia on eight different topics reaching hundreds of student affairs professionals from around the world. Some 8,000 people were in attendance. A list of topics and presenters is available online.


Kaitlin Stack Whitney, visiting assistant professor in the science, technology and society department and the environmental sciences program, presented on her ongoing research on highway roadside management as part of the first American Society for Environmental History Twitter conference on March 8–9.


James Mnatzaganian ’13, ’16 (microelectronic engineering, computer engineering) received the 2018 Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Master’s Thesis Award for his thesis, “A Mathematical Formalization of Hierarchical Temporal Memory’s Spatial Pooler for use in Machine Learning.” He was nominated by Twyla Cummings, dean of Graduate Education. He also received the 2017 Alumni MS Thesis Award at RIT.


Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, has been renewed as a member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Resource Panel for a second term through May 2021. The panel is widely considered the most authoritative scientific forum for scientists and experts working in the area of natural resource management worldwide. Nasr is one of only three U.S. members.


Colette Shaw, assistant director, and David Graupman, conduct coordinator, Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, presented “Conduct Advocates Who Speak, Question and Fully Participate” for the Association for Student Conduct Administration on Feb. 24 in Jacksonville, Fla.


Kaitlin Stack Whitney, visiting assistant professor in the science, technology and society department and the environmental sciences program, was invited to speak to SUNY Geneseo’s biology department on Feb. 16 about research she is leading with the assistance of environmental science capstone students.


Kaitlin Stack Whitney, visiting assistant professor in the science, technology and society department and the environmental sciences program, published an article on accessibility of scientific papers and presentations for the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.


Emmett Ientilucci, assistant professor, Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, was an invited speaker for the Remotely Sensed Big Data Analysis and Mining (RSBDAM 2018) conference in Kolkata, India, at the Indian Statistical Institute. He was also invited to give a guest lecture at the National Institute of Technology in Silchar, India, on “Remote Sensing and Data Analysis Techniques.”


Robert Cybulski, a fifth-year mechanical engineering major, received an ASTM Standards Grant to support his senior design project. He and his team will be designing and testing a new hydraulic restraint module for amusement park rides.


Lorraine Hems, lecturer, Department of Hospitality and Service Management, presented “A Tour of Local, Sustainable, Organic and/or Biodynamic Wines,” at the Monroe County Bar Association’s Lawyer Health and Well-Being event on Jan. 25.


Scott Franklin, director, RIT’s Center for Advancing STEM Teaching Learning & Evaluation, gave a talk on “Emergent methods of science education research: quantitative and qualitative studies” at University of Rwanda’s College of Education in Rukara. He presented to the first class of Ph.D. students in the World Bank African Center of Excellence for Innovative Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science, of which RIT is a primary international partner. Franklin's trip, Jan. 13-23, was funded by Jim Myers, RIT associate provost of International Education and Global Programs and the Paul and Francena Miller Chair in International Education.


Deborah Stendardi, vice president of Government and Community Relations, was a finalist for the ATHENA Award, given annually by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate to a woman who has demonstrated significant achievements in business, community service and the professional advancement of women.


Sharitta Gross-Smith, assistant director of programmatic initiatives and student development for RIT’s Multicultural Center for Academic Success, was a finalist for the ATHENA Young Professional Award, given annually by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate recognizing emerging female leaders age 30 to 45 who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession and serve as a personal and professional role model for young women.


Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, associate curator at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, juried the Central Library's "Art of the Book" exhibit, now in its seventh year. The exhibit displayed dozens of works by artists from across the U.S. and Canada that reinterpret the traditional relationship between paper and ink.


Jonathan Weissman, lecturer in RIT’s Department of Computing Security, teaches Cybersecurity Fundamentals, which was named on edX’s list of top 17 courses in 2017. The offering was highlighted as a top “hot skills” course to help land an in-demand job in 2018.


Joe Geigel, professor of computer science and co-director of the CS Graphics and Applied Perception Lab, presented the paper “Creating a theatrical experience on a virtual stage” at the 14th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE 2017), held Dec. 14–16, 2017, in London.


Alla Bailey, principal lecturer, and Gerald Takacs, professor, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, received a grant, “RIT Clean Energy Generation Using Fuel Cells,” from Constellation’s E2 Energy to Educate program. The project includes workshop sessions and hands-on lab experiments at RIT for high school students and teachers.


Silvia Benso, professor, Department of Philosophy, was invited to become a member of the College of Fellows at Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia. As part of their annual gathering, she presented the paper “Open Borders: Italian Philosophy Between Nationalism and Globalization” on Nov. 23, 2017.


Josh Owen, professor and chair, industrial design, School of Design, won a 2017 Good Design Award for his Torq nutcracker (designed for OTHR) from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Founded in Chicago in 1950, the award is widely recognized as the oldest and most prestigious program for design excellence worldwide. Owen’s product now joins the museum’s Permanent Design Collection.


Tracy Worrell and Kelly Norris Martin, associate professors in the School of Communication, presented their paper, “New Evidence for the Importance of Design Instruction and the Development of Design Scales,” at the annual National Communication Association conference in Dallas, Nov. 16–19.


Andrea Hickerson, associate professor and director, School of Communication, presented a paper, “Conflict and Convergence: A case study of a U.S. Spanish-language publication’s efforts to grow a national audience,” at the European Communication Research and Education Association’s Diaspora, Media and Migration conference in Bilboa, Spain, on Nov. 3.


Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director, Golisano Institute for Sustainability, led a discussion and presentation on a revised first draft of the report titled “Assessment of Resource Efficiency and Innovation in Circular Economy through Remanufacturing, Refurbishment, Repair and Direct Reuse,” at the 21st meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) International Resource Panel in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 20-21. Nasr is the report’s lead author.


Seth Hubbard, director of the NanoPower Research Laboratory, co-wrote an article, “Highlights of the 2017 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference,” in the October issue of the IEEE Electron Devices Society Newsletter, vol. 24, No. 4. Hubbard served as technical program chair of the event held in Washington, D.C., in June. The IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference is the leading international meeting on photovoltaic science and technology.


Stephen Jacobs, professor of interactive games and media, was selected as a finalist in the 2017 edX Prize for Exceptional Contribution in Online Teaching and Learning and honored at the edX Global Forum Dec. 6 in Whistler, B.C., Canada. Jacobs was honored along with Jon-Paul Dyson from the Strong National Museum of Play for developing Video Game courses with edX.


Owen Gottlieb, assistant professor and affiliate of RIT’s MAGIC Center, presented “People of the Game: Jewish Heritage, Learning and Cultures of Play,” at University of North Carolina at Greensboro on Oct. 23. He discussed the continuities of Jewish heritage in play and learning from rabbinic literature to digital video games.


Matt Huenerfauth, professor in the Information Sciences and Technologies Department, was recognized as a 2017 Distinguished Member of ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery. Huenerfauth was selected for his outstanding contributions to computing. Read more about the Distinguished Member program on the ACM website.




Bolaji Thomas, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, was invited to serve as a chair for the Computational and Systems Biology discipline at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students Nov. 1-4 in Phoenix.


Michael Haselkorn, senior staff engineer and research faculty, Center of Excellence in Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing, presented a workshop on optimizing remanufacturing cleaning processes at the International Big R Show sponsored by the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association Oct. 28-30 in Las Vegas.


Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean, received Rochester School for the Deaf’s Perkins Founder’s Award in a ceremony on Oct. 18. The award recognizes outstanding service to the school. Buckley has been involved with the school in various capacities since the 1970s.


Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director, Golisano Institute for Sustainability, received the Chairperson’s Award at the inaugural Technology and Manufacturing Awards, sponsored by the Rochester Business Journal and the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association. Nasr was recognized for his remarkable impact on the manufacturing industry regionally, nationally and domestically over the last three decades, including his naming earlier this year as CEO of the RIT-led REMADE Institute.


Linden Pohland, a fourth-year hospitality and tourism management major from Germantown, Wis., and president of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) RIT Chapter, and Muhammet Kesgin, chapter adviser and assistant professor, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, presented “Student Engagement: Preparing Future Finance and Technology Leaders” at HFTP’s 65th annual convention in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 26.


Bruce Austin, director of RIT Press and professor in the School of Communication, presented “Widescreen: Expanding the Research Agenda for Arts & Crafts” at the Frank Lloyd Wright and the Buffalo School of Arts and Crafts International Conference on Oct. 22 at the University at Buffalo.


KSV Santhanam, professor; Roman Press, visiting scientist; Massoud “Matt” Miri, associate professor; Alla Bailey, senior lecturer; and Gerald Takacs, professor, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, are co-authors of the book Introduction to Hydrogen Technology. The second edition was published in October and offers new chapters on hydrogen production, storage and batteries. The book is available as an e-book and instructor’s resource manual.


Jonathan Ntheketha, senior assistant director for First Year Initiatives and Summer Bridge; Tina Chapman DaCosta, diversity theater program developer; and Tianna Mañon '15 (journalism and political science) were featured as panelists at the Little Theatre's Black Cinema Series showing of Get Out on Oct. 27.


Jessica Pardee, associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society, authored Surviving Katrina (2014), which won the Mid-South Sociological Association's Stanford M. Lyman Distinguished Book Award for 2017 on Oct. 20.


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