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Two years ago, Luis Caceres Chong knew next to nothing about Rochester, let alone RIT.
“I knew that Kodak started there,” says Caceres Chong, a telecommunications engineering technology graduate student in the College of Applied Science and Technology. “That was pretty much it.”
But what Caceres Chong, an international student from Honduras, did know was that he was looking to advance his career in the telecommunications industry, and that obtaining a master’s degree would greatly help him accomplish that goal.
Caceres Chong discovered RIT through his undergraduate university, Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana, which has a partnership with RIT. Director of Graduate Enrollment Services Diane Ellison met Caceres Chong on a visit to Honduras in February 2005.
Caceres Chong says the cultural transition from Honduras to the United States was an easy one. Why?
“Because I have cable,” he answers. “I was able to watch Friends and Seinfeld and all those series here in Honduras.”
Television wasn’t the only reason for the smooth transition. Caceres Chong attended a bilingual school in Honduras, where the educational system, he says, isn’t much different than that in the United States. He also points to the cultures of the two countries being quite similar.
All of that helped pave the way for a successful career at RIT. Not only will he graduate this spring with a 4.0 grade-point average, but he spent last spring working for telecommunications engineering technology professor Chance Glenn as a research assistant.
Caceres Chong credits his experience working with Glenn for much of his success. The two worked on the DYNAMAC, which is designed to reduce the bandwidth necessary to transmit high-definition television signals. The work he did with Glenn eventually served as the foundation for his thesis.
“It was a new experience for me,” Caceres Chong says. “I had never programmed something related to multimedia.”
It didn’t take long for telecommunication companies in Honduras to take notice of Caceres Chong’s accomplishments. After completing work on his thesis in the fall quarter, he returned to Honduras, where he accepted a position as a project manager with Grupo Financiero Ficohsa. Two weeks ago, he accepted a position as a network engineer optimizer with Telefonica Celular, a competing company.
“It’s going to give me a chance to put into practice everything I learned at RIT,” he says.
Now he is looking forward to a return trip to RIT in May—for commencement. And this time, he’s bringing his family with him.
“I’m going to show them the campus and will take them downtown to see High Falls,” Caceres Chong says. “It’s very important for them to see me graduate.”