RIT and Mercy High School form partnership to advance educational initiatives

E. Philip Saunders College of Business helps initiate collaboration

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Rochester Institute of Technology and Our Lady of Mercy High School have announced a strategic partnership to meet educational and diversity objectives in a collaborative effort between students, faculty and the community. The relationship was initiated by RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business and will eventually be expanded to other parts of the university.

As part of the mutually beneficial opportunities, Mercy students will have access to educational events on the Henrietta campus—marked by their recent attendance at RIT’s Entrepreneurship Conference. Likewise, RIT management information sciences (MIS) students from the Saunders College will be able to apply their learning skills in developing and implementing a 3 to 5 year technology plan for the high school.

RIT and Mercy faculty will also have the opportunity to work together through curriculum development and cross-educational opportunities.

“Mercy is a place where the girls are prepared to be anything but ordinary,” says Suzanne Johnston, president of Our Lady of Mercy High School, a Catholic secondary school for young women in grades 7-12 located in Rochester.

“RIT can provide exceptional and unprecedented opportunities for Mercy students and capitalize on their recent and significant growth in participation in business, finance and entrepreneurship courses and business-related extracurricular activities at Mercy. We are proud that RIT is investing in our young women—the next generation of women leaders.”

According to a recent communication from RIT President Bill Destler on the university’s strategic goals, “RIT will facilitate a campus climate where the value of diversity and its importance in creating a sense of community is recognized and appreciated.” To meet these objecives, RIT continues to support and expand the Equity Scorecard project by continuing to review the status of women—focusing on the underrepresented populations of African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and all women at RIT.

“We are committed to fostering a campus environment where human differences are not only recognized and appreciated but leveraged to achieve the highest level of performance,” Destler says.

Lynn Garski, global alliance director at Electronic Data Systems, an HP company actively involved with both RIT’s Saunders College and Mercy High School, was instrumental in helping build the educational partnership.

EDS is renowned for forming and managing strategic alliances through the company’s Agility Alliance Partnership Program. As one of the organization’s six global directors who manage strategic relations for the company, Garski works in the Rochester area and also serves on RIT’s Saunders College MIS Advisory Board and as secretary for the Parent’s Association at Mercy High School—where her daughter Carolyn is a sophomore.

“With my deep involvement in both organizations and my experience in forming strategic alliance relationships, it was easy for me to envision the collaborative partnership and the value to both RIT and Mercy”, Garski says. “We have already begun to see results from the partnership, and I am committed to continuing to assist the parties in expanding their strategic relationship and initiatives that benefit the advancement of young women at Mercy and the students at RIT.”

Editor’s Note: Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. Nearly 16,500 full- and part-time students are enrolled in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs at RIT, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. RIT is featured in The Princeton Review’s 2009 edition of The Best 368 Colleges and in Barron’s Best Buys in Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education recognizes RIT as a “Great College to Work For.”