RIT women leading the way

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The women’s hockey team won the NCAA Division III Championship.

The women of RIT have been capturing many momentous headlines on campus.

It started in March when the women’s hockey team won the NCAA Division III Championship. The national champion Tigers finished the season with a 28-1-1 overall record. I am also proud that the team finished with a 3.2 GPA.

A few days after the championship, we announced our intent to move the women to Division I status, where we will join College Hockey America for the 2012-2013 season. I invite you to see the women in action during Brick City Homecoming when the Tigers take on Princeton Oct. 19 and Yale on Oct. 20. We have the talent to pull off an Ivy League sweep.

But the women weren’t done in the spring. The Women in Engineering program,WE@RIT, pulled off a victory in the electric vehicle drag race at Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival. The team, Hot Wheelz, went 100 meters in just under six seconds, reaching 58 mph on the short track. I challenged the RIT community to show the world that electric vehicles are not glorified golf carts. The Women in Engineering team came through victoriously and beat a dozen teams, including my own electric-powered bicycle. (Read more on pages 6-7.)

The above examples only touch the surface of the impact women are having across the university, from computing to the fine arts. For our entire history, however, RIT has been male dominated. Today, women account for 34 percent of the student population of 17,600. We hope to move our female population to 40 percent in coming years. This will increase our diversity on many levels.

We need your help. Please share the above success stories with family, friends and neighbors. Please share with them the diverse portfolio of academic programs in our nine colleges where we offer more than 200 undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. programs.

RIT is a hub of innovation and creativity, where brilliant minds assemble and collaborate. To reach our maximum potential, we need more women in the mix. Imagine the headlines they will create in the future.

Cordially yours,

Bill Destler