Mark Biscone ’99 (biochemistry) moved to Houston in 2009 upon marrying his wife, a native Houstonian, and found a job that would help further his career. What he didn’t find was a very active RIT alumni community. This surprised him, since Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S.
After attending an alumni event in the summer of 2010, Biscone decided that he was going to rectify the situation. He began the process of organizing the Houston-area alumni and gaining official status for the chapter—no small task in a vast, sprawling metropolitan area.
“We have around 450 alumni who are spread around in pockets,” Biscone says. “We have to make sure to plan events in different areas of the Houston area to try to get as many people as possible involved.”
Through social networking and with support from RIT’s Alumni Association, Biscone has grown the chapter and helped many graduates reconnect with schoolmates and their alma mater.
“There is a mutually beneficial relationship between RIT and its former students,” he says. “Alumni get the chance to give back to the school by representing it at events and admissions fairs, as well as by donating. The school gets to give back by providing networking opportunities and by helping alumni chapters like ours.”
Robert Scharf ’94 (imaging science) assists Biscone. He moved to Houston shortly after graduating to work for the Engineering and Science Contract Group of NASA. “The RIT name really helped me to get a job,” he says. “And I’m lucky to have had the same job for 17 years.”
Scharf says that his role with the alumni chapter has been to feed ideas to Biscone. His goal is to see the chapter thrive and grow.