Stephanie Polowe, a professor in the cultural and creative studies department at NTID, has been named the 2013 recipient of RIT’s Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award.
Abubakar Ali, an RIT/NTID urban and community studies and international studies double major in the College of Liberal Arts, was named recipient of the Bruce R. James ’64 Distinguished Service Award for his service in the RIT community, in Rochester and in his native Somalia.
Polowe began working at NTID in 1974 as an English tutor and then teacher. She has been active in community and public service, both as a volunteer and a public official.
Ali, who was born in Somalia, helped establish the Somali Deaf Union, the first Somali organization for deaf individuals in his country. It later developed into the Somali National Association of the Deaf, and he served as its president. At RIT, he is a cross-registered senator in RIT Student Government. He helped launch a mentoring program for first-year students and Make A Friend, which encourages integration and socialization between deaf and hearing students.