Student inspires prospective tigers to attend RIT

Student spotlight
Alissa Anderson, fifth-year mechanical engineering dual degree

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Alissa Anderson

Alissa Anderson, a fifth-year mechanical engineering dual degree major, is full of fun facts about RIT. “Did you know that the Quarter Mile isn’t actually a quarter mile long?” she quips as she guides a tour group of future students visiting the RIT campus. As a student ambassador for the Undergraduate Admissions office, Anderson loves to let people know about the great experiences she’s had at RIT.

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from Clifton Park, N.Y.

Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: I participated in the WE@RIT Retreat, an overnight program that allows prospective students to experience the university firsthand with a female student mentor. The experience made me believe that RIT is truly invested in its students and their success.

Q: What is the most unusual thing you’ve done?
A: I’ve attended a banjo concert featuring the one and only Dr. Destler. Not many students can say they’ve heard his music firsthand.

Q: What is something that most people might not know about you?
A: I’m a triplet. My brother is a tax expert at the State University of New York at Albany business school and my sister is a dental student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Q: What types of things do you do around campus?
A: I’m a veteran of Greek and Residence Life, having been the president and vice president of Zeta Tau Alpha and a Resident Advisor on and off for three years. ZTA was great because I got to be involved in the planning and execution of the chapters’ largest events like Mud Tug, Make the Rink Pink and Think Pink Week, which supports the ZTA philanthropy for breast cancer education and awareness. I also work in the Undergraduate Admissions office as a student ambassador.

Q: How did you get involved with Admissions?
A: During my first year on campus, I wanted to learn more about the RIT campus history. The admissions job allows me to connect with the community and share my RIT experiences.

Q: What types of things does a student ambassador do?
A: I host campus tours, blog on the website and help produce the 5RITstudents video series, a behind-the-scenes look at student life at RIT. I also get to use social media, like Twitter and Google Hangout, as a way to connect with students and answer questions in real time. I participate in College & Careers, a summer overnight program for prospective students, and sometimes I Instagram awesome photos of crazy things on campus.

Q: What inspires you about mechanical engineering?
A: I love the stories of start-up companies, the debut of new products and the ways products impact our lives. I am most attracted to technologies that connect users—platforms that build communities and allow users to share information.

Q: What do you plan on doing after graduation?
A: I’m moving to Silicon Valley to pursue a career in engineering.

Q: Any advice you would give to other RIT students?
A: Get involved early. You never know what opportunities will become available to you from your efforts and connections.

Scott Bureau covers student affairs for University News. Contact him at with “Student Spotlight” suggestions.