Two RIT students receive Norman A. Miles Scholarship for academic excellence

The annual award honors both students and professors




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Graham Forsey on Lake Ontario.

Two students in the Honors Program at Rochester Institute of Technology were offered an unusual scholarship that gave them the opportunity to thank a professor who made a difference in their college experience.

Graham Forsey, a fourth-year management information systems student in RIT’s Saunders College of Business, and Sol Boucher, a third-year computer science student in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, have been selected as recipients of the Norman A. Miles Award for Academic Excellence. Both students will receive $9,317 in tuition funding for the 2013-2014 academic year.

It’s a win-win award, because two professors will receive the same amount for academic excellence in teaching. Forsey nominated Sean Hansen, assistant professor of management information systems in the Saunders College, and Boucher selected Ivona Bezáková, associate professor of computer science in the Golisano College and recent recipient of the 2013 Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching.

“The Norman Miles award is given to a student or students who began his or her studies as a freshman at RIT and is now entering his or her last year of undergraduate study with the highest grade point average across the university,” says Jeremy Haefner, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

“Graham and Sol are exactly the type of students Mr. Miles had in mind when he endowed this award.”

Hansen says Forsey is a true scholar and his leadership as a member of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the RIT community has been truly inspiring. “In addition to his strong intellect, his sharp sense of humor and great interpersonal demeanor make a huge contribution to every class.”

Forsey’s hometown is St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, and he attended Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf near Toronto, Ontario, before coming to RIT for his postsecondary education. Forsey maintains a 4.0 GPA, works as a tutor in the NTID Learning Center, is a student justice in the Institute Appeals Board, and will serve as finance director for NTID Student Congress for the 2013-2014 academic year.

“With superb academics and access services, plus the fact that Saunders was a very good college for accounting students, RIT was the clear top choice of all schools I considered,” says Forsey. “It is really a wonderful and vibrant place to be at for a socially active leader.”

Boucher hails from Tolland, Conn., and attended Tolland High School before coming to RIT with plans to become a high school computer science teacher. Boucher maintains a 4.0 GPA, works as a math tutor in RIT’s Academic Support Center, has studied abroad in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and is interning with Google in Kirkland, Wash.

“Each of my classes with Ivona have been marked by her passion for the material, engaging sense of fun and deep care for every student’s success,” says Boucher. “Whether she’s dashing across the board to add a side note, creating a cute illustration to represent a difficult concept or discussing the assignments during office hours, she succeeds at breathing life into math and computer science like few other professors can.”

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Graham Forsey on Lake Ontario.

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Sol Boucher in the state of Washington.