Two second-year students in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at RIT traveled to Hawaii to speak at two conferences. The students, Rose Rustowicz of Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Malachi Schultz of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., gave talks that centered on the Innovative Freshman Experience program in the Center for Imaging Science.
The first conference, held on June 10-12 in Honolulu, was the Hawaii University International Conference on Education and Technology. Rustowicz gave a talk titled “Student Initiated Project: Creating a Volumetric Display.” Schultz and Rustowicz also gave a presentation on “Using a Non-Traditional Pedagogy in STEM Disciplines: Implications for Faculty.”
At the second conference, the 26th International Conference on the First Year Experience, on June 17-20 in Waikoloa, Schultz and Rustowicz gave a talk called “Putting the Capstone First: Turning the STEM Curriculum Upside-Down.”
“One of my favorite parts of the conferences was sitting with other presenters or attendees at meals—making connections and being able to have relaxed conversations with great people from all around the world,” says Rustowicz. “The whole experience has been extremely valuable and unforgettable, and the opportunity has allowed me to grow as an individual, a student and a presenter.”
The First Year Experience conference attracted presenters from more than 25 countries, including Australia, South Africa, Japan and The Netherlands.
“To present at an education conference, as an undergraduate student, and to get to share your thoughts and your ideas with professors and educators from all over the world is an incredible experience,” says Schultz. “I am truly grateful to the Center for Imaging Science for allowing me to do this.”
Started in 2010, the Innovative Freshman Experience is a hands-on, experiential learning environment that focuses on researching, designing and building a fully functioning imaging system. It takes the place of traditional lecture-style classes that are common in the first year of most undergraduate programs. The goal is to provide the students with an experience that is more relevant, engaging, challenging and motivating than the traditional pedagogy.
Four additional RIT students will give presentations about the program at the 2013 STEMtech Conference in Atlanta in October.
“I can’t thank the center enough for giving me this opportunity to present at conferences while at the same time having an adventure in Hawaii,” says Rustowicz. “Mahalo nui loa! (That’s ‘thank you very much’ in Hawaiian).”