RIT professor receives inaugural Edline M. Chun Award

CIAS recognizes Stephen Whittaker for outstanding teaching and service

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Stephen Whittaker

Stephen Whittaker, a professor in the School of Media Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS), is the first-ever recipient of the Edline M. Chun Award for Outstanding Teaching and Service.

Named in honor of the late RIT adjunct professor Edline Chun, the honor will be given annually to a CIAS adjunct faculty member who exemplifies excellence and dedication in teaching to a CIAS-affiliated school and to the college. The award was announced earlier this month at a reception for CIAS adjunct faculty in the University Gallery.

“As a longtime colleague and friend, I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected as the recipient of this inaugural award in tribute to Edline,” Whittaker said. “Our role as educators and professional teachers and coaches is to ensure that our students receive only the finest education, and to ensure that RIT’s School of Media Sciences remains a leader in the graphic communications industry.”

Whittaker, a resident of Fairport, N.Y., has taught at RIT’s School of Media Sciences (SMS) for more than 20 years. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

He has worked in the graphic communications/printing industry for more than three decades with Monroe Litho Inc. He formerly served as vice president of Quality Management and Environmental Initiatives for the Rochester-based printing company, where he oversaw more than two dozen successful third-party quality audits by major Fortune 100 companies, including Bausch + Lomb, Xerox, Eastman Kodak, Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical and others. He is listed with the National Registry of Environmental Professionals as a certified environmental and safety compliance officer.

In 2011, he received national recognition from whattheythink.com with the Environmental Thought Leader Award within North America’s commercial printing industry.

In 2012, the Printing Industries of America honored Whittaker with the William D. Schaeffer Environmental Award, which recognizes an individual’s focus on advancing environmental awareness and action in the graphic communications industry. He served Printing Industries of America as a member of its Continuous Improvement Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2010 and was named a member of the board of director of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership. In 2009, he was recognized by the Printing Industry Alliance of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as the recipient of the John Peter Zenger Medal for military bravery.

A U.S. Army veteran, Whittaker was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and eight other military decorations for his service from 1968-70. In the Rochester community, he is ex-officio member of the board of governors of the Children’s Dyslexia Center. He also is a former member of the steering committee of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation.

Since 1996 he has been a certified manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence and senior member within the American Society for Quality, a certified quality auditor.

“Steve is a dedicated and passionate member of the SMS team and exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding faculty member,” said Chris Bondy, Gannett Distinguished Professor
and administrative chair of the School of Media Sciences. “He brings a wealth of real-world industry knowledge to the classroom, coupled with a sincere interest in helping students learn the material and succeed in their careers. Steve exemplifies the values and commitment of Edline Chun as an excellent selection for this award.”

Ms. Chun was a well-respected and beloved faculty member who taught in CIAS for nearly two decades. Her colleagues in the School of Media Sciences described her as someone who “always went above and beyond to serve the students and the school with passion, integrity and the utmost class.”