Two students are keeping RIT in the family

Student Spotlight
Rich Sammon, third-year civil engineering
Phil Sammon, first-year mechanical engineering

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Rich Sammon, left, and Phil Sammon, right, both play on the RIT baseball team.

Rich Sammon is a third-year civil engineering student. His brother, Phil Sammon, enrolled at RIT this year as a first-year mechanical engineering student. The Ridgefield, Conn., natives not only attend RIT together, but they also both play on the RIT baseball team. Rich is a pitcher while Phil plays shortstop and outfield. Outside of baseball and classes, Rich is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and works for the athletics department. Phil is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and is hoping to join SAAC next school year.

Question: What brought you to RIT?
Rich Sammon: I was drawn to RIT because of the fact that it allowed me to study civil engineering, play baseball and enter the real world with great job experiences through the co-op program.
Phil Sammon: RIT was one of the top three schools on my list. Overall, I came here for the mechanical engineering program and the opportunity to play baseball for the school. I also chose RIT because I liked the setup of the campus and how Jefferson Road provides a college student with more than they could ever need.

Q: How much of a role did your brother already being here impact your decision to come to RIT?
Phil: I think that even if my brother didn’t go to RIT I would have still looked at the school and applied, but since I had overnight visits with him several times and I enjoyed being here I was much more biased in choosing RIT. I thought it would be cool to have family so close by and playing baseball with him in college would be just like it was growing up.

Q: What were your initial thoughts when you found out your brother would be coming to RIT?
Rich: I was excited that he had made his decision and that we could spend the next two years with each other at school playing baseball, but I was also a little worried. I feel like I made my freshman year look fun and easy and I was scared he wouldn’t adjust the same ways that I had, but he’s done just fine. I worried for nothing!

Q: Why did you decide to study your respective majors?
Rich: When I was younger I was always building things and drawing buildings, skyscrapers and bridges. I loved Legos, those computer tycoon games, all the Sims games – I just couldn’t get enough. From there, people always used to tell me I should go into engineering.
Phil: I decided to study mechanical engineering because I’ve always loved math and science. I wanted to choose a major that was physics intensive as well and I enjoy solving problems so it seemed like the right fit.

Q: What have been some of your favorite memories from your time at RIT?
Rich: Freshman year was awesome! It was hard to adjust to the new school feel, to meet new people and learn new things, but once I settled in, I was able to just enjoy every day I was here. I loved my dorm floor (shout out to NRH 6!), won an intramural basketball championship, made so many new friends, and pulled a few all-nighters. If I could go back and do it all over again the same exact way, I could honestly say I would.
Phil: Some of my favorite memories at RIT have been with the baseball team. I experienced my first college hit, first college home run and first game-winning home run.

Q: What has it been like getting to go to college and play college level baseball with your brother this year?
Rich: It’s been a great year, I’d say. I got to show him some of the cool things at RIT while he was in high school visiting me and now he was able to explore the campus for himself, find his own niche. As for playing baseball, it was a hell of a year! Our team improved tremendously and my brother really stepped up as a freshman when one of our captains got injured. We haven’t played on the same team for a while but I’m glad we get the chance to before my college career comes to an end next year.
Phil: It’s a great experience to have my brother so close to me because whenever I need something I can just ask. As for the baseball aspect, I have been playing with my brother my whole life so not much has changed except for the level of play.

Q: Do you guys spend a lot of time together outside of baseball?
Rich: My brother and I have a weird relationship. One day we could spend hours hanging out, another day we may not see each other, so sometimes baseball is the only time we hang out. With the life of a student-athlete, scheduling time to eat, do homework, be social and of course do laundry is very tough but when we find the time we definitely hang out together.

Q: What is your favorite part about going to college with your brother?
Rich: My favorite part of going to college with him so far is that I was able to show him the ropes a little bit, give him some pointers and let him take advantage of his college life early on. That’s something most freshman have to learn on their own, something I had to learn on my own. But there is a whole other year we’ll get to spend together and a lot more experiences that we can share.

Q: What is your least favorite part?
Rich: My least favorite part is that he has become cooler than me and taken all my friends with him! I’m just kidding, but I guess I’d say it’s the pressure I get from my parents to look out for my little bro. Not that he needs me too, but they worry.
Phil: Now that we are up here alone and he is older I guess he feels responsible for me so sometimes he assumes the role of a parent. This can get on my nerves sometimes but I know it’s just because he cares as all older siblings do.