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Star power News hits, University Magazine

A movie about Matt Hammill ’99 (electromechanical technology)—A.K.A. “The Hammer”—is set to be released soon.

In case you don’t know the story, Hammill, born deaf, grew up to become a champion wrestler and now an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star. An interesting interview with Hammill ran in The Columbus Dispatch earlier this month.

You can find it among the “Alumni in the News” items on the Alumni News Web page.

Meanwhile, another member of RIT’s deaf and hard-of-hearing community has achieved celebrity status. Luke Adams ’08 (criminal justice) and his mom, Margie, are among the teams competing in the current season of CBS’ Amazing Race television series. They took first place in Episode 5, which aired last Sunday. I’ll be watching this coming Sunday, 8 p.m., to see how they do. Among the various challenges last Sunday, Adams had to strip down to his skivvies and run through the snowy streets of some Russian city. Here in University News, we could wish he had worn an RIT hat too.

And while we’re on the subject of sports (sort of), I should mention former RIT hockey player Simon Lambert ’08 (civil engineering technology), who was dubbed a “Shooting Star” by The Oklahoman in a story about his rookie season with the Oklahoma City Blazers.

Donald W. Hanson ’68 (electrical engineering) made headlines recently for a lifetime of achievement in technology. Hanson retires in June from the position of director of the Rome (N.Y.) Air Force Research Laboratory, where he has worked since 1968. According to The Rome Sentinel, Hanson’s principal technical work was in photonics, radar and adaptive optics. One of his favorite projects was working on “adaptive optics” research that included installing a system on a telescope at Mt. Haleakala in Hawaii. I wonder if he knows that RIT now offers a Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences and technology?

I want to mention one more great grad. Becca Nelson ’07 (professional and technical communications) is in Kenya right now, working to help improve the lives of people there. She’s documenting the construction of solar-powered computer classrooms, so that people in other underdeveloped parts of the world can build similar facilities. Becca’s doing this as her capstone project for her master’s degree, but a powerful commitment to doing good took her to Kenya. She’s an inspiration.

You can find these stories and many more on the Alumni News page. I hope you’ll visit soon, visit often, and spread the word.


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