College graduation stands out as one of
life's great moments. Truly a memorable event, it's a rite of
pasage, a beginning as well as completion.
At RIT, commencement is a festive occasion, always the highlight
of the year. Since President Albert Simone's arrival in 1992,
the celebration has expanded to become a university-wide event.
Decked in colorful flags, bouquets of balloons, and outdoor stages
for performing musicians, the campus looks its best. Even the
garden plantings participate, generally reaching a flowery peak
in time to greet the thousands of visiting friends and family
members. An enormous white tent rises behind the Student Alumni
Union, providing a site for the largest ceremonies.
The festivities continue over two days, with a convocation ceremony
on Friday evening for the entire RIT community and separate commencement
ceremonies for each of the colleges on Friday afternoon and Saturday.
Convocation gives RIT the opportunity to recognize the excellence
of students and faculty. President Simone officially confers degrees
on all the graduates during this special gathering. The student
delegates selected to represent the individual colleges enter
carrying the college banners and sit onstage with trustees, alumni,
administrators and faculty leaders, all in full academic regalia.
Russell Bessette, M.D., executive director of the New York State
Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), gave
the 2001 keynote address.
|"What you have learned here is only the first step in
what you will need to know in order to contribute in whatever
may be your chosen life's work. . . . In today's world of
rapid change, any one of us who fails to aggressively continue
to acquire knowledge becomes professionally middle-aged by
the time we are 30."Russell Bessette, executive director,
|Mark Bridges shared the stage with daughter Tobie as
both father and daughter received bachelor of fine arts degrees
from RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. Mark, a mechanical
designer at Eastman Kodak Co., majored in industrial design
and has been working on his degree part-time for the past
five years. Tobie earned her degree in applied photography.
The family lives in Spencerport, N.Y.
"We feel this two-day celebration constitutes a culminating experience
for graduates, families and friends," says Simone. "It's a capstone
of their time at RIT and a fitting finale to years of hard work
and sacrifice. By celebrating the excellence of our faculty and
students, we spotlight the RIT tradition, university pride and
The university's 116th annual commencement took place May 25-26,
with near-perfect weather contributing to the upbeat atmosphere
as 3,771 students 2,948 undergraduate and 823 graduate students
received degrees in more than 240 programs. These pages present
a few of the highlights.
First software engineering grads
This year's commencement marked a milestone reached by the university
and a unique group of graduates.
Twelve students became the first in the United States to earn
bachelor's degrees in software engineering. One is Tom McAlee,
who transferred into the program from computer engineering and
couldn't be more pleased - he had four offers without ever applying
for a job.
"I don't even have a resume I never needed one," says McAlee.
He and classmate Ben Smith have accepted positions (with "fat"
salaries, McAlee says) with Exegetics Inc. in Blacksburg, Va.
RIT's five-year undergraduate program in software engineering
was launched by the College of Applied Science and Technology
and Kate Gleason College of Engineering in the fall of 1996 aiming
to meet a growing demand for skilled workers in the field and
to focus on large-scale, evolving software systems. This fall,
the program moves to the new B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing
and Information Sciences.
Eisenhart Awards honor teachers
Commencement is a celebration of teaching as well as of student
achievement. "Teaching is the heart of RIT," says Stanley McKenzie,
provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Truly, there
is no more important job in our society." Since 1965, RIT's Eisenhart
Awards for Outstanding Teaching have commemorated faculty excellence.
Up to four awards are given each year to recipients chosen through
a rigorous peer review of student nominations. Winners are acknowledged
Also recognized is the winner of the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart
Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award given annually
to a young faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions.
|Alfred Davis, RIT vice president emeritus and longtime
benefactor, celebrated his grand-niece's graduation by donating
a rowing shell to RIT crew. Heidi Jordan, who received a B.S.
in biotechnology, christened her namesake during a pre-commencement
lunch at the RIT boathouse.
The Eisenhart family has a long history with RIT. The late M.
Herbert Eisenhart, president and board chairman of Bausch & Lomb,
was an RIT trustee for more than 50 years. His son, Richard Eisenhart,
continues the RIT connection, serving on the board since 1972,
as chairman for six years and now as trustee emeritus.
This year's winners are:
George Georgantas, professor of mathematics and statistics,
College of Science.
Hany Ghoneim, professor of mechanical engineering, Kate
Gleason College of Engineering.
Sidney McQuay, associate professor, National Technical
Institute for the Deaf.
John Sanders, professor, College of Liberal Arts.
Larry Buckley, assistant professor, College of Science
(Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost's Award for Excellence
Delegates exemplify the best
Every year, student representatives are selected to speak at
each college's commencement ceremony. These students demonstrate
the ideals of RIT, including, but not limited to, academic achievement.
The accomplishments of this year's student delegates are wide-ranging:
Bethany Iannone, computer science, College of Applied
Science and Technology. Iannone's co-op experiences were at RIT
as a software developer for the Data Cycle System for Stratospheric
Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, and at Eastman Kodak Co. She
works for Cisco Systems in Boston.
Brenda Moye, electrical engineering technology, College
of Applied Science and Technology. Recipient of an RIT Electrical
Engineering Technology Outstanding Alumna Scholarship and other
honors, Moye was a peer mentor in the Minority Transition Support
Program, academic excellence chairperson for the National Society
of Black Engineers, an academic tutor in the New York State Higher
Education Opportunity Program, and an RIT resident adviser. She
works for Motorola in Phoenix, Ariz.
Adam Cerling, B.S./M.S. computer science, College of Applied
Science and Technology. Cerling served as adjunct professor in
computer science, and has worked as a programmer with Dawning
Technologies Inc. and Display Technology Systems Inc. His special
interests are computer and video role-playing games and animation,
languages, and religious activities.
|From left are Esperanza NuŅez, Science; Patricia Canne,
NTID; Andrew Quagliata, Liberal Arts; Joanne Gosselin, Imaging
Arts and Sciences; Matthew Mariani, Engineering; Jason Schwingle,
Business; Antonija Cvjetovic, visiting from RIT's American
College of Management and Technology in Croatia; and Bethany
Iannone, Applied Science and Technology. Not pictured are
Brenda Moye and Indrajit Mitra.
Jason Schwingle, marketing, College of Business. During
a co-op with INVESCO in New York City, Schwingle marketed and
maintained hedge-fund products for the institution's clientele.
Active in campus organizations, Schwingle created the RIT/VOA
Children's Center Project, a collaboration between the Volunteers
of America and RIT.
Indrajit Mitra, M.B.A., College of Business. Mitra, a
native of India, interned at Carrier Corp. in Syracuse. Among
his responsibilities was the implementation of a competitive pricing
database covering more than 35,000 parts manufactured and distributed
by Carrier. Mitra was a member of the Graduate Management Association
and the Dean's Student Advisory Council, and served as a note-taker
Matthew Mariani, computer engineering, Kate Gleason College
of Engineering. Mariani, winner of numerous scholarships and honors,
had co-op and intern experience at Xerox Corp. and Mellon Financial
Corp., and accepted a position with IBM Corp.
Joanne Gosselin, imaging and photographic technology,
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. Gosselin, who concentrated
on computer animation, worked at Pixel Physics in Rochester on
co-op and served on the executive board of RIT's Photo House.
She is enrolled in the graduate digital media technologies program
at Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
Andrew Quagliata, professional and technical communication,
College of Liberal Arts. Quagliata was founding editor of Liberal
Smarts, a newsletter written by students in the college, and
financial columnist, sports reporter, and editor for RIT's award-winning
Reporter magazine. He also served as captain of RIT's champion
intramural football team in 1998 and 2000.
Patricia Canne, health care billing and coding technology,
National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The mother of four
children, Canne maintained a full course load and a perfect cumulative
grade point average of 4.0. She plans to work in health care billing
and coding and hopes to become a teacher in that field.
Esperanza N²Ņez, biotechnology, College of Science. A
native of Venezuela, N²Ņez spent summers pursuing research experience
at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the Institute for Genomic Research-TIGR,
and NASA's Langley Research Center. N²Ņez also completed an internship
at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of the U.S.
Department of Energy's Research Undergraduate Laboratory Fellowships.
She was a founder of RIT's Venezuelan Student Association and
the vice president for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.