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Students design ‘Legacy of George Eastman’

Students in RIT’s graduate program in new media publishing, design and information technology spent five months designing comprehensive multimedia packages for six Rochester area not-for-profit agencies, including the George Eastman House.

George Eastman

The 80 students created Web sites, interactive CD-Rom’s, brochures, posters and bookmarks for the George Eastman House, Young Audiences of Rochester, Women’s Coffee Connection, Volunteer Legal Services Project, Politics of Food and the Neighborhood Housing Services of Rochester Inc.

The results have been impressive, says Kathy Connor, curator of the George Eastman Collection who worked with 13 RIT students who developed a new interactive Website, “George Eastman’s Life, Legacy and Estate.”

“They worked on deadline to create a media package as we celebrate and honor Mr. Eastman’s 150th birthday,” Connor says. “Now visitors from all over the world can go online and take a personal tour of the Eastman House and learn about Mr. Eastman’s life and legacy. My colleagues said the Web site the RIT students created for us is far and away the best work they’ve ever seen.”

The students created a comprehensive site with a 360-degree Quick Time Virtual Reality tour, historical timeline, educational components for teachers and students, and a “driving tour of 24 Rochester sites that we wouldn’t have today if George Eastman had never been born,” Connor says.

“To me, the Web site is priceless,” she explains. “I can’t imagine what it would have cost to hire someone from the outside to do what the students did for free. What better opportunity than to utilize young and talented students who are at the cutting edge
of their fields and know how to pull all the bells and whistles.”

Adam Smith, assistant professor of new media design imaging, says the project would have cost tens of thousands of
dollars if a design team used by Fortune 500 companies had completed the job.

“RIT is known for developing internship and co-op programs, but implementing technology of this magnitude deals with deadlines, team dynamics and the ability of students to negotiate, compromise and defend their work to clients who have specific needs and goals,” Smith says.

“There are no financial rewards for these students but the pride and joy they receive from seeing their client’s satisfaction and excitement is more than enough payment. They have been part
of a phenomenal opportunity and as they leave RIT, are fully
prepared to step into industry and be productive employees.”

“George Eastman’s Life, Legacy and Estate” Web site—created by RIT New Media Team students— available at www.eastman.org/legacy.