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Board Bulletin

RIT ties last a lifetime, grow in value

RIT alum Brian O'Shaughnessy
Brian O'Shaughnessy '81

The RIT-connection doesn’t end when a graduate walks across the stage at commencement, says Brian O’Shaughnessy ’81, ’84 (Chemistry). “The relationship changes, but we’re still a part of RIT.”

“RIT is creating more opportunities to maintain that connection,” says O’Shaughnessy, who became chair of the Alumni Network Board of Directors (ANBOD) in July. “ANBOD represents the alumni, and it is dedicated to providing programs and volunteer opportunities that are rewarding for the individual and beneficial to the RIT community.”

O’Shaughnessy joined ANBOD eight years ago, when the Alumni Relations Office saw the need for a larger, more diverse representative body. Under previous chairs Nancy Fein ’76 (mathematics) and Ken Reed ’71 (chemistry), and through the efforts of the enlarged board, ANBOD has made progress in cultivating an active alumni community, he believes. But there’s more to be done, and additional resources from the University are needed.

“We need to strengthen the Alumni Office so we can better reach out to our graduates,” he says. “Advocating for that growth is the Board’s foremost goal. Without those resources,
we can’t provide the level of programming needed to substantially increase alumni participation.”

Networking and social activities around the country and special events on and off campus are some of the ways for alumni to stay connected. Alumni also can volunteer to help with admissions activities and reunions, and to mentor students.

“Additional programs are in the works,” he says, “and we’re always looking for new ideas from the alumni themselves.”

Alumni have a personal stake in RIT’s reputation, O’Shaughnessy notes. “The value of the RIT degree is not static,” he says. “It grows in direct proportion to the University’s reputation. And alumni participation contributes to that growth. It’s basic civics: The strength of the community depends on the time, talents, and resources of all its members.”

The new ANBOD chair received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from RIT and immediately went on to law school at Syracuse University. He is a partner in the law firm of Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis, L.L.P., Alexandria, Va., where he practices intellectual property law, and especially patent law. O’Shaughnessy is married to Kimberly Hollenbeck ’83. ’85 (nuclear medicine and biology).

Two other officers and six new members began three-year terms on the 30-member board in July. They are:

Kathleen M. Anderson ’94 (professional and technical communications), vice chair. Anderson is media director for Collins Travers & Co., and previously worked as director of marketing at Blue Cross Arena and Rochester War Memorial, and as community affairs director at WKBW–TV in Buffalo. She resides in Hamburg, N.Y., with her husband, John.

Amy Johnson Hall ’92 (industrial design), vice chair. She
is an account executive at Graphic Packaging International and worked previously as general manager of flexible packaging at Universal Folding Box in New Jersey. She resides in Wayne, N.J. with her husband, Todd.

Victoria Ann Decker Griffith ’93 (food marketing and distribution), new board member. Griffith is director of quality assurance for Clyde’s of Georgetown Inc., owner of 11 restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area.

Johan “Filipe” Giraldo ’02 (mechanical engineering technology), new board member. A native of Colombia, he was actively involved in the Latin American Student Association at RIT. He is a project engineer for LeChase Construction, Rochester.

Torri L. Logan ’99 (packaging science), new board member. He works for the Toyota Corp. in Hebron, Ky., where he and his wife, Melody, reside.

James R. McFarland ’70 (business), new board member. He is a vice-president for AT&T. He and his wife, Anne, live in Flemington, N.J.

Jessica Ocasio ’98 (business), new board member. A consultant at the Estee Lauder Co. in New York City, Ocasio and her son, Jordan Tyler Romez, live in Yonkers.

Robert H. Rotolo ’74 (engineering technology), new board member. He is senior mechanical engineer at Applied Mechanical Technologies in Victor, N.Y. He resides in Webster, N.Y., with his wife, Denise, and children, Jason and Kathryn.

Interested in participating on the Alumni Network Board of Directors? Contact Kelly Redder, executive director of Alumni Relations, at karrar@rit.edu, or 585-475-7412.