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Women printing students get a little extra from a dynamic duo

Hull & Dumke
Susan Dumke (left) and Lynda Hull
As new technologies change the face of the printing industry from "an old, dirty trade to a high-tech industry," more and more women are considering careers in the traditionally male trade, says Lynda Samuel Hull '87. (There are 286 undergraduates in the School of Printing Management; 30 percent are women, with the numbers continually growing.) Women in the printing industry now might find navigating their way through the career maze just a little less puzzling, thanks to two RIT alumnae. Hull and Susan Persson Dumke '84 have endowed a scholarship fund -- The Women in Printing Network Scholarship -- to help women achieve a more powerful presence in the printing industry. The scholarship will not only provide valuable financial assistance, but will also create a network of mentors and peers for women pursuing an education and career in the printing industry.

"I feel very fortunate to have my degree in printing management from Rochester Institute of Technology. A lot of people helped me -- either financially to get my degree or through support and advice -- to succeed in my career. I can't think of a better way to thank all of them than to help someone else," says Hull. A graduate of the School of Printing Management and Sciences, she is currently employed by Graphic Converting Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dumke and Hull want to attract more women to the printing industry and to help them become more successful during college and throughout their careers. According to Dumke, the printing industry is the "... perfect place for the women of the 21st century." A graduate of the former School of Fine Arts, Dumke combined her background in graphic design, photography and printing to become a success in the printing industry. She and Hull have also collaborated on several projects, including a book on 19th century Manhattan photographs.

"The need for such dedicated scholarship aid is even more critical today," says C. Harold Gaffin, chair of the School of Printing Management and Sciences, "considering that over 30 percent of last year's entry class were female. We are totally supportive of the vision and goals for this scholarship."

Hull and Dumke did not meet at RIT, but at a trade show in 1988. Their friendship quickly developed based on their enthusiasm and passion for the printing industry. Along with the scholarship's financial help, Dumke and Hull have formed a group of printing professionals willing to act as mentors to women students.

"It's important that women have role models that they can seek advice from and follow," says Hull.