Grads’ expertise shapes new diet advice
Two RIT alumnae were among five members of the American Dietetic Association who helped develop the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released in January. Penny Kris-Etherton ’71 (medical dietetics), now Distinguished Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University, served as chair of the fatty-acid subcommittee and on the alcohol subcommittee. Theresa Nicklas ’79 (general dietetics and nutrition care), professor of pediatrics in the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, lent her
expertise on children’s nutrition to the nutrient adequacy
and fatty-acid committees.
Penny Kris-Etherton, left, and Theresa Nicklas, right.
After attending RIT, Kris-Etherton went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in nutrition. Nicklas earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in public health.
The guidelines, revised every five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, set the nation’s policy direction in nutrition programs, research, education, food assistance, labeling
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Computer skills helped economics grad on the job
Nicole Richardson ’91 (economics) knew from an early age that she was destined for a career in corporate America. Today, the vice president of statistical modeling and analytics at the JP Morgan Chase Insurance Group points to her bachelor’s degree in economics from RIT as one key to her success.
Richardson arrived at RIT in 1988 by way of Barnard College in search of a technically savvy economics education.
“The first computer course that was required of everyone was Survey of Computer Science, and I was impressed by that,” Richardson says. “I knew that this was definitely the place I needed to be because whether you were a communication,
economics or art major, you needed to understand computers.”
Richardson credits RIT with her later ease as a graduate student at the University
of Delaware and in the workforce.
Richardson has worked in health care policy and market research with an emphasis on both the supply and the demand side. She joined JP Morgan Chase in 2000 as an assistant vice president in customer solutions and quickly advanced to vice president. In her current position, Richardson helps guide the insurance group’s market strategy through analysis of mortgage portfolios and mortgage customers, as well as credit-risk analysis.
“I would like to stress how valuable my RIT education has been,” Richardson says. “Although I’ve always been interested in economics and wanted to study it, I think RIT shaped the path that I took by helping me develop the quantitative, analytic and computer skills necessary to succeed in corporate America.”
Alumnus aims to build ‘computer friendly’ world
There is no need to “Photoshop” anything in the career portfolio of Christopher Haupt. Haupt ’88, ’94 (computer science), part of the technical team that builds and operates the popular photo editing software, already has a compelling story about working in the computing field.
Haupt is a senior engineering manager in digital imaging/digital video atAdobe Systems Inc., headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley. While completing his master’s degree, he worked in RIT’s former software services group.
“I helped students and faculty with problems they might have had using various tools,” says Haupt.
While teaching at RIT, Haupt began collaborating on a project with Neill Kramer, a former faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts, and Darin Krauss ’88 (biomedical computing) who worked with Haupt in software services. Their lunch conversations led to an innovative idea – creating children’s educational software. The three started a company called CyberPuppy Software, which created software targeted at children in kindergarten through 12th grade.
“Our first glimmer was actually when we took the beta software to a local middle school in Rochester to have the kids in computer camp test it. Wow, that was cool! They really became engaged in telling their stories.”
The three men took the software on the road, and they landed a deal with a company called Maxis. Soon after, their software was on store shelves. In 1996, Haupt and Kramer sold the rights to the company’s technology.
Haupt found himself out of a job, but not for long. Lunch with a schoolmate from RIT led to an interview with Adobe. Haupt planned to stay with the company for six months. That was eight years ago. What does he love about his job?
“I work with a fantastic group of smart, funny, passionate people who together love to bring the power of telling stories with photos to as many people as we can. Having millions of customers use our work in a way that is very meaningful and personal to themselves is really motivating.”
All that Jazz . . .
As a tribute to Duke Ellington and the jazz era, 17 students recreated a scene from the legendary Cotton Club as a final project for their production photography course. Professor Douglas Ford Rea, the project’s faculty supervisor, called this “one of the most ambitious shots we’ve ever done because of the choreography involved. We could not have done this project without help from the Eastman School of Music, The Memorial Art Gallery and Nolans Rental Inc.”