Monthly Archives: November 2015

RIT/NTID Names Scott Smith, MD, Research Associate Professor: Health Care Careers

Scott Smith wearing glasses, purple shirt and multicolored tie

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf announced the appointment of Scott Smith, M.D., to the position of research associate professor: Health Care Careers. Smith will be responsible for leading NTID’s health care careers implementation efforts and serving as the point person for health care career efforts at NTID. 

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Smith at RIT/NTID to provide leadership for our health care careers initiatives,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “We are committed to increasing the numbers of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals going into health care fields, and we are confident that Scott will be instrumental in helping us achieve that goal.”

Smith, from North Carolina, is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, now working in academic research on issues of health disparities of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. He earned his medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Eastern North Carolina. After relocating to Boston, he completed two postdoctoral fellowships – one in research (general academic pediatrics) and one in clinic (developmental-behavioral pediatrics). During his time in Boston, he earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health.

Smith moved to Rochester in 2004 to practice full-time at Rochester General Hospital, where, working with interpreters, he provided care to both hearing and deaf patients. In 2009, he transferred to the University of Rochester to join the National Center for Deaf Health Research as a postdoctoral research fellow. In 2010, Smith received a five-year NIH-funded mentored research career award (K01) and became an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He also has been working at RIT/NTID as both a consultant for NTID’s Health Care Careers Implementation Commission and an adjunct faculty member for deaf and hard-of-hearing students taking RIT and U of R science courses. 

As part of his responsibility overseeing the timely implementation of approved health care initiatives, Smith will participate in the development of external funding proposals related to NTID health care career initiatives and will serve as a resource and catalyst regarding health care information dissemination, educational curricula and training programs, student recruitment and admissions strategies for RIT/NTID-sponsored health care programs, employer awareness and accessibility and technological solutions related to health care fields. In his position as research associate professor and physician, he will educate local, state and national stakeholders about deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals in the health care industry. 

“I’m excited about joining the faculty at NTID and look forward to working with team members both at NTID and the greater university to help establish RIT/NTID as a hub of excellence for deaf and hard-of-hearing people interested in life sciences and health care fields,” Smith said.

Dyer Arts Center Hosts Two New Exhibits

Dyer Arts Center Hosts Two New Exhibits

The Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf hosts two exhibits this fall and winter.

  • “Roots Out of a Dry Ground: The Life and Work of Andrew Foster,” which runs through Dec. 18, is a biographical exhibit of deaf missionary Andrew Foster, who lived and worked in Africa from 1956 until his death in 1987. In 1954, he became the first deaf African American to earn a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University and the first to earn a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. He founded Christian Mission for the Deaf African in 1956 and established the first school for the deaf in Africa in Ghana.
  • “Unfolding the Soul of Black Deaf Expressions”—a first-of-its-kind exhibit featuring more than 100 works of art from more than 30 Black Deaf artists runs Nov. 14 through Feb. 27. A two-day symposium will be held Feb. 26 and 27. Pieces stem from a variety of artistic media, including paintings, photography and drawings. More

Volunteer Program Helps Alumni Give NTID “LOVE”

Caya Consunji models the back of the Got NTID LOVE? t-shirt, with logo designed by Matt Daigle

Earlier this spring, RIT/NTID alumna Brandi Rarus visited campus to sign her book, Finding Zoe. While she was here, the former Miss Deaf America took time out from her schedule to meet with students in their classes.

By taking the time to give back to her alma mater and meet current students, Rarus became one of the latest alumni to give some NTID “LOVE.”

Participating in the “Got NTID LOVE?” project enables qualified alumni who demonstrate a desire to stay connected with the university to join a network of likeminded Leaders of Volunteer Engagement (LOVE).

Joining Rarus in this network is Muchineripi “Muchi” Chienje, who staffed the NTID Alumni Relations booth at both the Rochester Deaf Festival this summer and the AppleFest on campus this fall. Chienje spent his time helping to connect local alumni with current students, further cementing students’ awareness of the significance of the RIT/NTID experience.

Volunteer efforts are not limited to Rochester and may span the country or even transcend its borders. For example, Carmen “Caya” Consuji and Susie Lai coordinated the RIT/NTID exhibit at the biannual Deaf Women United conference in Berkeley, California, this summer. Consunji and Lai’s efforts meant alumni who attended the conference had the opportunity to connect with each other, despite the geographical distance from RIT/NTID.

“Volunteering is a priority because RIT/NTID helped me grow as a person,” says Consuji. “It’s been years since I was on campus, but the opportunity to network is really nice.”

Daniel Santos also was instrumental in hosting an NTID alumni gathering this spring at Signs Restaurant in Toronto, Canada’s first restaurant staffed by deaf servers. Because of Santos’ participation in the Got NTID LOVE? project, RIT/NTID was able to reach out and connect with its international alumni, while treating them to a networking opportunity hosted at the site of a popular entrepreneurial venture.

Got NTID LOVE? is a volunteer engagement initiative first conceived by former NTID Alumni Association president Angie Officer. She wanted to provide resources for RIT/NTID alumni interested in volunteering, and at the same time, find ways to recognize and express gratitude to alumni volunteers.

“The NTID Alumni Association board sees firsthand the positive impact here at RIT/NTID when alumni give their time,” says Officer. “It’s a gift that keeps on giving in many intangible ways.”

Alumni often are vital to fundraising efforts, and volunteers can support NTID’s Development office on targeted projects. Alumni who take the time to talk to prospective and admitted students in their own geographic region often represent a level of authenticity that has a positive impact on recruitment efforts.

“We have 8,000 NTID alumni,” says Officer. “Each and every one of those alumni has the power to make an amazing impact, both on the college and on the lives of current students through our networking and fundraising efforts. Scholarship support is more important than ever, and alumni can help make a huge difference.”

For example, “it helps new students and [recent grads] to meet and know that there are RIT alumni who succeed and can be role models,” adds Consuji.

Leaders receive a T-shirt with the project logo, which was designed by RIT/NTID alumnus Matt Daigle, a cartoonist known for the “That Deaf Guy” series.

Alumni who are interested in joining the effort to give some NTID LOVE can visit

Hill named to RIT/NTID Faculty

image of Joseph Hill wearing glasses

Joseph Hill has joined the faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. He is an instructional/support faculty member in NTID’s American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Hill earned a bachelor’s degree in Systems Analysis from Miami University of Ohio, and went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate in American Sign Language Linguistics from Gallaudet University. In 2008, he was named a Fulbright Scholar, and held a National Science Foundation Fellowship 2003-2006.

He is a member of the Linguistic Society of America, National Association of the Deaf, National Black Deaf Advocates and the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Language, among others. He has presented at conferences throughout the United States and internationally, and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. He previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Siena School for Liberal Arts in Siena, Italy, and at Gallaudet.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and for providing unparalleled support services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. RIT is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1965, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. NTID offers associate degree programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and provides support and access services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students who study in the other eight colleges of RIT. NTID also offers a bachelor’s degree program in sign language interpreting and a master’s degree program in secondary education for individuals interested in teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students come from all over the United States and around the world to take advantage of the opportunities available to them at RIT/NTID. Visit: