Monthly Archives: April 2016

First-generation graduating NTID student committed to serving community

Susana Flores wearing orange shirt and sitting on bench outdoors

Susana Flores, a fourth-year museum studies student and community service director for NTID’s Latin American Deaf Club, is dedicated to helping others on and off campus and raising awareness for Latino culture. Flores, from Antioch, Calif., is the only deaf person in her family and the first to attend college. She found her place with the Latin American Deaf Club because of the support system it fosters. Organizing service projects with club members and collecting artwork for the Latinx Art Exhibit helped her develop leadership and teamwork skills. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree and work for a museum.

Question: What brought you to RIT?
Answer: RIT/NTID is a wonderful school that provides great opportunities with accessibility and diversity. I learned about RIT when an NTID admission counselor traveled to my school and gave a presentation. I attended the spring open house on campus before I became a student in the fall.

Q: Why did you choose your major?
A: I always enjoyed art, history, science and philosophy. Museum studies consisted of all the hobbies I enjoyed. At the same time, museum studies was a new program under the College of Liberal Arts in 2010, so I took the opportunity when I learned about it.

Q: What are some goals you achieved at RIT?
A: I obtained an associate degree from the College of Liberal Arts. I was NTID’s first Latina exhibitioner to host the Latinx Art Exhibit in the Dyer Arts Center last fall. As a Latina and a museum studies student, I had the experience to create the project for the Latin American Deaf Club’s Hispanic heritage awareness event. The club and I worked together with the art gallery to collect, organize and label works by Latinx artists. Another one of my goals was helping the club become recognized under NTID Student Congress for its achievements with community service. I served as the president, and I’m currently the community service director. My goals for the organization are to get involved with the community and help others. We have done several clothing and food drives, fundraised for Rochester’s Breast Cancer Association and collaborated with other diverse clubs.

Q: How is NTID your second home?
A: NTID became my second home when I discovered myself at RIT. When I first arrived, I knew no one and was already overwhelmed with the diversity here. After few months, I made new friends and made it on the Dean’s List. After my first year, I decided to join Latin American Deaf Club and realized that it had something that reminded me of home. It was the members’ family-oriented attitude that encouraged me to stay here especially during times when I was homesick.

Q: How has being a member of the Latin American Deaf Club helped you grow as a student?
A: Latin American Deaf Club has helped shape me into a mature and strong woman. Working with the team for five years has helped me become more patient. I think more as a leader and act as a team member. The experience itself was very enriching and important to me.

Q: Why is volunteering for the community important to you?
A: Volunteering for the RIT and Rochester community is very important to me and to other students because it helps us prepare and practice our communication and organization skills for reality after college.

Q: What does it mean for you to be the first one in your family to graduate from college?
A: It is truly an honor and a responsibility for me to carry out and establish a better role model for my younger family members to follow if they choose to continue their education, too.

Q: What advice would you give first-generation students?
A: My advice to first-generation students is to stay ambitious, determined and keep an open mind. Try new opportunities, gain experiences and build new points of view. Always keep building bridges with new networks for after-college and future use.

Q: After you graduate, what are your plans?
A: My plans are to stay in school for another two years to earn a master’s degree. Then my goal is to get a job with a museum institute and build my work experience. I also want to travel to Europe to learn more about deaf history and deaf studies

2016 Leadership Award winners

Leadership Award winners

Elizabeth MacLaren is the recipient of the Joseph T. Ferraro Memorial Scholarship, and Jonathan Roman received the Alfred L. and Ruby C. Davis Leadership Award, which also includes a scholarship. Students must be nominated for these awards, which are given annually in the spring. Award recipients have a passion for their work, are involved in campus life and demonstrate leadership skills in their various activities.

RIT/NTID lecture series features talk on self advocacy, being a deaf person in the corporate world

Pamela Seibert in black jacket and pink top

As a deaf person working in the corporate world, Pamela Siebert believes in the power of persistence and networking—both of which she says helped her land a software engineering job at one of the world’s largest technology and consulting companies.

She will share her insight when she returns to Rochester Institute of Technology as the featured speaker for The Edmund Lyon Memorial Lectureship Series.

Siebert, a software engineer for IBM and a National Technical Institute for the Deaf graduate, will present “Be Your Own Advocate as a Deaf person in the Corporate World” at 7 p.m. April 25 in the CSD Student Development Center, room 1300. A question-and-answer session follows the free presentation, which will be delivered in American Sign Language. Interpreting services have been requested.

Siebert, who was born to deaf parents and raised in St. Paul, Minn., will discuss her background and career path, how she adapts to continuously evolving technology, and how she works with many different people all over the world. She graduated from RIT in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in information technology from the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences and earned her master’s degree in software development and management from RIT. She volunteers for the Kansas Association for the Deaf board and was Miss Deaf Kansas from 2005 to 2007.

The purpose of the Lyon Memorial Lectureship Series, established in 1980, is to bring distinguished speakers to RIT/NTID to share expertise and scholarly contributions that stand on the cutting edge of advancement in the education and career success of deaf persons. Edmund Lyon (1855-1920) was a noted manufacturer, inventor, humanitarian and philanthropist in Rochester, who served as a trustee of both RIT and the Rochester School for the Deaf.

For more information about the Lyon Memorial Lecture Series, email Karen Beiter

RIT/NTID holds Student Research Fair

Photo by: Jorge Samper

Cody Cummings, a laboratory science technology student from Austin, Texas, is hoping that his research in the analysis of the sealant bitumen from objects will help archaeologists better determine when and where ancient artifacts were created.

Nicole Pannullo, a chemistry student from East Patchogue, N.Y., is using fluorescence to improve our understanding of what’s in our water.

On Friday, April 15, Cummings and Pannullo will join 27 other deaf and hard-of-hearing student researchers at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s Student Research Fair, 10 a.m.–noon, April 15, in Rosica Hall, Rochester Institute of Technology. This first-ever event at NTID will give undergraduate and graduate students, in partnership with faculty mentors, the opportunity to present posters or give demonstrations on topics related health science, communication studies, access technology and environmental research, among others. The Student Research Fair also coincides with National Undergraduate Research Week.

Todd Pagano, associate dean for Teaching and Scholarship Excellence and founding director of NTID’s Laboratory Science Technology program, is among the coordinators of the research fair.

“NTID has a history of providing our students with access to cutting-edge technology that helps enhance their research endeavors,” said Pagano. “Pair that with a top-notch core education and partnerships with faculty mentors who are experts in their fields, and it’s apparent that we are able to successfully deliver a strong research-based student experience.”

Jessica Contreras, an experimental psychology graduate student from Eagle River, Alaska, will also present her research. She has found that deaf people who are raised in impoverished language environments do not develop executive function skills—like focus attention, planning processes, remembering instructions and multitasking—as optimally as those who have had normal exposure to language since birth.

Lorne Farovitch, an environmental science master’s degree candidate from Tucson, Ariz., is studying the survival rate of various pathogens in surface water and sediments that will help him and others in the field understand the relationship between the evolution of antibiotic resistances and their capability to survive in environments where they don’t normally live.

“There are several ways to examine the pollution level in water,” explained Farovitch. “If the pathogens are able to survive in water and sediment samples for a long time, that tells me it is polluted with a high concentration of nutrients. The most polluted nutrients come from wastewater and drainage water from agricultural land.”

The Student Research Fair is funded by the NTID Office of the President and jointly sponsored by the associate dean for Teaching and Scholarship Excellence and the associate dean of Research.

NTID Performing Arts Program presents ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Crucifer of Blood’

statue of sherlock holmes with pipe and magnifying glass

 NTID Performing Arts Program presents “Sherlock Holmes and the Crucifer of Blood” By Paul Giovanni and directed by Gerald Argetsinger

In faraway India, a group of British soldiers steal a Royal Treasure and sign a Blood Oath to protect their secret. Now in England, 30 years later, the men are being murdered. Sherlock Holmes is called in to discover the secret, the curse and the killer in a tale that spans from India, to Baker Street, to the spooky Pondicherry Lodge, to a sinister Opium Den and a boat chase on the Thames that finally leads to the shocking revelation of truth, revenge and guilt.

Join us to celebrate the retirement of Gerald Argetsinger after 40 years of dedicated service to RIT/NTID.

May 5 and 6 at  7:30 p.m. ~~  May 8 at  2:00 p.m. $5 – students/seniors +55/children          $7 – all others

May 6  at 12:00 a.m. – **MIDNIGHT MADNESS SPECIAL SHOW** *$3 (each for groups of 10 or more)  $5 all others**

Please come dressed as your favorite Sherlock Holmes character to win a prize!
1st place – $75 Gift Card
2nd place – $50 Gift Card
3rd place – $25 Gift Card 

Robert F. Panara Theatre
Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, RIT Campus
National Technical Institute for the Deaf 

Email for reservations:

All reserved tickets must be purchased 24 hours before the show date. Box Office will open on April 25 

Box Office Hours:

Monday – Friday, April 25 – 29 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Monday – Friday, May 2 – 6 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Thursday & Friday, May 5 & 6 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.
 **MIDNIGHT MADNESS** Friday, May 6 11:00 p.m. – 12:15 a.m.
 Sunday, May 8 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Alumni to be sworn into U.S. Supreme Court Bar

justice scales and gavel

On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 13 members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association (DHHBA) will be sworn in and admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. All members are deaf or hard-of-hearing attorneys, and at least two are alumni of RIT/NTID.

A hearty congratulations to Debra Patkin and Faye Kuo!

To read more about the April 19 ceremony and its historical significance as the first time the DHHBA takes part in the group swearing-in ceremony that occurs most days the Supreme Court is in session, read the DHHBA post here.

CAD and packaging science alumna brings professional expertise to students

Jasmine Oregel, in red jacket, discusses a packaging assignment with NTID students.

Alumna Jasmine Oregel visited campus last fall to speak to students in the Engineering Studies Department. Currently working at American Honda Motor Co, Inc. in Troy, Ohio, as a Packaging Engineer II, Oregel was uniquely suited to the task as she challenged students in classes to reproduce a package design she supplied.

“I wanted them to understand the importance of workplace communication,” says Oregel of the exercise, which split students into groups by gender and gave them only a few minutes and a limited number of questions they could ask her about the assignment to complete it. 
When the exercise was done, Oregel drew attention to the way in which the female group communicated collaboratively while the male group communicated more competitively.
This exercise in communication is such an important one, Oregel says, because it is the kind of thing that will make or break an employee’s success in the workplace.
“Different ways of communicating are important for your adaptability to any task given you at work,” she adds. “If you’re not aware of the way someone is talking to you or the impact of your words, then it’s possible you might miss something that will help you complete the task more efficiently.”
As a former first-generation college student whose family is originally from Mexico, and now based in Santa Ana, California, Oregel takes her education and career-preparedness seriously, and says she was excited about the opportunity to come back to campus and pass on the lessons she has learned to current students.
As a packaging engineer at Honda, Oregel’s responsibilities vary widely and change from month to month. Generally, she works to improve the quality, cost, delivery, and environmental performance of the packaging used for all the products and service components the company produces. At times she takes on leadership roles, and often she finds herself needing to work cross-functionally with different teams, including traveling to different cities in order to meet with suppliers.
While Oregel’s B.S. in packaging science from RIT in 2013 qualified her for the position (she also earned an A.A.S. in CAD in 2008), she especially credits fulfilling her co-op requirement at RIT with furnishing her with the work experience she needed to establish her as a good candidate. 
“Do a co-op. Anywhere, doing anything,” she advises. “Do a co-op. Whatever you do, you will gain knowledge and experience from it, and with that, build yourself up and be more ready to tackle the next bigger thing.”
“Do it,” she insists, referring to any goal any student or newly minted graduate might secretly harbor. “Be patient, don’t listen to people who say no, grab opportunities to show your skills, but if it’s your passion, do it. Go for it!”
Oregel will be returning to campus April 14 and 15 to give further presentations as part of a continued effort to encourage current female students to pursue studies in STEM fields.

RIT School of Film and Animation ranked nationally

RIT School of Film and Animation among best in country.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation is once again among the top film schools in the country as ranked by Animation Career Review, a leading online source of information for aspiring animation and game design professionals. It received high marks for academic reputation; admission selectivity; the program’s depth, breadth and faculty; value as it relates to tuition; and geographic location. SOFA program offerings include a BFA and MFA in film and animation, and a BS degree in motion picture science, giving RIT one of the broadest curriculum choices in the country. More.