Monthly Archives: October 2016

RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents “Dance Tales”

Multicolored silhouettes of dancers and the globe with information performance and ticket information.

RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents “Dance Tales” — dances presented in a variety of styles, including jazz, ballet, hip-hop, tap, modern dance, folk dance and multiple ethnic and cultural dances, as well as original generated visual projections and animations. Running October 27 – 30 in Panara Theatre in LJB Hall. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, and $10 for all others. Purchase tickets online or at the box office table on the first floor of LBJ Hall. 

Hundreds of students attend RIT/NTID’s annual job fair

Student in black shirt chats with representatives from Texas Instruments.

Representatives from more than 40 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations met with hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing students—who are also prospective employees—at the 16th annual job fair, on October 19, at RIT/NTID.

“Employers had the opportunity to recruit talented deaf and hard-of-hearing students in associate and bachelor’s degree programs such as business, finance, graphic design, engineering, computing and more,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment.

Companies represented included Google, Yahoo, Aetna, Baxter Health Care, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Dow Chemical Co., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Harris Corp., Internal Revenue Service, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others.

“Employers continue to want highly qualified employees who bring the necessary skills and who will fit into the company culture and contribute to the company’s success,” said Macko. “Our students are well trained and can hit the ground running at companies right here in Rochester and all over the country.”

Check out the video from this year’s job fair.

RIT again named among the nation’s leading ‘green colleges’ in Princeton Review

Woman with long dark hair wearing black short-sleeved top and silver earring.

Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton ReviewThe education services company, known for its test prep and tutoring services, books and college rankings, features RIT in the 2016 edition of its free downloadable book, The Princeton Review Guide to 361 Green Colleges.

The Princeton Review chose schools for this seventh-annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2015-2016 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

“I am pleased that RIT has once again been recognized by The Princeton Review for our commitment to sustainability,” said Enid Cardinal, senior sustainability adviser to the president. “We lead through example as shown by sustainability through our research, academics and operations here at RIT.”

“We strongly recommend Rochester Institute of Technology and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seeks to study and live at green colleges,” said Robert Franek, senior VP and publisher, The Princeton Review.

Franek noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. “Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2016 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to attend the college.”

The profiles in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body stats. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

RIT was recognized for the university’s availability of transportation alternatives, including bike storage, shower facilities and lockers for bicycle commuters as well as a telecommuting program for employees and a carpool/vanpool matching program. RIT also received high marks for programs encouraging employees to live close to campus.

The Princeton Review first published the guide in 2010. It chose schools based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied this summer for 640 colleges using data from its 2015-16 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Ratings scores of 80 or higher made it into the guide. Most of the schools (350) are in the United States, while 10 are in Canada and one in Egypt.

The guide can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.

RIT/NTID awarded $443,000 National Science Foundation grant for educational training

A woman with short brown hair and glasses wearing a grey top with corded necklace and drop earrings.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has been awarded a $443,200 grant from the National Science Foundation to provide additional training for faculty in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines who teach classes in which deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing students are present.

The three-year grant will help develop an “accessibility toolkit” for faculty who are searching for viable ways to adapt their teaching methodologies to accommodate the learning needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Sara Schley, co-director of NTID’s Research Center for Teaching and Learning and principal investigator, said the project will combine faculty engagement in instructional change, universal design for teaching and learning and student-centered pedagogy that all ultimately enhance inclusiveness within the classroom. Co-principal investigators on the grant are associate professors Jessica Cuculick from NTID and Stephanie Cawthon from The University of Texas at Austin.

“Faculty members who teach deaf and hard-of-hearing students may assume that notetaking services and interpreting services, for example, are tools that sufficiently provide an adequate learning environment,” Schley said. “While these services certainly assist the students with their learning, we’ve found that there are many other ways that instructors can adapt their teaching styles to enhance the learning environment for our students. This project is meant to provide relevant information to our faculty in a supportive way.”

Schley cites an example. Inside the classroom, faculty may explain complicated STEM concepts by showing slides while sign-language interpreters translate the information to a deaf student. However, it’s extremely difficult for deaf and hard-of-hearing students to look at slides while watching an interpreter. This often results in the student missing valuable dialogue and classroom interaction.

Ultimately, Schley and the project team, which includes a cohort of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, will create faculty learning communities—facilitated by hearing and deaf faculty pairs in similar disciplines—in order to brainstorm alternative learning ideas, propose experiments and test the efficacy of the alternatives.

In the scenario mentioned above, added Schley, faculty may experiment with pausing after showing a slide or writing on a white board, and checking for “eyeballs” in order to be sure that students have finished reading the information and are ready to shift their focus back to the instructor or the interpreter.

Schley also says that the learning communities will be asked to investigate applications using more advanced technology such as “flipped” learning. In this case, faculty might add cues for students that encourage them to pause and review a graphic explanation after seeing a captioned explanation.

Robert Garrick is a manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology professor in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology. He teaches future engineers using a technology-rich, interactive learning environment with hundreds of instructor and student videos in a classroom with 10 interactive projectors.

“I am especially interested in this project to understand how we, as instructors, can improve accessibility with the emerging multimedia tools we use,” said Garrick. “Our teaching and accessibility techniques are hopefully evolving as quickly as our technology tools in order to provide individualized instruction while giving continuous feedback to each student based on their needs.”

Schley added that, simply put, the project is about the best way to engage in collaborative learning because there are many different kinds of learners in the same classroom.

“We’re helping our faculty to take a little more time to think about meeting the needs of their students and designing activities that don’t depend on a particular channel of information. This is about good teaching.”

RIT/NTID audiologist earns 2016 Oticon Focus on People Award

Two African American women, one on the left with glasses, white blazer; on the right in grey blazer, with award.

Catherine Clark, an audiologist and faculty member at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, is among the individuals honored by the 2016 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national competition that celebrates people who are helping to eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing.

Clark earned first place in the Practitioner category and was honored Sept. 27 at a ceremony at Oticon Inc. U.S. headquarters in Somerset, N.J. More than 100 professionals from across the United States attended the event. As part of her award, Clark has designated the nonprofit Visions Global Empowerment as her choice for a $1,000 donation from Oticon Inc.

People from across the country cast thousands of votes to help determine who among the 12 finalists would be the first, second and third place winners in the Adult, Student, Practitioner and Advocacy categories.

“Outstanding practitioners, like Dr. Clark, empower people who are deaf or hard of hearing to grow, to thrive and to reach their fullest potential,” said Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. “At Oticon, we are deeply aware of the critical role of hearing-care professionals in helping patients to overcome challenges and accomplish goals well beyond what many thought possible. Dr. Clark’s many contributions are opening doors of opportunity for all, but especially for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.”

Clark has worked at NTID for 30 years. In addition to her work at RIT/NTID, she has provided free hearing screenings to the Urban Outreach Project and has served with the Rochester Black Deaf Advocates and the executive board of the Rochester School for the Deaf. She also volunteered as a Junior Achievement educator. In addition, Clark has published extensively and presented at national and international conferences on inclusiveness, diversity and pluralism. She was recently honored by Visions Global Empowerment with the “Outstanding Dedication to Service” award for her service trips to Ethiopia where she provides audiological services and hearing aids to children and adults in Bahir Dar.

“We are all very proud of the great work that Dr. Clark does at RIT/NTID, in the community and throughout the world. Her contributions to enhance the inclusiveness of deaf and hard of hearing people are significant and it is wonderful to see her recognized in this way,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean.

The Oticon Focus on People Awards program was created in 1997 by Oticon Inc., one of the world’s oldest and most respected hearing instrument manufacturers.