Monthly Archives: June 2017

RIT/NTID names Student Life Team director

Tim Albert in grey/white windowpane plaid suit jacket with lavender button down shirt and striped tie. Banquet tables in back.

RIT/NTID has named Marvin “Tim” Albert of Columbus, Ohio, as director of the college’s Student Life Team. 

Albert has more than 11 years of experience in the K-12 education field as a peer/school counselor, supervisor, student life coordinator and dean of students. He earned a diploma in applied computer technology and an associate in applied science degree in imaging technology from RIT/NTID, and went on to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Gallaudet University.

As president of National Black Deaf Advocates and board member of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), Albert worked to make improvements to educational programs and schools for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

“I’m pleased to welcome Tim back to the RIT/NTID community,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “His national leadership experience along with his love for the college and our students will usher in a time of renewed vitality to the Student Life Team.”

In his role as Student Life Team director, Albert will supervise and oversee co-curricular events, including clubs and Greek life for RIT/NTID’s 1,200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students. 

RIT/NTID names first director of diversity and inclusion

Stephanie Albert in blue v-neck top with short hair and silver earrings standing near flowers in front of a grey house.

Stephanie M. Smith Albert has been named the first director of diversity and inclusion at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Albert has more than 10 years of professional experience in the education field as a school counselor at the Georgia School for the Deaf in Cave Spring, Georgia, St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, Ohio, Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia, and most recently was the director of Student Life at Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus, Ohio.

In her new role, Albert will be responsible for all NTID issues relating to diversity and inclusion, monitoring NTID’s progress on RIT-wide and NTID-specific initiatives and goals, and identifying issues to bring to the NTID president and his administrative council, as well as the RIT vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion.

She also will keep current on diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity and access regulations and issues in higher education, and present on these topics to internal groups of faculty, staff and students; and work with student leaders and other units within the college, including the NTID Diversity Group, to support diversity-specific initiatives.

Albert earned a master’s degree in school counseling at Gallaudet University, a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Wright State University, and an associate degree in accounting at RIT/NTID. Additionally, she has held secondary school counselor certification in the state of Georgia and an alternative administrative specialist license in the state of Ohio.

“We are pleased to have Stephanie ‘back home’ at RIT/NTID in this new and exciting role,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “Diversity and inclusion are top priorities for both NTID and the greater university, and we look forward to what Stephanie will bring to these efforts.”

RIT/NTID names Gary Behm interim associate VP for academic affairs

Gary Behm wearing glasses and light button down shirt sharing information from poster behind him.

Gary Behm of West Henrietta, New York, has been named interim associate vice president for academic affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.  

In his role, Behm will oversee NTID's academic departments, curriculum, course scheduling, degree certification, communication services and assessment, and faculty/staff professional development. NTID's academic departments include Liberal Studies, Business Studies, Science & Mathematics, Creative & Cultural Studies, Visual Communications Studies, Engineering Studies, Information & Computing Studies, American Sign Language and Interpreter Education, and the Master of Science program in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Behm, an associate professor, currently serves as director of RIT/NTID’s Center on Access Technology Innovation Laboratory, and serves as an engineering lead for the faculty, researchers and students in the conceptualization, design, development, building and testing of engineering solutions that address the need of accessibility of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals primarily in the postsecondary educational environment.

He earned an associate degree in electromechanical technology and bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology at RIT/NTID, and a master’s degree in manufacturing systems engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Prior to teaching, Behm worked for IBM in various locations throughout the country, serving as an engineer, project leader and project manager. He then moved into the IBM Faculty Loan program and served as a visiting scholar, lecturer, advisor and tutor in RIT/NTID’s Engineering Studies Department. 

“Gary has brought a wealth of practical and theoretical experience to RIT/NTID classrooms and the Center on Access Technology Innovation Lab,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “I’m certain he will bring the same innovative and energetic approach to this interim role as associate vice president for academic affairs.” 

RIT/NTID and UR host national meeting of deaf and hard-of-hearing scientists

Organizers of the RSRTI conference Stephen Dewhurst of URMC and Peter Hauser of RIT/NTID with keynote presenter Carol Padden.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and the University of Rochester Medical Center held the first Rochester Summer Research Training Institute with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Scientists and Their Mentors June 11-13. The three-day conference drew one of the largest groups of deaf and hard-of-hearing scientists in the nation.  

Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals are vastly under-represented in biomedical fields. RIT/NTID and URMC have partnered to identify unique barriers to science- and health-related careers faced by these individuals. Among them is a barrier to mentorship for students who are striving for health or science related careers.

With few deaf or hard-of-hearing professionals in biomedical careers, role models for the next generation of deaf scientists are few and—often literally—far between. RIT/NTID and URMC’s Rochester Summer Research Training Institute was a new approach to break down that barrier, bringing deaf and hard-of-hearing scientists at all levels of career development together from across the nation.

“I was especially impressed by the interaction and dialogue between students, postdoctoral trainees, junior faculty and top national figures,” said Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D., vice dean for Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “This kind of exchange and networking is exactly what we wanted to encourage when we set out to plan this meeting.”

The meeting featured a keynote address from Carol Padden, Ph.D., dean of social sciences and Sanford I. Berman Endowed Professor of Communication in the Center for Research in Language at University of California, San Diego.

“I received my Ph.D. in 1983 and there were so few of us in graduate school we had to look out for each other,” said Padden. “Now at this conference I’m so impressed at how many deaf students are pursuing doctoral and medical degrees. So many more and so many different fields, it is astonishing.”

A total of 85 participants attended the Rochester Summer Research Institute, which was held at URMC’s Saunders Research Building immediately following the conclusion of the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) conference at RIT/NTID. Undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees as well as faculty and staff from across the country came together at this conference to network, learn from one another and raise the profile of deaf scientists.

“It was inspiring to witness young deaf and hard-of-hearing scientists meeting each other for the first time and making connections,” said Peter Hauser, Ph.D., director of the NTID Center on Cognition and Language and the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate Program. “Many felt isolated in their fields and were able to share their experiences. I believe the resources they learned at RSRTI will help them overcome future challenges and navigate science successfully.”

The program also included an interactive poster session, small group breakout sessions and a keynote speech from Charlene E. Le Fauve, Ph.D., senior advisor to the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity in the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health; and Caroline Solomon, Ph.D., chair of the faculty senate and professor of biology at Gallaudet University also presented.

The event was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (K12 GM106997) and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Search the hashtag #deafscientists to see what people were saying about the event on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

RIT/NTID alumnus Peter Cook joins Performing Arts Advisory Committee

Image of Peter Cook with long dark hair, salt-and-pepper beard, wearing blue shirt and plaid scarf.

The performing arts program at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has named alumnus Peter Cook to its Performing Arts Advisory Committee. The committee was founded in 2015 to strengthen, support and advise NTID’s theater program.

Cook, an American Sign Language poet, actor, filmmaker, director and professor at Columbia College in Chicago, graduated from Clarke Center for Hearing and Speech and came to NTID in 1980. His first theatrical role was Caliban, the half-human, half-demon antihero of Shakespeare’s Tempest. After becoming fluent in ASL, he mastered the art of ASL poetry/performance/storytelling.

The NTID Performing Arts Advisory Committee is chaired by RIT/NTID alumnus Matthew S. Moore, president of MSM Productions, Ltd., and publisher of DEAF LIFE magazine. The committee also includes veteran deaf actors Howie Seago of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Adrian Blue of Yale University’s ASL Shakespeare Project.

“I’m delighted to have Peter Cook aboard the advisory committee,” said Moore. “He brings his experience and expertise on ASL theater, and his perspective will be valuable as we seek to improve the quality of theater at NTID.”

Two of the committee’s initial goals—reviving NTID’s traveling troupe, Sunshine 2.0, and upgrading the Panara Theatre and lobby—have been achieved. Plans are in development to renovate and upgrade Room 1510 in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall into a black-box theater for small-scale ASL productions. Other goals include establishing intern and co-op positions, funding an endowed chair for the performing arts, helping to choose each season’s productions, promoting the development of original work by deaf playwrights, and establishing a summer theater program for deaf high school and college students that encompasses performance, stagecraft, cinematic studies, multimedia, directing and theater management. The committee also seeks to engage in community outreach, encourage greater community involvement in theater, increase opportunities for student participation, and promote ASL theater.

For more details on the NTID Performing Arts program, visit For Advisory Committee updates, go to

Dangerous Signs presents PIPPIN at Rochester’s Geva Theatre

Poster for PIPPIN featuring group of colorfully dressed actors with PIPPIN written in red.

Dangerous Signs, under the direction of RIT/NTID faculty member Luane Davis Haggerty, will stage their production of the musical PIPPIN June 16 and 17 at Geva Theatre's Fielding Stage. Performances are at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and can be puchased through the Geva box office by calling 585-232-4832 or emailing

The ensemble cast tells the story of Pippin, a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life.

The production is fully accessible, using spoken and sung English, sign language and captioning. 

Dr. Alvin C. Merritt Boyd III receives AAUA award

Alvin Boyd, left, holding award with Jerome Neuner of AAUA.

Dr, Alvin C. Merritt Boyd III, RIT/NTID business studies lecturer, received the Leo and Margaret Goodman-Malamuth Dissertation Award for 2017 at the American Association of University Administrators' Leadership Seminar, June 8-9 in New Orleans. His dissertation was titled, “Experience and Perceptions of Full-Time, Non-Tenure-Track Faculty at a Four-Year University.” 

In addition to the award from AAUA, Boyd also was given the Exemplary Performance in Scholarship Award from the School of Education at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, where he earned his doctoral degree. 

What’s next for members of RIT/NTID’s class of 2017?

group of graduates wearing cap and gown

NTID has a strong history of successful employment outcomes for our graduates. For the past several years, 94% of RIT/NTID graduates who have sought employment have found a job within a year. This year’s graduates are off to a good start—a number of them already have jobs lined up, and others are planning to attend graduate school. We congratulate these students and the entire Class of 2017! Check out what's next for some of our recent RIT/NTID graduates.

RIT/NTID presents “Deaf Education in South Africa”

Ingrid Parkin with short blonde hair wearing dark jacket and print top against green background.

RIT/NTID's Center for International Educational Outreach presents "Deaf Education in South Africa" noon-1 p.m. Tues., June 6, in the CSD Student Development Center, room 1310. 

Ingrid Parkin, principal of the St. Vincent School for the Deaf in South Africa, will share information about the current state and challenges faced by deaf education in South Africa. 

Parkin is the first deaf person to become principal of a deaf school in South Africa.