Monthly Archives: February 2018

New ways to recognize outstanding alumni and support future students

The front entrance to NTID's Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall.

Good afternoon, alumni and friends of RIT/NTID!

We have two exciting announcements to make.

NTID Hall of Fame Nominations are Open
If you’ve visited the 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend website recently, you may have noticed that we now have a page where you can nominate an alumnus for the new NTID Hall of Fame!

We’d like to encourage you to submit the name of an RIT/NTID alum who you feel deserves to be recognized for:

  • Demonstrating initiative in their career and blazing new trails
  • Making contributions to their communities
  • Showing strong leadership
  • Working to improve the lives of those around them

Your nominations will be accepted until April 1, 2018. After that, nominations will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from the RIT/NTID alumni community, NTID’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, NTID’s Office of Development & Alumni Relations, current RIT/NTID faculty and staff and NTID’s Presidents Office.

Awardees will be announced at NTID’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend!

After the Reunion Weekend, nominations will open again for the 2019 class of awardees!

Application Fee Waiver for New Students Referred by Alumni
Do you know any college-bound deaf or hard-of-hearing high school students who would benefit from the same high-quality education you received at RIT/NTID? Encourage them to apply to your alma mater! If you recommend them to us, we’ll waive their $65 application fee.

Simply complete this form to request your alumni application fee waiver. Once you complete and submit the online form, an application fee waiver will be applied to the student's file once their application is received by NTID Office of Admissions.

Be sure to share the good news with the students that you referred them to RIT/NTID, and let them know that if they apply for admission, their $65 application fee will be waived.

If you have questions about the application fee waiver, please email NTID Admissions or call 585-475-6700.

Your participation in promoting RIT/NTID and the referrals you provide help us immensely with the recruitment of future college-bound deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents “Agency”

white background with silhouettes of men and women in black with

RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents "Agency" written by Raymond Luczak and directed by Luane Davis-Haggerty, March 1-4 in the Robert F. Panara Theatre, LBJ Hall, RIT campus. 

With his exciting and new original play "Agency," Luczak wonders what sort of things could happen in a Deaf advertising agency. Lots, as it turns out. Jerilee battles to save her Deaf agency against a hearing conglomerate while dealing with sexual harassment. Terence and Ava, two young interns, learn a lot more than they'd anticipated. Rhonda is steaming mad at being passed over again for that long-overdue promotion. And just what the heck is going on with Mary, Jerilee's secretive assistant? "Agency" uses humor to explore many issues that involve diversity, audism, and working together. 

Perforances are 7:30 p.m. March 1-3 and 2 p.m. March 4. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors (60+), $10 faculty, staff and alumni, and $12 general public, and may be purchased here or by calling 585-475-4121. 

Thousands to attend RIT’s Career Fair

Students dressed in professional attire stand in line to meet company recruiters.

More than 230 companies searching for skilled employees are expected at RIT’s 2018 Spring Career Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. There will be representatives from Fortune 500 companies, medium-sized regional companies and small tech firms. Some employers, such as Indeed, General Electric, Toyota, Paychex, Datto, Johnson & Johnson, Wayfair, Harris and the National Security Agency, attend each year, while more than 25 companies, such as T-Mobile and Superior Tires & Rubber Corp., are attending the fair for the first time.

The Career Fair gives students and alumni an opportunity to explore career opportunities for internship, cooperative education, entry- or experienced-level positions.

Maria Richart, interim director of RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, said the turnout is a clear reflection of the continued strong demand for the outstanding student talent RIT produces. More.


New RIT Dubai campus coming to Dubai Silicon Oasis

Aerial view of new RIT Dubai Silicon Oasis campus

RIT Dubai will receive a state-of-the-art new campus in the Dubai Silicon Oasis. The campus, which will feature an innovation and entrepreneurship center and sustainable building processes, will accommodate up to 4,000 students and will be developed in two phases, with the first portion set to open in 2019 and the second to open in 2023. The campus will bring new global education opportunities for students from the Rochester campus through RIT's study abroad program. More.

At RIT/NTID, Memory Lane Will Be Paved with Yellow Bricks

You may have seen the recent announcement that the production to be staged during NTID’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend is “The Wonderful World of Oz.”

“Oz,” which will run April 21-28, and again during the Reunion Weekend June 28-July 1, promises to thrill and entertain during its run. A theatrical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s story, “Oz” will star a cast of alumni selected from 50 years of theatrical performances and will be supported by a crew with a wide range of experience and skills in production.  

The choice of “Oz” for the Reunion Weekend production was carefully made.

“When thinking of alumni, the ‘no place like home’ theme seemed like a great fit,” says Jim Orr, the production’s director. “I wanted to do a big, spectacular show that would dazzle the senses and promote a sense of pride in NTID.”

Orr adds that, while deciding which play to stage, “The thing that really sealed the deal in my mind was the story’s message of hope for our times.”

Written around the time of World War I and revived as the classic film version around World War II, its association with times of change and upheaval appealed to Orr.

“This story reminded people and taught children that love and kindness overcomes chaos and hate, and the power to change comes not from without, but from within.”

Orr, who entered NTID’s Basic Interpreter Training Program in 1977 and retired from NTID in 2012, is an especially appropriate choice for director. As one of the only people actively involved in NTID’s performing arts program through all five decades of the college’s existence, he has served in one way or another in close to 200 productions.

“I’ve been an actor, director, playwright, designer, teacher, technician, manager and served in other production-related functions such as publicity and community relations.”

NTID’s long theatrical history isn’t only contributing Orr’s expertise to the Reunion Weekend show, however. Alice Pylko, who worked as a costume designer for the performing arts program during the late ‘80s until the mid-‘90s, also is coming back—bearing gifts.

“One of the fun things about the costumes is how many are from past productions,” says Pylko, who currently works as a Montessori teacher in the Rochester area. “Alumni will be able to see many costumes from old shows—some they may have even worn themselves.”

But “Oz” isn’t just about looking back; it’s about looking forward and stretching in new directions. Pylko’s talents will be tested.

“Flying monkeys are a bit out of the ordinary,” she admits.

Joe Hamilton (SVP ’87, ’91), NTID’s stage craft manager and technical director for “Oz,” also is finding that his abilities are being pushed to their limits.

“This is a full-scale production,” he says, with multiple platforms and almost every set rigged to move on lines. The show’s special effects also will include video-projected elements.

Hamilton’s role in the production involves coordinating a cast of characters that never appears on stage.

“I bring designers and experts into each production to team up with costume design, lights, sound, projection, captions and special effects.”

In the end, though, according to Hamilton, “The production is built and made by our RIT/NTID students.”

The production team is visible in the below photo. Hamilton sits at the head of the table in front of an early set design by Ethan Sinnott, while Jim Orr, director, sits to his left, speaking to Matthew Moore, producer, on Hamilton's right. Two outside experts, who will be providing video-projection capabilities, sit along the bottom of the photo. 

Production team meeting for

The nostalgic nature of the story is intentional.

“This production is going to bring up so many great memories,” says Pylko. “It really is a fun way to look back at the great people who have been at NTID and involved with the NTID theater.”

Some of those returning alumni, faculty and staff members include: Ethan Sinnott, who currently is hard at work designing the set; Joe Hamilton as technical director; Patrick Graybill, who will serve as the show’s ASL Master; Bonnie Meath-Lang as dramaturg (researcher and developer of the play’s text); and Matthew Moore's MSM Productions as co-producer, among others.

The impressive lineup will be reflected in the quality of the production, Orr says.

“This show will be a true extravaganza. There are tremendous special effects and incredibly talented performers. I don’t want to give away all the surprises, but suffice it to say that NTID has never done a show like this before.”

Tickets for both the April and June runs are now available for sale at