Category Archives: Employers

RIT/NTID Career Fair to bring record number of employers to campus to recruit deaf, hard-of-hearing students

overhead photo of LBJ Hall street area with employer tables, banners, recruiters and students.

Representatives from more than 50 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations looking to diversify their workforce will meet with hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing students—who are also prospective employees—at the 18th annual Career Fair, 12:30–4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The event will be held in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus.

A record 53 companies, including Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Merck, NavSea, Texas Instruments, the CIA and Prudential Financial, are participating in this year’s career fair. Quicken Loans, PNC and Datto, the cybersecurity and data backup company whose founder, RIT alumnus Austin McChord, recently donated $50 million to RIT, will be attending for the first time.

Interpreters will be available at each table to facilitate communication as recruiters meet the estimated 400 students participating.

Between 25 and 35 RIT/NTID alumni will be coming to Rochester this year to represent their companies at the career fair, serving as recruiters and role models for deaf and hard-of-hearing student job seekers.

“We are always so pleased and proud to see so many of our graduates come back to recruit for their companies,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment. “It’s gratifying to see them come ‘full circle’ and help the next group of students find their place in the world of work.”

An employer panel consisting of representatives from PNC, Route 66 Promotions, Naval Sea Systems Command and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will provide students with insight into what companies are looking for in new employees from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the college’s CSD-Student Development Center, rooms 1300/1310.

RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment, the career fair sponsor, also will recognize four companies who consistently hire deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. The companies are Eastman Kodak Co., the Learning Center for the Deaf, Route 66 Promotions and Prudential Financial.

RIT/NTID graduate receives DOD award for outstanding employees with disabilities

At left, light skinned man with white hair, glasses, suit and tie; at right, Asian woman with long dark hair glasses dark blazer

An RIT/NTID alumna is one of about two dozen Department of Defense employees who received a 2018 Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Service Members and Civilians with Disabilities.

Tracy Tao-Moore ’92 (graphic design) is the lead graphic artist for the Mission Support Branch, Technology Division, U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky.

She received the award Oct. 4 during the 38th Annual Disability Awards Ceremony at the Pentagon. The ceremony is part of DOD’s annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, held each October. 

The award recognizes personnel with disabilities for their contributions in support of the DOD mission and recognizes exemplary department organizations for their efforts to advance a diverse and inclusive workforce.  

“I am shocked and totally surprised," Tao-Moore said. "I feel humbled to be selected for this prestigious award. It never occurred to me that I would receive it. This is probably my proudest achievement.”

HRC’s graphic arts office produces more than 500 printed and designed products each year. Tao-Moore collaborates with customers to ensure visual presentations, training aids, briefing resources and other graphics-oriented materials meet their needs. 

Tao-Moore uses a variety of computer hardware, software products, peripherals, drawings, page layouts, color separations processes, signs, sketches and original artwork. During her 21 years of government service, she has often been the only graphic artist in the locations where she has worked. 

NTID alumni find success in their careers

Dark skinned male wearing grey suit and blue bow tie giving thumbs up with pink background that says Baby Driver, Subaru, SONY

RIT/NTID alumni have found success in a variety of careers. As we celebrate NTID's 50th anniversary reunion, here are some of their stories. 

Richard Potter ’72 (retail management)

Job: Owner of Richard’s Fabrics in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

How did NTID help prepare you for your career?: “I attended a regular high school and had no interpreter or any help with accessibility. I graduated on my own, with some help from my parents and tutoring, but I learned much more at NTID with the interpreters and notetakers that were available to me. It made learning a lot more accessible. In June of 1973, I was the first NTID graduate to be self-employed and open my own retail business. This coming June, I will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of my fabric and textile store, and I plan to retire soon.”

How did NTID help you get where you are today?: “It has had a tremendous impact on me and has really brought so much to my life, and not just in terms of my education. I have some life-long friends from the program that I still see and keep in contact with, and I have so many fun memories that will never fade. Of course, it prepared me to be a fifth-generation business owner in my family, and my son has learned from me and has become a sixth-generation owner of his own business, Wines Tasty. My experience at NTID was really something special.”

CJ Jones ’73 (applied computer technology)

Job: CEO of Sign World TV Inc. and Elevate!, producer, director, writer, actor (appeared in Baby Driver in 2017), entertainer, motivational speaker and musician

How did NTID help prepare you for your career?: “I was the first deaf computer operator at Xerox and the first person to suggest and create a co-op program for NTID students so they could be trained at Xerox. I was also the first deaf person to become a lead operator at Xerox.”

How did NTID help you get where you are today?: “When I stopped working at Xerox, I started to pursue a career in the entertainment field. I have been self-employed full time for 35 years. I can say with great appreciation that NTID helped prepare me with the knowledge, leadership skills, experience and responsibility I needed to succeed. I have very fond memories of NTID and have always spoken highly of the teachers who helped shape me to be what I am today.”

Jacquelyn Wilson ’06, ’07 (laboratory science technology, applied arts and sciences)

Job: U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist

How did NTID help prepare you for your career?: “The LST (laboratory science technology) program at NTID helped me prepare to smoothly transition into RIT for the biotechnology bachelor’s program. My career required a bachelor’s degree as a minimum when I was hired, and I wouldn’t have accomplished this without the LST program at NTID.”

How did NTID help you get where you are today?: “One of my favorite professors, Todd Pagano, inspired me to be who I am today. He believed in me and told me that I would succeed in anything that came my way. We still keep in touch occasionally to keep him in the loop with what I’m doing. Every time we touch base, he tells me that he has no doubts about my abilities or my accomplishments. Thank you to Dr. Pagano for the inspiration. I am happy to be where I am today.”

Jasmine Zambrano Oregel ’12, ’13 (computer-aided drafting, packaging science)

Job: Packaging engineer for American Honda Motor Company Inc.

How did NTID help prepare you for your career?: “My experiences at NTID prepared me not only for my career, but also for life. I got a better understanding and was prepared for anything once I got into RIT. NTID helped me improve my English, math and other skills dealing with the engineering program CADT (computer-aided drafting technology) by learning from my professors’ experiences. NTID also helped me by having a career fair that encouraged me to find some good job opportunities that would build my experience level, and it helped me figure out which companies I was most interested in.”

How did NTID help you get where you are today?: “My experiences at NTID and RIT helped me be prepared for my career and gave me many opportunities for hands-on experience working with faculty members I got to know personally. Also, I developed life skills through meaningful interaction with my sorority, Alpha Sigma Theta, students, professors, staff, and my family.”

NTID-supported delegates offer wisdom to fellow graduates

Left, a dark-skinned female in glasses, grad cap, gown and cord; right a light-skinned female in cap gown and cords.

Among the 23 commencement delegates at Rochester Institute of Technology’s commencement ceremonies May 11 and 12 were two deaf students who shared their own stories of overcoming obstacles and imparted advice to their fellow graduates.

Paula MacDonald, the undergraduate delegate for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf from Cumberland, Ontario, Canada, graduated with an associate degree in computer aided drafting technology.

She completed a co-op with Fulcrum Engineering, where she prepared drawings and specifications for structural engineering projects. At RIT/NTID, she served as president of the Deaf International Student Association and was active with the Deaf Basketball Association and the Deaf Volleyball Association. MacDonald will be transferring to the bachelor’s degree program in civil engineering technology at RIT and plans to become a civil/structural engineer.

In her presentation, MacDonald encouraged her fellow graduates to follow their passions, be an inspiration to themselves and others and to become leaders in their families, communities and beyond.

“It’s such a wonderful honor to stand here and give my speech, to represent you all, as a deaf aboriginal woman in engineering,” she said.

Joan "Jo" Bempong, the undergraduate delegate for the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is from Irving, Texas. She earned combined bachelor’s/master’s degrees in computer engineering with a minor in Deaf cultural studies.

She completed co-ops at Texas Instruments, Sandia National Laboratories, and VTCSecure. Bempong was a recipient of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholarship Award, the Deep Learning Classification Challenge Award and the Machine Intelligence Best Project Presentation Award. She was a finalist in both the Digital Rochester GREAT Award for student achievement and the RIT Tiger Tank competition. She was invited to present her work at the 25th Anniversary Congress on Women’s Health, and has accepted a full-time position at Texas Instruments.

Bempong used her own story of refusing to accept limitations because of her deafness and advised fellow graduates to, “Be extraordinary! Be rebellious. Be different. Take a stab at something you believe in and go for it. Do not be afraid to fail. When you do fail, fail hard and fail fast. Learn from your mistakes and keep on learning. And remember to ask for help when you need it.”

Twin sisters graduate from RIT/NTID, follow different paths

Two dark-skinned females with glasses wearing graduation caps and gowns, one has an orange master's hood, medallion, gold cords.

Born and raised in Irving Texas, twin sisters Joan “Jo” and Jane Bempong attended mainstream schools together from elementary through high school, and then decided to continue learning together in college when they were both accepted at Rochester Institute of Technology, supported by the university’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

At RIT they were able to live together, but follow different educational and career paths.

“I was always fascinated by technology,” Jo said. “Back in the day, MySpace piqued my interest in coding, so Computer Engineering seemed to be a good fit for me.”

But Jane had other interests. “I was always the person who people would come to for either advice or emotional support,” she said. “I always enjoyed being there for people ever since a young age, which is why majoring in psychology made sense for me.”

They plan to follow their different career interests after graduation, with Jo having accepted a full-time position at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas, as a software engineer, and Jane either applying to graduate school or getting more work experience in the psychology/mental health field.

As they reflect on their time at RIT/NTID, Jo considers it the place where she grew as an individual.

“I came out of my comfort zone and became an entrepreneur, a researcher, and a leader aside from being an engineer,” she said.

And for Jane, “RIT helped confirm my career choice and increased my passion for the mental health field.”

RIT/NTID student Maya Penn to fulfill personal longing for service with Peace Corps mission

Dark skinned female with dark braided hair wearing a multi-color scarf and purple long-sleeved top.

Growing up in foster care, Maya Penn was surrounded by people who understood the value of sharing and caring for others. Just one month after Penn graduates with her bachelor’s degree in psychology from RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, she will fulfill her own personal quest for serving others with the Peace Corps in Africa.

Penn, who is deaf, is eagerly anticipating her two-year assignment— teaching deaf children in Ghana.  

“This will be a time of significant personal growth for me,” said Penn, who hails from the Bay Area in California. “And I’m just looking forward to impacting the lives of so many children, where there is such a need.”

Although Penn admits that she didn’t know much about the Peace Corps before applying, she knew that she wanted to travel and was hooked when she discovered that there were positions for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to work in schools for those who are deaf. After videophone conversations with Peace Corps volunteers and administrators, Penn applied, interviewed and was accepted into the program.

Penn says that this experience is a “big step” for her, and she is eager to learn as much as she can about different cultures. And even though she’s a bit nervous, she believes her related experiences as a teaching assistant in a school for deaf children, her work at summer camps and at RIT’s Margaret’s House child care center, and her experience tutoring American Sign Language will also contribute to her success in Africa.

And she’s no stranger to traveling in not-so-perfect conditions, having backpacked extensively through Central America and Jamaica.

“I believe that it’s so important for people to study or travel abroad,” said Penn. “It’s crucial to learn from and meet people from other cultures. There are so many opportunities that grow out of these experiences. Of course, you learn and grow in an academic environment, but what you can learn outside of the classroom is beneficial, too.”

At RIT/NTID, Penn was vice president of NTID’s Ebony Club, worked with the NTID Student Life team, was a community student advocate and was involved in theater. She also played intramural volleyball and basketball.

“I’ve loved so much about the RIT/NTID community, including the students, my mentors and all of the events and opportunities,” she said.

Sarah Sarchet, a lecturer at RIT/NTID, met Penn in 2016 when Penn was accepted into RIT’s WOCHA (Women of Color, Honor and Ambition) program.

“Maya is natural leader and a true empath,” said Sarchet. “We ‘clicked’ as a mentor/mentee pair because of how well Maya can relate to others. We both come from large families with many siblings as well as mixed-race families. We had many shared experiences, and our conversations flowed naturally, despite the fact that we had only known each other briefly. And she has been truly bitten by the travel bug. This makes her skilled at meeting new people and learning new cultures. She is unafraid of leaving her comfort zone to try new adventures.”

Of course, Penn says she will miss her parents, who are both RIT/NTID alumni.

“My mom is worried, of course, but she made sure that it’s safe and that I’m in good hands. She’s just so happy that I have the opportunity to do something like this with my life.”

After her work with the Peace Corps, Penn is thinking about pursuing a graduate degree in social work, driven by her time in the foster care system. But she also likes to keep her options open.

“You just never know what’s going to happen after two years in Africa.”

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.

 

RIT/NTID job fair connects deaf students with employers across the country

Light skinned man on left with cochlear implant wearing suit chats with darker skinned man on right in red golf shirt, tan pants

Representatives from more than 40 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations will meet with hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing students at the 17th annual job fair, 12:30–4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The event will be held in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus.

“Employers will have 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.

Interpreters will be available, and in many cases, the company recruiters are RIT/NTID alumni. Companies registered to attend the fair include Caterpillar, Communication Service for the Deaf, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, FDIC, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Merck, Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Prudential and Texas Instruments, 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,” added Macko. “Our students are well-trained and can hit the ground running at companies right here in Rochester and all over the country.”

There are a few openings available for employers who want to participate. For more information, email Mary Ellen Tait or call 585-475-6426. 

What: 17th annual NTID Job Fair
Where: Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, Rochester Institute of Technology

When: 12:30-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18

Details: More than 40 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations will be on campus to recruit deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates for co-op and full-time positions.

RIT/NTID and EPA ink development of cooperative program

A woman and two men sit facing a large monitor screen. An interpreter is to the screen's right. the screen shows people at desk.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students attending Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will benefit from enhanced educational and career opportunities in the environmental sciences, thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the college and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The MOU was formalized during a “virtual” signing ceremony Sept. 12, with representatives from both RIT/NTID and the EPA connecting through live video conferencing.

The purpose of the MOU is to increase cooperation between RIT/NTID and the EPA in areas of mutual interest, including promoting equal opportunity in higher education, contributing to RIT/NTID’s capacity to provide high-quality education, and encouraging the participation of RIT/NTID in EPA programs.

Activities being considered as part of this partnership include:

  • Inviting RIT/NTID faculty and student participation in public policy forums, presentations, seminars and other events at the EPA.
  • The EPA participating in career fairs and other outreach to RIT/NTID students, faculty and alumni regarding EPA employment opportunities.
  • The EPA providing assistance to RIT/NTID for the advancement of environmental education by distance learning technology.
  • EPA representatives participating in lectures, webinars, conferences and other events at RIT/NTID.

“The federal government has been a strong advocate for equal employment opportunities for all individuals, including deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “We are so pleased to be partnering with the EPA on behalf of our students.”

The parties plan to establish a program committee consisting of representatives of RIT/NTID and the EPA to manage implementation of the memorandum. The EPA has designated EPA Region 2, headquartered in New York City, to administer the MOU on behalf of the EPA, working with other EPA offices, regions and laboratories as appropriate. RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment will administer on behalf of the college.

Representatives participating in the signing were, from the EPA: Bisa Cunningham, director, Diversity, Recruitment & Employee Services Division; Richard J. Manna, assistant regional administrator, EPA Region 2; Jon Gabry, branch chief, Division of Environmental Science and Assessment, Hazardous Waste Support Branch, EPA Region 2; Colin “Mark” Oldland, disability employment program manager, Office of Policy and Management, EPA Region 2; Christopher Emanuel, EEO manager/Disability Employment Program, Office of Civil Rights, Affirmative Employment, Analysis and Accountability; Johahna Johnson, Civil Rights and Finance Law Office, Office of General Counsel; Tania L. Allen, chief, Diversity & Recruitment Branch Diversity, Recruitment & Employee Services Division; and Anthony Napoli, diversity and inclusion program manager of the Diversity, Recruitment & Employee Services Division. Gerard Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean; John Macko, director of RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment; and Shyrl Scalice, assistant director and employment adviser, RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment, represented the college.