Four performances presenting an array of cultural, political and social issues are part of a new collaborative season by Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf Performing Arts program and RIT's College of Liberal Arts Theater Arts program. The productions will give students the opportunity to work in a deaf and hearing cast and crew that promotes diversity, inclusion and respect for different cultures and perspectives. All four productions are planned to be fully accessible for deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing audiences. More.
Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend is RIT's annual tradition to celebrate alumni, students, parents and families, faculty, staff and friends of the University. RIT combines parents weekend and alumni reunions into one big event. The excitement will begin Friday, Oct. 19 and run through Sunday, Oct. 21. For a full list of activities and to register, visit https://www.rit.edu/gcr/brickcity/.
Get involved, know your fellow students and professors, and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can.
That was a main theme expressed during the Convocation for New Students at Rochester Institute of Technology today, as the university welcomed its most academically qualified first-year students, who had an average 1300 SAT score.
The new students also are expected to set a total RIT enrollment record at more than 19,000 for the first time. The new students come from 46 states and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 43 countries. Total international students come from 51 countries, with the most students coming from India, China, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic and Iran. More.
This year’s Key Bank Rochester Fringe Festival will feature a variety of performances and films with RIT/NTID connections.
Since the festival’s debut in 2012, deaf and hard-of-hearing performers, as well as captioned performances have been highlighted. Many of those performers have been RIT/NTID students, alumni, faculty and staff.
The 2018 festival features the following:
- A showing of the film “Baby Driver” featuring RIT/NTID alumnus CJ Jones
- A one-person comedy show “Becoming Kat” from alumnus Keith Banks
- Former and current RIT/NTID students in the performance group “Dangerous Signs” in a performance of their original production “Beyond Words”
- Alumnus and current Performing Arts faculty Fred Michael Beam’s one-man show “Black Deaf Male: Who Am I?”
- A documentary featuring Performing Arts faculty Thomas Warfield “On the Way to Oz”
- Performances by RIT/NTID’s traveling troupe, Sunshine 2.0
- Stand-up comedy by RIT/NTID alumnus Tom Willard
Numerous other festival productions are being ASL interpreted. For more information on interpreted performances, dates, times, locations and tickets, visit the Rochester Fringe Festival website.
RIT/NTID has named David and Patricia Keinath of St. Louis, Missouri, as 2018 Distinguished Alumni.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually by each of RIT’s nine colleges and the School of Individualized Study to an alumnus/a who has performed at the highest levels of their chosen profession or who has contributed significantly to the advancement and leadership of noteworthy civic, philanthropic or service organizations. It is the highest award an RIT college can bestow upon its alumni.
The Keinaths are both members of RIT/NTID’s SVP class of 1983, with David earning his degree in Industrial Drafting in 1987. He was a founding member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at RIT/NTID and is active with the organization’s alumni board.
“David and Patricia are strong supporters of various deaf advocacy groups,” Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean, said. “I’m thrilled that we will be adding them to our list of outstanding alumni who have received the Distinguished Alumni award.”
The awards will be presented during the Presidents’ Alumni Ball 6:30 – 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in the Gordon Field House.
For information on all of RIT’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni award recipients visit this site. For all events and information on Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend visit here. For a list of RIT/NTID Distinguished Alumni recipients through the years, visit the website.
RIT/NTID student Cortez Harris, an Applied Liberal Arts major from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently completed the Dale Carnegie Customer Satisfaction Training program in Rochester, New York, and earned the organization’s “The Future is Bright” award at a ceremony in July.
Harris became involved with Dale Carnegie as part of a training with RIT’s Men of Color, Honor and Ambition (MOCHA) last fall and spring semesters.
“The first semester was a three-day course, while the second semester was a five-day, high impact immersion course that trained my MOCHA brothers and myself in public speaking, leadership, confidence, presentation skills, conflict resolution and other skills,” Harris said. “I won the outstanding performance award during the three-day course for my ability to show confidence, ambition and hard work, and I won the high achievement award for showing improvement in all areas of the program during the five-day course.”
Dale Carnegie programs provide trainings to improve individual and business performance.
“The trainers at Dale Carnegie saw my motivation and dedication to work hard and improve myself and my willingness to encourage and motivate others around me and decided to honor me with the ‘Future is Bright’ award at their 5th annual customer appreciation awards event,” Harris said. “Now that I am a Dale Carnegie graduate, I can influence people within my community who may feel fearful to reach for the stars or to break the rules. I can now teach them that rules are meant to be broken—that it is perfectly fine to step outside of the box for a moment and to redirect your vision.”
Attending the ceremony were RIT/NTID Director of Student Life Tim Albert and RIT/NTID Director of Diversity and Inclusion Stephanie Albert.
"It was an honor for me and Tim to attend the Dale Carnegie awards program,” Stephanie Albert said. “We congratulate Cortez for receiving ‘The Future is Bright’ award. He is an optimistic, hard-working, goal-oriented and highly motivated leader who inspires students and others toward a bright and successful future.”
The schedule now is available for Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend, Oct. 19-21, 2018. This year is the kick off celebration of 50 years at the Henrietta campus. Start planning your weekend with the exciting lineup of events. Registration is coming soon. For updates and more find #Brickcity50 on Facebook RITBrickCity, and Twitter @RIT_BRICKCITY.
Rochester Institute of Technology student Jim Heaney started his rapid manufacturing and prototyping business when he was just 14 years old. Five years later, and with the guidance of RIT’s Saunders Summer Startup Program, Heaney and his team are hoping a successful pitch to potential investors will take their business to the next level.
Heaney’s business, Venator Technologies, is among 15 student start-up companies in the program, which encourages multidisciplinary student teams to jumpstart their ventures at the small-business launch pad in hopes of kick starting real companies. It culminates with Investor Demo Night, which will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 8 in Ingle Auditorium, Student Alumni Union. A networking reception immediately follows. The event is free and open to the public.
Creating a backpack that suits the packing needs of today’s gamers, solving mass refrigeration concerns on Sub-Saharan farms, and developing a wearable device and mobile app that helps veterans transition into civilian life are a few of the uniquely innovative early-stage business ideas created by student teams during this year’s program.
The program is sponsored by Saunders College of Business and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and is hosted by the Albert J. Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Throughout the summer, each of the startups is offered a stipend, a team expense fund, working space in Institute Hall and support from RIT faculty, assigned mentors and community business leaders.
Heaney, a second-year industrial engineering major from Montgomery, N.Y., says that his experience with the Saunders Summer Startup Program has helped him develop confidence in his business and has moved his team ahead of the pack.
“Even though my business is somewhat established, this program has provided my team with details on the finer points of business including access to countless business contacts, information on marketing and research and development funding, and tips on effective public speaking and pitching to investors, which are all so invaluable to running a successful business,” said Heaney. “Thanks to the top-notch mentoring that we’ve received from our entrepreneurship coaches and the staff at The Construct at RIT, we have learned how to create a solid foundation for our business.”
This summer’s student teams are:
- Sniffy: A mobile app that improves the relationship between humans and animals by providing incentives for dog walking, and information on pet stores, groomers and other dog owners.
- Op-Sixx: A support network comprised of wearable devices and a mobile app that connects veterans and their families to help them transition into civilian life.
- OurDiet App: An easy-to-follow direct resource offering personalized information based off of an individual’s self-described disease database.
- Phase Innovations LLC: Provides novel stack-based technologies for energy conversion and storage applications.
- TERP (two student teams): Aims to become a central marketplace for sign language interpreting services, making it easier for deaf and hearing people to submit interpreter requests.
- PAL: A wearable technology company that empowers the autism spectrum disorder community with early notification of triggered meltdowns.
- QuickTix: Allows small, independent theaters and school districts to publish events, sell tickets and promote on social media. Immediate feedback is provided on sales numbers, money earned and seats filled.
- Project Object Tracker: Provides tracking software that enhances customer service by evaluating the position of customers in retail stores and calculating whether the customer has been waiting too long for service.
- Venator Technologies: A multi-service manufacturing company utilizing 3D printing and laser cutting to serve small businesses and individual customers.
- SerVu: Provides a platform that connects bar owners with potential bar employees that fit the culture and style of the establishments.
- Hive Refrigeration: Works to solve the issue of mass refrigeration and the reduction of food waste on Sub-Sharan farms for those lacking access to cold storage refrigeration.
- Backpack for Gamers: Creates a backpack that suits the needs of modern-day gamers.
- VeeTV: A video streaming service that offers programming with sign-language content
- Tiger CGM: A glucose monitor designed to provide comfort, freedom, confidence, privacy and accuracy.
For more information on the Saunders Summer Startup, go to www.rit.edu/research/simonecenter/saunders-summer-start-program.
Calling all local artists: The Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf is now accepting submissions for its exhibit “Cultivating Connections: Growing Communities in the Flower City.” The exhibit, which will showcase artwork that represents our local communities, is open to artists living within the Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, Orleans, Livingston and Genesee counties. The submission deadline is Aug. 31, and artists will be notified by Sept. 14 if their submissions have been accepted. The exhibit runs Nov. 2–Dec. 15.
“Rochester is a city full of diverse communities and art is a great way to cultivate connections among communities,” said Tabitha Jacques, Dyer Arts Center director. “Initially, this exhibition was going to showcase local deaf artists. I thought about how Dyer Arts Center has really become familiar among deaf people, but it isn’t as familiar among Rochester’s hearing community. This exhibit has a dual purpose: to bring the Rochester community to Dyer Arts Center, and to connect deaf and hearing artists with one other.”
Artists can submit up to five images of their artwork for consideration, which must include an artist statement and image description with title, year, medium and dimensions. According to Jacques, the artwork must be representative of the artists’ community, which can include, but isn’t limited to geography, religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, or LGBTQIA+ identification, or a combination of these.
The world’s first and largest technological college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students kicked off a year-long celebration of its 50-year history, which coincides with RIT’s move to the Henrietta, New York, campus.
Festivities began with an alumni golf tournament at Mill Creek Golf Club Thursday, June 28, and an opening ceremony that evening, hosted by alumnus and actor CJ Jones. Jones, who recently starred in the motion picture “Baby Driver” and will be featured in the upcoming James Cameron sequel, “Avatar 2.”
Other events and activities during the reunion weekend included a barbeque dinner, mini-reunions for current and former members of numerous clubs and organizations, including fraternities and sororities, and entertainment by popular alumni such as hip-hop artist Sean Forbes, ASL performance artist Rosa Lee Timm and actors Amber Zion, Kris Pumphrey and Daniel Durant, who most recently starred on Broadway in the revival of “Spring Awakening.”
In addition to alumni from the college’s ‘pioneer’ class and founding faculty, four of RIT/NTID’s past leaders attended the reunion: founding director D. Robert Frisina; Robert Davila, the college’s first deaf leader; James J. DeCaro; and T. Alan Hurwitz. The college’s current leader, Gerard Buckley, is the first alumnus to lead the institution, which boasts more than 8,000 graduates.
The college’s Dyer Arts Center hosted an exhibition “50 Artists, 50 Years” featuring works by 50 RIT/NTID alumni artists along with the unveiling of a three-paneled mural, known as a triptych, entitled “Together” created by deaf artist Susan Dupor and commissioned for the 50th anniversary. “Together” portrays the flourishing life and history of the National Technical Institute of the Deaf over 50 years.
RIT/NTID Performing Arts and MSM Productions, Ltd. reprised the popular “The Wonderful World of Oz” in the college’s Panara Theatre for four special performances with proceeds to benefit the theater program.
Founded by an act of Congress in 1965, with the first class enrolled in 1968, NTID represents the first concerted effort to educate large numbers of deaf students within a college campus planned principally for hearing students. Among RIT's 18,000 full- and part-time students are nearly 1,100 deaf students from the United States and other countries.
NTID alumni have gone on to work and leadership positions in all areas of business, industry, government and non-profit sectors.
“We are thrilled that so many alumni from near and far joined us to celebrate 50 years of RIT/NTID,” Buckley said. “The sense of Tiger Pride was evident throughout the campus all weekend, and will leave an indelible impression on all of us who were in attendance.”
To commemorate the milestone, a book, “A Shining Beacon: Fifty Years of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf,” edited by RIT/NTID alumnus James K. McCarthy, has been published by RIT Press.
A photo gallery of the weekend's events can be found in here.