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.

Working Together marks a milestone of 1,000th workshop

John Macko stands in front of a u-shaped desk surrounded by people. Interpreter at the center. In foreground computer screen.

Working Together: Deaf and Hearing People, an interactive workshop to help employers integrate deaf and hard-of-hearing employees, has reached a milestone, celebrating 33 years and 1,000 workshop presentations.

The program, created by the Center on Employment at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, was designed to offer customizable training to help employers feel comfortable hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. The sessions also give hearing participants information and hands-on experience to build their own strategies for working with deaf employees and being sensitive to their needs.

Workshop topics are offered to supervisors, human resource professionals and co-workers of deaf and hard-of-hearing employees. They include communication strategies, safety in the workplace, particularly in science-based or manufacturing companies, and a review of accommodations that might be necessary for employees.

According to center Director John Macko, there has been an increase in requests for workshops about new technologies that are available for deaf and hard-of-hearing employees and their co-workers.

“Much has changed over the past 30 years when it comes to working and communicating with deaf people,” said Macko. “Today there are so many technologies and devices that facilitate communication and make it easier for hearing people to communicate with deaf and hard-of-hearing people, and vice versa. Our program is unique because we can tailor it to fully address the needs of the employers we serve.”

Workshop presentation teams—usually consisting of one hearing person and one deaf person—also teach employers about deaf culture and use hearing-loss simulation demonstrations and listening exercises to give participants a sense of what it’s like to be deaf.

Macko said the center coordinates about 30 workshops each year throughout the country, and team members visit companies of varying sizes, including Walt Disney Co., JP Morgan Chase, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Tiffany and Co., Proctor and Gamble, and others. The 1,000th workshop was held at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.

This program also has a positive impact on these employers for hiring NTID students and graduates for co-op and full time positions, Macko said. The workshops also help establish valuable relationships with companies, many of which return to NTID to recruit at the annual job fair.

“When we visit these companies to present our workshops, we also talk with them about the quality of our NTID students—tout their interpersonal skills, their motivation and dedication and the overall high employability of our students and graduates. We have the kind of students that employers want to hire.”

Balancing Act

Smiling female student with long brown hair and glasses standing in fron of a wall

Knowledge of Excel and general ledger skills allow Natalya Dmitriyeva to accomplish her monthly goal of balancing the books. Dmitriyeva, from Odessa, Ukraine, graduated May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. She already is working full time as an accounting specialist at Visions Hotels, a hotel management company in Rochester, New York. More

 

 

 

 

 

Balancing Act

Smiling female student with long brown hair and glasses standing in fron of a wall

Knowledge of Excel and general ledger skills allow Natalya Dmitriyeva to accomplish her monthly goal of balancing the books. Dmitriyeva, from Odessa, Ukraine, graduated May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. She already is working full time as an accounting specialist at Visions Hotels, a hotel management company in Rochester, New York. More

 

 

 

 

 

RIT/NTID students graduate with accolades

Gerry Buckley surrounded by several students standing on the stairs in the SDC.

Several students at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were honored with their families and friends at an academic awards ceremony May 18. NTID President and RIT Vice President and Dean Gerry Buckley hosted the ceremony.

The graduates who received awards:

  • Cody Cummings, a laboratory science major from Austin, Texas, received the Academic Achievement Award for students earning an associate degree.
  • Rachel Soudakoff, a political science major from Burbank, Calif., received the Academic Achievement Award for students earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Lucas Prilenski, an electrical engineering major from Chesterfield, Mo.; Daniel Mooney, an information sciences and technologies major from McLean, Va.; and Misti Roe, a visual arts major from Madison, Wis., received Academic Achievement awards for students earning master’s degrees.
  • Arturo DeSantiago Jr., a computer integrated machining technology major from El Paso, Texas, and Natasha Hill, a design and imaging technology major from Anchorage, Alaska, received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning associate degrees.
  • Amie Sankoh, a biochemistry major from Dallas, Ga., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Christopher Fenn, a graduate student in industrial and systems engineering from Pittsburgh, Pa., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning a master’s degree.
  • Maria Ranieri, an ASL-English interpreting major from Oneonta, N.Y., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for interpreting students earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Cody Cummings, a laboratory science technology major from Austin, Texas, was the 2016 NTID college delegate for undergraduate students.
  • Lisa Meyer, a graduate student from Little Neck, N.Y., enrolled in the secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing program, was the 2017 NTID college delegate for graduate students.

RIT/NTID students graduate with accolades

Gerry Buckley surrounded by several students standing on the stairs in the SDC.

Several students at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were honored with their families and friends at an academic awards ceremony May 18. NTID President and RIT Vice President and Dean Gerry Buckley hosted the ceremony.

The graduates who received awards:

  • Cody Cummings, a laboratory science major from Austin, Texas, received the Academic Achievement Award for students earning an associate degree.
  • Rachel Soudakoff, a political science major from Burbank, Calif., received the Academic Achievement Award for students earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Lucas Prilenski, an electrical engineering major from Chesterfield, Mo.; Daniel Mooney, an information sciences and technologies major from McLean, Va.; and Misti Roe, a visual arts major from Madison, Wis., received Academic Achievement awards for students earning master’s degrees.
  • Arturo DeSantiago Jr., a computer integrated machining technology major from El Paso, Texas, and Natasha Hill, a design and imaging technology major from Anchorage, Alaska, received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning associate degrees.
  • Amie Sankoh, a biochemistry major from Dallas, Ga., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Christopher Fenn, a graduate student in industrial and systems engineering from Pittsburgh, Pa., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning a master’s degree.
  • Maria Ranieri, an ASL-English interpreting major from Oneonta, N.Y., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for interpreting students earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Cody Cummings, a laboratory science technology major from Austin, Texas, was the 2016 NTID college delegate for undergraduate students.
  • Lisa Meyer, a graduate student from Little Neck, N.Y., enrolled in the secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing program, was the 2017 NTID college delegate for graduate students.

Deaf RIT graduate defines strength in the face of adversity

Amie Sankoh in a long-sleeved light color top, jeans and ankle boots sits w/sculpture of a roaring tiger with trees behind her.

Amie Sankoh has overcome many obstacles in her life—and her walk across the stage during this weekend’s commencement ceremony for RIT’s College of Science will mark the beginning of a new chapter.

The biochemistry student, who is deaf and supported by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, will begin studying in August for her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. One day she hopes to use her expertise to conduct groundbreaking research on vaccine development and disease prevention.

As a young student in the west African country of Sierra Leone, Sankoh struggled due to her deafness and a lack of resources. Her parents, refusing to accept failure, made the bold decision to send their 12-year-old daughter to the United States where she would live with her father’s best friend and his family, attend better schools and ultimately gain more opportunities.

Sankoh’s breakthrough came in high school, where her love for mathematics and chemistry flourished. She also learned sign language, which enabled her to break down communication barriers with other deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

“Once I discovered my love for math, which was very visual, I knew that I could do anything with my life,” she said. “My mind was set on attending RIT/NTID because I knew that it was the right fit for me.”

Throughout her academic career, Sankoh participated in internships at top companies like Dow Chemical Co. in Pennsylvania and credits NTID faculty and staff for teaching her how to strengthen her communication skills, advocate for herself and develop her love for Deaf culture.

“My parents have always had very high expectations of their children, and they greatly value education,” she said. “NTID has given me the confidence to believe in myself and affirm that I can make it, especially in a tough science field. I’ve learned how to work with people who are hearing and deaf, study alongside faculty researchers and sharpen my interview skills. I just know that I’m going to make it. I work really hard.”

At NTID, Sankoh was a member of the Organization of African Students (OAS), Ebony Club, the Student Life Team and supported Spectrum, the LGBTIQ and straight alliance. And in March, Sankoh also become a U.S. citizen.

“Amie is an amazing person who exemplifies how to grow oneself,” said Joseph Johnston, director of RIT’s Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. “Amie’s resiliency and optimistic attitude provided such benefits to herself and the RIT community. She is a very special human being and is one of my favorite students I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

Sankoh added, “Life is hard and we all have challenges. I’ve fallen and have gotten back up every time. I’m proof that there is always a way to overcome challenges.”

At the University of Tennessee, Sankoh will have 24/7 access to interpreting and notetaking services and will also receive a stipend to conduct her research. She said although her father is somewhat shocked and surprised at her achievements, she knew, deep down, that he expected nothing less.

“My father is so impressed by everything that I’ve been able to accomplish. And I’m so proud that he will be able to watch me cross that stage and move one step closer to my achieving my dream.”

Deaf RIT graduate defines strength in the face of adversity

Amie Sankoh in a long-sleeved light color top, jeans and ankle boots sits w/sculpture of a roaring tiger with trees behind her.

Amie Sankoh has overcome many obstacles in her life—and her walk across the stage during this weekend’s commencement ceremony for RIT’s College of Science will mark the beginning of a new chapter.

The biochemistry student, who is deaf and supported by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, will begin studying in August for her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. One day she hopes to use her expertise to conduct groundbreaking research on vaccine development and disease prevention.

As a young student in the west African country of Sierra Leone, Sankoh struggled due to her deafness and a lack of resources. Her parents, refusing to accept failure, made the bold decision to send their 12-year-old daughter to the United States where she would live with her father’s best friend and his family, attend better schools and ultimately gain more opportunities.

Sankoh’s breakthrough came in high school, where her love for mathematics and chemistry flourished. She also learned sign language, which enabled her to break down communication barriers with other deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

“Once I discovered my love for math, which was very visual, I knew that I could do anything with my life,” she said. “My mind was set on attending RIT/NTID because I knew that it was the right fit for me.”

Throughout her academic career, Sankoh participated in internships at top companies like Dow Chemical Co. in Pennsylvania and credits NTID faculty and staff for teaching her how to strengthen her communication skills, advocate for herself and develop her love for Deaf culture.

“My parents have always had very high expectations of their children, and they greatly value education,” she said. “NTID has given me the confidence to believe in myself and affirm that I can make it, especially in a tough science field. I’ve learned how to work with people who are hearing and deaf, study alongside faculty researchers and sharpen my interview skills. I just know that I’m going to make it. I work really hard.”

At NTID, Sankoh was a member of the Organization of African Students (OAS), Ebony Club, the Student Life Team and supported Spectrum, the LGBTIQ and straight alliance. And in March, Sankoh also become a U.S. citizen.

“Amie is an amazing person who exemplifies how to grow oneself,” said Joseph Johnston, director of RIT’s Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. “Amie’s resiliency and optimistic attitude provided such benefits to herself and the RIT community. She is a very special human being and is one of my favorite students I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

Sankoh added, “Life is hard and we all have challenges. I’ve fallen and have gotten back up every time. I’m proof that there is always a way to overcome challenges.”

At the University of Tennessee, Sankoh will have 24/7 access to interpreting and notetaking services and will also receive a stipend to conduct her research. She said although her father is somewhat shocked and surprised at her achievements, she knew, deep down, that he expected nothing less.

“My father is so impressed by everything that I’ve been able to accomplish. And I’m so proud that he will be able to watch me cross that stage and move one step closer to my achieving my dream.”