RIT/NTID Student Wins Distinguished Vanguard Student Recognition Award

Rachel Viacava, a second-year computer integrated machining technology student at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, won the 2014-2015 Vanguard Student Recognition Award from the New York State Nontraditional Employment and Training Program, a program of the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, University at Albany.

Viacava, from Cincinnati, and seven other winners from across New York state were recognized for being enrolled in career and technical education programs that are not traditional for their gender.

Viacava plans to complete her associate degree and continue to earn a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology at RIT.

“I often encourage young women who are proficient at math, good with their hands and interested in machinery to work toward earning a degree in computer integrated machining technology,” said Viacava. “There are many people in my family with engineering and technical backgrounds and I guess the proficiency gene was passed along to me.”

Viacava was nominated for the award by Eugene Galasso, a faculty member in NTID’s engineering studies department.

“Rachel understands that the profession she has chosen is male dominated, but in my interactions with her, she isn’t easily intimidated and will be a good role for other women interested in similar careers,” added Galasso.

The winners will be recognized at ceremonies held March 26–27 in Albany, N.Y.

RIT/NTID Professor Named to Distinguished Fulbright Specialist Roster

Adding to his remarkable achievements in and out of the classroom, Todd Pagano, associate professor of chemistry and director of the Laboratory Science Technology program at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, has been named to the Fulbright Specialist Program. The program, which provides Fulbright Specialists two- to six-week grants, promotes linkages between U.S. scholars and professionals in select disciplines and their counterparts at host institutions in more than 140 countries around the world. Pagano is still waiting for word on where he might be placed.

“The globalization of science is upon us,” said Pagano in his Fulbright application. “Today, scientists and corporations work across borders and diverse cultures. U.S. professors are increasingly involved with students from diverse cultures, while attempting to teach all students to be ‘global citizens.’ My goal is to develop ways to improve the teaching of chemistry while substantially broadening opportunities in the field for traditionally underserved students in an effort to narrow gaps in the attainment of education and employment in the field. I would like to work with host institutions to develop chemistry curricula and establish sustainable programs, interventions, and research opportunities for disadvantaged students.”

At NTID, Pagano developed the Laboratory Science Technology program, the world’s only chemical technology program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. In 2012, he was named U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He has also received the American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, sponsored by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and the Stanley Israel Medal for Diversity in Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. He is an American Chemical Society Fellow and was named to Rochester Business Journal’s ‘Forty Under 40’ list of professionals who have made significant community contributions. He has also earned two faculty humanitarian awards as well as RIT’s Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“As a scientist, my hypothesis is that my interactions abroad would uncover fundamental differences in approaches to serving students in educational science programs, but also deep-rooted similarities in the innate care and desire for populations to help those who are less fortunate,” added Pagano. “I am excited about the prospect of extending my quest to broaden educational and research opportunities for underserved students overseas, and believe the Fulbright Specialist program is the ideal vehicle to do so.”

Share Achievements on Merit

Encourage your student to share achievements through Merit. Merit lets students share their successes — such as making the Dean’s List, joining a club or fraternity, studying abroad, getting a job and even graduating — with their friends and family through their social media networks. Each RIT student has a Merit profile page. More

Technology Innovation: Impact of 3D Printing on Drone Technology

The use of 3D printing technology to create human body parts has been widely reported in the news lately, but what impact does this technology have on creating and improving drone “body” parts?

Steven Forney, a research associate for the Systems Management and Production Center at University of Alabama in Huntsville, presented “Technology Innovation: 3D Printing and Multi-rotors Drone Technology” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in the CSD Student Development Center, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology. A question-and-answer session follows the free presentation, which is part of this year’s Edmund Lyon Memorial Lectureship Series.

Forney, who is deaf and earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from RIT in 2012, will explore the rise of 3D printing and how it benefits innovation and drone technology. According to Forney, 3D printing is playing a significant role in helping with the drones’ continuous field maintenance and repair, as well as increasing innovation, improving communication, reducing development costs and garnering interest from clients and contractors. Forney is also an expert in reverse engineering and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in human-computer interaction from RIT.

He will be using American Sign Language. Interpreters and captioning services will be available.

The purpose of the lectureship series is to bring distinguished speakers to NTID to share expertise and scholarly contributions that stand on the cutting edge of advancement in the education and career success of deaf persons.

Technology Innovation: Impact of 3D Printing on Drone Technology

The use of 3D printing technology to create human body parts has been widely reported in the news lately, but what impact does this technology have on creating and improving drone “body” parts?

Steven Forney, a research associate for the Systems Management and Production Center at University of Alabama in Huntsville, presented “Technology Innovation: 3D Printing and Multi-rotors Drone Technology” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in the CSD Student Development Center, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology. A question-and-answer session follows the free presentation, which is part of this year’s Edmund Lyon Memorial Lectureship Series.

Forney, who is deaf and earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from RIT in 2012, will explore the rise of 3D printing and how it benefits innovation and drone technology. According to Forney, 3D printing is playing a significant role in helping with the drones’ continuous field maintenance and repair, as well as increasing innovation, improving communication, reducing development costs and garnering interest from clients and contractors. Forney is also an expert in reverse engineering and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in human-computer interaction from RIT.

He will be using American Sign Language. Interpreters and captioning services will be available.

The purpose of the lectureship series is to bring distinguished speakers to NTID to share expertise and scholarly contributions that stand on the cutting edge of advancement in the education and career success of deaf persons.

File Your FAFSA

It’s time to file your FAFSA!!

Returning RIT/NTID students need to file a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year between January 1 and April 1, 2015 at www.fafsa.gov

Filing the FAFSA each year is the most important step in the financial aid process. By submitting it, your student will automatically be considered for all federal and institutional aid programs. If you need assistance completing the form, go here for a video that leads you through the process. If you would like to complete the FAFSA form in Spanish, go here.

In addition to filing the FAFSA, returning RIT/NTID students need to file an institutional financial aid application.