All posts by Kathy Johncox

Kathy is the editor and writer for Parent News. She is a Communications, Marketing & Multimedia Services Specialist at RIT/NTID.

Dyer Arts Center Hosts Two New Exhibits

Baobob Tree by Andrew Foster

The Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf hosts two exhibits this fall and winter.

  • “Roots Out of a Dry Ground: The Life and Work of Andrew Foster,” which runs through Dec. 18, is a biographical exhibit of deaf missionary Andrew Foster, who lived and worked in Africa from 1956 until his death in 1987. In 1954, he became the first deaf African American to earn a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University and the first to earn a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. He founded Christian Mission for the Deaf African in 1956 and established the first school for the deaf in Africa in Ghana.
  • “Unfolding the Soul of Black Deaf Expressions”—a first-of-its-kind exhibit featuring more than 100 works of art from more than 30 Black Deaf artists runs Nov. 14 through Feb. 27. A two-day symposium will be held Feb. 26 and 27. Pieces stem from a variety of artistic media, including paintings, photography and drawings. More

RIT/NTID 50th Anniversary Reunion Dates Announced

front of LBJ Hall with plants in front and part of cube sculpture

The 50th anniversary of Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will culminate in a reunion hosted on campus June 28 to July 1, 2018.

The announcement appeared in a joint video statement from reunion co-chairs Chris and Staci Wagner of Bradenton, Florida, and NTID Alumni Association president Joe Riggio of Fishers, Indiana.

The anniversary marks 50 years since the first cohort of students matriculated at NTID, one of the nine colleges of RIT, in 1968. A kick-off event during Brick City Homecoming festivities in October 2017 will inaugurate a yearlong celebration, culminating with the reunion the following June.

The theme of the reunion will be “Reconnect. Reunite. Reflect.”

“This reunion represents an opportunity for fellow RIT/NTID alumni to celebrate the connections, both new and old, with each other as well as the campus and the college itself,” said Staci Wagner. “Many of them feel a debt of gratitude to NTID for the impact it’s had on their personal journeys and professional career.”

“Being able to look forward to the reunion is just the first of many things to anticipate during the celebration of NTID’s 50th anniversary,” said RIT/NTID President Gerry Buckley, the first alumnus to hold the position. “Having alumni on campus to help honor this milestone in NTID’s history will make it all the more special.”

More than 7,000 students have graduated from RIT/NTID.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and for providing unparalleled support services for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. RIT is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1965, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. NTID offers associate degree programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and provides support and access services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students who study in the other eight colleges of RIT. NTID also offers a bachelor’s degree program in sign language interpreting and a master’s degree program in secondary education for individuals interested in teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students come from all over the United States and around the world to take advantage of the opportunities available to them at RIT/NTID. Visit:

The captioned video can be found at

Nearly 400 Students Attend RIT/NTID Job Fair

at left is a young man with cochlear implant signing to Sam Sandoval in red short with Harris corp. sign and display table

Representatives from more than 45 local and national corporations, federal agencies and non-profit organizations met with nearly 400 deaf and hard-of-hearing students—who are also prospective employees—at the 15th annual job fair on Oct. 21 at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The event was held in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus.

Company representatives conducted “on the spot” interviews with NTID students who are vying for cooperative education positions or full-time employment after graduation in fields such as business, finance, graphic design, engineering, computing, and more. Interpreters were available at each table, and in many cases, the company recruiters were NTID alumni. Companies included Microsoft Corp., Lockheed Martin, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, Dow Chemical Co., Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield, Harris Corp., The Learning Center for the Deaf, The Bank of New York Mellon Corp., and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, among others. Employers also had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion.

Maya Ariel, a 2012 business management graduate from RIT’s Saunders College of Business, attended the job fair as a recruiter for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. As a former student, Ariel was selected shortly after graduation for the organization’s Leaders in Motion program, a development program in which participants rotate through four different departments at DFAS before being permanently placed. Today, she is a financial systems analyst and returned to NTID’s Job Fair to search for future employees in the accounting, finance, human resources or information technology fields.

“My advice for students is to keep all of their options open, take advantage of every opportunity they can, and get a foot in the door,” said Ariel. “I’m a proud RIT graduate and based on my experience, I know these students are well prepared to enter the job market.”

Joao Paulo, a second-year accounting technology student from Brazil, was searching for a co-op placement during the job fair. He said he was nervous at first, but was able to relax and put his best foot forward.

“I came to the job fair for the first time today and I didn’t know what to expect,” said Paulo. “I just tried to be myself and worked my way through it. I spoke with about seven different companies, including Prudential and The Hartford, which both seemed like good matches. I made my way through the tables and I tried really hard to make a good impression and be relaxed yet excited at the same time.”

Samuel Sandoval, a 2013 information technology graduate from Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, returned for the second time as a recruiter for Harris Corp. He told students to be persistent.

“The employees at Harris Corp. didn’t really have much exposure to deaf culture,” he said. “Now, in addition to my job as a software engineer, I teach a sign language class to the employees every Monday.”

NTID’s Center on Employment also recognized three companies who consistently hire deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. One of this year’s local honorees was The Gleason Works.

Alicia Kalen, a human resources generalist at The Gleason Works, has worked with NTID computer integrated machining technology students as part of their summer internship program.

“This has been a very positive experience,” said Kalen. “We have established a relationship with NTID and our goal is to create a talent pipeline for advanced manufacturing positions at Gleason. The students are graduating with an excellent foundation in machining, blue print reading and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. They learn how to work as a team—toward the same goal—and they have a good idea how a company is run. Today, I met students who are friends with five students who worked for Gleason last summer. The good word is spreading and Gleason is excited and happy to be here.”

Other companies recognized were Purple Communications, headquartered in Rocklin, Calif., and Seattle, Wash.; and University of California—San Diego (Moores Cancer Center).

“We have many deaf and hard-of-hearing alumni employer representatives who attended the job fair who are role models for our students and recent graduates,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment. “The NTID Job Fair allows these alumni to connect with our students and to demonstrate what it takes to be successful in the workplace. 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.”

Inside RIT’s New Clinical Health Sciences Center

Photo by: A. Sue Weisler

The Clinical Health Sciences Center is the new home to RIT’s College of Health Science and Technology’s clinical programs, including Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound), Physician Assistant and programs in behavioral health. It also houses the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition, and Rochester Regional Health Family Medicine, a primary care practice for RIT faculty, staff and dependents as well as the community. Watch video.

Zipcar Services Now Available at RIT

Rochester Institute of Technology has teamed up with Zipcar to bring self-service, on-demand car sharing to the area.

Two cars, a Ford Focus and Ford Escape, are based on the RIT campus and available for 24-hour use by Zipcar members. Membership for RIT students, faculty and staff costs $15 a year (which includes a $35 credit for the first month), and vehicle use starts at $7.50 an hour or $69 a day.

Gas, insurance and maintenance are free. A valid driver’s license and credit card are required.

“Zipcar is great for students, and for our sustainability goals,” said RIT Student Government President Nick Giordano. “Providing these types of services to students means an opportunity for students to get off campus and not have to solely rely on friends to drive them places.”

Giordano said students will now have more chances to experience the food, entertainment and culture of the region, and open up the city’s professional networks by allowing students to get off campus to job interviews and networking events.

“And sustainability-wise, fewer cars being brought to campus all-year long is always a good thing,” he said.

For more information or to sign up, visit:

RIT Big Shot #31

RIT Big Shot #31

The RIT Big Shot created a beautiful photo finish on October 3 at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, in Louisville, Kentucky. The Big Shot represents one of RIT’s signature projects and is often described as “painting with light” because hundreds of community and college volunteers are asked to “paint” or shine their light source onto a particular area of a landmark while a photograph is taken. Since the Big Shot began in 1987, the event has chronicled The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; The Pile Gate, Dubrovnik, Croatia; the Erie Canal and Schoen Place; The George Eastman House; the Alamo and many other venues. More