Category Archives: Academics

RIT adds new bachelor’s degree in exercise science

Female student lays on exam table with breathing apparatus in her mouth as another female student reads the output data..

Rochester Institute of Technology is offering a bachelor's degree in exercise science, with its first freshman class beginning in the fall semester.

The four-year program is the first new degree offered through the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition in RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology. Exercise science applies health, fitness, physiology, biomechanics and psychology toward enhancing athletic performance and preventing or managing chronic illness, such as cardiac disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems. More.

RIT/NTID’s Geraldine Dang shares her international study experience

Woman with long dark hair, smiling wearing glasses and a blue long-sleeved top carrying a blue umbrella w/flower design on it.

RIT/NTID student Geraldine Dang was featured in RIT's Fellowships & Scholarships for Global Education newsletter. She is a 3D Digital Design major and studied in Singapore, supported by The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. 

"Before I attended NTID, I had no idea what studying abroad was. While at NTID, some of my friends chose to study or work as interns in Italy, Croatia, Japan and China. I then began to dream that I could do something similar one day. I chose to apply to a program in Singapore because Singapore is known for its use of advanced technology. With my background in Graphic Technology and 3D Digital Design, I am interested in all Digital Design work. Also, Singapore is well known for its multiculturalism where the different nationalities (Chinese, Indians, Malaysians, and Caucasians) live together in harmony. The streets, I am told, have signs in four different languages! The government promotes respect of the different cultures, funds the technologies, and provides universal healthcare to its citizens. This is the “caring” aspect of the culture I would like to learn along with how the deaf people live in Singapore. Finally, my grandfather used to be a diplomat working in both Malaysia and Singapore, and it means a lot for me to be able to study and have an internship at a place where he used to work.

"My advisor suggested that I apply for the Benjamin Gilman International scholarship to help pay for the trip abroad. Even though I was nervous to write the essays, I knew that the statement of purpose essay should describe me and my aspirations, and that my project proposal essay should be meaningful. For my follow up project, I plan to capture my daily activities on video and share my thoughts about studying and working abroad. The video will be presented at RIT and NTID with help from RIT Global to inspire other students. I will also present it to the Rochester School for the Deaf and to my family and friends."

RIT’s School of Film and Animation ranked lucky No. 13 nationally

Words Animation Career Review in black with white background. The

Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation (SOFA) is once again ranked among the top animation schools in the country by Animation Career Review, a leading online resource of information for aspiring animation and game design professionals.

In three separate rankings, RIT places No. 13 nationally (among the top 10 percent of schools considered); No. 12 among private schools and colleges (also top 10 percent); No. 6 on the East Coast; and No. 4 in New York State.

In preparing its 2017 rankings, the website considered hundreds of U.S. schools that offer programs geared toward animation. RIT’s SOFA program once again received high marks for academic reputation; admission selectivity; the program’s depth, breadth and faculty; value as it relates to tuition; and geographic location.

“Graduates of RIT’s animation programs have found employment at top studios such as Disney Animation Studios, Electronic Arts, DreamWorks, Blue Sky Studios, Nickelodeon, Industrial Light and Magic, and Rhythm and Hues Studios,” the publication writes in SOFA’s profile.

SOFA program offerings include a BFA and MFA in film and animation, and a BS degree in motion picture science, providing students who attend RIT with one of the broadest curriculum choices in the country.

“All of us in RIT’s School of Film and Animation are proud to again be selected one of the best schools in the country,” said Malcolm Spaull, administrative chair of SOFA in RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. “We pride ourselves in our program offerings to give aspiring animators and filmmakers the ability to grow and evolve as both students and creators.”

Animation Career Review was launched in 2011 as an online source for aspiring animation, design and gaming professionals seeking information on training programs, schools and colleges, software and technology, career profiles, and profiles of the leading industry firms. The online resource began publishing regional and national rankings the following year. The website currently receives approximately 225,000 unique visitors per month, predominantly from the United States and Canada.

RIT/NTID establishes new degree program in 3-D graphics technology

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Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has been granted approval by the New York State Education Department to establish a new degree program in 3-D graphics technology. Beginning this fall, RIT/NTID will become the first college to offer this kind of associate degree program to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

The program introduces concepts related to three-dimensional graphics and teaches students the creative and technical skills required to produce 3-D graphics and prints, environmental renderings ranging from artistic to photorealistic in quality, and 3-D models used in multimedia and animation. A combination of traditional design skills and digital design techniques will be taught, along with concepts of time, motion and lighting principles. This program will prepare students for one of two options: entering the 3-D graphics industry after graduation or continuing their studies at the baccalaureate degree level in the 3-D digital design program in RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

“Having the first 3-D graphics technology associate degree program focused on deaf and hard-of-hearing students will add to the mission, values and reputation of RIT and contribute to its differentiation from peer universities,” said Kurt Stoskopf, chairperson of NTID’s Visual Communications Studies Department where the program will be housed. “Qualified students who have an interest in working in the 3-D graphics field at the associate degree level, and who possess creative visual communication skills, will find this program to be a great fit.”

The program will prepare students for entry-level employment in the 3-D graphics industry and will cover the artistic and technical sides of the industry with a specific focus on the modeling, animation and visualization processes in 3-D graphics. Graduates with this degree will find jobs with titles such as junior computer graphic designer, junior computer animator, technical illustrator, 3-D illustrator, 3-D animator, junior animator, modeler, texture artist, 3-D visualization artist and more.

“The growth of this area over the past few years in the consumer market has been exponential, and the use of the technologies and products from multimedia to 3-D printing and architectural visualization has impacted the daily experiences of today’s increasingly computer-literate society,” Stoskopf added.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies 3-D graphics technology under the “Multimedia Artists and Animators” category, and its most recent data indicates a projected growth rate of 6 percent, which falls in the “moderate” growth rate category when compared to other labor areas. Marketsandmarkets.com estimates that the computer graphics market will grow from $23.33 billion in 2014 to $32.68 billion in 2019.

“With the ever-changing nature of the visual communications world, it is important that RIT/NTID technical programs keep pace with what employers are seeking in the skill levels of college graduates,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment. “The 3-D computer graphics technology program will enhance our students’ opportunities to attract employers for both co-op and full-time positions.”

For more information on the program, go to http://www.ntid.rit.edu/vcs/3dgraphics.

RIT selected to receive National Science Foundation I-Corps grant

Scot Atkins with dark short hair and striped button down shirt and dark suit coat

Rochester Institute of Technology is among eight National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) sites across the country selected to each receive $30,000 grants to increase participation and promote inclusion of underrepresented populations in the National Innovation Network.

These I-Corps sites, designed to provide infrastructure, resources, networking and training to move scientific discoveries from university labs to the marketplace, will use the awards to pilot novel approaches and partnerships that promote inclusive entrepreneurship through the initiative. The pilot activities will engage differently-abled individuals, first-generation college students, racial and ethnic minorities and women, as well as Minority-Serving Institutions.

As outlined in the proposal, RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will partner with RIT’s I-Corps site initiative—programmatically embedded into the Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship—as well as the National Association of the Deaf and the Association of Higher Education and Disability to increase opportunities available to deaf and hard-of-hearing college students who are aspiring STEM entrepreneurs. Through a national network of universities with high concentrations of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, RIT plans to recruit new instructors and coaches along with extending I-Corps training. Program administrators also will create curricula on the use of technologies that will enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate in online entrepreneurship coaching.

“This is a great opportunity to generate more opportunities for entrepreneurship among deaf and hard-of-hearing college students across the nation, not just here at NTID,” said Scot Atkins, NTID business studies professor and a nationally recognized expert in deaf entrepreneurship. “This grant award will allow us to capitalize on our existing successes and infrastructure for entrepreneurship within RIT/NTID and work with a larger audience.”

Atkins will help lead the initiative at RIT/NTID. Details of the proposal include:

  • Creation of entrepreneurial assets that will increase the number of graduates with an emphasis on STEM with business creation/tech commercialization knowledge, experience and team-building skills
  • Continued development of new ventures based in the Simone Center that will create businesses with growth potential and provide economic development to upstate New York
  • Pre-seed/early stage pipeline for potential new ventures
  • Successful undergraduate innovation processes that promote and advance the development of balanced student teams, experienced coaching and access to university support services such as networking, prototyping labs and other high-tech facilities
  • Programs and events sponsored by the Simone Center that target early-stage business development with the goal of transitioning these investment-ready projects and businesses to RIT’s Venture Creations business incubator.

“RIT is an institution that serves a large population of deaf and hard-of-hearing students and has processes in place that will accommodate those students and others to explore entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Richard DeMartino, the Albert J. Simone Endowed Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, director of RIT’s Simone Center, and a professor in the Saunders College of Business. “Our program design is student-centric, having the joint impact of immersing students in an entrepreneurial curriculum and launching innovative products that focus on STEM related fields, software, sustainability, imaging sciences, micro-e, design, new media, interactive gaming and other areas. We’re looking forward to utilizing resources, mentors and I-Corps funding to further enhance opportunities for our underrepresented students to enter the exciting arena of entrepreneurship.”

NTID and Saunders College of Business already have a robust research agenda focusing on the dynamics of entrepreneurship, including opportunities and challenges for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, added DeMartino.

NTID is also home to the Next Big Idea, an annual entrepreneurship competition sponsored by ZVRS for deaf and hard-of-hearing students with a track record of producing innovative products, businesses or services that solve problems or eliminate existing challenges for potential consumers.  

“NTID is proud to be partnering with RIT’s Simone Center as one of the eight sites nationwide to receive I-Corps funds,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “NTID leads the way in developing deaf and hard-of-hearing entrepreneurs, and this NSF funding will help to expand and continue our position in this vital role.”  

RIT/NTID announces writing contest for deaf, hard-of-hearing high schoolers

orange block with RIT Writing Contest in white and SpiRIT and pen drawing in brown

Deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students in 10th and 11th grades can use the power of words to express their feelings— and win prizes—in Rochester Institute of Technology’s SpiRIT Writing Contest for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students.

Winners can choose from a scholarship and travel expenses to the Explore Your Future program at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, or a $500 cash prize. Explore Your Future is a six-day summer career exploration program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students that provides the opportunity to sample different careers as well as college life.

For guidelines and entry information for the SpiRIT Writing Contest, go to www.rit.edu/NTID/WritingContestNR. The entry deadline is March 1.

For more information, email WritingContest@ntid.rit.edu or call 585-475-7695 (voice) or 585-286-4555 (videophone). For more information about NTID, go to http://www.rit.edu/NTID.

David C. Munson Jr. named RIT’s 10th president

David Munson in navy jacket, light blue shirt and tan pants wearing glasses sitting in a leather chair.

David C. Munson Jr. was introduced to the community today as Rochester Institute of Technology’s 10th president.

Munson, who will assume RIT’s top post July 1, was introduced by RIT Board Chair Christine Whitman at a community-wide event this morning in the Gordon Field House.

“We believe we have identified the ideal leader to continue RIT’s rise to prominence. A leader who shares our commitment to outstanding career-focused education, research and innovation, love of both technology and the arts, and a desire to help students from widely diverse backgrounds succeed,” Whitman told the audience. “This is a leader who has a vision for the future of RIT that will both unite and excite the entire RIT family from around the world.”

A brief video highlighting Munson’s many personal and professional accomplishments was shown, and then the former dean of the University of Michigan College of Engineering, chosen by the RIT Board of Trustees after a nationwide search, came on stage to thunderous applause and took the podium.

Munson opened his remarks by thanking the RIT Board of Trustees for what he called “a thrill and privilege” to be named university president. And he congratulated retiring President Bill Destler, RIT students, faculty, staff and alumni “for the exemplary work you all have done in creating such a strong foundation for the future.”

“When I stepped down from my dean position this past summer, RIT was already known to me because I had admired your progress over the years and your strength in the arts as well as technology,” Munson said.

“In the coming years, I look forward to maintaining RIT’s traditions and simultaneously building on the 2025 Strategic Plan, ‘Greatness through Difference.’ To be sure, there is still much work to be done at RIT in program development, recruitment of top-notch faculty and students, planning of facilities and fundraising. But I believe that RIT is positioned to continue its upward trajectory, elevating its distinctive programs to best in class and generating new ideas and programs for the future, with the promise of making an ever-larger difference in the word.”

As RIT’s president, Munson will be responsible for one of the nation’s leading research and career-oriented universities featuring 18,700 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries, 121,000 alumni, $73 million in sponsored research and an endowment of more than $750 million.

He said he was “drawn to RIT when I observed an exciting portfolio of academic programs, research with impact to solve global problems, and an ability to stay focused on the overall student experience.”

A 24-member search committee composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni, administration and trustees narrowed the pool of candidates before the final selection by the Board of Trustees.

“We are proud to welcome Dr. Munson to RIT and look forward to him leading the university through its next exciting chapter,” said Whitman said in a statement. “His extensive academic experience, respected research credentials, demonstrated leadership, engagement with students and global vision will propel RIT to new heights. We know he will build on the strong foundation established by President Destler and his predecessors whose tireless work made RIT a distinctly great university.”

Munson has 38 years of experience in higher education, which includes serving as the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at Michigan from 2006 to 2016, where he served two five-year terms, the maximum allowed by U-M. Michigan Engineering is considered one of the top engineering schools in the world. Eight of its academic departments are ranked in the nation’s top 10.

Munson earned his BS degree in electrical engineering (with distinction) from the University of Delaware in 1975. He earned an MS and MA in electrical engineering from Princeton in 1977, followed by a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1979, also from Princeton.

From 1979 to 2003, Munson was with the University of Illinois, where he was the Robert C. MacClinchie Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Research Professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and a faculty member in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

In 2003, he became chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at U-M prior to becoming dean. Today, with his deanship appointment fulfilled, he serves as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Munson’s teaching and research interests are in the area of signal and image processing. His current research is focused on radar imaging and computer tomography. He is co-founder of InstaRecon Inc., a start-up firm to commercialize fast algorithms for image formation in computer tomography. He is affiliated with the Infinity Project, where he is coauthor of a textbook on the digital world, which has been used in hundreds of high schools nationwide to introduce students to engineering.

Munson is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a past president of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, and co-founder of the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing. In addition to multiple teaching awards and other honors, he was presented the Society Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, he served as a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, he received an IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and he was the Texas Instruments Distinguished Visiting Professor at Rice University.

In 2016, Munson earned the Benjamin Garver Lamme Medal from the American Society of Engineering Education (highest award for an engineering administrator).

Munson’s record of accomplishment that drew praise from current RIT President Bill Destler, who will retire June 30 after serving more than 40 years in higher education and 10 years as RIT president. He applauded the work of the search committee and the selection of the new president.

“On behalf of RIT and the Greater Rochester-Finger Lakes region, I welcome Dr. Munson and his wife, Nancy, to our community,” Destler said. “The naming of a new president is an exciting time for RIT students, faculty and staff, as well as our alumni, family and friends around the world. Dr. Munson has an impressive record of accomplishments and brings skills, expertise and experience that will greatly benefit this university and further propel RIT as one of the great global universities.”

To learn more about Munson’s credentials, including a curriculum vitae, go to http://www.rit.edu/presidentialsearch/.

To read Munson’s full remarks, go to http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=59161.

To read more about the search process, go to http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=59131.

To read more about Munson, go to http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=59171.