Category Archives: Academics

MotionSavvy: The Next Big Idea

When a team of four students won third place in NTID’s The Next Big Idea innovation competition in spring 2013, they felt they had created something special. The team, known as MotionSavvy, had developed an application that would enable a tablet or other device to translate sign language into audible words and sentences, allowing deaf and hearing people to communicate much more easily and quickly.

Last summer the students, Ryan Hait-Campbell, a new media design major from Seattle; Alex Opalka, a computer engineering major from Glastonbury, Connecticut; Wade Kellard, a mechanical engineering technology major from Cincinnati, Ohio; and Jorden Stemper, an industrial design major from Waukesha, Wisconsin, were accepted into RIT’s Summer Start-Up course for new businesses at RIT’s Saunders College of Business and the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The team is now in San Francisco working with Leap Motion, Inc. a company that manufactures and markets a computer hardware sensor device that supports hand and finger motions as input, like a mouse, but requiring no hand contact or touching. Leap Motion’s LEAP AXLR8R provides the technical support the MotionSavvy team needs to further their work on technology that will benefit deaf and hearing people. Quickly making the leap from college students to business people, the team now has created a tablet app and is seeking investors and grants for more research and development. More

Financial Aid Information — related to FAFSA and VR

If you haven’t yet completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid for 2014-2015 and want to apply for financial aid, please go to www.fafsa.ed.gov, complete the FAFSA form and submit it as soon as possible.  

Please remind your student to send spring grades AND fall schedule to his or her VR counselor if your student is receiving VR support. This is important to do even if your student is on a waiting list for financial support.

It’s also important for your student to:

  • Visit his or her VR counselor and get an updated Individual Plan of Employment or have VR email your student the information about how much funding he or she will receive toward educational expenses for next year.
  • Send that information to Barbara Polle at blpnod@rit.edu or FAX it to 585-475-7850. If your student can’t email or fax, be sure to have him or her bring that information to campus in the fall and give it to Barb Polle, LBJ, Building 60, Room 2625.

Two RIT/NTID Students Interviewed by Local TV Station About New Text 911 Service

Verizon, Sprint, AT & T and T-Mobile now offer Text 911 service so that people who may not be able to make a voice call can get the emergency help they need. By years’ end all other carriers will be on board.

The two students interviewed, Christopher Fenn and Jonathan Pons, have a vested interest in this technology. In RIT/NTID’s The Next Big Idea innovation competition earlier this month, they took third place for “Silent 911”, an app that would enable contact with fire, police or emergency dispatchers with the touch of a button on a smartphone. The message for help would be received instantly along with pre-programmed personal information.

NTID Opens Doors to Employment

Calvin Young expects to graduate in May with his bachelor’s degree in new media marketing. But unlike many new college graduates, he’s already working full time even before he’s donned his cap and gown.

His door to employment opened three years ago during one of his co-ops with ZVRS, a video relay company based in Clearwater, Fla.

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