Rochester Institute of Technology is at the epicenter of a public-private partnership that could catapult the region as a leader in the rapidly growing digital media industry. The college announced $12 million in funding from New York state, $3 million from Dell and $12.4 million from Cisco Systems Inc. that will be used to grow MAGIC Spell Studios, a university program that will link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging sciences projects. That money will be added to the $1.5 million RIT has already received through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, which named MAGIC Spell Studios as a priority project. More.
Once again Rochester Institute of Technology has been selected in the newest Fiske Guide to Colleges due, in part, to RIT’s successful co-op program and diverse campus.
The guide, compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, is a selective, subjective and systematic look at more than 300 colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. There are more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Those selected for the guide include the “best and most interesting” colleges and universities.
The 2016 edition of the guide says RIT students who are ready to find a career “will be happy to know that the school places more than 3,000 juniors and seniors in full-time paid positions through its co-op program.”
The guide credits RIT “in carving out niches for itself with unusual programs, and majors are offered in more than 200 fields, from basic electrical and mechanical engineering to packing science and bioinformatics.” More.
Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and HBT Architects—the firm responsible for the building’s design—were recognized by the American Institute of Architects’ Rochester chapter as a 2015 design award recipient. The AIA Design Excellence Awards—held June 12 at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery—encourage excellence in architectural design, increase public awareness of the human-made environment and honor the architects, owners and builders of significant projects.
Rosica Hall, an $8 million, two-story, 23,000-square-foot building, officially opened in October 2013 and is devoted to innovation and research for students, faculty and staff of NTID and RIT. It was designed to be deaf-friendly, incorporating a maximum use of natural light, open line-of-sight paths, safety features such as strobe lights, and minimalizing vibrations from the building’s air conditioning and heating units.
At the building dedication in 2013, Mark Rosica, chair of NTID’s Counseling and Academic Advising Services and a son of Sebastian and Lenore Rosica, said, “The building was specially designed to enhance the learning and discovery of our deaf and hard-of-hearing students and is an outstanding facility that will help to level the playing field by providing a variety of research opportunities for our students.”
Added James DeCaro, NTID professor and dean emeritus: “Rosica Hall is aesthetically pleasing, with high functionality, and designed to meet the unique needs of learners who are deaf. HBT Architects have presented us an exquisite ‘research home’ at the pinnacle of understated elegance.”
Research centers and labs are active in the building, and the second floor of the building houses the Imaginarium, where faculty and students gather to develop creative and innovative ideas. A meditation garden is on the first floor, with native plants that provides a common area where people can sit and think.
The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund gave a $1.75 million grant, which included a $250,000 matching challenge, for the construction of the building.
To learn more about Rosica Hall, go to http://www.ntid.rit.edu/rosica-hall.
Being on co-op gave Christopher Fenn the opportunity to see learn about the soft skills required to communicate with or work along with different peers in a real world work situation. More.
Nineteen students and eight faculty members from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were recently inducted into the college’s first national honor society, Epsilon Pi Tau. This is the first EPT chapter in the nation dedicated to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Newly inducted students, listed by major, are:
- Computer integrated machining technology— Mohamed Ali (Lackawanna, N.Y.); Jonathan Cabrera (Lynn, Mass.); Keith Cahalane (Lindenhurst, N.Y.); Zachary Gery (North Wales, Pa.); Ivan Gonzalez (Louisville, Ky.); Johnny Rodriguez (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Rachel Viacava (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- Art and imaging studies— Ashley Barone (Slatington, Pa.); Brittney Caldwell (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Business—Emily Berlin (Greenburg, Pa.); Mason Chronister (Red Lion, Pa.); Timothy Fitzgerald (Washington Crossing, Pa.); John Huang (Brooklyn, N.Y.); LaShonda Williams (Greenville, N.C.)
- Applied computer technology— Timothy Bernardo (Norfolk, Va.); Mathew Mills (Gaithersburg, Md.)
- Laboratory science technology—Elder Berroa (Hazleton, Pa.); Christine Kim (Centreville, Va.); Macie King (Columbia, Miss.)
Faculty inductees are: Gary Behm (engineering studies); Karen Beiter (information and computing studies); Bonnie Jacob (science and mathematics); Donna Lange (information and computing studies); Dino Laury (engineering studies); Elissa Olsen (information and computing studies); Mellissa Youngman (business studies); and Andrea Zuchegno (visual communication studies).
Stephen Aldersley, NTID’s associate vice president for academic affairs noted that, “Epsilon Pi Tau’s goals of promoting academic excellence and professional contributions to the advance of technology are a perfect fit for NTID. At RIT’s recent graduation ceremony, several of the inductees proudly sported the society’s blue, white and gold ribbon as they received their degrees. Membership in the society will be a significant addition to their résumés and I am confident that future students, aspiring also to become members, will strive to achieve commensurate academic success.”
Epsilon Pi Tau, the international honor society for professions in technology, was founded in 1928 as a Greek letter fraternity to recognize leaders and potential leaders in industrial arts and industrial vocational education. Today, Epsilon Pi Tau recognizes academic excellence of students in fields devoted to the study of technology and the preparation of practitioners for the technology professions. Epsilon Pi Tau also extends the honor of membership and advancement activities to outstanding practitioners in the technology professions, scholars with exemplary research interests in technology in society and/or persons who have significantly supported or advanced technology professions.
Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has announced the winners of the annual Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students. The contest, in its ninth year, resulted in dozens of entries in interactive media, graphic media, photo imaging, Web page design, film and 3D animation.
The winners of each category, receiving a $250 prize, are:
Film: Paola Almonte of Chelsea, Mass., a student at Boston Arts Academy, for The Good Boys.
Graphic Media: Heather Afriyie of Lorton, Va., a student at Woodson High School, for Fire on my Face!
Photo Imaging: Tiffany M. Robertson of Sadieville, Ky., a student at Elkhorn Crossing School, for A Cowgirl’s Wedding.
3D Animation: David Katter of Indianapolis, Ind., a student at Indiana School for the Deaf, for “Mutual Destruction.”
The runners-up were:
Film: Jackson Callahan of Olathe, Kan., a student at Olathe South High School, for Football.
Graphic Media: Heather Afriyie of Lorton, Va., a student at Woodson High School, for My Dear Tree.
Photo Imaging: Calyssa Yepez of Riverside, Calif., a student at California School for the Deaf-Riverside, for “Leaf with Eye.”
The winning entries may be seen at www.rit.edu/ntid/dafac/.
Winners of the SpiRIT Writing Contest were Alexandra Creech of Bloomington, Ind., a 10th grader at Indiana Connections Academy; Jacob Custer of Lincoln, Neb., a 10th grader at Lincoln Southeast High School; Cooper Graves of Morrow, Ohio, an 11th grader at Moeller High School, for “Eco-Architecture: Next Big Thing?”; and Gracie Kelleher of Quincy, Fla., an 11th grader at Robert F. Munroe Day School, for “The Maya Angelou Effect: A Legend that Lives Past the Grave.”
Writing contest winners receive their choice of $500 or a spot at NTID’s Explore Your Future summer camp.
See a video yearbook with highlights from RIT’s 2014–2015 academic year.
As graduating students Friday packed up to head home or to start new chapters in their careers, many paused one last time to look back on their college years and reflect on their achievements.
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 22.
The following day, students in NTID associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs received their diplomas at a ceremony at the Gene Polisseni Center. Retiring chairperson of the Visual Communication Studies Department, Kenneth Hoffmann, was the Mace bearer, and graduate Franly Ulerio Nunez was the student delegate. In total, 305 deaf and hard-of-hearing students earned degrees through NTID and the other eight colleges of RIT.
“Bring the spirit of RIT/NTID into the world,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “Stay committed to improving the world throughout your lives.
The graduates who received awards are:
- Franly Ulerio Nunez, a laboratory science technology major from New York, N.Y., received the Academic Achievement Award for students earning an associate degree.
- Adrian Kelly, an ASL-English interpreting major from Middletown N.Y., received the Academic Achievement Award for students earning a bachelor’s degree.
- Carly Leannah, from Green Bay, Wis., and Chelsea Powers, from Massapequa, N.Y., both Master of Science program in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf of Hard of Hearing majors, received the Academic Achievement Award for students earning a master’s degree.
- Mason Chronister, an administrative support technology major from Red Lion, Pa., and Christine Gerard, an applied computer technology major from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning associate’s degrees.
- Kyle Murbach, a computing security major from Wheaton, Ill., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning a bachelor’s degree.
- Carly Leannah, a Master of Science program in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf of Hard of Hearing major from Green Bay, Wis., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for students earning a master’s degree.
- Kayla Stanley, an ASL-English interpreting major from Bellport, N.Y., received the Outstanding Graduate Award for interpreting students earning a bachelor’s degree.
- Franly Ulerio Nunez, a laboratory science technology major from New York, N.Y., is the 2015 NTID college delegate for undergraduate students.
Other students who had recent achievements include:
Nathan Scott, an applied arts and sciences major from Schenectady, N.Y., Natalie Snyder, a biomedical sciences major from Rockville, Md., Brett Morris, a game design and development major from Farmington, Conn., Rachel Green, an ASL-English interpretation major from Springfield, Mass., Catherine Lambe, an ASL-English interpreting major from Marcy, N.Y., and Kyle Murbach, a computing security major from Wheaton, Ill., were named Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars.
Providing experiential learning opportunities and establishing strong connections with his students are two contributors to Christopher Kurz’s success in the classroom. His triumphs are the result of thought-provoking and practical applications of his lessons and his ability to adapt his teaching style and philosophy to meet the changing needs of his diverse students.
Kurz, an associate professor in NTID’s secondary education of students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing master’s program and a 1995 graduate of RIT’s applied mathematics program in the College of Science, is one of this year’s recipients of the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching. Kurz helps develop the talents of his students who will soon re-enter classrooms around the world in a different capacity — as educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing secondary students.
“My inspiration comes from seeing my students improve their skills, grow, become professionals,” he said. “I have also learned to connect deeper with my students and learn more about where they come from, what they bring to the table. My students and I — we have a mutually beneficial relationship.”
Kurz is also known for making his lessons come alive. For several years, he has taught deaf history courses in which students examine artifacts like school diaries written by deaf students in the 19th century, war-era dollar bills that were published by a school for the deaf during wartime, and antiquated instructional materials to catch a glimpse into what life was like for deaf people over the past 400 years. He also enlists a technique called “Theatre in Education,” where actors dressed as Edward Gallaudet, Alexander Graham Bell and other famous pioneers in deaf history entertain and educate through debates designed to spark conversations about deaf life and issues in deaf education from decades past. Kurz’s students also develop partnerships and curricular and historical research projects alongside Rochester School for the Deaf that, accordingly to Kurz, is rich in local deaf history.
“I want to be a driving force in raising the bar for students in the field of deaf education,” he added. “I’m a product of deaf education, so it’s important for me to be a catalyst in educating and preparing the next generation of teachers of the deaf.”