Known throughout Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf as a “force of nature,” Tabitha Jacques has been selected as a 2018 Forty Under 40 honoree by the Rochester Business Journal.
As director of NTID’s Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center, Jacques has been credited with expanding the number and enhancing the quality of exhibitions, including curating first-ever exhibits by deaf, black and deaf, Latinx artists; increasing NTID’s permanent collection of art, making it one of the largest collections of works by deaf artists anywhere in the world; collaborating with other organizations, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, to highlight art work by people with disabilities; and, along with RIT/NTID’s Center on Access Technology, has developed a mobile application providing gallery accessibility to deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind and blind museum visitors.
“Since arriving at NTID three years ago, Tabitha has moved all measurables in a positive direction,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “Tabitha is working to change the face of museum accessibility in the Rochester area, and her efforts will bring about countless benefits to the Rochester community and beyond.”
Jacques, from Baton Rouge, La., formerly worked as assistive communication technology program manager at the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Washington state and as an admissions counselor at Gallaudet University. Prior to that, she worked as an exhibit curator for the Gallaudet University Museum Project and as an adjunct professor. She was also special projects coordinator for the National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. She earned a Master of Arts in art history and museum studies from Georgetown University. In 2009, she received the Diversity Fellowship from the American Association of Museums, and she wrote the publication Introduction and Experience Within Space. She is also an accomplished lecturer.
Valerie Alhart, a 2015 graduate of RIT’s Saunders College of Business, is also among the honorees. Alhart, who earned her MBA, is senior director of marketing and communications for Pandion Optimization Alliance.
RBJ’s Forty Under 40 recognizes 40 men and women, under the age of 40, who have achieved professional success and have also made significant civic contributions to the community. The recipients will be honored Nov. 14 in a ceremony at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.