Category Archives: Campus Events

RIT/NTID alumnus Greg Pollock to keynote Let Freedom Ring event

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The Rochester Institute of Technology community will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with its second annual Let Freedom Ring event, featuring music, dance and excerpts from some of King’s most notable speeches. Performers include Thomas Warfield and the RIT/NTID Dance Company, the RIT String Quartet and keynote speaker Greg Pollock ’12 (professional and technical communication).

Pollock is the vice president of human resources and accessibility officer at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh. He started his career as a public affairs specialist at the Dow Chemical Co. As a student at RIT, Pollock served two terms as president of RIT’s Student Government (2010-2012), a rare occurrence, and was the only deaf RIT Student Government President to serve two terms.

“We are excited to bring the RIT community together to celebrate the holiday,” said Keith Jenkins, RIT’s vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion. “King’s work and words made an indelible impact on our nation’s conscience, and we invite all to join us as we reflect on the lessons he taught us.”

Let Freedom Ring takes place 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, in Ingle Auditorium. It will be followed by a reception with refreshments from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge. ASL interpreters have been requested. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to register at www.rit.edu/diversity/registerlfr.

Collaborative and accessible theater productions happen at RIT

Student actors in costume seated in front, female lifted by two males in center, dancers in back.

Rochester Institute of Technology shows how collaborative, accessible theater happens when deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing students perform on stage together as they did in the recent production of Cabaret. The show created a unique experience for theater-goers.

RIT among schools to receive $1 million for clean energy project

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Rochester Institute of Technology has won $1 million as part of the Energy to Lead Competition, which challenges New York colleges and universities to develop plans for local clean energy projects on campus and in their communities as the state seeks innovative solutions to combat climate change.

RIT will create a platform that integrates multiple data sources to enable a building’s existing automation system to manage operation schedules, adjust ventilation rates in classrooms and respond to peak demand days, according to Enid Cardinal, senior sustainability adviser to the president. Cardinal will serve as lead principal investigator on the project.

The platform, once tested and deployed at RIT, will be tested at Monroe Community College’s downtown campus and then made publicly available free of charge for other institutions to leverage. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 108 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

“Through the ‘Energy to Lead’ competition, New York is fostering clean energy innovation to help fight climate change and protect our environment,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I commend the students and faculty for their steadfast commitment to improving their campus and community, helping to create a cleaner, greener New York for all.”

The Energy to Lead Competition, announced by Gov. Cuomo in 2015, is part of the REV Campus Challenge, which recognizes and supports colleges and universities across New York state that strive to meet their financial, environmental, academic and community goals through clean energy solutions.

As a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and member of the REV Campus Challenge, RIT has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.

“This project leverages many of RIT’s strengths, including our innovative spirit, the cutting-edge nature of our academic programs, and the way our campus serves as a laboratory for experiential learning,” RIT President David Munson said during yesterday’s announcement of the Energy to Lead grant inside RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “We applaud Gov. Cuomo for investing in research that addresses solutions to global challenges and for recognizing the important role of higher education in working toward these solutions.”

Applicant schools were required to submit projects which demonstrate innovation in one or more of the following areas: project design, business model, partnerships, and/or curriculum integration. Schools and universities were also required to describe the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, how they would measure success and how they would use the funding to advance the project. These projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,125 metric tons over the next five years.

The competition is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities. The competition challenges schools to develop ideas for innovative projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy or greenhouse gas emission reduction on campus, in the classroom and in surrounding communities.   

This round of Energy to Lead included 24 project submissions from 21 different public and private colleges and universities across the state. Applications were reviewed by an evaluation panel and winners were chosen based on project cost effectiveness, innovativeness, energy efficiency and clean energy measures, the impact on greenhouse gas emissions and how funding would be used to advance the project on campus and in the community.

For more information on Energy to Lead, go to NYSERDA’s website.

RIT/NTID honors researchers with Sponsored Programs Awards

Group photo of 14 smiling men and women with orange flower corsages.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf recently honored 12 researchers and program directors for their work leading to new knowledge, strategies or programs and services to improve the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. 

Award recipients are:

Scholarship Portfolio Development Initiative (SPDI) – Internal seed funding opportunity for early-career faculty and contract research faculty, whose projects typically represent the initial stages of projects that could attract external support in the future. They are:

  • Robyn Dean, assistant professor in NTID’s American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department: Investigating interpreter fatigue, and how it can be exaggerated or mitigated by varying the way in which pairs of interpreters work.
  • Jason Nordhaus, assistant professor in NTID’s Department of Science and Mathematics: Exploring the behavior of a black hole inside a giant star using dynamical 3D simulations.
  • Corrine Occhino, research assistant professor in NTID’s Sign Language Laboratory: Along with co-investigator Joseph Hill, examining the variations in ASL that correlate to diverse regional, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic factors and evaluating how ASL users regard the use of non-standard varieties of the language.
  • Jessica Trussell, assistant professor in NTID’s Master of Science program in Secondary Education and researcher in NTID’s Center for Education Research Partnerships: Developing and implementing an intensive approach to reading comprehension for deaf and hard-of-hearing readers that requires students to work in collaborative groups. 

NTID Sponsored Programs Awards – A new award program that recognizes individuals who have made a difference. Awardees are nominated by NTID faculty. Awards include:

Student Research Mentor Award to Bonnie Jacob, assistant professor in NTID’s Department of Science and Mathematics. Jacob’s work has supported 17 student researchers. She is the principal investigator of the first all-deaf and hard-of-hearing Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program supported by the NSF. 

Up-and Coming PI Award to Jason Nordhaus, assistant professor in NTID’s Department of Science and Mathematics. Nordhaus is nationally known for research describing stellar evolution. He is affiliated with RIT’s College of Science and its world-renowned Center on Computational Relativity and Gravity (CCRG).

Collaborator Award to Keith Mousley, associate professor in NTID”s Department of Science and Mathematics. Mousley’s work collaborating with other researchers explores issues connected to teaching math and other STEM skills to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Co-PI Award to Myra Pelz, associate professor and co-PI for DeafTEC. For the past seven years, Pelz has been the full-time co-PI of DeafTEC, one of NTID’s signature programs with more than 29 partner high schools in 17 states.

PI Award to Matt Dye, assistant professor and Deaf x Laboratory director. Dye has successfully launched a long-range program of research in cognitive neuroscience supported by a total of seven awards from NIH, NSF, and the Swiss National Science Foundation, as well as one SPDI award. Dye’s funded projects presently employ a full-time research coordinator and a postdoctoral scholar, and support the efforts of graduate and undergraduate research assistants.

Partner Award to Matt Huenerfauth, associate professor in RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Presented to a collaborator from one of RIT’s other colleges who has helped NTID realize its goals, the award recognized Huenerfauth as a key partner in projects investigating topics in mixed mode communication and communication technology. He is the founder of the Linguistic and Assistive Technologies Laboratory (“LATLab”), a bilingual (English / ASL) research lab.

Pioneer Award to Mike Stinson, professor and NTID research faculty member. This award recognizes Stinson for his pioneering work to develop speech-to-text technology for the higher education classroom, work that continues to the present in the guise of research on automated speech recognition. C-Print® is the first research-based speech-to-text (captioning) technology and service for educational usage, and has been used in educational environments across the country in grades 4 through postsecondary programs.

X-Factor Award to Donna Easton, research assistant, NTID’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virtual Academic Community. The award, honoring those who support the work of a project team, was given to Easton for her critical contributions to 11 funded projects including C-Print® and the Virtual Academic Community.

Founders Award to Jim DeCaro, NTID dean emeritus. This award acknowledges a lifetime of achievement in educational programming for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, along with DeCaro’s success in spreading the knowledge and educational expertise of NTID faculty around the world. DeCaro’s vision and drive also were instrumental in establishing NTID’s first dedicated research facility, Rosica Hall, which is presently at full occupancy with four centers, one major program, one research lab, and other research projects that are largely funded by external grants. 

“NTID’s 50th anniversary year is an excellent time to introduce this recognition program,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “The program celebrates why principal investigators seek funding – because they need resources so that they can continue to make a difference in the world.” 

RIT/NTID Career Fair to bring record number of employers to campus to recruit deaf, hard-of-hearing students

overhead photo of LBJ Hall street area with employer tables, banners, recruiters and students.

Representatives from more than 50 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations looking to diversify their workforce will meet with hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing students—who are also prospective employees—at the 18th annual Career Fair, 12:30–4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The event will be held in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus.

A record 53 companies, including Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Merck, NavSea, Texas Instruments, the CIA and Prudential Financial, are participating in this year’s career fair. Quicken Loans, PNC and Datto, the cybersecurity and data backup company whose founder, RIT alumnus Austin McChord, recently donated $50 million to RIT, will be attending for the first time.

Interpreters will be available at each table to facilitate communication as recruiters meet the estimated 400 students participating.

Between 25 and 35 RIT/NTID alumni will be coming to Rochester this year to represent their companies at the career fair, serving as recruiters and role models for deaf and hard-of-hearing student job seekers.

“We are always so pleased and proud to see so many of our graduates come back to recruit for their companies,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment. “It’s gratifying to see them come ‘full circle’ and help the next group of students find their place in the world of work.”

An employer panel consisting of representatives from PNC, Route 66 Promotions, Naval Sea Systems Command and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will provide students with insight into what companies are looking for in new employees from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the college’s CSD-Student Development Center, rooms 1300/1310.

RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment, the career fair sponsor, also will recognize four companies who consistently hire deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. The companies are Eastman Kodak Co., the Learning Center for the Deaf, Route 66 Promotions and Prudential Financial.

RIT students prepare for largest University-Wide Career Fair

RIT students in professional attire line up to sepak to employers at Career Fair.

Nearly 270 employing organizations from 30 states seeking Rochester Institute of Technology students and graduates are attending the 2018 Fall University-Wide Career Fair on October 3, 2018. It will be the largest career fair RIT has hosted in its 17 years of hosting career fairs.

The fair is open to current RIT students and alumni. The event allows them to meet with prospective employers to explore career opportunities for internship, cooperative education and entry- or experienced-level positions.

RIT’s cooperative education model is one of the oldest and largest in the country. More than half of the students participating in co-op will go to work for one of their co-op employers upon graduation, said Maria Richart, director of RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education. Richart added the turnout is a clear reflection of the continued strong demand for the outstanding student talent RIT produces. More.

RIT’s Big Shot illuminates Old Fort Niagara

Old Fort Niagara, a French castle, is shown illuminated with light in evening with colonial soldiers and a cannon in foreground.

The opportunity to “paint light” on a historic fortress drew more than 800 hundred people to Old Fort Niagara to help make the annual Rochester Institute of Technology’s nighttime Big Shot photograph a picturesque success.

The volunteers, including 72 RIT students who traveled to the Canadian border from RIT's campus, and more than 100 alumni, provided the primary light source for the Big Shot image while RIT photographers shot an extended exposure with Old Fort Niagara nearly completely darkened. More.

Registration now open for Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend, Oct. 19-21

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Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend is RIT's annual tradition to celebrate alumni, students, parents and families, faculty, staff and friends of the University. RIT combines parents weekend and alumni reunions into one big event. The excitement will begin Friday, Oct. 19 and run through Sunday, Oct. 21. For a full list of activities and to register, visit https://www.rit.edu/gcr/brickcity/.

RIT’s newest students urged to dream and change the world

RIT faculty and staff cheer on and high-five new students to RIT during the annual Tiger Walk before convocation.

Get involved, know your fellow students and professors, and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can.

That was a main theme expressed during the Convocation for New Students at Rochester Institute of Technology today, as the university welcomed its most academically qualified first-year students, who had an average 1300 SAT score.

The new students also are expected to set a total RIT enrollment record at more than 19,000 for the first time. The new students come from 46 states and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 43 countries. Total international students come from 51 countries, with the most students coming from India, China, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic and Iran. More.