Category Archives: Campus Events

RIT/NTID founding faculty member Robert Panara to be immortalized on postage stamp

Image of stamp of Bob Panara signing

Educator and icon Robert Panara, the first deaf faculty member of Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, is being honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a stamp.

The 16th stamp in the Distinguished Americans series features Panara, an influential professor and pioneer in the field of Deaf Studies and one of the founders of the National Theatre of the Deaf.

“I’m very proud to see my dad honored and Deaf culture recognized in this way, and I want to thank the personnel at the USPS Stamp Development Office for all their work in the design process,” said Panara’s son John, himself a faculty member at RIT/NTID.

The stamp features a photograph of Panara signing the word “respect” taken by RIT/NTID photographer Mark Benjamin and was designed by USPS art director Ethel Kessler.

During his teaching career, Panara inspired generations of students, and his powerful use of American Sign Language to convey Shakespeare and other works of literature, made him much beloved and respected by students and colleagues alike.

Panara was born hearing in Bronx, N.Y. At age 10, he contracted spinal meningitis, which left him profoundly deaf. He attended mainstream public schools and often relied on classmates to take notes for him or mouth words so he could lipread.

He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City, learned sign language at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn., and then earned a bachelor’s degree at Gallaudet College (now University) in 1940, where he wrote several papers that established him as a leader in the field of deaf education. “The Significance of the Reading Problem” expressed his belief that “what the world needs today is more teaching that comes from the heart and soul and not of the coldly conservative and somewhat reticent mind.” This insight would form his teaching style.

Panara’s love of drama and theater made his classes some of the most sought after by both deaf and hearing students.

In 1965, he was invited by U.S. Secretary of Education John Gardner to serve on a national advisory board for the establishment of NTID. He began his career at NTID in 1967 and became its first deaf professor. He also established the English department at NTID where his son, John, currently teaches. Throughout the years, Panara won a number of awards and distinctions including the RIT Founders Award, the NTID Student Association Outstanding Staff Award and the RIT Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching. He also holds honorary degrees from Gallaudet University and MacMurray College.

He founded the NTID Drama Club and was a founding member of the National Theatre of the Deaf, and has been honored by the World Federation of the Deaf for his contributions to education and culture.

Panara, who passed away in July 2014 at the age of 94, was an avid poet, lover of Shakespeare and theater, and fan of baseball and the Rochester Red Wings.

“Bob Panara’s contributions to the field of Deaf Studies, theater and education are indeed worthy of celebrating,” said Gerard J. Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “RIT/NTID and the entire Deaf community is justifiably proud that Bob is being honored in such a meaningful way.”

The formal Date of Issue will take place at a ceremony in April 2017 in Rochester, New York, home of RIT/NTID where Panara taught for 20 years. 

RIT/NTID Greek Life

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to 32 diverse international, national and local Greel organizations offering students an opportunity to enhance college life in a unique environment. Commitment to personal and organizational excellence is the cornerstone for an RIT Greek experience, and each fraternity and sorority shares a deep commitment to development of the individual members as well as the entire chapter.

RIT’s sororities and fraternities have promoted scholarship, actively participated in a variety of community service projects, raised money for their national philanthropies, competed in athletic and intramural sports and socialized with other organizations.

The RIT/NTID students in this video are from various majors and are in various stages of their college career, but all share the pride in their chosen organization, and in what that group gives to each individual, the college and the community.

Hundreds of students attend RIT/NTID’s annual job fair

Student in black shirt chats with representatives from Texas Instruments.

Representatives from more than 40 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations met with hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing students—who are also prospective employees—at the 16th annual job fair, on October 19, at RIT/NTID.

“Employers had the opportunity to recruit talented deaf and hard-of-hearing students in associate and bachelor’s degree programs such as business, finance, graphic design, engineering, computing and more,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment.

Companies represented included Google, Yahoo, Aetna, Baxter Health Care, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Dow Chemical Co., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Harris Corp., Internal Revenue Service, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others.

“Employers continue to want highly qualified employees who bring the necessary skills and who will fit into the company culture and contribute to the company’s success,” said Macko. “Our students are well trained and can hit the ground running at companies right here in Rochester and all over the country.”

Check out the video from this year’s job fair.

RIT again named among the nation’s leading ‘green colleges’ in Princeton Review

Woman with long dark hair wearing black short-sleeved top and silver earring.

Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton ReviewThe education services company, known for its test prep and tutoring services, books and college rankings, features RIT in the 2016 edition of its free downloadable book, The Princeton Review Guide to 361 Green Colleges.

The Princeton Review chose schools for this seventh-annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2015-2016 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

“I am pleased that RIT has once again been recognized by The Princeton Review for our commitment to sustainability,” said Enid Cardinal, senior sustainability adviser to the president. “We lead through example as shown by sustainability through our research, academics and operations here at RIT.”

“We strongly recommend Rochester Institute of Technology and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seeks to study and live at green colleges,” said Robert Franek, senior VP and publisher, The Princeton Review.

Franek noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. “Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2016 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to attend the college.”

The profiles in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body stats. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

RIT was recognized for the university’s availability of transportation alternatives, including bike storage, shower facilities and lockers for bicycle commuters as well as a telecommuting program for employees and a carpool/vanpool matching program. RIT also received high marks for programs encouraging employees to live close to campus.

The Princeton Review first published the guide in 2010. It chose schools based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied this summer for 640 colleges using data from its 2015-16 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Ratings scores of 80 or higher made it into the guide. Most of the schools (350) are in the United States, while 10 are in Canada and one in Egypt.

The guide can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.

RIT/NTID job fair will connect deaf students with employers across the country

Tall male student in a suit with cochlear implant discusses resume with male recruiter in red shirt with Harris display behind.

Representatives from more than 40 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations will meet with hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing students—who are also prospective employees—at the 16th annual job fair, 12:30–4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 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.

“Employers will have the opportunity to recruit talented deaf and hard-of-hearing students in associate and bachelor’s degree programs such as business, finance, graphic design, engineering, computing and more,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment.

Interpreters will be available at each table, and in many cases, the company recruiters are NTID alumni. Companies include Aetna, Baxter Health Care, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Dow Chemical Co., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Harris Corp., Internal Revenue Service, The Learning Center for the Deaf, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others.

NTID’s Center on Employment will also recognize companies who consistently hire deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. This year’s honorees are Solar Turbines based in San Diego, and Ohio Health Corporation based in Columbus, Ohio.

“Employers continue to want highly qualified employees who bring the necessary skills and who will fit into the company culture and contribute to the company’s success,” said Macko. “Our students are well trained and can hit the ground running at companies right here in Rochester and all over the country.”

There are a few openings available for employers who want to participate. For more information, email Mary Ellen Tait or call 585-475-6426.

Alumni tailgate gathering for Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend

Stylized drawing of RIT buildings in shades of orange, red and brown with Brick City logo to its right.

From 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, join fellow RIT/NTID alumni, NTID faculty/staff and other friends for a pre-hockey game tailgate gathering at the Stock Exchange, which is walking distance from the Blue Cross Arena. This event is always a big draw – don’t miss it this year! Complimentary finger foods and beverages will be provided for you to enjoy. Get pumped up with some Tiger spirit before our RIT Tigers take to the ice.

*This event is primarily for those alumni and friends affiliated with NTID. Short program and speakers will be using American Sign Language.

Visit the event webpage to register.

RIT/NTID team wins National Association of the Deaf College Bowl for the sixth time

Gerry Buckley in orange RIT golf shirt cheering w/four team members and two coaches in black RIT shirts holding trophy.

A student team from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has won the National Association of the Deaf College Bowl academic competition for the third consecutive year, and earned its sixth victory overall.

Held at the biennial NAD conference since 1988, the College Bowl is a four-day question-and-answer academic competition with topics as varied as literature, science, mathematics, history and current events. The event, which brings together deaf contestants from top colleges and universities serving deaf and hard-of-hearing students, regularly draws more than 1,000 audience members to the finals.

Teams of four students from each school vie for the trophy and scholarships for their respective colleges. In addition to RIT/NTID, teams at this year’s competition held in Phoenix were from California State University-Northridge, Gallaudet University and the University of Minnesota.

The winning RIT/NTID team members are Lauren Berger, a psychology major from Rochester, N.Y.; Eric Epstein, a software engineering major from Tucson, Ariz.; Asher Kirschbaum, a mechanical engineering major from Washington Grove, Md.; and Emmanuel Perrodin-Njoku, a biomedical sciences major from Washington, D.C.

“The weekly practice throughout the year paid off big time,” said Epstein. “I am so proud of my teammates for their yearlong efforts in studying. I look forward to the next generation of Tigers who will undoubtedly defend the bowl.”

The team worked with co-coaches and RIT/NTID faculty members Christopher Kurz and Gary Behm to prepare for the competition.

“The entire RIT/NTID community is so proud of our College Bowl team for bringing the trophy back to campus for another two years,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “Lauren, Eric, Asher and Emmanuel did an extraordinary job against fierce competition. They are carrying on a great tradition, and it was wonderful to have so many of our students, faculty, staff and alumni in the audience cheering on our students.”