Category Archives: Job Fair

Winners of the Next Big Idea 2-16

Winners of The Next Big Idea 2016

Update

On Wednesday, May 4, judges from ZVRS, sponsor of The Next Big Idea Competition, reviewed projects of the six finalists, asked questions and selected the folloing winners:

$5,000  First Place:      Team Ugyo; Ethan Young and Nicole Dugan

$3,000  Second Place   Team Dalmation; Adam Brodak, Keith Delk and Jefrey Spinale

$2,000  Third Place       Team ANOVA; Musab Al-Smadi, Michelle Chi, Steven McClusky, Radhika Mehra

 

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Six teams of deaf and hard-of-hearing students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will go head-to-head May 4 during The Next Big Idea competition.

The contest—6:30 to 10 p.m. in NTID’s Panara Theatre, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall—is an annual event where teams of students combine skills related to their individual majors to create products, technology or businesses that will be useful to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Teams work with mentors on their projects and compete before judges for cash prizes. The event is sponsored by ZVRS, a video relay company.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of The Next Big Idea.

Student teams are:

  • Anova— a voice-to-text translation system for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals that uses a mini processor and microphone.
  • Asymtotic—incorporates microphones, tactile feedback, pulsation and sound filters that vibrate to engage the wearer in important situations.
  • Dalmation—a software service that focuses on providing jobs, volunteering opportunities, networking and resources for the American Sign Language community.
  • Douror—a service app for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons that helps with placing food orders.
  • Echo—a speech-therapy mobile app that allows users to practice speech and give instantaneous feedback to speech therapists.
  • Ugyo—an access-technology prototype for deaf-blind people with Usher Syndrome to improve communication with peers during meetings or other interactive settings.

“Every year the excitement around this competition builds,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “Amazing projects are presented and some of them move quickly into the marketplace. We thank ZVRS for their support, and are grateful for the belief they have in our students.”

The event—free and open to the public—will be fully accessible for both deaf and hearing audiences. For more information, contact ntidoutreach@rit.edu.

Nearly 400 Students Attend RIT/NTID Job Fair

at left is a young man with cochlear implant signing to Sam Sandoval in red short with Harris corp. sign and display table

Representatives from more than 45 local and national corporations, federal agencies and non-profit organizations met with nearly 400 deaf and hard-of-hearing students—who are also prospective employees—at the 15th annual job fair on Oct. 21 at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The event was held in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus.

Company representatives conducted “on the spot” interviews with NTID students who are vying for cooperative education positions or full-time employment after graduation in fields such as business, finance, graphic design, engineering, computing, and more. Interpreters were available at each table, and in many cases, the company recruiters were NTID alumni. Companies included Microsoft Corp., Lockheed Martin, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, Dow Chemical Co., Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield, Harris Corp., The Learning Center for the Deaf, The Bank of New York Mellon Corp., and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, among others. Employers also had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion.

Maya Ariel, a 2012 business management graduate from RIT’s Saunders College of Business, attended the job fair as a recruiter for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. As a former student, Ariel was selected shortly after graduation for the organization’s Leaders in Motion program, a development program in which participants rotate through four different departments at DFAS before being permanently placed. Today, she is a financial systems analyst and returned to NTID’s Job Fair to search for future employees in the accounting, finance, human resources or information technology fields.

“My advice for students is to keep all of their options open, take advantage of every opportunity they can, and get a foot in the door,” said Ariel. “I’m a proud RIT graduate and based on my experience, I know these students are well prepared to enter the job market.”

Joao Paulo, a second-year accounting technology student from Brazil, was searching for a co-op placement during the job fair. He said he was nervous at first, but was able to relax and put his best foot forward.

“I came to the job fair for the first time today and I didn’t know what to expect,” said Paulo. “I just tried to be myself and worked my way through it. I spoke with about seven different companies, including Prudential and The Hartford, which both seemed like good matches. I made my way through the tables and I tried really hard to make a good impression and be relaxed yet excited at the same time.”

Samuel Sandoval, a 2013 information technology graduate from Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, returned for the second time as a recruiter for Harris Corp. He told students to be persistent.

“The employees at Harris Corp. didn’t really have much exposure to deaf culture,” he said. “Now, in addition to my job as a software engineer, I teach a sign language class to the employees every Monday.”

NTID’s Center on Employment also recognized three companies who consistently hire deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. One of this year’s local honorees was The Gleason Works.

Alicia Kalen, a human resources generalist at The Gleason Works, has worked with NTID computer integrated machining technology students as part of their summer internship program.

“This has been a very positive experience,” said Kalen. “We have established a relationship with NTID and our goal is to create a talent pipeline for advanced manufacturing positions at Gleason. The students are graduating with an excellent foundation in machining, blue print reading and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. They learn how to work as a team—toward the same goal—and they have a good idea how a company is run. Today, I met students who are friends with five students who worked for Gleason last summer. The good word is spreading and Gleason is excited and happy to be here.”

Other companies recognized were Purple Communications, headquartered in Rocklin, Calif., and Seattle, Wash.; and University of California—San Diego (Moores Cancer Center).

“We have many deaf and hard-of-hearing alumni employer representatives who attended the job fair who are role models for our students and recent graduates,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment. “The NTID Job Fair allows these alumni to connect with our students and to demonstrate what it takes to be successful in the workplace. 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.”

Share Achievements on Merit

Encourage your student to share achievements through Merit. Merit lets students share their successes — such as making the Dean’s List, joining a club or fraternity, studying abroad, getting a job and even graduating — with their friends and family through their social media networks. Each RIT student has a Merit profile page. More

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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