Category Archives: Success Stories

RIT/NTID Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars

Rochester Institute of Technology honored 104 students whose academic and personal achievements have made them this year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars.

The awards, bronze medallions, were presented in ceremonies on April 16, 2015 to those students who have met the scholarship criteria—a minimum grade-point average of 3.85 out of 4.0; completed more than two-thirds of the credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree; and demonstrated community engagement, such as creative work, serve on student committees, civic activities, employment or independent research.

“RIT is pleased to pay tribute to these undergraduates whose demonstrated devotion to excellence is an inspiration to the university community,” said Jeremy Haefner, RIT provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, who presented the scholars to President Bill Destler and RIT deans at the ceremony in Gordon Field House.

The 2014-15 RIT/NTID Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars are:

Nathan Scott
A graduate of Guilderland High School in Guilderland, N.Y., Nathan is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts and Sciences. He has worked as an NTID math tutor and is a member of the Premedical Student Association and the Asian Deaf Club. Nathan is the recipient of the Ronald Dodge Scholarship, the NTID Presidential Scholarship and the Sertoma Scholarship for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and enter the field of sports analytics.

Natalie Snyder
A graduate of Rockville High School in Maryland, Natalie is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences. She served as a Red Cross volunteer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with a focus on prosthetics, orthotics and physical therapy. Natalie is an NTID student ambassador and a math and physics tutor at the NTID Learning Center. She is on the RIT swimming and diving team. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Cross-Registered Student Advisory Board. After graduation she plans to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.

Kyle Murbach
A graduate of Hindsdale South High School in Wheaton, Ill., Kyle is pursuing a bachelor’s/master’s degree in Computing Security. He completed an internship at the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations at the National Security Agency (NSA). He is the recipient of the (ISC)2 Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship and Harold F. Tipton Scholarship, the Bridgestone Americas, Inc. Scholarship, the Nathaniel Rochester Society Scholarship, the Lucille R. Jennings Scholarship, the NTID Vice President & Dean Scholarship, the NTID Presidential Scholarship, and the RIT Presidential Scholarship. After graduation, Kyle plans to become a malware analyst in a government or corporate setting.

Brett Morris
A graduate of Farmington High School in Connecticut, Brett is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Game Design and Development. He worked as an animation teaching assistant at RIT and the University of Washington Summer Academy for Advancing the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Computing. Brett is the recipient of the Game Innovators Scholarship, the NTID Presidential Scholarship, and the RIT Presidential Scholarship and is a member of the Honors Program. After graduation, Brett plans to find work in the game or movie industry.

Rachel Green
A graduate of Central High School in Springfield, Mass., Rachel is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language–English Interpretation. She received a degree in deaf studies from Holyoke Community College. She is a member of the RIT Deaf chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma, Epsilon Pi. She worked as a residential advisor and in the RIT Information and Technology Services Command Center. After graduation, Rachel plans to return to Massachusetts and continue working as a sign language interpreter.

Catherine Lambe
A graduate of Whitesboro (N.Y.) High School, Catherine is pursuing a bachelor’s in American Sign Language–English Interpretation. She worked as a student interpreter in the Department of Access Services at NTID and as a financial assistant at the club resource center on campus. Catherine is a member of the Honors Program and provides volunteer interpreting services at City Hall in Rochester and other community locations. After graduation, Catherine plans to move to Boston where she will pursue her national interpreting certification and work as an interpreter in the healthcare field.

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

RIT/NTID Student Changes Statewide Testing, Earns National Girl Scout Award

A second-year RIT/NTID student is receiving national recognition this week as one of 10 Girl Scout USA 2014 Young Women of Distinction at a national convention in Salt Lake City.

Anna Krauss of Manorville, N.Y., has been a Girl Scout since age 5, when she joined as a Daisy Scout. Now that she is in college, she’s an Ambassador Scout and majoring in biotechnology and molecular bioscience. She regularly makes the Dean’s List at RIT.

Born deaf in one ear, Krauss lost her hearing in her other ear at age 9. Since then, she has relied on a sign language interpreter in her school classes.

In 2011, two years before she’d graduate from high school, Krauss was taking state-required tests. A portion of the test was a listening passage, given orally. Being profoundly deaf, Krauss had to rely on her interpreter to help her understand what the teacher was saying.

“I always dreaded the state tests for their listening portions,” she said. “Sometimes things get lost in translation,” Krauss said. She ended up with a test score of 80. “I started to cry if I got below a 90 in school,” she said. “It was ridiculous.”

For her Gold Award project, similar to the projects Boy Scouts must complete to become Eagle Scouts, Krauss decided to try to change the way those mandated listening portions of state tests are given to deaf and hard-of-hearing students in New York.

“I picked that because I felt very strongly about it,” she said. Krauss started lobbying state officials and as a result, the state now allows deaf and hard-of-hearing students across the state to use a written transcript during oral portions of examinations.

“It took three years for me to fight for that accommodation,” she said.

She doesn’t plan to attend the Girl Scout Convention in Salt Lake City because she doesn’t want to miss any classes. This summer, she traveled to the Girl Scouts of USA headquarters in New York City and met Anna Maria Chavez, the CEO of the Girls Scouts of the USA. Chavez presented Krauss with a $5,000 check that came with her award, which Krauss will use for college.

After college, she’s considering becoming a researcher or a science teacher, perhaps at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

But Krauss hopes to stay connected with the Girl Scouts as an alumnus so they can continue to empower girls like her. “I do want to continue in some way, to talk with younger troops to tell them how much they can do by staying with Girl Scouts and going all the way,” Krauss said. “It starts with cookie sales and ends with changing the world.”