Rachel Viacava, a second-year computer integrated machining technology student at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, won the 2014-2015 Vanguard Student Recognition Award from the New York State Nontraditional Employment and Training Program, a program of the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, University at Albany.
Viacava, from Cincinnati, and seven other winners from across New York state were recognized for being enrolled in career and technical education programs that are not traditional for their gender.
Viacava plans to complete her associate degree and continue to earn a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology at RIT.
“I often encourage young women who are proficient at math, good with their hands and interested in machinery to work toward earning a degree in computer integrated machining technology,” said Viacava. “There are many people in my family with engineering and technical backgrounds and I guess the proficiency gene was passed along to me.”
Viacava was nominated for the award by Eugene Galasso, a faculty member in NTID’s engineering studies department.
“Rachel understands that the profession she has chosen is male dominated, but in my interactions with her, she isn’t easily intimidated and will be a good role for other women interested in similar careers,” added Galasso.
The winners will be recognized at ceremonies held March 26–27 in Albany, N.Y.