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Balancing Act

23 May

Smiling female student with long brown hair and glasses standing in fron of a wall

Knowledge of Excel and general ledger skills allow Natalya Dmitriyeva to accomplish her monthly goal of balancing the books. Dmitriyeva, from Odessa, Ukraine, graduated May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She already is working full time as an accounting specialist at Visions Hotels, a hotel management company in Rochester, New York. More

 

 

 

 

 

Deaf RIT graduate defines strength in the face of adversity

15 May

Amie Sankoh in a long-sleeved light color top, jeans and ankle boots sits w/sculpture of a roaring tiger with trees behind her.

Amie Sankoh has overcome many obstacles in her life—and her walk across the stage during this weekend’s commencement ceremony for RIT’s College of Science will mark the beginning of a new chapter.

The biochemistry student, who is deaf and supported by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, will begin studying in August for her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. One day she hopes to use her expertise to conduct groundbreaking research on vaccine development and disease prevention.

As a young student in the west African country of Sierra Leone, Sankoh struggled due to her deafness and a lack of resources. Her parents, refusing to accept failure, made the bold decision to send their 12-year-old daughter to the United States where she would live with her father’s best friend and his family, attend better schools and ultimately gain more opportunities.

Sankoh’s breakthrough came in high school, where her love for mathematics and chemistry flourished. She also learned sign language, which enabled her to break down communication barriers with other deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

“Once I discovered my love for math, which was very visual, I knew that I could do anything with my life,” she said. “My mind was set on attending RIT/NTID because I knew that it was the right fit for me.”

Throughout her academic career, Sankoh participated in internships at top companies like Dow Chemical Co. in Pennsylvania and credits NTID faculty and staff for teaching her how to strengthen her communication skills, advocate for herself and develop her love for Deaf culture.

“My parents have always had very high expectations of their children, and they greatly value education,” she said. “NTID has given me the confidence to believe in myself and affirm that I can make it, especially in a tough science field. I’ve learned how to work with people who are hearing and deaf, study alongside faculty researchers and sharpen my interview skills. I just know that I’m going to make it. I work really hard.”

At NTID, Sankoh was a member of the Organization of African Students (OAS), Ebony Club, the Student Life Team and supported Spectrum, the LGBTIQ and straight alliance. And in March, Sankoh also become a U.S. citizen.

“Amie is an amazing person who exemplifies how to grow oneself,” said Joseph Johnston, director of RIT’s Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. “Amie’s resiliency and optimistic attitude provided such benefits to herself and the RIT community. She is a very special human being and is one of my favorite students I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

Sankoh added, “Life is hard and we all have challenges. I’ve fallen and have gotten back up every time. I’m proof that there is always a way to overcome challenges.”

At the University of Tennessee, Sankoh will have 24/7 access to interpreting and notetaking services and will also receive a stipend to conduct her research. She said although her father is somewhat shocked and surprised at her achievements, she knew, deep down, that he expected nothing less.

“My father is so impressed by everything that I’ve been able to accomplish. And I’m so proud that he will be able to watch me cross that stage and move one step closer to my achieving my dream.”

RIT business programs noted for excellence

9 May

Students with orange backpacks stand in front of brick building with metal awning and flanked with a wooden bench and plantings.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s graduate business programs continue to be noted for academic excellence globally among colleges and universities.

Eduniversal Masters Rankings 2017 cited six graduate business degree programs at RIT’s Saunders College of Business. The survey ranked the top universities within nine geographical zones. More.

 

Animation Career Review has named RIT the top game design school on the East Coast

5 May

Two people working on computer screens with animation on the screens and keyboards in front of them.

Animation Career Review has named Rochester Institute of Technology the top game design school on the East Coast. RIT also ranked third on the list of Top 50 Game Design Schools in the U.S.

The 2017 rankings were created by Animation Career Review, an online resource for aspiring animation, game design and development, graphic design and digital art professionals. The annual list also named RIT the top game design school in New York state and second best private school nationally.

“It’s great to be recognized for the hard work we put into our outstanding programs in games,” said David Schwartz, director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM). “RIT stands out as a game design school because we provide opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate with others across the university—including RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences—and professionals in the industry.”

Animation Career Review noted that RIT offers several programs for aspiring game designers, including two bachelor’s degrees and one master’s. In fact, any student studying computing in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences has the opportunity to minor in game design and development.

RIT’s Bachelor of Science in game design and development provides a broad-based undergraduate education in computing while exposing students to the breadth of game design and development processes. The bachelor’s program in new media interactive development also explores casual games, in addition to new technologies and experiences with web, wearable and mobile computing.

Students who pursue a master’s degree in game design and development at RIT focus on the technical roots in the computing and information sciences disciplines, while simultaneously covering the breadth of the development landscape through involvement in topics, including computer graphics, game engines, interactive narrative and game world design. The degree culminates with a capstone project in which students create their own games.

RIT game design students can also work with RIT’s MAGIC Center, a nonprofit university-wide research and development laboratory and a for-profit production studio that assists in efforts to bring digital media creations up to marketplace standards and commercialization. RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios, which officially launched in November and will move into a new building in 2018, focuses on nurturing and growing new companies and publishing and distributing their projects.

The ranking also highlights RIT’s emphasis on cooperative education—full-time paid work experiences that provide students with an opportunity to learn on the job in real-world industry settings. With help from the co-op program, graduates of RIT’s game design and development programs go on to work at companies including Microsoft, Rockstar Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Valve Corp. and Walt Disney Interactive.

For the full game design school rankings, go to animationcareerreview.com/articles/2017-game-design-school-rankings.

RIT featured among “Colleges that Create Futures”

5 May

The words The Princeton Review shown in black letters with a red arrow swirling updards along the left hand side of the words

RIT is featured in the 2017 edition of The Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom.” Out of nearly 1,000 colleges that The Princeton Review considered for this book, the 50 schools that made the cut comprise only about 2 percent of the nation’s approximately 3,000 four-year colleges. More.