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RIT Announces Investments in Magic Spell Studios

15 Jul

Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to RIT to announce that the state will contribute $12 million toward construction of MAGIC Spell Studios, adding to $3 million from Dell and $12.4 million from Cisco Systems for the project.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to RIT to announce that the state will contribute $12 million toward construction of MAGIC Spell Studios, adding to $3 million from Dell and $12.4 million from Cisco Systems for the project.

Rochester Institute of Technology is at the epicenter of a public-private partnership that could catapult the region as a leader in the rapidly growing digital media industry. The college announced $12 million in funding from New York state, $3 million from Dell and $12.4 million from Cisco Systems Inc. that will be used to grow MAGIC Spell Studios, a university program that will link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging sciences projects. That money will be added to the $1.5 million RIT has already received through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, which named MAGIC Spell Studios as a priority project. More.

RIT included in ‘Fiske Guide to Colleges 2016’

2 Jul

Once again Rochester Institute of Technology has been selected in the newest Fiske Guide to Colleges due, in part, to RIT’s successful co-op program and diverse campus.

The guide, compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, is a selective, subjective and systematic look at more than 300 colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. There are more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Those selected for the guide include the “best and most interesting” colleges and universities.

The 2016 edition of the guide says RIT students who are ready to find a career “will be happy to know that the school places more than 3,000 juniors and seniors in full-time paid positions through its co-op program.”

The guide credits RIT “in carving out niches for itself with unusual programs, and majors are offered in more than 200 fields, from basic electrical and mechanical engineering to packing science and bioinformatics.” More.

NTID’s Rosica Hall Wins 2015 Design Excellence Award

18 Jun

Photo by: Mark Benjamin

Photo by: Mark Benjamin

Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and HBT Architects—the firm responsible for the building’s design—were recognized by the American Institute of Architects’ Rochester chapter as a 2015 design award recipient. The AIA Design Excellence Awards—held June 12 at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery—encourage excellence in architectural design, increase public awareness of the human-made environment and honor the architects, owners and builders of significant projects.

Rosica Hall, an $8 million, two-story, 23,000-square-foot building, officially opened in October 2013 and is devoted to innovation and research for students, faculty and staff of NTID and RIT. It was designed to be deaf-friendly, incorporating a maximum use of
 natural light, open line-of-sight paths, safety features such as strobe lights, and minimalizing vibrations from the building’s air conditioning and heating units.

At the building dedication in 2013, Mark Rosica, chair of NTID’s Counseling and Academic Advising Services and a son of Sebastian and Lenore Rosica, said, “The building was specially designed to enhance the learning and discovery of our deaf and hard-of-hearing students and is an outstanding facility that will help to level the playing field by providing a variety of research opportunities for our students.”

Added James DeCaro, NTID professor and dean emeritus: “Rosica Hall is aesthetically pleasing, with high functionality, and designed to meet the unique needs of learners who are deaf. HBT Architects have presented us an exquisite ‘research home’ at the pinnacle of understated elegance.”

Research centers and labs are active in the building, and the second floor of the building houses the Imaginarium, where faculty and students gather to develop creative and innovative ideas. A meditation garden is on the first floor, with native plants that provides a common area where people can sit and think.

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund gave a $1.75 million grant, which included a $250,000 matching challenge, for the construction of the building.

To learn more about Rosica Hall, go to http://www.ntid.rit.edu/rosica-hall.

Competition Winners Announced

29 May

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has announced the winners of the annual Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students. The contest, in its ninth year, resulted in dozens of entries in interactive media, graphic media, photo imaging, Web page design, film and 3D animation.

The winners of each category, receiving a $250 prize, are:

  • Film: Paola Almonte of Chelsea, Mass., a student at Boston Arts Academy, for The Good Boys.
  • Graphic Media: Heather Afriyie of Lorton, Va., a student at Woodson High School, for Fire on my Face!
  • Photo Imaging: Tiffany M. Robertson of Sadieville, Ky., a student at Elkhorn Crossing School, for A Cowgirl’s Wedding.
  • 3D Animation: David Katter of Indianapolis, Ind., a student at Indiana School for the Deaf, for “Mutual Destruction.”

The runners-up were:

  • Film: Jackson Callahan of Olathe, Kan., a student at Olathe South High School, for Football.
  • Graphic Media: Heather Afriyie of Lorton, Va., a student at Woodson High School, for My Dear Tree.
  • Photo Imaging: Calyssa Yepez of Riverside, Calif., a student at California School for the Deaf-Riverside, for “Leaf with Eye.”

The winning entries may be seen here.

Winners of the SpiRIT Writing Contest were Alexandra Creech of Bloomington, Ind., a 10th grader at Indiana Connections Academy; Jacob Custer of Lincoln, Neb., a 10th grader at Lincoln Southeast High School; Cooper Graves of Morrow, Ohio, an 11th grader at Moeller High School, for “Eco-Architecture: Next Big Thing?”; and Gracie Kelleher of Quincy, Fla., an 11th grader at Robert F. Munroe Day School, for “The Maya Angelou Effect: A Legend that Lives Past the Grave.”

Writing contest winners receive their choice of $500 or a spot at NTID’s Explore Your Future summer camp.

RIT/NTID Student, STEM Student Researcher Takes Top Prize at National Conference

22 May

Annette Tavernese, a Master of Science in Secondary Education student from Brick, New Jersey, took home the top prize at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM, in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. Her presentation about the challenges faced by deaf and hard-of-hearing students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields earned her top points in the science and math education graduate student category.

In her presentation and throughout her supporting research, Tavernese cited social isolation as a main concern of these students, but provided ways that the challenges could be overcome.

“The Deaf STEM Community Alliance is addressing social isolation by creating a model virtual (online) academic community for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in science, technology, engineering and math majors, their faculty, mentors and staff,” explained Tavernese.

Tavernese’s research—which includes identifying the ideal time of day for STEM students’ online social interaction and which STEM topics generate the most interaction—is being conducted through a collaborative effort between RIT and other universities, including Camden County College and Cornell University, as well as with deaf and hard-of-hearing STEM professionals across the United States. The research project is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

“Annette understands how important it is for students who are deaf or hard of hearing to understand science, technology, engineering and math concepts and to share that knowledge with others,” said Lisa Elliot, senior research scientist, principal investigator for the Deaf STEM Community Alliance and an NTID faculty member. “I was so proud to see her bring her enthusiasm about our project at the national conference, and I know that other attendees learned a great deal from her presentation.”

The conference was co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.