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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.

NTID Students Construct 3D Printers ‘From the Ground Up’

29 Apr

Boxfuls of nuts, bolts and wires provided the inspiration for an Imagine RIT exhibit created by a class of NTID students. “Making 3D Printers to Learn New Technology” will be featured at the May 2 festival to show visitors how 3D printers are built from scratch using logic, programming knowledge, troubleshooting skills—and plenty of patience.

The students, who are enrolled in an elective course in the information and computing studies program, will also produce small souvenirs for visitors using the four printers they’ve built from the ground up.

“The printers don’t come with instructions, so this project is purely research based,” said Matthew Ward, a Center for Multidisciplinary Studies student from Newark, Del. “We’re working with very complicated wiring—always plugging and unplugging. We have researched which software programs are the best for print running and we work on programming the code. When an error message comes up, we fix it. It’s all about experimentation, troubleshooting. Sometimes, it’s frustrating, but moving past that is all part of the process.”

Tom Simpson, a faculty member in the information and computing studies program, believes the project has inspired them to believe that they can do anything. “As the students built the printers, they learned about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics,” he said. “This project required lots of concentration and patience on their part. They’re excited to talk with the visitors about the whole process.”

Lance Ward, an applied computer technology major from Monroe, N.H., is looking forward to using what he’s learned in a future career. “This experience has been just as valuable as co-op or internship. For the past 11 weeks have really been immersed in writing code, upgrading programs. Actually seeing the results and being able to show them to the Imagine RIT visitors will make it all worthwhile.”

NTID Students Construct 3D Printers ‘From the Ground Up’

29 Apr

Boxfuls of nuts, bolts and wires provided the inspiration for an Imagine RIT exhibit created by a class of NTID students. “Making 3D Printers to Learn New Technology” will be featured at the May 2 festival to show visitors how 3D printers are built from scratch using logic, programming knowledge, troubleshooting skills—and plenty of patience.

The students, who are enrolled in an elective course in the information and computing studies program, will also produce small souvenirs for visitors using the four printers they’ve built from the ground up.

“The printers don’t come with instructions, so this project is purely research based,” said Matthew Ward, a Center for Multidisciplinary Studies student from Newark, Del. “We’re working with very complicated wiring—always plugging and unplugging. We have researched which software programs are the best for print running and we work on programming the code. When an error message comes up, we fix it. It’s all about experimentation, troubleshooting. Sometimes, it’s frustrating, but moving past that is all part of the process.”

Tom Simpson, a faculty member in the information and computing studies program, believes the project has inspired them to believe that they can do anything. “As the students built the printers, they learned about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics,” he said. “This project required lots of concentration and patience on their part. They’re excited to talk with the visitors about the whole process.”

Lance Ward, an applied computer technology major from Monroe, N.H., is looking forward to using what he’s learned in a future career. “This experience has been just as valuable as co-op or internship. For the past 11 weeks have really been immersed in writing code, upgrading programs. Actually seeing the results and being able to show them to the Imagine RIT visitors will make it all worthwhile.”

RIT/NTID Student Wins Fulbright Scholarship

29 Apr

History Estill-Varner, an ASL-English Interpreting and Global Studies undergraduate double major from Independence, Missouri, is the proud winner of a Fulbright Scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Since it was established in 1946, the Fulbright Scholar Program has administered highly competitive grants to foster international exchanges in education.

Estill-Varner will travel to the Dominican Republic to collaborate with the country’s National Association of the Deaf and the National Interpreting Association to build a sustainable Interpreter Training Program and assessment model to ensure that interpreters of Dominican Sign Language, LESDOM, are consistent and proficient, thus ensuring quality support services for deaf Dominicans.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest exchange program in the country and provides funds for American students to live in another country for one year to teach English, conduct research or earn a graduate degree. Similarly, 40 international students from 25 countries attended RIT this year through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

Co-op Provides Biomedical Engineering Student With Valuable Work Experience

4 Mar

Photo by: Mark Mulville, Buffalo News

Photo by: Mark Mulville, Buffalo News

Lauren Samar, a third-year RIT/NTID student majoring in Biomedical Engineering, is featured in The Buffalo News for her development of a tool for surgery on cancer patients. During her co-op at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Samar took her idea and developed it into a full concept, and now officals at Roswell Park Cancer Institute have applied for a provisional patent on the idea. More.