Being on co-op gave Christopher Fenn the opportunity to see learn about the soft skills required to communicate with or work along with different peers in a real world work situation. More.
Nineteen students and eight faculty members from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were recently inducted into the college’s first national honor society, Epsilon Pi Tau.
Nineteen students and eight faculty members from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were recently inducted into the college’s first national honor society, Epsilon Pi Tau. This is the first EPT chapter in the nation dedicated to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Newly inducted students, listed by major, are:
- Computer integrated machining technology— Mohamed Ali (Lackawanna, N.Y.); Jonathan Cabrera (Lynn, Mass.); Keith Cahalane (Lindenhurst, N.Y.); Zachary Gery (North Wales, Pa.); Ivan Gonzalez (Louisville, Ky.); Johnny Rodriguez (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Rachel Viacava (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- Art and imaging studies— Ashley Barone (Slatington, Pa.); Brittney Caldwell (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Business—Emily Berlin (Greenburg, Pa.); Mason Chronister (Red Lion, Pa.); Timothy Fitzgerald (Washington Crossing, Pa.); John Huang (Brooklyn, N.Y.); LaShonda Williams (Greenville, N.C.)
- Applied computer technology— Timothy Bernardo (Norfolk, Va.); Mathew Mills (Gaithersburg, Md.)
- Laboratory science technology—Elder Berroa (Hazleton, Pa.); Christine Kim (Centreville, Va.); Macie King (Columbia, Miss.)
Faculty inductees are: Gary Behm (engineering studies); Karen Beiter (information and computing studies); Bonnie Jacob (science and mathematics); Donna Lange (information and computing studies); Dino Laury (engineering studies); Elissa Olsen (information and computing studies); Mellissa Youngman (business studies); and Andrea Zuchegno (visual communication studies).
Stephen Aldersley, NTID’s associate vice president for academic affairs noted that, “Epsilon Pi Tau’s goals of promoting academic excellence and professional contributions to the advance of technology are a perfect fit for NTID. At RIT’s recent graduation ceremony, several of the inductees proudly sported the society’s blue, white and gold ribbon as they received their degrees. Membership in the society will be a significant addition to their résumés and I am confident that future students, aspiring also to become members, will strive to achieve commensurate academic success.”
Epsilon Pi Tau, the international honor society for professions in technology, was founded in 1928 as a Greek letter fraternity to recognize leaders and potential leaders in industrial arts and industrial vocational education. Today, Epsilon Pi Tau recognizes academic excellence of students in fields devoted to the study of technology and the preparation of practitioners for the technology professions. Epsilon Pi Tau also extends the honor of membership and advancement activities to outstanding practitioners in the technology professions, scholars with exemplary research interests in technology in society and/or persons who have significantly supported or advanced technology professions.
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.
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.”