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RIT/NTID receives Motorola Solutions Foundation grant

1 Sep

Male teacher wtih light hair and glasses works with student with dark hair and skin on mini drone and mobile phone.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf today announced it has received a grant for $30,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. Through the grant, RIT/NTID will support a new initiative to encourage students to enroll in NTID’s new mobile application development program.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation awards grants each year to organizations, such as RIT/NTID, which support and advance public safety programs and technology and engineering education initiatives. This year, programs that served underrepresented populations, including females, people with disabilities and veterans were prioritized.

“The generous gift from Motorola will be used to build foundational math, English and basic coding skills to help us prepare students who are interested, but not yet academically qualified for our mobile application development program,” said David Lawrence, instructional/support faculty member in RIT/NTID’s Information and Computing Studies Department. “With the grant, students will participate in engaging individual and team projects and competitions that require the use of math, reading, writing and coding skills.”

This year, Motorola Solutions Foundation grants will support programs that help more than two million students, teachers, first responders and community members across the United States. Each participant will receive an average of 186 programming hours from its partner non-profit organizations and institutions. Programs will support special populations including: females, underrepresented minorities, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, people with disabilities and veterans.

“Motorola Solutions Foundation is proud to support the work of RIT/NTID. As a leading technology company that supports the safety of communities worldwide, we know how important it is to educate tomorrow’s technology professionals as well as enlighten civilians and first responders on today’s safety needs,” said Matt Blakely, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation.

For additional information on the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants program, visit: motorolasolutions.com/foundation, and for more information on RIT/NTID visit the website.

About RIT/NTID

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and for providing unparalleled support services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. RIT is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1965, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. NTID offers associate degree programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and provides support and access services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students who study in the other eight colleges of RIT. NTID also offers a bachelor’s degree program in sign language interpreting and master’s degree programs in health care interpretation and in secondary education for individuals interested in teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students come from all over the United States and around the world to take advantage of the opportunities available to them at RIT/NTID.

About Motorola Solutions Foundation

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The foundation achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially in science, technology, engineering and math. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit our website: www.motorolasolutions.com/foundation.

RIT named a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research

21 Aug

National Security Agency logo on left, U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo on right.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have recognized Rochester Institute of Technology for its work in cybersecurity research and designated the university as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research. With the new certification, RIT students and faculty will have more opportunities to participate in research projects with government agencies, including the NSA and DHS. More.

Winners of RIT/NTID’s Next Big Idea announced

27 Apr

Chris Wagner, Wade Keller, Hans Khols and Gerry Buckley together in front of brick wall with a check.

BAGMAG, a hands-free solution for making skateboards more easily portable on the back of a backpack, took home the $5,000 first prize in the 2017 Next Big Idea competition at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Judges from the competition’s sponsor, ZVRS, a video relay service headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, reviewed the projects of the four team finalists, asked questions and selected first, second and third place winners:

$5,000 First Place: BAGMAG, uses a strong magnet inserted on the backpack that connects to a strong magnet affixed to the bottom of the skateboard and eliminates the need to remove the backpack and use straps to affix the skateboard.

$3,000 Second Place: ASL Storyteller, an interactive app that offers sign language to babies, both hearing and deaf, to help with language development and creates a richer environment for signing babies.

$2,000 Third Place: Expect Zone, a rear-view mirror with three flashing lights that lets deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers know when an ambulance, police car or fire engine is coming near. It flashes more quickly as the emergency vehicle gets closer.     

Four teams of deaf and hard-of-hearing students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf went head-to-head April 26 during The Next Big Idea Competition, a ”Shark Tank” style business competition.

The contest is an annual event where teams of students combine skills related to their individual majors to create innovative products, technology or businesses. Teams work with mentors on their projects and compete before judges for cash prizes. This year marks the sixth anniversary of The Next Big Idea competition.

Team members are:

ASL Storyteller—Julie Love, a Graphic Design major from Riverside , California, and Logan Lugo, an International Business major from Columbus, Ohio.

BAGMAG—Hans Khols , an Industrial Design major from Boston, Massachusetts, and Wade Kellard, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Expect Zone— Amelia Hamilton, a New Media Marketing major from Austin, Texas, and Tanner Ketchum, an Accounting Technology major from Austin, Texas.

VIGN— Tobin Zolkowski, a Communication and Criminal Justice major from Neenah, Wisconsin, Iswor Ghimire, a Global Computing major from Nepal, Mohd Afifi Ishak, an Industrial Design major from Malaysia, and Jose Lopez, an Applied Computer Technology major from Los Angeles, California. Vign, described as a “Netflix for deaf people,” is designed to stream program content in sign language.

 “The Next Big Idea competition is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work, creativity and innovation on the part of these student inventors and entrepreneurs,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “We have seen some amazing products and services start in this competition and move into production. We thank ZVRS for their steadfast support since the beginning of the Next Big Idea, and are grateful for the belief they have in our students.” 

RIT named by U.S. Dept. of Energy to lead new Manufacturing USA Institute on clean energy

5 Jan

Image of four-story building illuminated at dusk.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy, as part of its Manufacturing USA initiative, to lead its new Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute—a national coalition of leading universities and companies that will forge new clean energy initiatives deemed critical in keeping U.S. manufacturing competitive. More.

RIT officially launches MAGIC Spell Studios

15 Nov

[image description: Rendering of red brick building with glass front & black sign with the words

On November 15, 2016, RIT revealed plans for the building that will house MAGIC Spell Studios, a first-of-its-kind effort in higher education that will link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, and digital media projects. More.