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Office of the President

Past Events

Ebony Miller, Interim Director of the RIT Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE), October 19, 2016

The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE) is one of RIT’s cutting edge programs to serve the Rochester business community with a one-stop place for entrepreneurs of all types to enhance business skills. Interim director, Ebony Miller brings a no-nonsense and energetic approach to the CUE. Officially opened in April, everything from classrooms to office space is available for entrepreneurs at the renovated Rochester Savings & Loan building at 40 Franklin Street which was donated to RIT by the Tait family. Ebony offered the WCRIT members an opportunity to tour CUE so look for future details. Ebony has been named one of the “40 Under 40” achievers by the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ) and will be honored on November 17.

Christine Whitman, Chairman and CEO of Complemar Partners Inc. and First Female Chair of the RIT board of Trustees, September 21, 2016

It was a special privilege to start the year off with Chris Whitman. A dynamic, prolific and unlikely entrepreneur in her own career, she has served on the RIT Board of Trustees since 1997 and was appointed chair on November 12, 2015. She detailed her own career as well as some of the areas that RIT is looking to grow. She explained the role of the BOT is to oversee and be responsible for the University’s academic, financial and business affairs; the hiring of the new president to replace Dr. Destler (and yes, it is possible that there will be a first woman president in RIT’s history); and to review overall performance to ensure fulfillment of RIT’s vision, mission and Strategic Plan as RIT continues its growth in ranking of America’s top universities. She was pleased that she was invited to speak to the WCRIT.

Dr. Jacqueline Mozrall, RIT Dean of Saunders College of Business, May 11, 2016

Jacqueline Mozrall brings a wealth of academic leadership and university experience including over 20 years of service at Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Saunders College as the Dean, Dr. Mozrall served as Professor and Senior Associate Dean of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. She worked closely with the Dean to assist in achieving college level goals, including diversifying the student body and faculty, supporting excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, fostering research and creating strong connections with employers and alumni. She was focused on college level policy development, coordination of program assessment activities, curriculum review, and the enhancement of student advising processes and student services to support retention. Jacquie has been a member of the management team for the Women in Engineering Program at RIT for more than 10 years. Since this time, there has been more than a tripling in the number of women in the entering class. She has also been involved in the coordination of the multi-disciplinary senior design and honors programs for
undergraduate students. She has been actively engaged in program assessment for more than 10 years, serving as a program evaluator and training mentor for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). She is also executive director and principal investigator of a $420,000 Toyota USA foundation grant to support the development of in-lab and on-line activities linking K-12 STEM curriculum to real-world engineering problems.

Dr. Bill Destler, RIT President, April 20, 2016

Dr. Destler told us many interesting facts about RIT’s successes as it becomes recognized worldwide as an innovative, educational leader. For one thing, the aerial drone view of the RIT campus is a thing of the past because the campus is in the flight path of the Rochester International Airport so the only picture available is now two years old. How much the campus has changed in such a short period! RIT’s academic admissions standards have been raised to manage the size of the incoming freshman class for 2016. More dorms are being built to ease the housing shortage. Graduate applications are up 10% as well. RIT is booming. Another amazing fact is that more and more women are in management positions at RIT such as the deans of Saunders College of Business, CIAS, Gleason College of Engineering, Sr. Vice President of Student Affairs, the new downtown campus entrepreneurial incubator and the first female chairwoman of the Board of Trustees. In nine short years, Dr. Destler has accomplished many of the goals he and his wife wished to achieve, but they aren’t done yet and there will be many more accomplishments in the future without a doubt.

Dr. Twyla J. Cummings, Senior Associate Dean and Professor, RIT CIAS, March 16, 2016

For those of us who heard Dr. Twyla Cummings speak at the March meeting of the Women’s Council, we were left with a most inspirational feeling. Dr. Cummings presence is one of quiet dignity and grace. While working for Kodak,
she earned her Ph.D. She was recruited to RIT at a time when RIT was incorporating leaders from industry for a real-world perspective for its students. Dr. Cummings insights for women are especially important for our daughters and granddaughters. Quoting successful women such as Sheryl Sandberg, Margaret Thatcher, Beyonce, Coco Channel, Oprah and others, Dr. Cummings gave strategies for success in a world where men still earn 23.5% more than women. While mentioning the challenges to women for achieving success, Dr. Cummings gave solid strategies for overcoming those challenges such as: • Seek mentors – for all reasons and all seasons • Respect - command it and give to others: Be strong – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually; Be honest; Focus on your goals and dreams; Get out of your own way! And two personal favorites: Find out when to volunteer and when not to raise your
hand and Life begins OUTSIDE your comfort zone.

Film Maker - Mara Ahmed, January 20, 2016

Independent filmmaker Mara Ahmed believes that documentary film is a unique form of art and a powerful platform for activism. Mara has lived and been educated in Belgium, Pakistan, and the United States and she has an MBA and another Master’s degree in Economics. She worked in corporate finance for many years before launching her career in film. Her film training began at the Visual Studies Workshop and later continued at RIT. She learned filmmaking in order to make her first documentary, THE MUSLIMS I KNOW that premiered in 2008 at the Dryden Theatre. The film goal is to start a dialogue between American Muslims and non-Muslims. Mara’s second documentary, PAKISTAN ONE ON ONE, is a broad survey of public opinion in Pakistan about issues of interest to Americans that premiered in 2011 at the Little Theatre. Both films have been broadcast on PBS and have been screened across the US and internationally. A THIN WALL is Mara’s third documentary and focuses on the Partition of India in 1947, but derives lessons that remain urgently relevant today. Shot on both sides of the border, in India and Pakistan, A THIN WALL is a personal take on Partition rooted in stories passed down from one generation to another. It is written and directed by Mara Ahmed and co-produced by an Indian filmmaker based in New Delhi. Both filmmakers are descendants of families torn apart by Partition. The film is a work of art infused with original animation, literary writing, and music. It is a beautiful and sensitive movie. Mara’s production company is Neelum Films. She is a member of Rochester Women in Film and Television, Rochester Film Lab and the Rochester Documentary Group. Her films inspire thought and understanding in a world where Muslims are often misunderstood.

Holiday Tea - Chatter Box Club, December 18, 2015

What a special afternoon with 40 members and guests in attendance and a beautiful tea service with delicious sweets, fruits and traditional finger sandwiches. We were entertained by a group of musicians from the Osher Center. It was a perfect way to celebrate the Holiday Season. We may have started a new tradition with our tea! To continue with our 60th Anniversary theme, we all pulled out our white gloves and hats! It put a smile on everyone’s face and added that special flare to the afternoon.

Dr. Lorraine Justice, RIT Dean of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, November 18, 2015

Lorraine Justice has established a fascinating venue for international study at RIT – the East West Center for Design Research (EWCDR). Based upon her experiences as dean of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (a top 60 design school in the world and a top 10 school in Asia under her stewardship), the EWCDR will quickly become the same for RIT due to Dr. Justice’s prospective, thorough understanding of and vast experience in meshing east/west cultures in industrial design. She was chosen as one of the world’s top 40 influential designers by ID Magazine (Jan/Feb 2006 issue), for “raising standards” for both design education and industry, with an approach described as “holistic, focusing on concepts such as sustainability and instilling values about design’s impact on how we live.” “Designers still believe they can change the world for the better . . .Keeping your ideals and values makes it very easy to go to work every day. My work has become an act of service to students, creative people, businesses, and governments,” reflected her thoughts at the time. In 2008, Dr. Justice was awarded the IDSA (Industrial
Designers Society of America) Education Award – there is no higher honor for an educator than to be recognized
for educational excellence by one’s peers. In 2011 when she was appointed Dean of CIAS, she said, “The range of
creative programs; the excellent faculty members, staff and students; and the superb facilities are just some of the
things that make CIAS great.” In March 2015, she gave a TED talk titled “Design in China” which compared China’s design programs to US programs.

Marianne Goff, Women's Council President and Former Chairpersons, October 21, 2015

Forty-five members enjoyed a wonderful luncheon at Oak Hill Country Club at our October anniversary celebration. Jody Sidlaukas, RIT Wallace Center Associate Archivist, revealed the characters of our founding mothers and the rich history of the Women’s Council of RIT including Aileen Webb. A stylish group of trustee wives, they played bridge, held teas and fashion shows and most importantly, established the tradition of giving to RIT students. Our current chair, Marianne Goff updated us on current efforts to establish the pending “Bridge the Gap” endowed fund to help students with emergency financial shortfalls such as medical expenses, etc. and to strengthen and encourage new relationships with RIT including more student involvement in the Women’s Council. The Director of the Center for Women and Gender, Darci Lane-Williams, spoke about the strong relationship between the Women’s Council and the appreciation shown by the students who receive help from the Center. She also stated that the center is seeing an increase in traffic to the Center with an average of three students serviced per week, as the Center becomes better known to both female and male students.

Jim Memmott, Columnist, Democrat & Chronicle, September 9, 2015

Dr. Jim Memmott, Democrat & Chronicle columnist and U of R adjunct English professor, introduced six Rochester women whose lives may or may not have intertwined as they lived in the same period, but he mused that it
would be interesting to imagine they had an “upstairsdownstairs” relationship. Here is a sampling of the
information he shared: Helen Barrett Montgomery (1861-1934) became the first woman elected to the Rochester school board as well as president of the Northern Baptist Convention and an advocate for coeducation at the University of Rochester. Kate Gleason (1865-1933) was an engineer and activist born in Rochester whose father owned Gleason Corporation, a gear production company, which she helped grow. She studied engineering at Cornell University and Mechanics Institute. She left $1.4 million to charity. Hester C. Jeffrey (1842-1934) was known to be a person who could bridge the gap between blacks and whites. She served on the committee to raise funds for a statue of Frederick Douglass and, in 1902, became the first president of the Susan B. Anthony Club for Colored Women, and was among those chosen to give a eulogy at Susan B. Anthony’s funeral. Emily Sibley Watson (1855- 1945) was the founder of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery and the daughter of Hiram Sibley, head of the Western Union Telegraph Company. Her first marriage, which ended in divorce, was followed by her marriage to James Sibley Watson, son of her father’s business partner. In 1913, Emily founded the Memorial Art Gallery in memory of her son from her first marriage, James Averell. Throughout her life, she supported the arts and social causes in Rochester.

Dr. Margaret Bailey, RIT Professor of Mechanical Engineering, May 13, 2015

Dr. Bailey is the principal investigator (PI) and Executive Director for RIT’s NSF Advance RIT Program. The goal
of the 3.5 million dollar grant program is to increase the representation and advancement of women STEM faculty
by removing barriers and providing resources to help them. According to a university self-study funded by the NSF
grant, “the current representation of women STEM faculty applicants is below national pool availability”. RIT needed
to be more proactive in this area, especially since RIT is primarily a technical university. Secondly, the study found salary inequalities amongst women faculty, less opportunities for career advancement and leadership development.
An “Advance RIT Leadership Team” was put in place comprised of University President, Dr. Bill Destler, the provost, Dr. Haefner, Dr. Bailey and members of the Board of Directors, to strategize and help implement the program. A program developer was also hired in January. Dr. Bailey’s presentation was an eye opener, and it showed us the
many ways in which RIT is changing and growing and is striving to be on the cutting edge of leading technology. To many of the scholarship award winners that day, the program offered hope towards a brighter future, and more job opportunities for women in the STEM career disciplines.

R. Roger Remington, RIT Professor of Design and Graphic Design, April 15, 2015

Professor Remington has spent 51 years in Design and Design education. At RIT, he has been instrumental in the development of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, a beautiful space that houses the Vignelli archives. The building itself is a gorgeous work of architecture! As Mr. Vignelli says “Without Roger, the Vignelli Center would never have happened… he is the creator and the soul of it…he made the archive a teaching instrument and a formidable legacy to RIT.” Mr. Remington has won many awards and accolades for his untiring work in the field of graphic design. In 2008, he became a Laureate for the Hall of Fame for the New York Art Director’s Club. In September of 2013, in recognition of his efforts to further design education at RIT, Remington was inducted into the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) at the AGI congress in London. Closer to home at RIT, Remington was the first faculty member in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, School of Design, to receive an endowed professorship. He has authored four books on Graphic Design history. More recently, Remington received the prestigious RIT Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship in Graphic Design.

Dr. Bill Destler, RIT President, March 18, 2015

Bill started his talk by thanking the Women’s Council for supporting students over the years with the scholarships we’ve given away. With our help, RIT’s goal of “Creating good citizens through civil discourse and social responsibility” is well underway. RIT’s strategic planning for the next two years had just been completed, but before sharing that with us, Bill showed us the progress that RIT has been making over the years. Some highlights: many new buildings and more planned; enrollment up over last decade; research and graduate programs increased; student satisfaction up; listed in top 10 regional universities (USN&WR); 11th largest private university in the US (more undergraduates than Cornell, Notre Dame, Carnegie Melon, RPI, MIT, and CalTech); international campuses (Kosovo, Croatia, Dubai, Dominican Republic) with over 1,500 students; nationally recognized STEM programs (second only to Brigham Young; RIT should be first in two years); RIT unique mix of programs: add visual arts to STEM to get STEAM; one of the largest co-op programs in the country; a multicultural student body; research funding topped $60 million this year; 25 Ph.D. degrees conferred last year; 9 distinct and collaborative colleges; NTID has 92% placement rate; ranked among top programs for industrial design, engineering, photography, game design, physician assistant, glass and metals, Saunders MBA, and film & animation
Next, Bill showed us the breakdown of who the supporters are of RIT: alumni 16%, corporations and corporate foundations 30%, faculty and staff 2%, friends and organizations 12%, parents 2%, private foundations 30%, and trustees 9%. Interestingly, last year more students contributed to RIT than the number of alumni. Bill mentioned that RIT’s Carnegie classification will change as soon as the university begins to regularly produce 20 Ph.D. degrees or more on an annual basis. Since that milestone has already passed, we expect to be moved from a regionally ranked institution to a nationally ranked university, where we will be ranked with the best colleges and universities in the national and world.
Bill shared with us where RIT is going. The vision: RIT will lead higher education in preparing students for innovative, creative, and successful careers in a global society. The RIT Strategic Plan 2025 is summed up as “Greatness through Difference.” Bill doesn’t want RIT to mimic what others are doing; he wants RIT to create an innovative, forward-thinking place of learning. The Strategic Plan has seven Strategic Dimensions: Student Success, Global Engagement, Research and Graduate Education, Curricular Innovation and Creativity, Diversity, Organizational Agility, and Alumni Engagement. Highlights of the Plan include: all students will have experiential education, become cutting edge with student-centered research, become the largest producer of minority STEM/STEAM students and eliminate the achievement gap between minority and majority students, become more efficient across the university to maintain affordable tuition, and add to more online programs. For detailed information on the RIT Strategic Plan 2025, go to https://www.rit.edu/news/ magazine/spring15.pdf. Bill ended his talk by saying that he and Rebecca are pleased to work at RIT because it’s such a dynamic place.

Christopher Denninger, Director of RIT Campus Safety, January 21, 2015

Blue light security phones have been a distinct feature on college campuses to assist students in emergency situations for many years; leave it to an RIT student to transform this system into a mobile app. The new TigerSafe app allows campus users to connect with RIT Public Safety officers, turning any smartphone into a virtual blue light security phone. The mobile app developed by CampusSafe LLC, founded by former RIT student Eric Irish, adds onto traditional blue light offerings by featuring voice and text capabilities, GPS location tracking and reporting services. “Public Safety is here as a service for the RIT community and with this new app we hope to make ourselves more convenient and accessible to contact,” said Chris Denninger, director of RIT Public Safety. The idea for the app came when Irish began working with RIT Public Safety Investigator Tony Yazback to look for ways to increase the office’s modern technology presence. The app idea and infrastructure was developed into a business called CampusSafe, which won first place in RIT’s Fall 2011 Shark Tank competition. RIT has purchased this app which has been very successful with students. To get the app visit the Apple or Google Play store on your mobile device. To learn more, go to rit.edu/ tigersafe and follow TigerSafe on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Jessica Lieberman, RIT Assistant Professor of Visual Culture, November 19, 2014

Jessica is an associate professor of Visual Culture at RIT in the College of Liberal Arts and also teaches for the Photography program in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. While in graduate school at the University of Michigan, majoring in English Literature, Jessica became ill and was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, Stage IIIB and with Lupus – a “double whammy.” Throughout her 2-year battle with these diseases, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, she continued with her teaching responsibilities in order to continue receiving the health care provided by the university. During her journey she felt “entirely invisible” (pre-HIPA) and decided to document everything with photography and journaling. As a result of her experience, Jessica has written a book, Becoming Visible, which documents her journey with photographs and text. She also had an exhibit of her work at Gallery R in Rochester. One of the courses she teaches is “The Art of Dying,” dealing with the silence of death and dying. Jessica is married to a fellow professor and has two children. Many thanks to her for an interesting and informative program.

Susan Dodge-Peters Daiss, Director of Education at MAG, October 15, 2014

“RIT & MAG: At the Intersection of Art, Medicine and Technology” was presented by Susan Daiss .The connections for RIT & MAG began when artists from the Mechanics Institute showed their works in paintings and ceramics. Even now these connections are visible through works from Wendel Castle and Albert Paley. As part of the Museum Studies Program, the MAG offers a class to medical students to focus on the art of observation in the health care arena. The collaboration with RIT has also resulted in creating a digital repository for past and present exhibits. They have also worked on creating video games relating to paintings such as “The Night Before the Battle.” The latest project entails the use of a smart phone app to animate MAG paintings being exhibited. Needless to say, we were all enlightened with the RIT connections!

Jim Howe, Executive Director of the WNY Nature Conservancy, September 17, 2014

The Women’s Council of RIT had a wonderful start to a new year of programming with a presentation on Hydraulic Fracturing given by Jim Howe, the Director for Nature Conservancy, Western New York Chapter. The meeting was held at the CIMS center on the RIT campus. Jim presented both sides of the controversial issue – the costs and benefits associated with hydrofracking and the potential long term effects on the environment. Jim reported that New York State has not moved forward with a decision to allow hydrofracking. At stake were the enormous economic growth opportunities for the state: landowners could reap huge benefits and it would help bring jobs to the area. In addition, it could meet energy demands for the next 3 to 15 years. The downside however is the potential hazard to the environment from the chemicals being used during the fracking process, and the millions of gallons of waste water being produced which would then have to be either treated and re-used or disposed of safely and effectively. Ultimately, Jim said that pricing and the increase in demand for natural gas could well hasten the decision process. If gas prices go up, the urgency to pursue hydraulic fracturing in New York will increase. Other states are doing this and New York might follow suit.

Darci Lane Williams, Director for the Center for Women and Gender at RIT, May 14, 2014

Darci gave a presentation on the goals and activities of the Center in helping students overcome obstacles by providing them with financial help, interventional counseling and mentoring services.  Darci explained that the Center started out in 1993 as a women’s resource center but has slowly evolved into helping both women and men on campus.  Their services are free of charge.  Their CARES program has a 24-hour hotline and offers advocacy, response and support to students that come to the center for help.  Darci cited some chilling statistics – 25% of the women on campus are sexually assaulted every year, 90% of these cases go unreported simply because women do not have the necessary assertiveness training or the ability to set boundaries.  The center provides developmental counseling on a one to one basis to mentor women.  “It is important to make them understand the difference between sexual misconduct and sexual harassment,” Darci said.  For those too shy or hesitant to speak to a counselor, the center offers informational packets and free condoms. There are Billboards and Jill Boards with posters and information. 

Sally Reich, Beekeeper, April 16, 2014

Sally Reich has been a hobbyist beekeeper going on 6 years.  She had no forethought about raising bees and did no research or planning and knew little about it before making the decision to get her first hive.  Sally took free beekeeping classes given by the Ontario-Finger Lakes Beekeepers Association and the rest is history.  She has taken Master Beekeeping classes through Cornell's Dyce Lab and has become a knowledgeable beekeeper.  She told us that the most popular hive currently used in the U.S. was invented in the mid 1800's by Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth, the "Father of American Beekeeping," and is know as the Langstroth Hive.  Sally covered the basic tools needed for beekeeping and the schedule for adding the next wooden box to the hive for maintaining a healthy hive.  Honey has a very long shelf life and doesn't go bad.  Sally told us that all pollinators are in danger and asks, if you can, to avoid pesticide use, plant native flowers, shrubs and trees, and create habitat-friendly landscaping.  Even though wasps and hornets can be a nuisance, they do provide a useful role and she suggests letting them live if they aren't in a place where they can cause danger or harm; they will typically die off in the winter.

Dr. Bill Destler and Dr. Rebecca Johnson, March 19, 2014

Drs. Destler and Johnson presented a fascinating commentary on their recent Gandhi Legacy Tour of India.  The tour was led by Dr. Arun Gandhi and Tushar Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi's grandson and great-grandson) was an inspirational encounter with the "real" Gandhi, as experienced at places of historical significance to Gandhi's life and through spoken memories of the grandson who loved him and learned from him.  The Gandhi Legacy Tour also introduced visitors to several nonprofits that are continuing Gandhi's legacy in India today; working humbly, courageously, and innovatively to improve the lives of women, children, and people living in poverty.  The Gandhi legacy continues in the U.S., as well.  In 1991, Dr. Arun Gandhi and his wife, Sunanda, founded the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Memphis, Tennessee.  The institute moved to Rochester in 2007, where Dr. Rebecca Johnson currently serves as Vice President of the Board.  The Gandhi Institute offers programs aimed at using nonviolent strategies to bring about a peaceful world, including conflict resolution, anger management, diversity appreciation, trauma resilience, environmentally sustainable living, and more.  These programs are offered through workshops at the Institute and in schools and orgainzations in and around Rochester.

Dr. Caroline Easton, RIT Professor of Forensic Psychology, January 15, 2014

Dr. Caroline Easton is focused on changing the face of addiction/abuse treatment by exploring the links between substance addiction and domestic violence, understanding that one cannot be treated successfully without treating the other, and advocating for individualized treatment.  Dr. Easton is working with a multi-disciplinary team at RIT to develop innovative methodologies for treating addicts/abusers.  The team will extend beyond RIT's campus, engaging outside partners such as the Monroe County Office of Mental Health and the University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Easton's expertise will enrich RIT's College of Health Sciences and Technology students, as well as those who will benefit from her treatment plans.

Holiday Tea - December 18, 2013

The Women's Council of RIT had a wonderful holiday tea at Oak Hill Country Club.  We nibbled on cucumber sandwiches, tea cakes and other scrumptious desserts as we listened to enchanting holiday music played by harpist, Kathleen McAuliffe.

Professor Elizabeth Lane Lawley, RIT Professor and Director, Laboratory for Social Computing, November 20, 2013

Elizabeth Lane Lawley, a professor in RIT's School of interactive Games & Media as well as the director of the Lab for Social Computing in the new MAGIC Center, talked about the ways that she and her colleagues have experimented with using games and game mechanics both within and outside of the classroom experience.  Her current teaching and research interests focus on social computing technologies, including collaborative information creation and retrieval, and social aspects of game design and play.  Professor Lawley became a visiting professor at RIT/ACMT-Dubrovnik, teaching classes on technology transfer and needs assessment to Croatian students in the Information Technology degree program!

Bakar Ali, RIT Student, October 16, 2013

Bakar Ali is an NTID senior student at RIT, majoring in Urban and Community Studies and International Studies. He is the recipient of the Bruce R. Jame '64 Distinguished Public Service Award for his work with the Center for Youth in Rochester.  Bakar grew up in Mogadishu, Somalia and lost his mother in a mortar attack when he was 7.  On his own since the age of seven, he never gave up his passion and drive for going to school, even while going through difficult times.  Bakar lost his hearing due to medicine given to him to treat malaria and had to struggle to get an education.  He persisted nevertheless and got the opportunity to come to the U.S. in 2009.  In Lansing, Michigan, Bakar took a factory job, learned English, became a team leader and subsequently received a scholarship, loans and financial aid to attend RIT's NTID.  Bakar hopes to attend law school after he graduates from RIT and use his skills and education to improve the lives of deaf people both in the U.S. and in Somalia!

Dr. dt ogilvie, RIT Dean, Saunders College of Business, September 18, 2013

Dr. ogilvie gave and impressive presentation about the new entepreneurship initiative and the launching of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship.  She stressed that it is important to provide entrepreneurship training to children, beginning in schools, just as Junior Achievement has done.  Encouraging them to set up a lemonade stand, for instance, teaches them to put out a quality product, manage money, price their product, sell to customers, pay their suppliers and make a profit!

Dr. James Myers, RIT Associate Provost of International Education and Global Programs, May 15, 2013

Dr. Myers shared with the Council that on campus, RIT's international student population has grown from 1500-2200 with students from over 100 countries.  Thes numbers put the university in the top ten colleges in the country to host a significant number of students from foreign countries.  Dr. Myers has his hands full coordinating this exciting programming!

Donna Rubin, RIT Assistant Vice President for Student Wellness, April, 17, 2013

Wellness includes so much more than fitness.  Wellness at RIT is defined as programing that includes physical, emotional, environmental, career/academic, spiritual, social and financial aspects.  The mission of RIT student wellness is to support student success and promote a campus culture that encourages a healthy lifestyle through collaborative education, programming and support services.

Dr. Bill Destler, RIT President, March 20, 2013

Dr. Destler presented his beutiful banjo collection, which was displayed on all the walls of his home probably over 200 of them.  He spoke about the shistory of the banjos, dating back to the early 1800's and how he acquired them and restored them over the laast 30 years.

Michael Peres, RIT Associate Chair of the School of Photgraphic Arts & Sciences, January 16, 2013

Professor Peres wowed us with the twenty-six year story of RIT's endeavor to "Paint with Light."  Updating an idea originating with the Sylvania Company and bringing it to modern-day fruition, Michael teamed with Dawn and Bill DuBois from the photography department at RIT to teach students how to shoot with a flashlight.

Holiday Tea - December 13, 2012

The Women's Council of RIT had a wonderful holiday tea at Oak Hill Country Club.  We nibbled on cucumber sandwiches, scones and scrumptious desserts as we listened to enchanting music played on the dulcimer by Gail Hyde.

Roger Dube, RIT Research Professor, College of Science, November 14, 2012  

 November 2012 was designated as the Native American Heritage Month to pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.  In keeping with this theme, the Women's Council of RIT invited Professor Roger Dube to give a talk on the Iroquois White Corn Project at th Ganondagan Stat Historic Site.  The goal of the White Corn Project is to grow, process and sell Iroquois white corn, by resurrecting ancient farming practices of the Seneca Indians.  The native white corn is a low glycemic index food with a stonger flavor than the white corn sold in supermarkets.

Juliana Johnson, former RIT Women's Council Scholarship Recipient, October 17, 2012

On Wednesday October 17th, RIT Women’s Council members heard an inspiring guest speaker, Julianna Johnson. She is a courageous young woman who talked about her life and how she went from homelessness, drug addiction and prison to hope, to success through scholarships, and to the joy of giving back to the community.

Deciding that neither prison nor homelessness were to be an option for the rest of her life, Julianna proceeded to pull herself back together by enrolling in RIT’s Graphic Design Program, and by paying her way through scholarships, one of which was the scholarship she received from the Women’s Council of RIT.

David Schnuckel, Visiting Professor, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, September 19, 2012

David did a great job explaining the complicated process the students undertake in making those beautiful glass pumpkins that are sold each year at the Red Barn on Campus. We watched in fascination as a long steel rod was first inserted into the furnace to pick up a glob of molten glass. This was then dipped and rolled in colored glass powder, then shaped by dipping into a mold and by blowing air into it to form a rounded pumpkin-like shape.  Finally, a separate piece of glass was molded on the top and shaped to form the stem. It was then gently placed in an enclosed cabinet to cool down. Mesmerized we watched as, again and again, the process was repeated to make more and more pumpkins.

Enid Cardinal, Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President, May 16, 2012

Enid introduced us to the all-encompassing concept of sustainability and she did it with lots of energy and enthusiasm. We learned of concerns with over-fishing and the loss of Omega 3s in our diets, the lack of irrigation in the lowlands in the west due to too much water being diverted, and the crisis of our unsustainable world population growth.  On the brighter side, we then were informed of the state of affairs on our campus. The new Golisano Institute of Sustainability will be a prime example of a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) building, complete with a green roof. Thirty-four percent of the food served on campus will be from local sources and only “Green” cleaning products are used daily. In addition, the use of all sustainable sources of energy is being pursued.  RIT will be an Idea Lab for Innovation, a Clean Energy Incubator, and a producer of Outreach Curriculum that will be used worldwide. This approach to Sustainability meets the needs of the present situation without a negative impact on our future. We look forward to an update from Enid and a possible tour of the new Golisano building in the future.

Hans Witt, Caretaker, Liberty Hill, April 18, 2012

Hans educated us on growing a beautiful garden without using pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Most of his talk centered around selecting and using plants native to the region as opposed to imported plants, also being vigilant in keeping away pests and insects. Hans said the key was to enrich the soil with a natural fertilizer such as horse manure, which would provide a fertile ground for growing healthy plants.  Hans recommended a good book “Bringing Nature Home” by Doug Tallamy if we wanted to further educate ourselves on growing healthy and beautiful flowering gardens.

Rebecca Johnson and Kit Miller, Board Member and Director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, repectively, March 21st, 2012

We learned that Restorative Justice is a practice used around the world to save money and lives. It is a way to resolve conflict, not by exacting retribution, but by bringing the victim face to face with the offender in an effort to set things right.  The focus of Restorative Justice is to assess the victim’s needs and the offender’s obligations to obtain a just resolution.  We are encouraged to live restoratively, to take relationships seriously, to envision ourselves as an interconnected web of people, institutions and environment. As we learn to transform conflict we will indeed be able to build our community.

Margaret Reek, Professor Emerita Computer Science, January 18, 2012

Margaret treated us to her amazing involvement in the small village of Maai Mahiu, just 30 miles from Nirobi, Kenya.  Her love and expertise in sewing combined with an interesting notice in a newsletter lead her to join Comfort the Children.  She took a break from creating award-winning quilts and immersed herself in the culture and the people of Maai Mahiu where she worked with a team to teach mothers of disabled children how to sew simple products and establish a cottage industry. Margaret encouraged us all to follow our passions and  find meaningful volunteer possibilities.

Holiday Tea - December 14, 2011

Once again the Women's Council of RIT had a wonderful holiday tea. This year we were charmed by the RIT a Capella group, 8 Beat Measure, who delighted us with their holiday sounds.

Jerry Argetsinger, Associate Professor of Dramatic Literature at NTID, November 16, 2011

Dr. Jerry Argetsinger, gave a wonderful talk on Theater Initiatives for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He sketched the progression of culture for the deaf, starting with silent movies with captions and progressing through mime and the creation of hand signs, to the establishment of the American Sign Language. NTID’s Panara Theater is a totally unique theater and Dr. Argetsinger has been responsible for many productions there, done entirely by deaf students. They construct the set, design the lighting and costumes, and thoroughly enjoy playing all the roles on stage. The plays they produce are award winning and are offered for all audiences. The deaf students are the stars but hearing students voice the parts and are cleverly included in the production. 

Cindee Gray, Managing Director, RIT-Rochester General Health Alliance, October 19, 2011

Cindee Grey gave a presentation on the recent RIT/ RGH alliance and the tremendous potential benefits both the institutions and the community at large would derive from this partnership.

Her talk was very informative and focused on the past history of their shared collaborative research projects, and it elaborated on the newly created Institute of Health Sciences and Technology. This would act as an umbrella organization which would oversee a host of training programs geared towards improving health care and filling a void left due to the shortage of doctors and nurses. Various research projects would also come under this umbrella.  Cindee concluded by saying that some very exciting possibilities were opening up in the future with this alliance.

Albert Paley, Sculptor, September  21, 2011

Dr. Paley talked about the giant metal sculpture ‘The Sentinel’ that he created and installed in the RIT administration circle. His talk addressed the challenges of creating the sculpture, from the meticulous, detailed drawings and plans to the giant sheets of steel and metal he had to mold and bend to create his masterpiece.

The presentation was preceded by a luncheon and we had a great turnout – almost 50 members – this year.  RIT went all out to make the event enjoyable to the Women’s Council members – from providing beautiful facilities including the Dyer Arts Center and Panara Theatre to providing a parking attendant and helpful signs throughout the building.

Becky Simmons, RIT Archivist, April 20, 2011

As a result of an archival research project, Becky gave us an overview of women at RIT from 1885-1946. We traced the progression of traditional female courses in home economics and domestic sciences to career-oriented programs.

Dr. Mary-Beth Cooper, Senior VP for Academic Affairs, RIT, May 18, 2011

The presentation summarized the diversity in RIT’s changing student population and outlined areas for new opportunities for RIT’s division of Student Affairs. Dr. Cooper said that she envisions the division of Student Affairs to become more focused on the wellness of RIT’s campus populations and has reorganized her division to become more proactive than reactive in keeping our students well.

Tony Bannon, George Eastman House, March 16, 2011

Tony pointed out the many ties between RIT and the George Eastman House, including a unique current project to package art objects for safe transport. He told us how close Rochester came to losing the great collection of films and photographs to the Smithsonian, and how the community rallied and raised twenty million dollars to keep it here. Tony stressed the availability of the collection to the community. Diverse exhibits from the Eastman House travel to museums around the country, cementing its reputation as world’s preeminent museum of photography and film. 

Kevin McDonald, RIT Chief Diversity Officer, January 19, 2011

Kevin McDonald, RIT’s Chief Diversity Officer, gave us an interesting overview of RIT’s diversity efforts. From the many diversity activities and celebrations on campus, to RIT’s visibly committed leaders, the college is definitely on the right track to achieving a diverse mix of students, staff and faculty.  By utilizing an inclusive excellence framework, RIT will grow and sustain a diverse and inclusive learning, living and working environment. 

3rd Annual December Tea, December 9, 2010

Sixty two women attended our 3rd annual holiday tea at the Chatterbox. There was delicious food and singing. Everyone had a marvelous time! 

Matthew Wahl, Forsythe Jewelers, November 17, 2010

Our November meeting was not only about jewels, but the mystery surrounding some of the world’s most expensive diamonds. We learned about the curse of the blue (Hope) diamond as well as how one owner used the diamond as a dog collar! It was a very interesting meeting.

 

Susan Rogers - WXXI,October 20, 2010

At the October Women’s Council meeting, Susan Rogers (Executive Vice President and General Manager of WXXI) made everyone a confirmed WXXI enthusiast! She told us how WXXI is the ultimate partner to many organizations (libraries, universities, public schools, and museums) who are working to improve our communities. In addition, she mentioned the tremendous impact the station has had on our community (and many other communities as well). With programs like Homework Hotline, which impacts some of the youngest and poorest students, many with no one to help them study, and with initiatives that have helped over 600 students every year obtain their GED - we came to realize that WXXI holds themselves (and us) to a higher standard.

Susan’s speech embodied WXXI’s mission statement “WXXI engages the community with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse issues.”

Roberley Bell, September 15, 2010

Bell gave an enthusiastic and informative presentation. Roberley explained that she is a sculptor, landscaper and professor of first year students at RIT. She has done outdoor projects worldwide. The presentation focused on Roberley’s gardens as her view on the world. In Russia, Roberley wanted to engage the public with her gardens. She described it as “paradise remade.” It was a creative experiment that merged site, artwork, and audience participation. By dressing a building in flowers, placing flower boxes below each window, and giving away flowers to the viewers, Roberley touched the participants in a unique and distinctive way. In Roberley hands, beautiful gardens become outdoor rooms. Her curiosity and passion goes beyond language—her visual presentation was enjoyed by everyone.

Dr. Destler, May 12, 2010

Our luncheon with Dr. Destler was truly informative. With a peek into the RIT of the future it is clear that we are indeed, "Moving Forward." For the alumni in the audience, it was a whole new RIT. Dr. Destler has a vision and mission for the college that will showcase RIT for the powerhouse it is and will become.

Gallery r, April 21, 2010

We held our meeting at an art gallery, this month. Gallery r is RIT’s metro gallery and learning laboratory for art students and alumni. It is managed by students under the direction of Zerbe Sodervick. The downtown site was chosen because the graduate and undergraduate students expressed their preference to be part of the artistic landscape downtown, close to museums, galleries, and art centers in Rochester.

Seeing the art work of the talented RIT students gave us a new appreciation for how very lucky Rochester is to have such up and coming artists in their midst!

Bella Bleu Color, March 17, 2010

Kerry Sticher, of Bella Bleu Color, showed us how to improve our color choices for everything from clothing to make-up to accessories. Bella Bleu’s twelve-tone color analysis provides a greater range of colors than color analysis that women may have had done in the past, since roughly 85 percent of the population do not fall into the original warm and cool color categories. We will all be more color conscious after this informative meeting.

Dr. Betty Perkins Carpenter, January 20, 2010

Dr. Betty Perkins Carpenter, the creator of the 6 step balance program, shared invaluable information on keeping mobile, flexible and balanced as we “age & sage.” Simple things we can do to help keep us from falling or losing our balance such as stretching in bed, walking while talking on the phone, & balancing activities are but a few exercises she suggested. Through humor and audience participation Dr. Betty delivered her serious and important senior fitness message and left us uplifted with a feeling of “I can do this!”

Holiday Tea, December 11, 2009

Our annual “Holiday Tea” was a great event again this year. The Chatterbox was beautifully decorated for Christmas, the treats were delicious, the conversations interesting, and we sang Christmas carols to the piano playing (and encouragement) of our pianist, Kathleen Toole! It doesn’t get any better than that!

Carol Samuel, November 18, 2009

Carol Samuel and the “History of the Carousel” was so interesting we all left wanting to learn more! The history and artistry behind these wonderful creations (horses, tigers, even pigs and rabbits!) captured our imagination. I’ll bet we won’t look at a carousel again without remembering this talk.

Dr. Sam McQuade. October 21, 2009

Dr. Sam McQuade and his research assistant, Sarah Gentry from the RIT Center for Multidisciplinary Studies, spoke to us Cyber-safety and Ethics. He explained to us the difference between “Digital Natives” - those youth who have never known a world without computers and cell phones and “Digital Immigrants” - those of us born prior to 1994 and the commercialization of the web. Some of the statistics Sam shared with us included: 56% of women started using computers at 10 years of age; 30% prefer to chat in-person rather than online; 35% reported feeling more comfortable and in control when using a computer. In addition, some more frightening statistics of these college women included: 37.8% have posted their schedule, 34.1% have posted their contact information, 58.8% have posted their real name, 8.5% have posted their home address, 72.2% have posted a real picture of themselves and 44.1% have posted their screen name online.

One final message from Dr. McQuade: “Students, educators and parents need help in learning how to be safe, secure and responsible when they use computers, cell phones and the Internet. Education is vital. RIT continues to work with area school districts and prominent national organizations to make a difference; and envisions creating a National Center for Cyber Safety and Ethics Education.”

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, Sepbember 16, 2009

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer gave us a fascinating overview of what is in store for Downtown Rochester. Although in years past there was a rush to the suburbs, the downtown is now beginning to make its comeback. As young people are now making a lifestyle choice towards big cities, Rochester needed a strong downtown. With Paetec committed to building by 2012, the Eastman Theater renovation, Alexandrer Park (the old Genesee Hospital) gearing up to be a health services center, and housing like the Lofts at Harmony, Rochester is well on its way to once again being "the" place to be.

Dr. Margaret Bailey, May 20, 2009

Dr. Bailey, P.E. is the Kate Gleason Endowed Chair and Associate Professor within the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and is a wonderful advocate for women in engineering. Charged with leading faculty efforts within the College to improve gender diversity, she created WE@RIT. Dr. Bailey discussed some of the exciting programs that have been developed in order to entice young women to consider engineering as a profession. "We Build" and "We Explore" and TEAK (Traveling Engineering Activity Kits) which target girls as young as 4th and 5th graders, are just a few.

Jeff Tyzik, April 22, 2009

Jeff Tyzik gave us an overview of the intricacies of managing the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra including its financial status and how it compares to the New York Philharmonic in size, budget and salaries. After his presentation, the Women’s Council enjoyed the “Live at Hochstein” concert in the Performance Hall conducted by Tyzik and narrated by WXXI’s Julia Figueras.

Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide Overture” was followed by Jeff Tyzik’s own lively and melodic compositions - “Bravo Colorado” and “Pleasant Valley Suite”, all beautifully executed by the RPO.

Kate Bennett , March 18, 2009

Kate Bennett, the CEO of the Rochester Museum and Science Center talked about the future of our city in addition to sharing some of the important facts about the RMSC.

One of Kate’s favorite quotes was from Alan Kay, which states, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” It sounds as if, from Kate’s activities at the RMSC, that she is trying to do just that. From some dire facts (i.e., that the U.S. ranks among the lowest of 50 countries in math and science) to some really positive Rochester facts (that Rochester hold 890,000 patents - and almost as many festivals!) it was an interesting and inspiring speech.

T. Jane Doctor, January 21, 2009

Our January Event was a special treat - a presentation by our own, T. Jane Doctor. Jane gave an outstanding presentation of her culture and the ways of the Haudenosaunee. As a matrilineal society, the clans are passed on from mother to child. One quote that seems to embody Jane and her philosophy, is ”Our energy is the combined will of all people with the spirit of the natural world, to be of one body, one heart, and one mind."