Provost's eZine - Issue 4 - May, 2009. The Provost's eZine is a monthly electronic newsletter that shares information to the campus community about events and accomplishments in the division of Academic Affairs.


What a busy but exciting time of year! Read below for just an inkling of the great things that are happening in academic affairs. This is also a great time for me to thank all the faculty, the students, and the staff for all the hard work they do to support the academic excellence of RIT. Your work is fundamental to the success of this institution.

This marks the last Academic eZine for this year, but we'll be back in the fall with new accomplishments to report. In the meantime, look for targeted emails from me on promotion and tenure, Greater Expectations, summer programming – to name a few. And, I hope you'll be able to attend the "Year-In-Review" campus forum that I'll present on Tuesday, May 12th starting at noon in Ingle Auditorium. It will be followed by the culminating "Third Cup of Tea" in the Idea Factory of the Wallace library. I hope you can make it.

Jeremy Haefner
Jeremy Haefner
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


Award Recipients Announced
Please congratulate the following 2008-2009 recipients of the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching, Trustees Scholarship Award and the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching:

Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award 
Dr. Andrew Herbert, College of Liberal Arts
Dr. James Moon, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Dr. Hossein Shahmohamad, College of Science

Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost'sAward for Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Eric Nystrom, College of Liberal Arts 

Trustees Scholarship Award
Dr. John Schott, College of Science
Dr. Michael Stinson, National Technical Institute for the Deaf

The awards will be officially conferred at the Academic Convocation on May 22 at 4 p.m. in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center.   

Middle States Progress Letter
Through the outstanding work of our faculty and staff, we were able to forward our required April 1st progress letter to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education with pride and confidence that we exceeded their expectations.  The MSCHE requested this progress letter to provide evidence of the ways in which we are "documenting implementation of an organized, sustained process to assess the achievement of institutional, program-level, and general education student learning outcomes." The letter is posted to the Academic Affairs website under "Priorities and Initiatives" in the Middle States section.  It does require DEC sign-in.

General Education Phase II Committee
The General Education Phase II Committee, established by the Academic Senate in December 2008 and charged by the Provost to recommend a set of measurable student learning outcomes for the general education curriculum and a sustainable assessment plan, has submitted its draft recommendations to the Provost.  Review by the ICC is currently underway with anticipated discussion at Academic Senate in May.  The Director of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment (SLOA), Anne Wahl, together with the Curriculum Committee Chair from the COLA, Christine Kray, co-chair the committee. 

University Studies Program
Marty Burris is the new Director of University Studies.  Since 2005, Marty has worked in the Development and Alumni Relations Division as a major gifts officer for the College of Liberal Arts and Parents and Family Giving.  Prior to that, she worked in the Saunders College of Business.  University Studies replaces the RIT Exploration Program and is designed for new students who are uncertain about a major as well as internal transfer students.

RIT is the newest participant in the National Student Clearinghouse's Electronic Transcript Exchange.  This exchange enables RIT to electronically receive transcripts from participating educational institutions and organizations via the Clearinghouse's secure network.

RIT students can now register on-line for a wellness course on an audit basis.  Over 400 wellness audits have already been processed on-line since this new feature was added to SIS this spring.  Previously, to register to audit a course required the student to submit a paper form.

Academic Enhancement Programs

Honors Program
After three years of distinguished service as the Honors Program Director, Dr. David Mathiason will retire in September.  The Honors Program has become an important part of RIT's portfolio in large part due to the wonderful job David has done in building this program.  It attracts highly qualified students to RIT and enjoys robust retention and graduation rates.  

An internal search for David's replacement is currently underway.  Dr. Jerry Curnutt, Assistant Dean in the Saunders College of Business, chairs the search committee.  

Study Abroad Program
Thirteen students from across six colleges are studying abroad this spring through our affiliated programs: KGCOE (3), SCB (4), CAST (3), CIAS (1), GCCIS (1), COB (1).  The destinations include the Gold Coast, Wollongong, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, Christ Church and Wellington, New Zealand as well as London, England, Atenas, Costa Rica, Nice, France and Osnabrueck, Germany. 

RIT faculty from CIAS took a group of 14 to Oaxaca, Mexico and a group of seven to Dubrovnik, Croatia (ACMT).  A group of 6 CIAS students are currently in Dessau, Germany until June, and CAST has 4 students studying in Dubrovnik (ACMT).  

K-12 Partnerships

• Leadership Competition
The RIT STEP Program hosted the 2009 Leadership Competition in February. Six teams from RIT STEP and the Rochester City School District PRISM program presented their research focused on minority persons or women who have made a significant contribution in the STEM fields.  The School Without Walls PRISM Team took 1st place.

• NOVA Saturday Academy Final Celebration
Thirty six RIT STEP Academy students from Edison Tech and Rush Henrietta High Schools attended the NOVA winter session held at RIT for seven Saturdays in January through March.  This Academy provides a wonderful opportunity for high school students to experience a college campus and complete academic classes in mathematics and English and participate in leadership development.

Upcoming K-12 STEP Events
May 4thSpace Day at RIT
May 19th    STEP Math Bowl at RIT
June 4thSTEP Senior Dinner at RIT


Another successful season of RIT SportsZone is winding down. This year, the student-driven organization (led by directors Mark Fragale and Kevin Roche) experienced a season of incredible accomplishments and achievements.

Thanks to a new high definition production truck, SportsZone went LIVE and began broadcasting Men's and Women's Hockey at Ritter Arena. SportsZone LIVE coverage continues this spring with coverage of Men's Lacrosse.

In March, SportsZone hit the century mark as the seven year old sports program celebrated its 100th episode.  The milestone episode featured segments on the program's founding fathers and took a look back at some of the best moments from the previous six seasons.   

Since its debut, SportsZone has consistently been honored as one of the best sports programs in the nation.  In March, SportsZone went head-to-head with other organizations, companies and news outlets all over the world and, once again, was recognized for its excellence by earning a coveted Sliver Telly award - one of the highest honors in broadcasting. SportsZone also brought home a Bronze Telly and an Accolade award.  

Expect even bigger and better things to come from SportsZone when it returns in the fall. For more information on SportsZone visit


CAST's new building was named one of the best new "green" projects in the Northeast region by the editorial advisory board of Real Estate & Construction Review.

NYSERDA awarded RIT a $684,961 two-year grant for developing clean energy educational and training modules.  CAST CMS director, James Myers, is the RIT lead on the project, and faculty members collaborating on the project include Dan Johnson, Dave Krispinsky, Carl Lundgren, Larry Villasmil and Clark Hochgraf.

Tom Maier, visiting professor in Hospitality & Service Management, co-authored a textbook, Welcome to Hospitality.

Welcome To Hospitality

CAST student, Alex Moser won the Imagine RIT poster contest!  See Alex's winning entry at


ACMT Fun Run

The ACMT Fun Run, a race for local elementary and high school children, took place in Dubrovnik's Old Town, on Saturday morning, April 4th 2009. More than 200 children from twenty schools participated in the race.  This is one of the biggest events organized under the leadership of the ACMT Student Council. Over 70 ACMT students, faculty and staff assisted as volunteers to ensure that the races went as planned. This type of event, which is new to Dubrovnik, received the full support of the Dubrovnik City Government and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. Both entities expressed their appreciation for ACMTs' ongoing efforts in community service events and the college's success in showing the local citizens and its students, the benefits of volunteer activities.


Congress allocated $64.2 million for NTID operations for the 2009-2010 year. That is $5 million more than was allocated from the previous year.

Thomas Raco received the 2009 Innovation in Secondary Education Award from EDSF, a charitable foundation dedicated to preparing the next generation of professionals for the document management and graphic communications marketplace. Raco was recognized for helping create a career exploration Web site for deaf high school students who may consider a career in graphic communications.

Lisa Elliot, Michael Stinson and Donna Easton received the 2008 Research on Education of Deaf Persons Outstanding Research on Education of Deaf Persons Award from the American Educational Research Association SIG for the paper they wrote with Jennifer Bourgeois of Louisiana State University, "College Students Learning with C-Print's Educational Software and Automatic Speech Recognition."


May 27-28 features the 10th annual Faculty Institute on Teaching and Learning (FITL).  FITL is designed to introduce new research and application, while recognizing, sharing and celebrating teaching excellence at RIT.

New this year, faculty from SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, Syracuse University and other regional colleges will be involved; thus, opportunities will abound to learn how other institutions are addressing and supporting teaching, learning, scholarship and service.

Our keynote speakers Dr. James E. Zull and Dr. Barry Johnson will bring their expertise in the area of understanding and fostering innovation and creativity.

Read more/register; registration deadline is May 18.

RIT's course management system, myCourses, will receive an upgrade at the end of May. The vendor, Desire2Learn, is releasing the 8.4 version. The support staff at Online Learning began testing the new features in late April. For more information, keep an eye on the "news" messages on your "myhomepage" of myCourses at


Nominations are open until May 31 for the annual Online Learning Awards for the academic year 2008-2009. Each year Online Learning grants the student-nominated Exemplary Online Faculty Award, for exemplary teaching in a fully online course, which comes with a $1,000 cash award; and the faculty-nominated Exemplary Online Learning Student Award, which brings a scholarship of $2,500. More Information

Online Learning

What's new in teaching technologies supported by Online Learning, ETC Instructional Services and ETC Production? To find out, visit our resource fair at the Faculty Institute on Teaching and Learning Meet and mingle with Teaching and Learning Services staff as they show off the teaching benefits of the Second Life virtual world, the iClickers student response system and more on May 27, 10AM – 11AM at FITL.

THIRD ANNUAL "Food For Thought"
Food For ThoughtOn June 9th, RIT Libraries will host the third annual Food For Thought event at Wallace Library. Designed specifically for RIT staff, but free and open to all members of the RIT community, over twenty customized workshops are scheduled throughout the day.

Session selections range from application-specific workshops to an exploration of technology trends and RIT-specific topics as well as some uniquely fun diversions. Multiple sessions will run concurrently, so attendees should make selections from a menu of options within each block of time. Returning is our "Extra Helpings" area, where walk-ins can ask general or technology-related questions of our team of experts.

Online reservations open May 12, 2009, and will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis through June 8th at Most session sizes are limited, so attendees should place online reservations as soon as possible. Check the website for session schedules and descriptions along with presenter profiles. For further information, please visit, contact Jonathan Jiras at or call RIT Libraries at (585) 475-7737. 

Wallace Library will host 15 different activities for visitors during this year's Imagine RIT Innovation Festival, including 7 student exhibitions. Many students will be on hand to showcase their work and discuss their project.  Visitors can enjoy an Edible Book Competition, craft activities, a Self-Publishing Fair, a revolutionary digital book scanning device, and the NTID Theatre Exhibit ("All the World's a Stage"). They can also sample a glass of Java Wally's lemonade, hear hammered dulcimer music, receive an Art on Campus coloring book, win a copy of The Promise of Sustainability anthology and watch other campus activities on the RIT Collaboration Grid.


A Day with Alan Atlas
Alan AtlasOn April 17, 2009, the Department of Software Engineering and its student organization, the Society of Software Engineers, sponsored a daylong event that featured Alan Atlas, Certified Scrum Trainer.  Scrum is the worldwide Agile method of choice in the IT industry. When implemented with deep understanding and discipline, it can result in unprecedented improvements in software development productivity and quality. The workshop was attended by RIT faculty, staff, students and industry participants and was followed by a meeting with students and a talk to a full GCCIS auditorium.

Recent Publications
Aspect Oriented Software DevelopmentDr. Raghu Y. Reddy, Department of Software Engineering, recently published the book "Aspect Oriented Software Development: An Approach to Composing UML Design Models".  Read more at Amazon

Software Engineering BookDr. J. Fernando Naveda, department chair of Software Engineering, was recently published. The book, titled Software Engineering: Effective Teaching and Learning Approaches and Practices, was co-edited with Heidi J. C. Ellis and Dr. Steven A. Demurjian. Over the past decade, software engineering has developed into a highly respected field. Though computing and software engineering education continues to emerge as a prominent interest area of study, few books specifically focus on software engineering education itself. This book offers a solution to that dilemma by presenting the latest developments in software engineering education—drawing contributions from over 20 software engineering educators from around the globe. Read more at Amazon.

Faculty Member Discusses Facebook Worm on CNN International
Daryl Johnson, Department of Networking, Security and Systems Administration, appeared on CNN International to discuss a new worm that is affecting Facebook and other social networking sites. The segment was seen in over 270 countries. Watch the video

Alum Creates New Software for Hotels
Marc Baumbach, SE '08, was featured in the New York Times for his work on a multidisciplinary team creating the Hotel Proxy software—a private digital network that hotels could log in to at any time for information on the current room rates. The service,, is currently being tested in Rochester with the help of the Rochester Hotel Association. This program will eliminate the need for hotel employees to call around asking for competitor rates, a common task known as "call around." Read more

Hotel Proxy Founders
From left, Breana Sniezek, Marc Baumbach and Chris Geiss, the founders (Credit: A. Sue Weisler/R.I.T. University News)]

"Father of the Internet" Addresses RIT Community
Vinton CerfVinton G. "Vint" Cerf , Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist, addressed the RIT community on April 3, as part of the annual B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences Dean's Lecture Series. Cerf discussed the various barriers that need to be broken down in order to extend the Internet's reach as well as the various web-based tools that might render the Internet and World Wide Web easier to use.

Oh-No Banjo and RIT Students Create Great Music
The Game Design & Development program recently showcased student work at its booth at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, California.   RIT President and well-known banjo enthusiast, William Destler, attended.  In his honor, students in the GD&D program created the game, ‘Oh-No Banjo' which was a hit with conference goers from around the world.  The banjo game was created under the supervision of Professors David Schwartz and Jay Alan Jackson.

BoingBoing link
C-Net link
YouTube Video

President Destler and Alex Lifschitz Playing "Oh-No Banjo"
Rochester Institute of Technology President Bill Destler tries out the banjo with Alex Lifschitz, a second-year game design and development major. (Credit: A. Sue Weisler)

RIT Succeeds in Retaining Its Elite Certification
The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly announced the re-designation of RIT through 2014 as part of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program.  This program is intended to reduce vulnerabilities in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in information assurance and producing a growing number of professionals with information assurance expertise in various disciplines. A ceremony and dinner recognizing RIT's achievement will be held at the 13th Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE) on June 3rd in Seattle, Washington. Read more at and


Four representatives from RIT participated in a conference to meet program officers and attend presentations about popular undergraduate funding programs.  At the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) conference held in the Washington DC area on may 2-4, Lindsay Schenkel (Psychology), Andre Hudson (Biology), Clark Hochgraf (Electrical, Computing and Telecommunications Engineering Technology), and Nancy Forand (Sponsored Research Services) learned about major programs from sponsors, such as NIH, USDA, NSF, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Department of Energy, and the Department of Education.  RIT's participation was jointly funded by the Vice President for Research, Donald Boyd and the academic departments to encourage new principal investigators to engage with program officers as they seek funding opportunities.