Staff Achievements

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  • Congratulations to Deanna LaManna, director of Rochester Institute of Technology's Margaret’s House, who was honored by the Rochester Association for the Education of Young Children with the "Exemplary Early Childhood Educator Award". Thank you Deanna for your commitment to our littlest tigers and their families!

  • Kudos to Tomicka Wagstaff, Assistant Vice President for Academic Access and Auccess, Division of Diversity and Inclusion, who was featured as a panelist at the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism Conference on April 12. Wagstaff and the other three panelists discussed the theme “Braving our History, Building our Future – Women of Color Working Beyond the Glass Ceiling.” Congratulations and thank you for representing Rochester Institute of Technology in our community!

  • Congratulations to Dr. Barry Culhane, executive assistant to the president, who received the "Eli Rudin Second-Half Hero Honoree" award from the Al Sigl Community of Agencies. The award recognizes those who continue to provide community service in their “later years.” Thank you for your continued and dedicated service to RIT and the Rochester community, Barry!

  • Sharitta Gross-Smith, assistant director of programmatic initiatives and student development for RIT’s Multicultural Center for Academic Success, was a finalist for the ATHENA Young Professional Award, given annually by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate recognizing emerging female leaders age 30 to 45 who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession and serve as a personal and professional role model for young women. 

  • Deborah Stendardi, vice president of Government and Community Relations, was a finalist for the ATHENA Award, given annually by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate to a woman who has demonstrated significant achievements in business, community service and the professional advancement of women.

  • Kathy Carcaci, our longest serving staff member, retired after 52.5 years at RIT. She's worked for 6 presidents with countless coworkers and students and on two campuses. She's had a front row seat for a huge portion of our growth. Kathy was featured on 13 WHAM ABC's Bright Spot. Thank you for all you've done for RIT Kathy, and we wish you all the best as you move into a very well-earned retirement!

  • Zachary Ennis, an Admissions recruiter for NTID, signed the national anthem at Citi Field for the National Hockey League’s Bridgestone Winter Classic game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers on January 1, which was broadcast nationally.


  • Congrats to RIT basketball head coach Bob McVean, honored by the RIT Athletics Department for winning his 500th game at the university last weekend! 

  • Kudos to Sharon Kompalla-Porter who be co-facilitating a webinar about food insecurity on college campuses and highlighting the important work of the RIT FoodShare! Sharon is a proud member of the RIT Center for Residence Life team and a Staff Council representative of Block 4. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with others!

  • Jonathan Ntheketha, senior assistant director for First Year Initiatives and Summer Bridge; Tina Chapman DaCosta, diversity theater program developer; and Tianna Mañon '15 (journalism and political science) were featured as panelists at the Little Theatre's Black Cinema Series showing of Get Out on Oct. 27.

  • Staff members from University Web Services and University Creative Services in the Division of Marketing and Communications received two 2017 W3 Awards from The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for their work on the Venture Creations business incubator website (gold winner) and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability website (silver winner). The W3 Awards honor outstanding websites, web marketing, web video, mobile sites/apps and social content.

  • Kudos to Saunders College staff member Linda Chamot who was the featured "Staff Spotlight" in the most recent Rochester Institute of Technology Athenaeum.

  • Dan Schneiderman, FOSS@MAGIC​ Research Associate & Community Liaison, was selected as Digital Rochester​'s "Emerging Tech Leader" at their annual GREAT awards ceremony on September 19.

  • Bryan Lloyd, Assistant Director of NTID's Counseling & Academic Advising Services, was awarded the “Steffens Award” by the RIT Q Center for his dedication to the RIT Queer community. 

  • Denise “Dee” Herrera, associate interpreter on the SCB/GCCIS/CAST/SA interpreting team, was named 2017 Professional Hermana of the Year by the Lambda Pi Chi sorority.

  • Christopher Egert, chief technology officer for RIT's MAGIC Spell Studios, won the 2017 Campus Technology's Impact Award in the Education Futurist category. Submissions are reviewed by a committee of higher-education technology leaders, and winners are selected by Campus Technology editors.

  • Jennifer Hinton, assistant director of RIT's MAGIC Center, received the Ronald Lunardini Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Department of Student Affairs in Higher Education.

  • David Edborg, patrol major for RIT Public Safety, represented RIT at the World Cup Invitational Powerlift Competition in Turku, Finland, on Aug. 27, where he broke a personal record of lifting 480 pounds, which is also his seventh New York state record. He finished fourth of 13 in the master division of 56- to 60-year-olds in the law/fire division. Eighteen countries were represented.

  • Amelia Fontanel, associate curator of the Cary Collection, presented "Typographic Realia: Cataloging and Connecting Wood and Metal Resources," at TypeCon 2017, held Aug. 23-27 in Boston.

  • Eric Pope, director of fraternity and sorority life, was selected on Aug. 8 to receive Alpha Sigma Alpha's Outstanding Fraternity & Sorority Advisor Award for his service to the fraternal community at RIT. The award recognizes an individual who serves as a role model for students and has made an outstanding contribution to fraternal life.

  • RIT Public Safety honored Sgt. Liesegang, Investigator Koehler and Officer Wortman with the "Life Saving Award" for their efforts to extricate a driver from a vehicle that had gone off the road on campus. Thank you for keeping our campus and community safe!

  • David Edborg, patrol major for Public Safety, deadlifted 479.8 pounds at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters' U.S. National Championship in Portland, Maine, on June 3. He broke his previous New York state record for lifters in the 57-63 age, 198-pound class for law enforcement and firefighters.

  • Maria Richart, associate director for International Outreach, Career Services Coordinator, and the Global Experience team won the "Innovative New Program: Intern Abroad" award at the 20th Annual GoAbroad Innovation Award ceremony in Los Angeles on June 1. The award is for the accelerated internship abroad experience, which allowed RIT students to do a co-op in Ireland during the January term.

  • Stephanie Thompson, senior data scientist, and Richard Dirmyer, assistant vice president of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Strategy at NTID, were invited panelists and paper presenters for SAS Global Forum 2017 April 2-5 in Orlando, Fla. Thompson presented "Using Big Data to Visualize People Movement Using SAS Basics," and Dirmyer presented "The Truth Is Out There: Leveraging Census Data Using PROC SURVEYLOGISTIC." Both participated on the "Hot Topics for Analytics in Higher Education" panel.

  • Students and staff from RIT’s Center for Campus Life’s New Student Orientation program were named “Best Overall Undergraduate Program” by the National Orientation Director Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention at a meeting in Danvers, Mass., on Feb. 25.

  • Raman Bhalla, director, University Web Services, and his team won four Interactive Media Outstanding Achievement Awards in February for their work on the websites for the RIT & RRH Alliance, the RIT United Way Campaign and the Venture Creations business incubator.

  • Sharitta Gross-Smith, an Assistant Director in the Multicultural Center for Academic Success, was featured in a Democrat & Chronicle article, RIT manager is still a Woman to Watch - 10 years later.

  • RIT’s Phyllis Wade to perform at Smithsonian as part of Black History Month. Read More

  • RIT University Web Services and Division of Diversity and Inclusion win Summit Award for


  • Megan Fritts, an Academic Advisor in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, won the inaugural Provost’s Excellence in Academic Advising award.
  • Tracy Miller, Sr. Coordinator of Financial Services in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, won the College’s 2016 Staff Excellence Award.
  • Monumental Discovery — Gravitational Waves detected 100 years after Einstein's prediction. RIT's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation (CCRG) researchers among group whose work confirms Einstein's theory. Read More
  • Congratulations to RIT Production Services Producer/Director Joe Bellavia for being the Grand Prize Winner at Snowtown Film Festival for his graduate film “Long John”. This follows Best WNY Short at Buffalo Film Festival and Best Student Film at Filmshift Film Festival in Boston! For more information, check out the film's website.



  • On June 4, RIT was the recipient of the President’s Award which was presented by the President of United Way to RIT as “an organization that demonstrates outstanding senior leadership endorsement and building an effective campaign plan which includes; a comprehensive communications campaign, engaging all affinity groups, creating fun and excitement throughout the entire campaign.” View full story on the University News website.
  • The 2015 Golden Brick Awards announced. Congratulations to the recipients Lavern McQuiller-Williams ’92 (Department Chair – Criminal Justice); Diedre Livingston ’09 (Career Services Coordinator – Co-op & Career Services); and Richard Dirmyer ’08 (Director of Institutional Research & Assessment at NTID).
  • Julia Lisuzzo, MBA ’08, Director of Administration, The Wallace Center named first leader of RIT’s Alumni Faculty and Staff Chapter. Read more.
  • Sara Bayerl and Dan Hickey from Academic Support Center presented “Engaging Students in 24/7 Online Academic Support - Beyond Social Media” at the NASPA 2015 Conference.
  • The Better Me Employee Wellness program received the American Heart Association Gold Level Award and Wellness Innovation Award.
  • On June 9, the Better Me Employee Wellness program received the Wealth of Health Award for promoting workplace wellness. The awards, sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and the Rochester Business Journal, recognized five local organizations for helping workers stay healthy, lose weight, quit smoking and reduce stress.
  • Sarah Griffith, Center for Campus Life, received the 2015 Outstanding Overall Program for Commuter Students Award from ACPA-College Student Educators International for RIT’s “Pit Stop Program.”
  • Kathleen Schreier Rudgers and Amanda Scheerbaum (GCCIS Advising – Interactive Games and Media) presented “Balancing Act – Avoiding Advisor Burnout” at the Rochester Area Colleges Advising 2015 Conference.
  • Sarah Mittiga (GCCIS Advising – Software Engineering) won the 2015 GCCIS Staff Excellence Award.
  • Congratulations to Kathy Johncox, whose book What a Kiss Can Do was accepted into the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County's 2015 Self-Publishing Book Festival to be held in November. Only 35 authors were selected from more than 120 submissions.
  • Mary Ellen Tait and Dawn Lucas from the NTID Center on Employment (NCE) are exhibited at the NAHCR National Assoc of Health Care Recruiters conference in New Orleans to learn more about positions available in healthcare and share information about NTID and RIT.
  • Sarah Cannon, Miriam Lerner, and Sarah Schneckenburger from the Department of Access Services at NTID held a week long Philosophy translation "boot camp" from June 8-12 to inaugurate the first ever ASL Philosophy Resource website.
  • Erin Clegg, from NTID’s Student Life Team (SLT) designed programs to challenge students to question their own assumptions and raise self awareness. Students will discover fresh perspectives that redefine personal responsibility and lead to action.
  • Amy Stornello from the Counseling department at NTID exhibited at the NorthEast Cochlear Implant Convention in Sturbridge, MA. Amy also delivered a presentation titled “The Oral-ASL Question: My Journey to CI Balance.”
  • RIT‬ Production Services won 2015 W³ Awards for the following websites: RIT Inn & Conference Center (Gold), Better Me (Silver), and RIT Commencement (Silver). Read more.
  • The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts selected RIT Production Services to receive 2015 Communicator Awards for following websites: RIT Inn & Conference Center Website (Gold), Wallace Center Impact 2013-14 Website (Silver), Better Me Website (Silver), University Arenas Website (Silver), NYSP2I Sustainable Supply Chain Information Hub Website (Silver), RIT Research Website (Silver)