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The RIT Connectology Leadership Conference offers a wide variety of Leadership Development and Career Readiness Workshops where students and alumni can develop the skills necessary to get ahead and stay ahead in their careers. The conference offers 24 separate workshops which are facilitated by speakers from RIT and the Greater Rochester Community and features nationally renowned motivational speakers.

The speakers and conference sessions are guaranteed to inspire you and leave you with many tips on how to succeed as a leader in your career and personal lives. Conference participants will also have the opportunity to work towards earning one of RIT's leadership certificates. Connectology is guaranteed to leave you with leadership skills that will last a lifetime. (Reflection paper must be submitted following the conference.)

Connectology admission is $10 for RIT students and Alumni and $20 for Non-RIT students.  (Registration opens spring semester)

Conference Schedule

Participants are asked to choose one workshop for each session.  You may switch on the day of the event.

8:00 - 8:45 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
Student Alumni Union Lobby - Check-in & Breakfast
8:45 - 9:00 AM Welcome and Introduction - SAU Ingle Auditorium
9:00 - 10:00 AM

Keynote Speaker 

10:00 - 11:00 AM Session 1
11:00 - 12:00 PM Session 2
12:00 - 12:30 PM

Lunch SAU Davis Room Cafeteria

12:30 - 1:00 PM Service Project 
1:000 - 2:00 PM Session 3
2:00 - 3:00 PM Session 4
3:00 - 3:30 PM Closing Activities and Raffles - SAU Davis Room Cafeteria

To view the 2016 schedule and workshop descriptions, please download the Connectology Schedule here.


Workshop Tracks

Each year we do our best to offer our participants an opportunity to gain recognition for their work in the workshops and activities at our conference. As a result, we schedule our workshops to be in specific tracks, or focuses, throughout the day. Participants who choose to follow a single track the entire day are eligible to gain recognition for their efforts. 


2016 Conference Schedule Overview

10:00 to 11:00 AM - Session 1

Workshop Track Workshop Presenter
PSS Driving Change and Rising to Become a Leader on Co-Op Abby Tremont and Kaleigh Sweeney
PSS Living in a Digital Fishbowl Jennifer Jones and Sara Bayerl
OL How Involvement on Campus Helps with Personal Growth and Success for the Future Juan Lachapelle
PSS Resume Building

Harrianne Hewitt

PSS Volunteer Impact: What's in it for me? Natasha Pitt
OL Keynote Break Out Session Jess Ekstrom

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Session 2

Workshop Track Workshop Presenter
PSS From Balcony to Basement: The Pitfalls of Success Pradip Ananda
OL The Dynamics of a Winning Team Richard Harris
OL When Humor and Leadership Collide Collette Shaw
PSS Student Wellness Leaders Dugan Davies
OL Motivating Employers - A Necessary Leadership Ability! Tracey Caponera

12:00 to 12:30 PM - Lunch: Davis Room Cafeteria

12:30 to 1:00 PM - Service Activity: Davis Room Cafeteria

1:00 to 2:00 PM - Session 3

Workshop Track Workshop Presenter
PSS Personal Brand Barry Strauber
OL Collaborative Leadership Jason Taylor and Julie Elliot
PSS Becoming the Speaker You've Always Wanted to Be Haleem Syed
PSS Top 10 Things You Should Know About Money Before You Graduate Sharon Kompalla
OL Stories for Change: Us and Them  Ambarien Alqadar

2:00 to 3:00 PM - Session 4

Workshop Track Workshop Presenter
OL Five Dysfunctions of a Team Brandon Rall
OL Group Conflict; Working with Difficult People Angelena Russo
PSS Identifying Personal Value Proposition Kathleen Ellis, Dr. Nana-Yaw Andoh, Aditya Bhatnagar
PSS Leadership with a Purpose Christina Waszak
OL Where's the Time? - Scheduling Service into your routine Brittany Dzugas-Smith

3:00 to 3:30 PM - Closing Activities - Ingle Auditorium

RIT Leadership Institute Student Advisory Board

Raffles! Activities! Fun!


**Complete 2016 Program can be found here!**

 Welcoming Jess Ekstrom to RIT!!


Jess Ekstrom

"Right before my 20th birthday in the summer of 2011, I did an internship at a wish-granting organization for kids with cancer. 

One girl in particular, a 4-year-old named Renee with brain cancer, received tragic news a week before her wish to go to Disney World to meet Sleeping Beauty. The doctors sent her home, saying she should have her last two weeks with her family. I showed up on her doorstep dressed as sleeping beauty and read her stories and dressed her in her new princess dress and crown. A week later, I received a phone call from her mother informing me that Renee had passed away. Her mother said she was at peace with her daughters passing because she knew she got everything she ever wanted: to meet sleeping beauty.

At this point, everything changed. My “problems” didn’t seem like problems at all. My visions of my future were wiped clean and starting to build from scratch.

I thought about the thousands of girls around the world losing their hair to chemotherapy. Being a young girl presents many struggles with self-esteem already and losing their hair as a result of a life-threatening illness is traumatic. Not only do they have to face the risk of losing their lives, they feel that they lose a part of their feminine identity.

Therefore I started Headbands of Hope. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer. We also have a market of other accessories that donate to different childhood cancer organizations. 

Since Headbands of Hope launched in April 2012, it has been featured on the Today Show, Forbes, Seventeen Magazine and more. But more importantly, we’ve been able to donate thousands of headbands to girls across the world who deserve them. 

On top of running Headbands of Hope, I travel around the country to share my story of how I turned a summer internship into an organization that changes the world. I'm passionate about helping people find their path, whether that's through my speaking or coaching. "

Learn more about Jess here:

Registration is now CLOSED!! 

We look forward to seeing everyone at our 2017 Conference! 

RIT Connectology Leadership Conference 2016

The Peak of Leadership


The 2016 call for proposals has closed. Please check back next year should you wish to present!



What is the Connectology Leadership Conference?
The Connectology Leadership Conference helps participants sharpen their career and leadership skills and explores ways they might make a difference through leadership development, service, and volunteerism. This one-day conference offers individual workshops and hosts a nationally recognized keynote speaker. Typically 300-400 students, alumni and faculty attend Connectology.  Join us and let’s make this year even better! 


Questions, Concerns, or Comments?

Please contact: 

RIT Leadership Institute and Community Service Center

Graduate Assistant