Life's many directions

"On one hand, RIT is a big university," recalls Vasilios "Bill" Salamandrakis '96 (imaging science). "But it's also a small community. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved."

A presidential scholarship brought Salamandrakis to RIT – and into contact with RIT administrators. He worked in the Student Ombuds Office (more recently renamed the Student Office for Problem Resolution) with Barry Culhane, now executive assistant to President Albert Simone. Salamandrakis also helped organize the Liberty Hill breakfast series, which brings people from within and outside RIT together at President Simone's home for presentations on a wide variety of topics. The guest speakers and audiences range from local civic and business leaders to nationally prominent figures.

"You got to meet some very interesting people," says Salamandrakis. "That was often a very power-packed room."

By graduation, Salamandrakis had decided to become an attorney. He received a law degree from George Washington University in 1999 and joined Bryan Cave LLP in Washington, D.C.

"With my technology background, my intention was to sally forth and become a patent attorney. But life opens other doors." Bryan Cave is a very large, full-service firm and Salamandrakis had the opportunity to work on a variety of assignments, including corporate law. Especially satisfying, he says, are his pro bono efforts on behalf of a non-profit agency called Kidsfirst Inc. These days, most of his work is in real estate and commercial transactions.

Just for fun, he's taken up motorcycles. A trip through the Italian Alps is scheduled for this year. Already fluent in Greek (his parents were born in Greece), he's taking Italian and would like to learn Russian or possibly Arabic.

It all adds up to a very busy lifestyle, but this is nothing new for Salamandrakis "RIT does instill a heck of a work ethic in you." he says. "I enjoy it."

The University Magazine, Spring 2004