Each college selects one undergraduate student and may also select one graduate student to represent degree candidates from the college—students whose overall personal achievement demonstrates the ideals of RIT including, but not limited to, academic achievement. College delegates speak at their college commencement ceremonies.
College of Art and Design
Cynthia Chu, Undergraduate delegate
From Brooklyn, New York, Cynthia Chu graduates with a BFA in animation. Cynthia is the recipient of the Alfred L. and Ruby C. Davis Leadership Award, the Joe T. Ferraro Memorial Scholarship, and the Eric Senna Spirit Award. In addition to founding the Asian American Alliance at RIT, Cynthia also co-organized the Anti-Rape Culture Campaign and the Love and Solidarity Rally. As the president of the AALANA Collegiate Association, Cynthia received the President of the Year Award, and the organization was named Club of the Year. Cynthia plans to pursue a career in animation.
Mireya Salinas, Graduate delegate
From Houston, Texas, Mireya graduates with an MFA in photography and related media. She graduated from Excelsior College with a BS in liberal studies. Mireya is a U.S. Army combat veteran, who served more than five years active duty and was deployed overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom. While at RIT, she received the inaugural Outstanding Graduate Woman Achievement Award. An avid photographer, her work has been featured in 11 exhibitions, four professional publications, three books, and seven online publications. Mireya’s professional experience includes working at the William Harris Gallery, the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, and ACCMe Studios.
Saunders College of Business
Daniel Perez Gil Rodriguez, Undergraduate delegate
From Mexico City, Mexico, Daniel graduates with a BS in management information systems and finance. While at RIT, he spent a semester at the University of Economics in the Czech Republic and studied business and economics in Central and Eastern Europe. He completed co-ops at KKR and Co. and Charles River Development. At RIT, Daniel served as the director of finance for Student Government. In addition to being a research assistant and tutor in the Saunders College of Business, Daniel was also a member of the Honors Program. After graduation, Daniel plans to begin his career as a financial analyst and consultant specializing in private equity.
Stephanie Marquez, Graduate delegate
From Brockport, New York, Stephanie is graduating with an Executive MBA. She completed a BS in history from the State University at New York Brockport. Stephanie works as a supply chain applications administrator for Rochester Regional Health Systems, where she manages and maintains MMIS and supply chain management systems for centralized procurement. With the knowledge she gained in the EMBA program, Stephanie has been able to implement what she has learned to impact her work positively. Stephanie’s professional experience includes working as a senior contract specialist at Rochester Regional Health, senior project manager at ID Signsystems, and manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Jordan Shea, Undergraduate delegate
From Tolland, Connecticut, Jordan graduates with a BS in computer science. At RIT, Jordan was a founding member and executive curator for TEDxRIT, as well as an executive member of the university’s club football team. For the past three years, Jordan has worked as a student lab instructor for Computer Science I, where he helped students through conceptual problem-solving. Jordan has also worked as an undergraduate student researcher for the Computational Linguistics and Speech Processing (CLASP) lab, where he published a paper this past year. After graduation, Jordan will return to work in NYC as a full-time software engineer for DigitalOcean.
Andrew DiStasi, Graduate delegate
From Grove City, Pennsylvania, Andrew graduates with an MS in software engineering. He graduated summa cum laude from RIT in 2017 with a BS in information technology and was selected as the Golisano College Undergraduate Delegate. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award and was a member of RIT’s Honors Program. Andrew currently works as a full stack web developer with Priority Thinking in Pittsford, New York. His graduate research focused on improving developer profiling and ranking techniques to more accurately automate bug localization and triage. Following graduation, Andrew will continue to work with Priority Thinking and plans to continue his research.
Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Stephanie Soldavini, Undergraduate delegate
From Rockville, MD, Stephanie graduates with a BS/MS in computer engineering. In addition to being a member of the Honors Program, Stephanie is one of RIT’s 2016-2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars. She is also a recipient of the Computer Engineering Department’s Outstanding Service Award and Award for Excellence in Student Teaching. Stephanie has completed co-ops with Apple, Xelic Inc., and Harris Corporation. As an undergraduate research assistant at RIT, she worked with Dr. Marcin Lukowiack on a corporate R&D project between RIT and the Secure Communications Group at Harris Corporation. She also conducted research at Poznan University of Technology in Poland. After graduation, Stephanie plans to pursue a Ph.D.
Eric Damm, Graduate delegate
From Smithtown, New York, Eric graduates with an MS in mechanical engineering. He graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2017. At RIT, Eric served as a teaching assistant for Systems Dynamics and as a graduate research assistant in the Bioinspired Systems Engineering Laboratory. He also played the cello for the RIT Symphony Orchestra. From 2016-2017, he worked as a process engineer for Cable Components group in Stonington, Connecticut, where he led a team researching the thermo-electric properties of polymers in the wiring and cable industry. After graduation, he plans to work as an engineer, while continuing his education.
College of Engineering Technology
George Matta, Undergraduate delegate
From Jbeil, Lebanon, George graduates with a BS in mechanical engineering technology. He completed co-ops at Medtronic, MITG and C. R. Bard, where he gained experience designing, prototyping, and developing medical devices. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including the Man of the Year Award from Men of Color, Honor, and Ambition (M.O.C.H.A) at RIT. As a member of the university’s Launch Initiative, George is part of the aerodynamics division that specializes in composite materials and component design. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in the medical device industry.
Sarah Dobie, Graduate delegate
From Webster, New York, Sarah graduates with a BS in environmental sustainability, health and safety, and an MS in environmental, health and safety management. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award. While at RIT, Sarah worked as a research associate in the Collaboratory for Resiliency and Recovery. She is the author or co-author of ten peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and reports. Sarah’s professional experience also includes serving as an undergraduate research associate at Arizona State University, as a sub-consultant at Climate Resilience Consulting, and as a sustainability intern at Constellation Brands, Rochester Regional Health, Carestream Health. After graduation, Sarah plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan.
College of Health Sciences and Technology
Jacob Watts, Undergraduate delegate
From Rochester, New York, Jacob graduates with a BS in biomedical sciences. During his time at RIT, he worked for the College of Health Science and Technology as a summer camp laboratory assistant, where he provided laboratory and classroom support to the instructors of the camp. As a student researcher in Dr. Robert Osgood’s lab, Jacob collected saliva samples, isolated S. mutans colonies and DNA. He also ran PCR to identify different serotypes found in each sample. In his free time, Jacob volunteered as a tutor to children at Sojourner House and later coordinated all volunteer opportunities at the home. Following graduation, Jacob will attend Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine: School of Dental Medicine to obtain a DMD.
Joanna Cox, Graduate delegate
From Greensboro, North Carolina, Joanna graduates with an MFA in medical illustration. Her thesis is called, “Breaking the Stigma: Major Depressive Disorder.” Joanna also graduated summa cum laude from Meredith College with a BS in biology. She completed internships at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, where she worked alongside a research scientist to illustrate ostracod species and photograph species of crayfish. At RIT, she worked as a biological and medical illustrator as well as a graduate teaching assistant for a Medical Pathophysiology course.
School of Individualized Study
Hannah Zachmeyer, Undergraduate delegate
From Greece, New York, Hannah graduates with a BS in applied arts and sciences. Her professional experience includes working at Heritage Christian Services and Brooklea Country Club. She also interned at Unity Hospital, where she worked in different units including the Family Birth Place, Surgical Center and Ambulatory Care. During her time at RIT, Hannah studied pre-health because she has a passion to help others through a career in the medical field. After graduation, she plans to start the nursing program at Roberts Wesleyan College in the fall of 2019.
S. Emma Sarles, Graduate delegate
From Orchard Park, New York, Emma graduates with an MS in medical device engineering and applied biomaterials. In 2017, she received a BFA in industrial design from RIT’s College of Art and Design. Emma’s mechanical engineering undergraduate coursework supplemented her BFA and laid a foundation for her to transition into a more technical field as a graduate student. She worked in the Respiratory Technologies Lab, a laboratory that studies inhaled nicotine delivery systems. Emma has a patent pending, is a co-author on several conference papers, and is involved with non-profit projects in Haiti. She will pursue a Ph.D. in engineering at RIT beginning this fall.
College of Liberal Arts
Christine McCullough, Undergraduate delegate
From Greensburg, PA, Christine graduates with a BS in digital humanities and social sciences. She has worked as an NEH-grant digital content manager and helped develop the first undergraduate-run digital literature journal at RIT. Christine is the recipient of two Henry and Mary Kearse Undergraduate Writing awards and the Mary C. Sullivan Women’s and Gender Studies Knowledge-Building award. In addition, she is also an Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar. She has authored four novels, which were included in a Sony audiobook project. After graduation, Christine plans to maximize the impact of her digital and publishing skills by working with organizations geared toward social equality.
Adriana Coll De Peña, Graduate delegate
From Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Adriana graduates with a BS in biotechnology and molecular bioscience and an MS in science, technology, and public policy. She interned internationally at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of Austria, where she studied genes relating to cancer metastasis, and at the Dominican Office of National Subaquatic Patrimony, where she assisted in the preservation of historic area patrimonies. Adriana’s research interests include microfluidics, blood diagnostics, and virology. She has presented her research at multiple U.S. conferences, and co-authored a paper published in the Journal of Virology. Adriana plans to travel in Africa prior to continuing her education with the pursuit of a PhD.
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Israelle Johnson, Undergraduate delegate
From Baltimore, Ohio, Israelle graduates with an AAS in laboratory science technology. In addition to receiving RIT’s Merit and Presidential Scholarships, Israelle received an award for her outstanding achievements from an Ohio state senator and assemblywoman. In 2018, Israelle completed a co-op at MASI Environmental Laboratory in Columbus, Ohio. Since she arrived at RIT, Israelle has been a member of the RIT orchestra, where she plays the viola. Upon completing her degree, Israelle plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in medical sonography.
Jeanne d’Arc Ntigulirwa, Graduate delegate
From Rwanda, Jeanne d’Arc graduates with an MS in secondary education. She also holds a BS in business administration from the University of Rwanda. At RIT, Jeanne d’Arc has served as an English peer tutor and graduate assistant. Her professional experience includes interning at Federation Handicap International in Rwanda, where she taught Rwandan Sign Language to educators within the country. After serving in that role for six months, Jeanne d’Arc became the federation’s Advocacy and Communication Officer. She also served as the Executive Director of Rwanda National Union of the Deaf. Jeanne d’Arc plans to pursue a career as a bilingual teacher to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
College of Science
Sara Ali, Undergraduate delegate
From Cairo, Egypt, Sara graduates with a BS in bioinformatics. She is the recipient of numerous awards and a scholarship from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Egypt Higher Education Initiative. Sara completed an internship as a research assistant at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she worked on a clinical trial for HIV. She also interned at CentriVision, Nile University and BioWorks. Last year, Sara created a mobile website called WalkDontRun. She won first place in the Most Technically Difficult Project category at RIT’s WicHack2018 for the site. Sara plans to pursue a Ph.D., in software development and biology.
Kevin C. Cooke, Graduate delegate
From Green Township, N.J., Kevin graduates with a Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences and technology. He also holds a BS in astrophysics from Lehigh University. Kevin’s professional experience includes working as a graduate research assistant and graduate teaching assistant at RIT. He also interned at both NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center and Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Among his many accomplishments, Kevin also served as RIT’s Graduate Student Advisory Council co-chair (2017), Graduate Showcase Committee student representative (2017 and 2018), and an AST Program Curriculum Committee student rep (2017). Kevin is also the author or co-author of five peer-reviewed publications.
Golisano Institute for Sustainability
Elizabeth Moore, Graduate delegate
From Roxbury, New Jersey, Elizabeth graduates with a Ph.D. in sustainability. She earned her MS in sustainable systems at RIT and graduated with a BS in integrated science and technology from James Madison University. She has attended several international conferences and has submitted her research in seven peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Nanotechnology. In 2018, Elizabeth participated as a visiting scientist at the United Nations University for Environment and Human Security. While at RIT, Elizabeth served as an adjunct professor for Sustainable Development in the Anthropology department and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Information Sciences and Technologies department.
Qinwei Zhang, delegate
From Weihai, China, Qinwei is graduating with a BS in management information systems. She is a recipient of the Chinese Ministry of Education National Scholarship and the RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award. While studying at RIT China, Weihai campus, she completed an internship at Sinopec Jianghan Oil Field Branch and volunteered at the Union International Motonautique World Series in Weihai in 2017. She was part of the Student Union and worked as a teaching assistant in probability and statistics at the Academic Support Center. Qinwei also co-founded the RIT-China Tiger House. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in information management and logistics.
Mislav Horvatić, delegate
From Zagreb, Croatia, Mislav graduates with a BS in international business. Since enrolling at RIT Croatia, he was voted the best student of the generation by professors, worked for multiple industry-leading companies, and developed a passion for public speaking. He was a member of RIT Croatia’s Student Government, founded the Investment Club, and held a leadership role in the Global Business Group. In addition to his leadership experience, Mislav is a recipient of RIT’s Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award. Following graduation, Mislav will work in New York City and plans to pursue a career as an executive coach.
Ronald Noronha, delegate
From Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Ronald graduates with a BS in mechanical engineering. He completed a co-op with the Dubai Government, working with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority in operations & facilities. At RIT Dubai, Ronald served as the President of Student Government and as the co-captain of the men’s volleyball team. He is a recipient of the President’s Cup and led his senior design group to obtain funding for a sustainability project from Expo2020 Dubai. Ronald plans to pursue a graduate degree in either innovation or sustainability management.
Anila Abazi, delegate
From Prishtina, Kosovo, Anila Abazi graduates with a BS in public policy and governance and economics and statistics. She is the valedictorian of class of 2019 and a recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award. While studying in RIT Kosovo, she completed internships at Kosovar Organization for Talent and Education, BEKO Company, and Solidar Suisse Kosovo. She was also part of various volunteer activities and taught English for SOS Children’s Villages International, organized guest lectures and translated economic articles. Anila is currently working with USAID Empower Private Sector. She is very interested in environmental and healthcare studies and plans to pursue graduate studies in related fields.