2015 Distinguished Alumni Award

Dolores K. Kruchten

Dolores K. Kruchten 1987
College of Applied Science and Technology

Dolores Kruchten is the President of Kodak Alaris’ Information Management business – which includes document scanners, software, technical service, and document management services.


With more than 30 combined years of Information Management experience and leadership in the field, plus extensive P&L and global leadership experience in Software, Service and Product businesses, Dolores Kruchten, president of Kodak Alaris’ Information Managmenent business, and on the Board of Kodak Alaris, is making an impact in the information management industry and on Rochester. Prior to Kodak Alaris’ spinoff from Eastman Kodak Company, Dolores was the President of Kodak's Enterprise Services (ES) group. At that time, the ES group was responsible for leading the company's creation and implementation of services-led businesses that enabled more efficiency and business growth for Kodak's customers. In 2007, the Kodak's Board of Directors elected Dolores as a corporate vice president.


Dolores started her career at Kodak in 1981 and she has held leadership positions throughout the company – including Site Management, Product Management, Storage Product Business, and Business Imaging Systems. The majority of her career has been focused on business management, and she has received several business leadership honors including being selected for CRN Magazine, 2014 Top 100 Women in the Channel; as one of the 2008 Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal; and 2006 International Business Stevie Award, Best Support Organization. Active in the community, she is a member of the Monroe Community College Foundation Board and United Way Board.


Tiger pride runs in the family. Husband Brad Kruchten is also an alumnus of RIT with a Masters in Applied Statistics. Daughter Shauna is 2014 graduate of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and is currently pursuing an MS in Management in the Saunders College of Business.

Dr. Mary L. Dombovy

Dr. Mary L. Dombovy 2001
College of Health Sciences and Technology

Dr. Mary Dombovy leads an experienced, compassionate team of professionals who provide medical care, rehabilitation, and hope to patients and their families. Unity Health’s Brain Injury Unit is a nationally recognized program that cares for patients after traumatic brain injury caused by accidents, strokes, or illnesses. It’s the only licensed inpatient acute brain injury program in upstate New York and the only one in western New York that treats children. Building the Unit into a center of excellence is Dr. Dombovy’s passion—like seeing patients take their first step.


In addition to leading this nationally recognized program for patients with traumatic brain injury caused by accidents, strokes, or illness, Dr. Dombovy also guides the next generation of medical professionals at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where she is a clinical associate professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Widely published in her field, her research interests include: outcomes following restructuring of health care service delivery; epidemiology of functional recovery and outcome following stroke and brain injury; and pharmacologic and rehabilitative therapy for stroke and brain injury.


Dr. Dombovy has served in a leadership capacity for several health care organizations, including the American Heart Association; the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties; the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Subcommittee for Vascular Neurology Subspecialty Examination; and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. For her expertise, leadership, and service, she has been included several times on the Best Doctors in America National and Northeast Division lists; she has twice been an ATHENA Award finalist; and she was named the Distinguished Alumna of her undergraduate institution, the College of St. Benedict (Minnesota).

Robert F. Latorre

Robert F. Latorre 1975
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences

Revelers attending the Presidents’ Alumni Ball in the Gordon Field House on campus last fall had the chance to be frozen in time by Robert Latorre’s “Big Freeze” camera array system, just like Hollywood stars making their red carpet entrance to an awards extravaganza.


Robert Latorre grew up in a creative family headed by his sculptor grandfather and jazz musician father. His own creativity flourished in photography. After earning his BS in Commercial Photography from RIT, he began his photography career with the National News and Wire services in New York City as a photojournalist with a global beat. He eventually settled in Texas where he opened Robert Latorre Productions, which grew into Big Fish Films, a successful TV commercial film company in Dallas. Not only is Robert an award-winning commercial photographer, he is also an accomplished director known for his dramatic lighting and innovative directorial approach. ADWEEK has chosen Latorre Commercial Film Director of the Year and Creative All-Star Photographer twice.


In 1995 he became fascinated with the frozen moment, and he engineered ways to use this unique look in his commercials. He designed and built his first Big Freeze system which produced a cutting-edge frozen effect, earning him an Emmy nomination and a Clio award for Special Effects.


The Big Freeze Worldwide is the largest and most advanced camera array system in the world. Now in its 5th generation, the system is completely digital and driven by software. It is unique in its ability to capture, download and playback the frozen effects in stunning HD or 3D, delivering a 360-degree virtual or frozen moment image in seconds to live broadcast or any social media site. It has evolved into PODCAM360, the ultimate photo and movie booth. Entirely visitor activated, the camera system is enclosed in freestanding exhibit walls, lit with fine pixel LEDs depicting any scene imaginable. Within seconds, users can capture a unique, frozen 360° movie of themselves immersed in a scene of their choosing which they can then share instantaneously with the rest of the world.


Latorre and his Big Freeze system were honored at CES 2015 for their collaboration with Nikon. The 360 booth received high praise from participants and the media alike, earning multiple spotlight features from the news media and blogging communities, including Tech Crunch, Popular Science and Fox News.


Latorre has one simple philosophy, "Photography and film making is very much about the inner eye. If you can capture on film what you can see, you can tell a story to everyone who sees it. It's a marrying of science with creativity that allows an artist to really reach that higher level of perception."

Berta I. Rivera

Berta I. Rivera 2012
Center for Multidisciplinary Studies

Berta Rivera is director of the C.A.S.H. Coalition (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope), a community coalition supported by the Empire Justice Center and United Way of Greater Rochester. She first became involved with C.A.S.H. as a volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Now, as one of the youngest minority directors in the nation overseeing such a program, she is responsible for the overall management of C.A.S.H. including strategic planning and budgeting, fund development, volunteer training and management, VITA site operations, financial literacy and asset-building initiatives, and community outreach. Prior to joining C.A.S.H., she was a paralegal in the Foreclosure Prevention program of Empire Justice Center.


The first college graduate in her family, she was inspired to pursue higher education after participating in a Virtual Enterprise Program Fair in Austria as a student representative of the Rochester City School District. She credits good advice from her high school guidance counselors and her parents’ unlimited support of her desire to spread her wings and learn for her persistence and success at RIT and beyond.


Berta willingly shares her expertise with others. She has presented at national conferences for the National Community Tax Coalition and the Annual Conference on Financial Education on topics ranging from the recruitment, retention, and management of volunteers to best practices for training and communicating with volunteers and staff; client engagement and customer service to financial coaching. VITA volunteer coordinators and prospective financial coaching program coordinators from agencies across the nation are often referred to Ms. Rivera for advice, training, and technical support. And, in the community, she is an emergency volunteer at Rochester General Hospital, she serves with United Way's Latino Leadership Development program and volunteers for the annual United Way "Day of Giving," and she is a financial literacy high school mentor for Upward Bound.

Kathleen C. Anderson

Kathleen C. Anderson 1994
College of Liberal Arts

Kathleen (Cole) Anderson arrived at RIT with her sights set on a career in medical research until a single elevator ride changed her forever. A conversation in that elevator ignited in her a passion for the art of human communication that would launch a career crafting advertising strategy for global brands including Weight Watchers, WWE and Corning Display Technologies.


Currently, an account executive at Gelia, Wells & Mohr, Kathleen manages the Caterpillar Building & Construction Products global accounts. When not working in heavy machinery, Kathleen also advises national, state and local political candidates on campaign media strategy.


Kathleen has been a member of the RIT Alumni Association Board of directors since 2006 and was honored to be elected President from 2009-2013. She has also served on the University’s Board of Trustees and is currently a member of the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Board.


A proud alumna of RIT’s School of Communication, Kathleen also holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Simon School at the University of Rochester. Making her home in Western New York, Kathleen is involved with numerous community organizations but is most passionate about the rights and needs of the mentally ill and homeless.

Dr. Karen K. Oates

Dr. Karen K. Oates 1971, 1973
College of Science

A noted scientist, award-winning educator, and respected leader, Dr. Karen Kashmanian Oates is a Professor of Biochemistry and the Peterson Family Dean of Arts & Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. As dean, she is responsible for eight departments and six programs of study spanning the natural and life sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, mathematics and computer science, plus several interdisciplinary programs including bioinformatics, data science, cybersecurity, environmental studies and a shared robotics engineering program. Dr. Oates joined WPI from the National Science Foundation, where she served as Deputy Director of the Division of Undergraduate Education, charged with supporting innovative programs to strengthen undergraduate education and help revitalize American entrepreneurship and competitiveness. She began her academic career at George Mason University, where, as Associate Dean for the new College of Integrated and Interdisciplinary Studies, she helped create George Mason's New American College environment. She later served as inaugural Provost for the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, where she established the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement and helped secure NSF funds for Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities, which works to improve undergraduate STEM education by connecting learning to critical civic questions. As a teacher, she has focused on women’s health, faculty development, service learning, business-higher education partnerships, and K-12 science and math education.


Among the honors she has received are the Bruce Albert Award, presented by American Society for Cell Biology for excellence in science education reform, and the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest civilian honor presented by the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 2012, she was inducted into the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science as a Science Education Fellow and was recently named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer.


Dr. Oates received her B.S. in Biology from RIT and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The George Washington University.

John E. Resig

John E. Resig 2005
B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

Just about any time you navigate the internet, you encounter John Resig's work, whether you know it or not. John is the creator of the jQuery JavaScript library. He has also contributed to numerous other JavaScript libraries including Processing.js, Env.js, Sizzle.js, and QUnit. He is the author of the books Pro JavaScript Techniques and Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja.


Resig has transformed the way that developers look at creating JavaScript for their personal or corporate websites. Leading sites like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and thousands of others manage and simplify their JavaScript using jQuery. John also contributed to research done at the Center for Discovery Informatics at RIT, primarily in Instant Messaging (Project: IMSCAN). In recognition of the revolutionary and global impact of his work, John was inducted into the first RIT Innovation Hall of Fame in 2010.


John is currently the Dean of Computer Science at Khan Academy where he is leading an innovative project, Khan Academy Computer Science, a new platform that targets people with no programming knowledge and gives them an engaging and fun environment to learn in. The program emphasizes creativity and exploration and makes computer science approachable for people of all ages, including young kids.


While at RIT, he was a resident of the Computer Science House and was named House Member of the Year during his sophomore year. With concentrations in economics and psychology, he had the opportunity to work with Professor Ankur Teredesai on data mining instant messaging networks and published two papers on the topic. Additionally he worked with Professor Jon Schull on exploring new ways of encouraging real-time online collaboration.


The opportunities that RIT presented in learning from fellow students in Computer Science House and from collaborating with professors have greatly influenced John's drive to continue learning in his career and beyond. It is not surprising, then, that John is currently pursuing more knowledge, serving as a Visiting Researcher at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto where he is working on the study of Ukiyo-e (Japanese Woodblock printing), applying his programming expertise to create a comprehensive woodblock print database and image search engine (found at: http://ukiyo-e.org).

James P. Swift

James P. Swift 1988
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Jim Swift has parlayed his boyhood fascination with sports statistics into a successful career as a data geek. As CEO of Cortera, his mission is to change the B2B information universe with long overdue insights into businesses to help organizations improve sales performance and risk management.  Cortera provides information-centric solutions that power business-to-business interactions, delivering behavioral intelligence on millions of businesses, working with thousands of companies throughout the supply chain to streamline processes and inform decisions.


Prior to taking the helm at Cortera in 2006, Jim was the COO of LexisNexis Risk Management, where he was responsible for the unit’s commercial markets, and Executive Vice President at Seisint, which was acquired by LexisNexis. At Seisint, Jim was a key executive serving in various leadership positions in operations, sales, product development and strategy.


Before Seisint, Jim was a senior vice president at Modus Operandi, a management and technology consulting firm specializing in business process reengineering and automation for Fortune 500 clients. Jim was responsible for directing the Business Solutions practice, driving innovative solutions with a host of financial services, telecommunications and other companies.


Although Jim prefers the sunny climes of Florida, where he lives with his wife and their three children, he has willingly returned to RIT in winter to share his expertise with current students, most recently presenting “Your Competitive Advantage? Data Superhero!” in the prestigious KGCOE Dean’s Alumni Speaker Series.

David J. Nelson

David J. Nelson 1981, 1985
National Technical Institute for the Deaf

David Nelson, Sr. Community Outreach Specialist in Government Affairs, has been employed at the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”) for the past 24 years.  David is responsible for providing accessibility information, managing outreach activities by Amtrak to the disability community and overseeing internal projects to ensure accessible compliance.  Prior to joining Amtrak, David worked for the Honorable Tony Coelho (D-CA), who was one of the authors of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which marks its 25th anniversary in July 2015.


David is an active member of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and in 2004 received NAD’s prestigious recognition, the Frederick C. Schreiber Distinguished Service Award.  He now represents NAD on issues concerning telecommunication and transportation.  David served as president of the District of Columbia Association of the Deaf and the Florida School for the Deaf Alumni Association.


David gives presentations on deaf culture and how to serve deaf and hard of hearing customers to various groups and companies.  He also has participated on advisory boards for Amtrak Cross Cultural Diversity, Northwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Greyhound Lines and the Open Doors Organization, as well as many task forces addressing transportation-related issues for deaf and hard of hearing people.


He holds a bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as a degree from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). He attended high school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Sean R. H. Bratches

Sean R. H. Bratches 1983, 1991
Saunders College of Business

Sean Bratches is executive vice president, sales and marketing for ESPN, overseeing all affiliate sales, advertising sales, research, marketing, consumer products and special events. In this role, he leads a sales and marketing team that provides national advertisers access to the premier media and marketing platforms and content under the ESPN umbrella, which includes the company's domestic cable television networks ABC Sports and ESPN.com.


Bratches joined ESPN in 1988 as an account executive and within a year was promoted to senior account executive.  In 1992, he was named director, northeast region, before being promoted to vice president, eastern division, in 1995.  He was promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales and marketing in 1998 and to executive vice president, ESPN affiliate sales and marketing in 2001.  Most recently, he was president, Disney and ESPN Networks affiliate sales and marketing before being promoted to his current position in 2005.


Bratches has received two Vanguard Awards, the cable industry's most prestigious award.  In 2009 he was awarded the Vanguard for Marketing and in 2001 he was recognized with the Vanguard for Young Leadership. In 2009 CableFax Magazine inducted Bratches into the CableFAX Sales Hall of Fame. He has been listed in the CableFAX 100 featuring “cable’s 100 heavy hitters” since 1999 and in recent years, has been listed in the top 20.  He was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2014. The Sports Business Journal  also named him one of the top 50 most powerful people in sports, and in 2008, he was inducted into the RIT Sports Hall of Fame for lacrosse and distinguished service.