Lives you've changed

You can take a student around the world and back to RIT.

You can take a student around the world and back to RIT.

Study abroad is a critical component of developing "global intelligence," an increased comfort level with cultures in non-U.S. countries.

At RIT, when students go abroad, they take the opportunity to do more than be "tourists." They delve into cultures very different than their own, and often use that experience as a foundation for further study. Professor Roberley Bell's students spent 12 days in Dubai on a study abroad field research trip. When they returned, they turned their experiences into an exhibit.

The Constellation Brands Study Abroad fund was established to support RIT students choosing to study abroad or conduct research at any one of the RIT global campuses. Study abroad costs an average of $2,500 to $3,000 per student over and above the cost of tuition and is not covered by student grants and loans.

RIT's goal is to ensure a global experience for every undergraduate student. There is a significant need for support of the travel and living expenses associated with student study abroad. You can sponsor a student for a study abroad experience with a gift of $2,500 per year.

Watch the video about RIT students' trip to Dubai ››

Gopal Sapkota

Gopal Sapkota '15
I will bring light so that others can know their power.

My dream career is to be a professional electrical engineer. I would not have thought of that as a child growing up in a refugee camp. We hade no basic comforts such as electricity, clean drinking water or a nice place to live. Studying was difficult because we did not have lights at night. I became inspired to become an engineer by doing experiments in the camp to generate electricity. Learning is always easy when you experiment with it and know the theory behind it.

I used to imagine what it would be like have electricity and a little more time to study or do my homework. Now, I have all the light I need, and so much more. The scholarship that helped me become a student at RIT will help me become an electrical engineer after I graduate.

Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson '13, '15
I will reach the stars - or maybe send others to them.

My career goal is to be involved in developing software or hardware for the next generation of space systems. I have completed two co-ops working as a software engineer for a defense company, and I hope my next co-op is in developing hardware for space or satellite systems. Without the scholarship support I received, I would not have been able to attend RIT, and wouldn't have had the chance at such great co-op experiences.

When I graduate, I want to help bring about the next revolution in space technology. I want to experience what it would have been like to work during the space race of the 1960s. The world needs that big of challenge again, and I could see myself right in the middle of it.

Heather L. Schoenberger

Heather L. Schoenberger '04
I am helping others stay healthy, and helping RIT too!

I'm very grateful to the many donors to RIT's Alumni Legacy Scholarship. I received tuition support from that fund while attending RIT, which has a highly respected physician assistant degree program. I really wanted to attend RIT, and the scholarship made it much easier to complete my studies without worrying about huge student debt.

Today, I am loving my career as a physician assistant. Every day I help patients to get healthy and stay healthy, and they tell me how grateful they are for my help. As an alumnus I now give back to RIT to help pass on the same legacy to current students. Thanks, RIT alumni donors, for changing my life!

Kathleen Clas - Mom to Michael

Kathleen Clas - Mom to Michael '13 and Greg '13 Coady
My sons will meet challenges head on.

My sons graduated with a valuable RIT education, thanks to the generous support of scholarship donors. The cost of college was overwhelming, especially with two children in school at the same time. I'm twice as certain that every gift of support is important. I don't know how I would have covered two tuition bills, and the thought of the debt they would have taken on scared me even more. Because donors choose to support RIT's scholarship funds, they'll have what they need to succeed in a very challenging world, and be ready to meet those challenges with confidence instead of worry. Thank you, donors!

Margaret Bailey

Margaret Bailey
I will change the face of engineering.

During my tenure as the Kate Gleason Endowed Professor, I was given the chance to change the face of engineering by increasing diversity in the field. Teaching and doing research are both full-time, demanding jobs. Through the support of an endowed professorship, generously donated by friends of RIT, I was able to spend some of my time recruiting and mentoring young female engineers. I helped them find their particular area of interest in the field, and encouraged them in a demanding course of study. I also helped direct the Women in Engineering program. WE@RIT is a supportive, inspiring place for future women engineers to prepare for leadership in the engineering field. Now, I am overseeing a multi-faceted program intended to enhance recruitment, retention and advancement opportunities for women faculty in STEM disciplines.

Without the support of generous donors to the professorship, to WE@RIT, and to other efforts to help women succeed in STEM fields, engineering classes at RIT might look very much like they did 30 years ago. The progress we've made has been valuable to the field of engineering and has helped to launch the dreams of hundreds of young women.

Dan Tessoni

Dan Tessoni
My students will keep American businesses strong.

Nothing is more gratifying than knowing that your former students think so highly of what you taught them that they establish scholarships in your name. I'm honored to have had two funds established by former students. I've taught every Executive MBA student at RIT, and two EMBA alumni, Jim Goff '91 and Kim Burkart '02, created an endowed scholarship for EMBA students to which many alumni have contributed. And Jim Salzano '87 established an endowed scholarship for accounting undergraduate students, hoping it would support student success and provide a vehicle for other Saunders College alumni to give back to the school. Since then, Saunders alumni like Ron Ricotta '79 have helped to build that scholarship and have increased the support it provides to students.

I have had an amazing career at RIT, and have been so honored to teach so many talented students. These scholarships are a wonderful legacy after 40 years of teaching.