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Anna Jacobson Eckert

Portrait of Anna Jacobson Eckert

Anna Jacobson Eckert

The Future Stewards Program here at RIT has been the most shaping factor in my career and personal development. My family's tribe is halfway across the country from where I grew up, since my grandmother was encouraged by her mother to leave the reservation to find success elsewhere. My first year at RIT, though very fulfilling, felt deprived of other people like me. I wanted to become a part of a community on campus that could foster my growth as a Native American student in STEM.

FSP was the answer! At Imagine RIT of 2015, I came across AISES' exhibit and made sure to attend the first meeting in the fall. I knew that FSP was what I was missing. After joining FSP, I was able to reconnect with a part of myself that I didn't feel I could talk to anyone else about. Now a fourth year and the president of AISES, I feel at home in FSP and am glad I have had the guidance to become the best version of myself. I want to use the skills I've learned at RIT to serve my community and tribal communities across the country.

Portrait of Anna Jacobson Eckert

Alexandra Shipman

Portrait of Alexandra Shipman

Alexandra Shipman

I love RIT because of the uniqueness of our community. Students are free to express themselves and explore their academic interests. Professors here share their research and passion for what they do. Staff members are welcoming and love to help students. It is simply a great place to be! This is why I chose to complete both my bachelor and master degree at RIT.

I attended my first AISES conference and had a wonderful time. I got to meet and learn about fellow RIT students from the AISES chapter on a journey to share our experiences and opportunities such as the Future Stewards Program with prospective students. The career fair was also a highlight of the conference because I met with companies I wouldn't have ever had the opportunity to meet otherwise. It was also a joy to meet alumni who attended the conference and learn about their successes after their time spent at RIT. Alumni who are excited to meet current students and support a program such as FSP and AISES really shows how great RIT is.

Portrait of Alexandra Shipman

Brendan John

Portrait of Brendan John

Brendan John

The Future Stewards Program has played a huge role in my career at RIT. I became dedicated to attending RIT while taking part in a Future Steward's sponsored campus visit the Summer before my junior year of high school. I along with other students from Salamanca, NY, located on the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation of Indians, were hosted by Future Steward's staff and introduced to the support services offered and the educational programs offered at RIT.

The Future Stewards Program has created a community that is welcoming to Indigenous students of all backgrounds, and has established support for students that are disconnected from their culture while transitioning to RIT. Personally, I have benefited most from the various research opportunities that FSP has introduced me too, as well as the conferences and symposiums I have been able to attend and present my research at.

Additionally, Future Steward's introduced me to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and provided opportunities such as attending the AISES National Conference multiple times. By attending the conference I’ve been able to network with companies in my field and present research. This past year, I received a co-op for this summer and fall, and I also received an award for my research presentation on “Capturing Human-Planned Robotic Grasp Ranges.” These experiences have been vital in preparing me for graduate school, as I continue to build a strong research background in my field (Math/Computer Science) and network with others in academia.d

Portrait of Brendan John

Tiffany Cable

Portrait of Tiffany Cable

Tiffany Cable

Growing up in a biracial family, and nowhere near my native community, I was left with many questions about my identity and my culture’s history. The Future Stewards Program (FSP) has provided me with support on campus and assisted with my cultural search in understanding who I am. 

FSP has not only provided me with an inviting environment where I can learn and grow, but through the program I’ve been able to meet other Native Americans at RIT, and in the community, from whom I can learn from. I am a Manufacturing and Mechanical System Integration graduate student and through FSP I have been inspired to take the knowledge that I am learning now and apply it to my Native community in the future.

Trying something new is not always easy, but I appreciate all the help that FSP has provided for me. It has helped me grow to be a better person.

Portrait of Tiffany Cable