Orlando Ortiz is an RIT alumnus and community philanthropist
RIT opened doors for him. Now he’s opening doors for others.
That’s what Orlando Ortiz, the new RIT Minett Professor says when you ask him why he is so involved in giving back to others.
Ortiz was appointed to the position in August by President David Munson and Keith Jenkins, vice president and associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion. The Minett Professorship brings a distinguished Rochester area multicultural professional to the RIT campus to share their expertise for one academic year with students, faculty and staff. Ortiz won’t need a campus map to find his way around. He is very familiar with RIT.
“I attended RIT after graduating from MCC. At RIT I obtained my bachelor’s in manufacturing engineering in 2004 and my MBA in 2008 specializing in operations management. My experience at RIT was life changing, but not necessarily for the academic aspects of my career. At RIT I exposed myself to Greek life by joining Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc. (LAU) and clubs such as the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Latin American Student Association (LASA). These organizations allowed me to get involved and develop my leadership skills. “
Ortiz is the Manufacturing Manager at the Gleason Works. He is responsible for three manufacturing departments with over 40 employees. He started working there when he was a co-op student from Edison Tech Vocational High School. In addition to his day job, Ortiz is an active real estate investor.
And he continues to invest in RIT.
He said, “I’ve remained engaged with RIT since my graduation in 2008. I remain engaged by being an Alumni Advisor to the Beta Chapter of LAU and being a mentor to my younger brothers on campus. In addition, I’ve been part of the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2013.”
Ortiz says he is humbled by his appointment as Minett Professor.
“As an RIT student, I saw what other Minett professors did and I’m excited to begin my own journey and make an impact to students this year.”
He will encourage students to get involved with campus groups and activities and recognize the resources and opportunities that exist.
“I’m interested in student engagement as it relates to the extracurricular activities opportunities outside of the classroom during their time at RIT. I owe a lot of my personal growth to my involvement with Greek life, specifically LAU. I was exposed to many personal and professional opportunities. This included networking, public speaking, social , and yes, developing my salsa, bachata, and merengue dancing skills, all which became strengths post RIT. LAU along with SHPE, LASA and others provided me with unique experiences that aided my growth and helped provide me with a competitive advantage over other students with similar backgrounds. Had I overlooked those opportunities while on campus, I would have missed out on these life lessons. I will encourage students not to minimize the opportunities they have now and take full advantage of their college experience.”
The new Minett Professor’s ties within the Rochester community run deep. He is the President of the Puerto Rican Festival, Inc., and is on the boards of The Housing Council, PathStone, and Foodlink.