Tips for Vegetarians and Vegans

by Aravind Vicinthangal Prathivaathi, Computer Science MS

Welcome to a simple and user-friendly survival guide to all those vegans and vegetarians in the land of limited options. To all my meat-loving homo-sapiens who have mistakenly meandered to this post – no hard feelings guys, love you loads, but not your food choice.

Now to all my Vegetarian friends out there, you are not vegan, especially to those people who come from a country where there is no such classification as vegan established in your roots. Again vegetarian != vegan (have to show my programming skills somewhere). So what is the difference between vegan and vegetarian? Simple, vegans consume no animal products which includes dairy products! So, to all my vegetarian friends out there consuming your body-weight in cheese while telling people you are vegan, time to reconsider your position in the food chain. Also, vegans are people who have made a conscious decision to become.

With that out of the way, shall we get into the details? That’s just a rhetorical question.

Tip #1: 3 out of every 100 people in the US are vegetarians and 5 out of every 1000 people in the US are vegans, meaning our options are limited when it comes to restaurants and food. Solution? As the friendly neighborhood, New Yorker would say “Don’t worry RIT’s gotcha covered”. You have a decent array of options under RIT Dining Services. Here is my list of favorite places and food from those places:

  • Crossroads: You have a set of vegetarian/vegan options in the grill section of the cafe. Also, you can make a subway-style sub/sandwich/wrap. Here is a hack: you want to make a vegan burger vegetarian? Add cheese and your set. Bonus Points: Just come to the cash register and if you are lucky you may see me working over there.
  • Global Village Cantina and Grille: Mexican style food at Salsarita, get a custom-made veggie burrito or it’s sister versions and you’re all set.
  • Ritz Sports Zone: Go to the pasta section, again a subway-style custom made pasta. Add the veggies and get kind of a weird look from people when you say no to meat. Wait for it to bake and done! Side-note: Do not get swayed by the amount of veggie options, choose properly or the pasta contents will overflow and will get stuck in the oven. Happened to me once and they weren’t happy about it.
  • The Commons: I just go over there for the veggie pizza and it’s worth it.
  • Java Wally’s: I go there for the chocolate chip brownie, it’s vegan and it’s the best brownie in the world. Full Stop.
  • Gracies: Unlimited buffet, there is Mongolian grill, salad bars, etc. For more info go to the link at the bottom of the post.

Tip #2: For restaurants outside of RIT, use the GrubHub or DoorDash app to filter them out. My favorite I-need-cheap-and-good-food restaurants are Taco Bells, Subway, Chipotle, Fastrac Cafe (they have cheap pizzas with unlimited toppings) and my kitchen.

Tip #3: The last option you see in #2 is very very important. For heaven’s sake and also yours, learn how to cook or even better find a vegetarian/vegan roommate who knows how to cook.

Tip 4: Join RIT’s Vegan Club, you can find them on campus groups. If you are a vegetarian pondering on how to join the club, just tell them that you are Vegan who eats cheese (kidding, just talk to the club manager). When you are there and if you see my roommate sitting a corner of a room, go say hi. He is a lonely guy.

Tip #5:  To all those people who are used to eating in restaurants with veg demarcated kitchens, you will rarely find them in the US. So for those souls who are conscious about shared utensils used for both serving meat and veggies, here are some tips.

  • Kindly request them to change gloves if they are serving food by hand. You will see this in Subway or any restaurants/cafe that make subs or sandwiches. Remember to be humble when requesting and don’t forget to thank them after you see them changing gloves.
  • Don’t go too much into the details, requesting them to change gloves is fine but asking them to wipe down the entire counter before they serve you is harsh.
  • It’s kind of re-iterating the last tip but no matter how hard you try, it is inevitable that there is going to be some tiny mix-up, if you see it happening in-front your eyes and it heavily bothers you, you request them to alter it or just donate your food to one of your friends. No matter what happens, don’t throw the food away.
  • Most dining places in RIT and restaurants in the US for that matter have separate utensils, so don’t worry too much but remember a good population of the workers at RIT’s dining services are students, so don’t get angry if they mix up the utensils, you can request them to serve you a new piece of food but never shout or act rudely towards them. There is something called Karma and you know what they say about it.

Tip #6: For groceries, Wegmans and Walmart have a lot of options, there are also Indian stores around where you can get veggie-friendly food.

Tip #7: RIT has a program called RIT FoodShare, go check them out if you have time. They have a wonderful bunch of people working there, they will assist you if you are broke and you need some veggies.

Now to conclude and for those people who just skipped to last, simply remember these few things, most food in the US can be customized. RIT has a decent array of vegan/vegetarian options and join the vegan club to at least give my roommate some company.

For more information on the RIT’s dining services, visit: https://www.rit.edu/fa/diningservices/

For the vegan club: https://campusgroups.rit.edu/rvc/about/

To know more about FoodShare: https://www.rit.edu/staffcouncil/rit-foodshare

Changing majors in your mid 30’s #myRITstory

By Maria Grazia Guerrero

First year Grad Student ID MFA

It has been a while since I went to school. My undergrad is on Graphic Design Management and for the past 10 years I had been working for a prestigious Advertising Agency as an Art Director in my country (Ecuador). I gained experience, international awards, and it was a fun working environment to be in. But since college, when I took a Packaging Design class, I have been especially curious about Industrial Design as a profession.

I remember that at the time I thought, “Oh I wish I knew about this career before, oh well too late.” Go figure! 13 years later here I am finally switching careers to the one I feel is my true calling. I spent several years trying to study English on my own on my spare time, but it wasn’t enough when you work in advertising. So, I end up quitting and started to support myself with freelance jobs to have enough time to study for my English test, prepare my portfolio and be able to apply to grad school.

I don’t have a husband, neither kids. Nevertheless, when you are already settled in your career, as it was my case, changing majors is a difficult decision to make. You are risking your professional stability to take a big risk that you only can pray will turn out positively. Also, my family, friends, my culture… everything I knew was in my hometown city. It took me a long time but finally I got the English score I needed to be able to apply to grad school.

At plaster room with faculty member, Stan Rickel, teaching Function and Form I

So far, no regrets at all, everything I went through it was worth it. This has been a fulfilling experience. I am just starting the second semester from the first of two years that the Industrial Design MFA program at RIT lasts. Looking back, it’s amazing how much I learned in a short amount of time, faculty is really committed with this program and their students. There are events happening throughout the year with interesting talks and workshops that you can take advantage of as well. Also, you can find incredible opportunities to display and apply your work outside the classroom and join multidisciplinary teams that will only help you grow in your career.

Storyboard sketches for 2D Ideation and Visualization class

If you are in a situation like mine, I just can give you this advice: Time goes fast quickly, so don’t wait too long and don’t let your fears take you away from your dreams. I know, it sounds like a self-motivating speech but that doesn’t make it less true. I hope if you want to go to this or any other graduate program you find the way and take the courage to do so, you won’t regret it!

Thought at work 2019 organizers, this event is organized by students where interesting workshops and lectures happen every year.

If you want more information about the ID MFA program go to https://www.rit.edu/emcs/ptgrad/programs-of-study/programdetail/1195

THE WALLACE CENTER AT RIT

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Science and Technologies MS student

As the semester comes to a close, finals week become an inevitable stress. With the period approaching, students hurdle towards the libraries and study centers to access as many resources available to get through the final’s week. The Wallace Center at RIT is an important hub of campus life. With numerous resources offered by the center, the learning space is a great place to get serious about schoolwork.

         The Wallace Center at RIT offers abundant resources for the students at the university. With innovation at its core, RIT created The Wallace Center in 2010, blending essential library, faculty development, and multi-media services. The evolution from a library to a true learning center continued with the integration of the Writing Commons, Teaching and Learning Services and Educational Technology Center. Also housed within TWC are The Innovative Learning Institute, ITS help desk and Java Wally’s. With nearly 4,000 visitors each day, TWC is RIT’s place to study, learn, collaborate and connect.

THE WALLACE LIBRARY

The Wallace library has over 400,000 print books available for students to browse and borrow from. Hundreds of thousands of textbooks related to every field from renowned publishers and authors could be found in the library. Along with that, students can also access electronic books, the archive collection and articles from the digital library that can be accessed 24/7 from any location. Through the online database finder, textbooks, journals or articles placed at specific locations in the library can be located and borrowed by the students.

Other than these resources, the library also appoints specific department librarians/ subject specialists that help students out with resources available to them to succeed in their fields. These librarians help students with citation assistance, theses and dissertation databases and resources for successful submission etc. the online ACM library provides students with published materials while researching for a project or a thesis.

The RIT Press is a not-for-profit scholarly book publishing enterprise at RIT that has published nearly 100 titles across a broad range of academic disciplines, as well as titles of regional interest. The library houses major collections related to printing, type design, paper-making, book binding, book illustration etc. It also features the Graphic Design Archive, which preserves the work of over forty 20th century graphic designers working in the modernist traditions.

RIT’s Cary Graphic Art Collection

At the library, the students can also access services like:

  • Reserve a study room
  • Borrow or Renew Books/ Borrow from Other Libraries
  • Borrow a Laptop
  • Print, Copy and Scan
  • Writing Commons
  • RIT/NTID deaf Studies Archives
  • Collaboration Stations
  • Graduate Student Support
  • Interlibrary Loan and Donation Services

 With state-of-the-art interiors, the Wallace Center (TWC) is also the second largest employer of student employees at RIT.  They offer employment in the areas of library, information technology, graphic design, as well as general clerical positions.

Private Study Spots in the library

Java Wally’s café located on the first floor (this place serves the most amazing hot chocolate ever!!) makes the Wallace Center so much more than just a library. Study breaks are more fun at this light-hearted café that offers a range of products from light snacks, fresh fruit and all kinds of beverages-both hot and cold.

Java Wally’s at The Wallace Center

During the stress of the Finals week, there are tons of events that are organized by the Libraries staff to help students destress. As part of the ‘Destress Fest’, the library organized events like ‘Make your own Stress Ball’, Therapy Dogs, ‘Guided Meditation’, ‘Tea + Scones’, Coffee Breaks etc. to help student relieve the pressure of the finals.

Therapy Dogs at the library during finals week

The library staff also organizes several workshops for incoming students to demonstrate the most useful research sources at the library and how to make complete use of the services offered by the library for student success.

RIT ASL AND DEAF STUDIES COMMUNITY CENTER

RIT has been home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) since 1968, when the first class of Deaf students enrolled in RIT’s academic programs. In 2010, RIT and NTID partnered together to establish a Center on the RIT campus that provides a place for students, faculty, and staff to gather, interact, and learn about Deaf culture and heritage, as well as American Sign Language (ASL). That Center, the RIT ASL and Deaf Studies Community Center (RADSCC), is centrally located on campus in the Community area of The Wallace Center. It offers a state-of-the-art classroom for teaching and learning, two offices, and a lounge area that promotes open and clear access to communication and interaction among Deaf and hearing peers and colleagues.

The RADSCC is committed to sharing information and resources regarding ASL and Deaf culture with the world. It supports diversity on campus by providing a comfortable, creative environment for interaction between Deaf and hearing people.

For detailed information on the resources offered by the Wallace Center and the Wallace Library, please visit the library website at http://library.rit.edu/ or follow the Wallace center on Instagram @ritlibraries.

 

 

 

 

#myRITstory – Susan Wylie

Graduate Program – Master of Architecture, M.Arch

As a Rochester native Susan Wylie did not need to adjust to living in a new area when she began her graduate studies. However, Wylie did have to readjust to being in a classroom again after working professionally for 25 years. Prior to attending RIT, Wylie had not been in a classroom for almost 30 years. Although it was a difficult transition for her at first because of the use of technology in the classroom and difference in teaching methods, Susan successfully overcame these obstacles and graduated with her Master of Architecture in December 2017.

As a student at RIT, Wylie worked with a professor for a semester and attended events hosted by the architecture department. Because of her responsibilities and coursework she spent almost every day on campus. She also completed a co-op with Bero Architecture located in Rochester, NY which was also a collaboration with the Landmark Society of Western, NY. Wylie recalls her co-op favorably stating that, “The experience did help me in terms of seeing how a firm operates and coordinates its work. Also, the people at both Bero and the Landmark Society were terrific.”

In addition to earning a Master in Architecture, Wylie is a licensed attorney and is searching for a job that will allow her to utilize both her legal and architectural skills. She still resides in the Rochester area with her family and speaks fondly of her time spent RIT, “It is a fantastic institution, and I am excited to watch the school continue to grow and to have great influence in our community and beyond!”

If you are interested in the Master of Architecture program you can find more information by clicking on the link below:

Master of Architecture

 

 

 

First Semester in Review

by Imran Mahmood, MBA student

As a student who has not set foot in a classroom in two years it was a very jarring experience to be in a classroom again. It was even more nerve wracking considering I studied English and not business during my undergrad years. I had no idea what to expect. I had all of these thoughts racing through my mind: “this is the real deal,” “this is going to be tougher than undergrad,” “the professors are going to be unforgiving and strict.” As you can see, I was very nervous on my first day. However, my thoughts and what graduate was really like, could not be more different. First off, the professors have been great this semester. They have been accommodating, kind, and very knowledgeable.I have had a great experience this semester and there are so many reasons I can attribute it to. I’ve met great people, made friends, connected with professors, and learned a great deal. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work. There were a lot of late nights and a lot of frustration but it was all worth it.

In my MBA program I have learned so much about business that I can hardly believe that I’ve only studied for one semester. Before this semester, I would have told you that accounting is something that I would never do. But that changed after this semester, I am taking an accounting class with Professor Pellegrino and I learned that accounting isn’t the number-crunching, soul-sucking experience that I thought it would be. I had no idea that debits and credits could be so much fun! I am also taking an intro to marketing course with Professor Dwyer and it made me even more interested in marketing than I was before. Lastly, my business ethics and organizational behavior courses are taught by the same professor, Professor Barbato. His classes have been an otherworldly experience for me. He keeps you engaged and entertained as he dissects case studies and then connects them psychological studies or classic philosophers.

As you can tell, I have really enjoyed my first semester of graduate school. Despite the constant barrage of reading, homework assignments, projects, and exams this has been a fun and rewarding experience. I have grown a lot through my experiences in graduate school. I have met people from the Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya just to name a few countries. I have learned about positioning statements and balance sheets. Before the start of this semester those words were just jargon to me and now I use those words almost daily. It’s crazy to think that just a few months ago I was an excited and extremely nervous student starting graduate school. Now, I am someone that almost has semester under his belt and ready for the next one.

My RIT Journey – A summary

by Anthony Gutierrez, Mechanical Engineering ME student

One and a half years ago I decided to follow a crazy dream, to come to the United States and pursue my master’s degree. If that’s not scary enough, I also decided to go to RIT, one of the top 100 universities in the nation. I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little scared when I arrived to RIT – those big brick buildings can be a little intimidating on the first sight. Luckily my fears started to disappear as soon as my classes started.

I can still remember my first day of class like if it was yesterday. The day before classes started, I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep, and, because of that, I arrived late to my first class. I remember how my plan of keeping a low profile on the first days went down the toilet as soon as I opened the door of my classroom and everyone (including the professor) turned around to look at me. Luckily professor told me: “Don’t worry, it’s the first day” and everyone else just laughed.

Because I didn’t do my undergrad studies here in RIT (or in the US), I was afraid of not having the required level and being behind the rest of the class. Since day one, all my professors made me forget this fear. It’s amazing the level of care the professors have for their students here in RIT, and the accessibility that you as a student have towards them. There is no such thing as a “stupid question” for them, and you can go at any time during their office hours to ask all your doubts.

In terms of fitting into the RIT community, I can assure you that you’ll find your place in it. You can easily realize the amount of diversity in the campus by not just looking at the student population, but also hearing students speak multiple languages around the campus. Even though we are considered to be a university of “nerds” by many, you’ll find tons of fun activities to do in the campus each week and, joining any of the 100+ student clubs will help you make friends.

Throughout my three semesters in RIT I grew as a professional and I made friends from around the world. I gained core skills in my profession as a Mechanical Engineer, and I also gained real experience. During the summer I was able to do an internship with a company here in Rochester which helped me earn a lot of experience and some money too. And now that I’m reaching the end of my program, I found another internship in California with my dream company Apple.

If you are thinking about coming to RIT, I can assure that you won’t regret it! Don’t be afraid of crazy dreams, and don’t be afraid of failing. You are your own limitation, so if you want to reach the stars, simply don’t put any limitations in yourself 😀

More Than A Capstone

by Mudit Pasagadagula, Electrical Engineering MS student 

A fact for everything is that there is a start and there is an end. At least that’s what our biologically evolved logic tells us. That also happens with a student enrolled in a graduate program too. A lot of times it ends with some creative works graduate students come up with, the capstone project. It is a wonderful way to complete a graduate degree.

Working on something new, designing something amazing, coming up with a new theory or a possible explanation of some physical phenomenon and other similar things done in a final project sure sounds interesting but they are what projects are meant for. But signing up for a capstone project offers us more opportunities of learning than we think it does. There are many hidden perks of working on a project.

One of these opportunities is being friends with you adviser. It is always nice to know people and learn what they have offered this world. What I’ve learnt till now from my graduate school experience is that every professor is a unique knowledge offering machine with learnings that you cannot find anywhere else. It is a great experience working under a professor. But the most amazing part of it is the vision and attitude you develop towards life. And this happens through listening to a few of the countless anecdotes from their life, knowing about the decisions they made, getting aware of their curiosities and learning how they approached it.

If you are the physical body of your academic work, your adviser is the soul of it. And when these two things get along in a constructive way, amazing things can be achieved.

Need Some Coffee? Check out These Great Spots!

It might be a cliché that students always want coffee, but whether it’s due to the massive workload we have or the fact that we probably haven’t gotten much sleep, coffee is how many graduate students get through their day.
If you’re like me, you’re bored of the typical Starbucks/ Dunkin’ Donuts/ Tim Hortons offerings and wondering what  else is out there, especially as we get closer and closer to final exams. I decided to look for other alternatives that were smaller companies or locally owned favorites.

Glen Edith Coffee Roasters on Park Ave has some really good breakfast options (how can you go wrong with avocado toast and a runny egg? You can’t) and their coffee is very, very good. A favorite of mine is their iced vanilla latte, served in a glass jar. But if you’re looking for something a bit more unique, they also have other offerings such as lavender or chamomile flavors available at times. Another cafe with really robust, unique caffeinated offerings happens to be right in front of it, on the street running parallel. Cafe Sasso not only has really unique coffee flavors (might I suggest “The Honey Bear?) They also have a wide variety of baked goods, they have both vegan and non-vegan offerings, and their muffins and cookies are among some of my favorites. If you’re hungry for more than dessert, they even have a wide variety of salads and pressed sandwiches, making it much more than your typical coffee shop. A cafe that I discovered more recently, the Village Bakery, actually has multiple locations but the one in Pittsford is where I have been the most. Their coffee is artful and delicious, their

Even the coffee cups in Village Bakery look great!

baked goods are incredible-their half moons are offered year round, and they’re easily the star of the show. Recently I tried the salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake, and it was as good as it sounds. They also have egg sandwiches, deli sandwiches or paninis, and salads. They offer some very interesting flavors, like dried cranberry mayo, which happens to go great on a turkey sandwich.

If you’re looking for somewhere different to hang out and study as final exams approach but aren’t into spending time at chains every day, these local shops have a really great selection of coffee, brunch fare, and pastries that really set them apart from the usual places.

My first co-op experience in the US

by Krishna Tippur Gururaj, Computer Science MS student 

I had taken a break from my professional life to move to the US for grad school back in 2016. Back then, it had been a big change for me to get back to books, assignments, tests, and grades. Well, the summer of 2018 was quite a momentous one for me because I was given a chance to go back to working, albeit temporarily. As an international student, I had known that getting work experience in the US would be an invaluable step in my career.

HomeAway at The Domain, Austin, TX

So I was thrilled when I got a chance this year to go on a summer co-op at HomeAway, a vacation rental marketplace company based out of Austin, TX. My focus area during my Computer Science grad program has been Distributed Systems and I could not believe my luck when I got an opportunity to intern as part of HomeAway’s cloud engineering team. I was super excited to be moving to a new city, and equally nervous to be going back to working in a professional environment.

Just another cool spot in the office

After the initial excitement of getting the offer sunk in, I started to look at housing options. I knew I had to work with certain restrictions, i.e. easy commute, short-term lease. HomeAway’s recruitment team helped me get in touch with other incoming interns which was really helpful and made my housing search simple.

After a fast-paced yet informative two-week training program in which I was given overviews of the company vision, the various technologies that were used, and some hands-on on the same, I joined the Digital Infrastructure team in the Cloud Engineering department. The team was friendly and I found my colleagues to be approachable and helpful. I learned a lot and got to experience first-hand how stuff that I have studied about in grad school actually gets implemented in real-world scenarios.

Midway through the summer, HomeAway had organized a hackathon called InternHackATX, through which they intended to get interns from all over (internal and external to HomeAway) to come together for a weekend of bouncing ideas off of each other to solve a problem related to group travel. Three fellow interns and I ended up finishing 2nd overall for proposing a solution to intelligently bring structure to a group conversation between friends planning a vacation. It was an amazing experience and something that I had never done before!

First runners-up at InternHackATX 2018 (after about 3 hours’ sleep in 48 hours)

Before I knew it, it was time to wrap up my intern project, present it to a company-wide audience, and head back to Rochester. It was a bittersweet moment when I was leaving since I really liked living in Austin and partly because I had to get back to books. Anyway, it was a wonderful experience and I am glad I had the chance to learn and become more responsible.

Does having a Master’s Degree from RIT helps you get a full time job?

by Anthony Gutierrez, Mechanical Engineering ME student

Founded in 1829, the Rochester Institute of Technology has the fourth-oldest and one of the largest cooperative education programs in the world, annually placing more than 4,400 students in nearly 6,300 co-op assignments with nearly 2,300 employers across the United States and overseas.

But, you might be thinking: What is a co-op? Cooperative education (co-op) is the most extensive and intensive of RIT’s experiential education opportunities. Co-op is full-time, paid work experience directly related to your course of study and career interests.

Ok, so now you might be thinking: how does having a co-op experience helps me find a full time job? One thing students won’t have when they graduate from RIT is a padded resume. Think about this, once you graduate, not only will you have degree, but also real, paid work experience!

Also, RIT helps you through all the process of getting a Co-op experience and a full time job. Have you ever played Super Mario and got a special start that helps you go through all the difficult obstacles? Well, The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education is exactly that! From helping you redact your resume to prepare you for interviews, this department goes above and beyond when it comes to providing all kind of resources to help you achieve your professional goals.

Still have doubts? Well, you can check the Salary and Program Data. This data has been gathered from RIT co-op students and graduates by the RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, and it will tell you not only how much money students make after graduation on full time jobs, but also how many students get full time jobs after graduation.