RIT Tunnel Guide

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

Rochester gets cold during the winter. Bitterly cold. Once the snow starts falling and the temperature starts dropping, you begin questioning whether or not you want to go outside. Fortunately, RIT has an extensive tunnel system throughout the campus that can get you from class to class with minimal exposure to the elements. However, if you’ve ever been down there, you know that it takes some exploration to get the layout down. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the RIT tunnels to get you on your way come wintertime. For reference, you can access maps of the tunnels on the FMS website.

Residence Hall Tunnels

Probably the most familiar tunnel system to most RIT students is the one that connects most of residential side together. Everyone who lives in the residence halls goes down there at some point, whether it be to go to Gracie’s during the winter or do your laundry. However, there are some hidden aspects of the system that you may not have seen if you have not spent too much time down there. You also might only be familiar with a small segment of the system that gets you to Gracie’s or the post office. Getting around in the tunnels can be a bit disorienting at first, so it’s good to know some major landmarks in the system. Your first landmark should be knowing the location you usually enter at, so at the very least if you get turned around, you can make your way back there. This could be any of the dozen or so entrances to the tunnel system, coming from any of the buildings on residential side. Some of the major landmarks include Sol’s Underground, the Corner Store, and the curved tunnel leading up to Gracie’s.

Academic Side Tunnels

The academic-side tunnels are a very different beast from the dorm-side tunnels. People use them a lot less, often favoring to brave the cold or walk through the upper levels of building rather than figure them out. There are three distinct systems on academic side, and they are not nearly as large as the dorm side system. There is a system connecting the SAU and the Eastman building, one for the Infinity Quad system, and the tunnels under Booth and Gannett halls. The SAU-Eastman tunnels begin directly under the bridge between academic and residential side, leading into the athletics area. The easiest way to get in, however, is right through the Center for Campus Life near the fountain. Behind the fountain, there is a stairwell that will lead you down into the lower level. The main tunnel system door will be right in front of you. To get to Eastman, head past the WITR studio and the elevators and stairwell into the building will be at the end of the hall. If you make a turn in front of the WITR studio, that hallway will bring you up to RITZ Sports Zone and the stairs to the SAU.

The Infinity Quad system connects the Wallace Library, Liberal Arts Hall, Gleason Hall, and Gosnell Hall together. You also have the ability to make it all the way to Louise Slaughter Hall without stepping outside via the pedestrian bridge that connects Engineering Hall and Golisano Hall. This system can be a bit confusing, especially in the twists and turns of the area under Liberal Arts Hall. However, once you get the hang of it, getting around is a breeze. Once you enter the library basement, head toward the large, glass walled classroom. Past this, you’ll enter the Liberal Arts Hall basement, which contains some of the larger lecture halls on campus, such as A201 or A205. The tunnel that leads you to the rest of the system is behind a set of double doors labeled in a recessed part of the basement next to some offices “TO ENGINEERING.” Don’t worry if those doors are shut, they keep them closed to make sure the heat from the various pipes does not overheat Liberal Arts hall.

Once you’re through there, you will have the option to walk straight through to Gleason, or make a left and head to Gosnell.  Getting all the way to Slaughter while staying inside involves heading up into Gleason, which connects to Engineering hall, and heading up to the second floor to get to the bridge. This will bring you across to Golisano. After you get there, head through the building until it connects to Slaughter Hall on the far end. Finally, you have the tunnels underneath Booth and Gannett.

Once you figure out the system, it’s almost as fast as taking the Quarter Mile to class every day. That said, make sure you know the system before using it five minutes before you need to be at class. Familiarize yourself with the routes one day so you’re able to navigate the tunnels like a pro when old man winter comes knocking.

 

#myRITstory – Jinkai Qian

Jinkai Qian, Print Media MS

“RIT graduates work in the knowledge-based positions…in both production management and upper management positions…they are the most knowledgeable about color, printing, and pre-media applications, as well as the production workflow.”

Turning points are pivotal moments in life in which decisive change occurs. For Shanghai native Jinkai Qian, one such turning point was when a professor from the Master’s Degree in Print Media (MS-PPRT) program at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) came to visit the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST). At the time, Jinkai was working on a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Printing and was intrigued by the curriculum of the MS-PPRT program. Researching the RIT program further, he learned of the reputation of the program, including the extensive alumni network and impressive placement of graduates in meaningful jobs at major companies. This convinced Jinkai that his next move would be coming to the US to study at RIT in 2010.

At RIT, Jinkai went through the course sequence in the MS-PPRT program, which entails three academic semesters followed by thesis work. His coursework and thesis imparted the necessary skills that have helped Jinkai in his co-op experiences and subsequent career.

Jinkai names the STEM-based laboratory courses, which employ hands-on exercises that stress critical thinking and technical writing with the latest equipment as especially beneficial in his ensuing endeavors.

Jinkai took advantage of both Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) for paid co-op experiences. Both of his co-ops were on the print production side of the business, first at CSI in Virginia and then at The Matlet Group in Florida. His responsibilities included color management, managing job workflows, working in the pre-media department, and order handling.

After his co-op work, Jinkai joined the vendor side of the business with a technical applications job at Techkon USA, a major manufacturer of color measurement devices with offices near Frankfurt, Germany and Boston, MA. Among the award-winning products offered by Techkon USA are hand-held and scanning spectrodensitometers, quality assurance/ink formulation systems, and even a spectrophotometer designed for flexographic printing that measures traceable metrics on a web moving up to 300 meters per minute.

Jinkai supports Techkon’s customer base throughout North America for installations and on-site training and support. His responsibilities require regular travel to major printing companies throughout the region. In addition to supporting clients, Jinkai is regularly in touch with the software and hardware engineers in the corporate offices to make sure that the new products and updates meet the needs of North American printers. As such, Jinkai has been trained on the latest printing certifications, including as a G7 Expert, BrandQ Supply Chain expert, and Certified Color Management Professional by IDEAlliance.

Jinkai cites the key role of his RIT coursework in obtaining his current position. He believes that this helped him to secure the job over several other candidates, and stands as a testament to the relevance of the curriculum.

When asked if he meets RIT alumni in his work, he responds: “All the time! I meet RIT alumni at both production facilities and trade shows: RIT graduates work in the knowledge-based positions…in both production management and upper management positions…they are the most knowledgeable about color, printing, and pre-media applications, as well as the graphic production workflow.”

Today, Jinkai lives with his wife and young son in the Boston suburbs and is pursuing US-resident status, intending to stay long-term. Jinkai recognizes that his job at Techkon USA, obtained as a result of his STEM-based Master of Science in Print Media degree from RIT, is integral to his aspirations.

Read more about RIT’s MS in Print Media on our program website here. 

#myRITstory – RIT Alumnus Nodirjon Siddikov

Nodirjon Siddikov

RIT Program: Computer Science MS, 2011

Software Development, Travelfusion, London, UK

“RIT education contributed significantly towards my career. For example, it helped me establish professional networks, unfolded the career path ahead of me through on-site job fairs and company meetups, and also increased my confidence during job interviews through coding exercises and on-site mock interviews organized through RIT’s co-op office. While I was studying CS, I concentrated on distributed systems cluster and carried out a research about applying a data structure called “bloom filter” in cooperative caching algorithms. I decided to go extra mile, and presented and published my research paper in academic conference in Las Vegas the following year.”

Read more about Nodirjon’s experience here, on the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Exchange Programs website.

Nodirjon will be representing RIT today (Friday, September 27th) and tomorrow (Saturday, September 28th) at the Fulbright Commission USA College Day 2019 in London, UK!

Your RIT ID

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

RIT and the Office of the Registrar provide each student, faculty, staff, and alumni with a University ID card. The ID cards are used by Dining Services, University Housing, Student Life Center, and the Wallace Library. The Office offers new students, faculty, staff, and alumni the ability to upload their own photo for identification. Individuals who already have a photo on file who require an updated photo may come to the Office of the Registrar to have a new photo taken.

Through the RIT Online Photo Submission, you are able to upload a photo that will display in the following locations:

  • Student Information System (SIS)
  • RIT ID Card
  • Starfish Early Alert

Your student ID is your ticket to saving money on everyday costs, big-ticket items, and so much more! I’d like to provide you with my top picks for the most useful perks of having a student ID.

Memberships

  1. BJ’s Membership – show your RIT ID at the Henrietta BJ’s and it will serve as a membership card. Not only do they have great deals on their items in-store, but on top of that, they have some of the cheapest gas in Rochester for members!
  2. Amazon Prime Student – As a student, you will pay just $59 per year (compared to $119 per year) + 6 months completely free!
  3. Spotify AND Hulu – $4.99/month for both Spotify and Hulu
  4. Sponsor a friend or family member at RIT’s gym – If you have a friend or family member who would like to use RIT’s recreation facilities, check out the different guest passes and memberships offered: https://www.rit.edu/~w-criw/membership.php

Food (at participating locations)

  1. Dunkin Donuts – 10% off
  2. Chipotle – Free drink!
  3. Pi Craft – 10% off on Tuesdays
  4. Subway – 10% off or a free cookie
  5. Qdoba – $5 burrito meal OR free drink
  6. Dairy Queen – 10% off
  7. Chick-fil-a – Free drink!
  8. TCBY – 15% off
  9. McDonald’s – 10% off
  10. Burger King – 10% off
  11. Taco Bell – 10% off
  12. Arby’s – 10% off
  13. Papa John’s – 10-20% off
  14. Domino’s – 10-20% off
  15. Denny’s- Student Discount
  16. Spice Bazaar- Student Discount

Retail and Services

  1. Ann Taylor – 20% off
  2. Levi’s – 15% off
  3. Topshop – 10% off
  4. Alex and Ani – 10% off
  5. Steve Madden – 10% off
  6. Madewell – 15% off
  7. JoAnn’s – 10% off on top of any coupons you find online
  8. Victoria’s Secret/Pink – 10% off
  9. J Crew and J Crew Factory – 15% off
  10. Eddie Bauer – varies by store
  11. Eastern Mountain Sports – 20% off
  12. Charlotte Russe – 10% off
  13. Tom’s – free shipping
  14. Banana Republic – 15% off
  15. Jiffy Lube – 10% off
  16. FedEx – save 30% on documents and 20% on shipping services
  17. Goodwill – 10% off
  18. J. Crew – 15% off

Electronics

  1. Dell, Apple, Lenovo – all offer student deals on select products. Ask about these before purchasing!
    1. Apple now offers a $100 gift card with the purchase of a new laptop, on top of $300 off the purchase of that laptop.

Travel

  1. Student Universe – Flight search and booking
  2. STA Travel – Flight search and booking
  3. Amtrak
  4. Eurail
  5. Greyhound – 20% off
  6. Museums and activities – While studying abroad, I found many museums allow students in for free or offer huge student discounts. Do your research before you go!

Student Credit Cards – Look into which credit card companies have the best cashback and rewards for your spending habits. Discover has a rewards system for students that collects cashback on purchases, which can add up fast paying for textbooks! If you don’t spend your points until after a full year, they double!

Lastly, be sure to take advantage of all that RIT has to offer. Now is the time to establish healthy habits with free wellness courses and our state-of-the-art fitness center staffed by extremely helpful students. You will be living steps away from a pool, 25 people hot tub, racquetball courts, squash courts, a boxing room, rock climbing wall, and a sauna…USE IT! Don’t forget about all the guest speakers, concerts, and College Activities Board organized activities and trips in the area! So many ways to enjoy yourself while saving money!

#myRITstory – Payal Sharma

Payal Sharma, Print Media MS, 2018 

“The School of Media Sciences has tremendous resources to support student work, backed by knowledgeable and caring professors; this helped in maintaining motivation while gaining confidence in my skills and abilities”

In 2014, Payal Sharma was searching. Having completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications and Journalism at St. Francis College in her native Hyderabad, India, Payal wanted to explore graduate study abroad in an area where she would gain the technical and critical thinking skills that are in-demand by industry, while learning in a community of dedicated academics and researchers. She also desired a program that was supported by active, engaged alumni, and highly regarded by industry leaders. This is when she enrolled in the Master of Science in Print Media (MS-PPRT) program in the School of Media Sciences (SMS) at Rochester Institute of Technology. Today, having completed her degree requirements and a one-year co-op, she is convinced that she made the right decision in choosing RIT.

The MS-PPRT program is a two-year, thesis-based Master’s degree in which students work closely with internationally-renowned professors in world-class research facilities. After three semesters of coursework, students conduct industry-relevant research that results in a published thesis. It is during this process that the MS candidates work closely with research professors to produce a thesis that is relevant and meaningful. In Payal’s case, her thesis exposed her to research methods and theories that provide a foundation for possible future advanced degrees and research opportunities.

According to Payal, these skills already paid off in her one-year co-op experience.

After defending her thesis in 2018, Payal embarked on a paid co-op at Wilsonart in Temple, Texas. Perhaps best known as a manufacturer of laminates, Wilsonart manufacturers and distributes an array of engineered surfaces. Having used the gravure printing process for decades, Wilsonart has now implemented cutting-edge digital printing technologies to supplement their gravure offerings. This is where Payal’s skill set, gained in the MS-PPRT program at RIT, made her an especially valuable addition to the Wilsonart research and development team.

Notably, Payal led a project to ensure consistent color reproduction for Wilsonart’s digital presses. Applying the knowledge gained in her MS experience, Payal set up the standard operating and process control procedures necessary to achieve consistent output from the digital offerings. Today Wilsonart is efficiently producing award-winning, digitally-produced engineered surfaces.

It is relevant to note that her direct supervisor at Wilsonart is an RIT MS-PPRT alumnus, who pro-actively looked for other graduates of that program to fill the research and development position, and spoke very highly of the school and its alumni. Her supervisor also stated that he is encouraged by the future direction of the school as the STEM-based MS-PPRT program moves to College of Engineering Technology.

Payal contends that students considering the MS-PPRT program at RIT should not be discouraged if they do not have specific print experience. “When I started my journey I did not have a traditional print background, here I learned how industry works, and have been exposed to many different aspects of the industry.” She recognizes that the SMS “…has tremendous resources to support student work, backed by knowledgeable and caring professors; this helped in maintaining motivation while  gaining confidence in my skills and abilities” and contends that her “…career goals are now more certain and focused as a result of the exposure to various aspects of the industry.”

Today, Payal has accepted a full-time position as a Digital Print Technology Specialist at Wilsonart, where they have agreed to sponsor her visa. She optimistically views her future career prospects, and feels fortunate to be exposed to meaningful and diverse working experiences in the US as a result of her Master’s degree.

Read more about RIT’s MS in Print Media on our program website here. 

The Best Hiking Trails Around Campus!

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

One of the few gems that I have come across after coming to the States is the nature trails situated in every part of the city. These trails are perfect for biking or if you just want to go for a run amidst the natural beauty. 

Rochester, NY has some great options when it comes to taking an outdoor adventure. Here is a list of some notable places that are not too far from the RIT campus.

RIT Nature Trails

This 2.12-mile walkway is the nature trail behind Grace Watson and SLC on RIT’s campus. It is beautiful and definitely worth your time. Well groomed. Check out this page to find out about the routes and particular information for each trail here: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/criw/documents/Trails%20Pamphlet%202011.pdf

Linear Park Cascades Trail

Linear Park Cascades Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rochester, New York that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

The Town of Penfield hosts this 19-acre community park along an exciting stretch of Irondequoit Creek, where it drops over 90 feet in the course of one mile. The relatively steep drop in an otherwise flat region leads to some interesting rapids along its path towards Irondequoit Bay and eventually Lake Ontario. The community of Penfield has always had a use for this stretch of the creek. The power presented by the creek created a large community of mills that fueled the earliest industries in the valley. Although the course of the creek has changed over time, and all of the mills that once utilized it have been razed, evidence of this period can still be found in the crumbling foundations of a few of these remaining structures.

Named after former Town Supervisor, Channing H. Philbrick, the park serves a variety of purposes. The open field, picnic shelter, and playground are a frequent host to parties and family gatherings throughout the summer months. Year-round, the creek is host to hikers, photographers, and fisherman who come to enjoy the sights, sounds, and the sense of peace and isolation this small sliver of nature offers in an otherwise highly-developed suburb.

Old Rifle Range Trail, Lucien Morin Park

Old Rifle Range Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Turning Point Park Trail

Located in the Charlotte neighborhood near Lake Ontario on Rochester’s northwest side, Turning Point Park covers 275 wooded acres along the banks of the Genesee River. Hiking and biking trails will help you discover the park’s distinct areas, from the wooded oak forest called “Bullock’s Woods” to the cattail-lined shores of the river. One can enjoy nature watching and beautiful Genesee river views from its trails.

Turning Point Park Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Turning Point’s boardwalk and trail won the American Public Works Associations’ “Transportation Project of the Year” Award ($2-$10 million categories) in 2008. The trail consists of 3 main parts: 1) the 2,968 ft land-based trail that utilized an old railroad bed to transition from the top of the bank to the river’s edge, 2) a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, and 3) an all-new land-based trail, 3,406 feet in length, through Turning Point Park North and adjacent to the Genesee Marina.

Fall foliage at Turning Point Park.

Fall foliage at Turning Point Park.

The park’s trail continues on to connect to the Genesee Riverway Trail. Take the trail and explore over 16 miles of Rochester by reaching Ontario Beach Park to the north or downtown to the south.

Turning Point Park also features a gorgeous Rain Garden, an eco-friendly way to use natural vegetation as sediment filters. When it rains or snows, flowing sediments and pollutants from the nearby parking lot are captured by the garden’s vegetation. The water-loving plants act as filters and clean the runoff before it reaches the river. The rain garden is stocked with a wide variety of hardy plants that aid in the process, from ostrich fern and filipendula to coneflower and New England aster.

4th of July Events in Rochester!

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July? Hot dogs, parades, corn hole, and fireworks – what more could you want? Luckily, here in the Rochester area, we’ve got plenty of fun things to do on the Fourth that will have you feeling festive all day. Here is a list of 10 great events you could go to with friends and family!

The Town of Chili’s Annual Fourth of July Chil-E Festival

Perfect for people of all ages, there’s no shortage of things to do at the Chil-E Festival. They have everything from crafts and food vendors to a car show, plus a parade and fireworks show at 10 PM!

Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures Fourth of July BBQphoto-1496905583330-eb54c7e5915a

If you’re looking for something a little bit removed from the usual Independence Day traditions, look no further! Bristol Mountain’s Aerial Adventures lets you climb around on their obstacles in the treetops, and then you can go back down to the ground to enjoy free hot dogs and refreshments. They even have kids’ courses, so it’s great for people of all ages to have a blast!

 

 

 

Canandaigua Fourth of July Celebration at Kershaw Park

This celebration right on the water is great for a relaxing Fourth of July! There’s a parade in the morning, followed by a community picnic, live music, and, of course, the night is topped off with fireworks. Plus, you can hang out at the beach all day right on Canandaigua Lake, which is always a plus!

Irondequoit Fourth of July Festival

The Irondequoit Festival has a truly impressive amount of events and activities on not just the Fourth, but on the night before as well! You can go to the arts and crafts show, watch street dancers, run in a 10K or 2-mile race, pitch horseshoes, go to a naturalization ceremony, or any other number of activities. As with any good Fourth of July Festival, it all ends with a fireworks display!

Brighton Fourth of July Celebration

There are few feelings better than stuffing yourself with pancakes after a good 5K race, and luckily, Brighton’s celebrations let you do just that! Then, afterward, you can hang out at Meridian Centre Park for food, games, a show by the Skycoasters, and fireworks!

Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration in Greece

We’re in no shortage of 5K races in our area this Fourth of July! You can run this one in Greece at 7:30 AM to avoid the heat, then come back in the evening for performances by Josie Waverly and Orleans before the fireworks!

Town of Henrietta July Fourth Celebration

You can celebrate right here in Henrietta! During the first half of the day, there will be a community sale, then the main celebration starts at 4 PM in the Veterans Memorial Park, leading up to fireworks just after sunset!

sparklers-828570_1280.jpg

Fairport Fourth of July Parade and Party in the Park

If a 5K isn’t quite far enough for you, check out the Firecracker Four Mile Race in Fairport. Afterward, enjoy a party in Perinton Park, with a parade, live music, food, and a bouncy house!

Fourth of July Celebration in Downtown Rochester

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the Celebration in Downtown Rochester! At 7:30 PM, Paul C. Boutte, and the Motown Review will perform, followed by our very own Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Ward Stare. Then at 10 PM, there will be a spectacular firework show!

Series: A Graduate Student’s Guide (On-Campus Jobs)

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

I thought of starting a series called ‘A Graduate Student’s Guide’ that will include individual blogs about finding on-campus jobs, looking for a co-op, and several more! The first one in the series is ‘A Graduate Student’s Guide to finding on-campus jobs’!

After I paid my $300 deposit last summer and decided that RIT was the perfect place for me, I began to explore the numerous resources and opportunities that the university had to offer. After some research, I stumbled upon ‘Handshake’: the online job portal for the university that lists details about the various on-campus jobs as well as internships and co-op listings. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a listing called the ‘Graduate Liaison’ at the Graduate Enrollment Office offering a great working environment and decent pay; I immediately applied for the job knowing that it was only a few months that I arrive at the university and had an interview scheduled for as soon as I came to the country. All this prior research helped me in landing one of the best on-campus jobs which have massively helped me take care of my personal expense whilst pursuing my masters.

A lot of people ask me about the best ways a student can find and land good on-campus jobs; this blog talks about the different ways one can look for jobs on campus and the several jobs available on campus that best suits their interests and helps take care of financial liabilities as an international student.

Research on Handshake 

Handshake is RIT’s online job portal. Almost 90% of the employers on campus post job listings on the portal where the students have to upload their resume as well as other requested documents. These students are then shortlisted by employers and contacted for further interviews. Employers actively post job listings on the portal hence if one has to look for the best jobs on campus, Handshake is your go-to portal.

It is a simple but powerful search tool and alert system that helps students find the best fit for jobs (on as well as off campus) and internships posted by 300,000 companies, non-profits, and government organizations.

Visit this link to access Handshake. (Please note that the portal is only accessible to students after they have paid their $300)

Dining Services 

RIT Catering manages tons of events both on and off-campus and they are always looking for people who are friendly, punctual, and ready to help bring food and drinks to some of the most exclusive RIT events! Lots of the events that RIT Catering handles take place on campus for art gallery openings, club and organization meetings, and even the annual president’s ball which gives you an awesome chance to meet new people ranging from faculty in some of RIT’s academic colleges all the way up to RIT’s current president! Catering also is responsible for lots of the food at the RIT hockey games so chances are that landing a job here means you will get to watch lots of games for free! Dining Services offers the most number of jobs on campus and they are relatively easier to land. Students can look for postings on Handshake or simply visit a dining facility and ask for open positions.

Note Taking

Because RIT shares a campus with NTID (the National Technical Institute for the Deaf), many classes will require a designated Note Taker for some of our deaf or hard of hearing students. People need to be very reliable for this position because you are not allowed to miss any classes. This person, normally a student, clocks in before their classes, takes notes on the lecture, submits the notes, and then clocks out. Because note takers work during their class time, you end up feeling like you are being paid to go to class and if you already take good notes then this might be the perfect job for you!

Teaching/Research/Graduate Assistants

After their first semesters at the university, a majority of graduate students end up finding graduate/teaching/research assistantships under their professors that provide them exposure working with experienced people in the industry or gives them an opportunity to research in their field of interest. These jobs offer a fixed stipend or tuition waiver opportunities and are one of the favorite on-campus jobs for students that look impressive on the resume as well.

Each department offers a certain number of graduate assistantships to the students at the start of the fall semester. Teaching and Research Assistantships are offered by particular professors and they are to be approached directly.

I ended up finding a Lab Assistant opening at the Information Sciences and Technologies department through a friend who was graduating that semester. Through his recommendation, I was able to bag an interview with the Head Systems Administrator for the department and ended up getting the job. Recommendations work wonders when finding any kind of job (whether on campus or off campus) and one should always be on the lookout for such opportunities through friends, colleagues or mentors.

Peer Advisor Leaders/Student Government/Global Union Ambassador

Several students organization at RIT like the International Student Services, Global Union and the Student Government offer several part-time opportunities to the students interested in being a part of such organizations. The ISS offers the positions of graduate assistants and Peer Advisor Leaders (PALS) that offer their services during the orientation period and help incoming students with a smooth transition into the university and the life in the US. Global union ambassadors perform similar duties year-long on campus. Student government offers certain positions as well (eg. the graduate senator) to students interested in holding a certain amount of power and responsibility among the student body. Listings for these jobs are sent out through emails and special postings on-campus groups or handshake.

Holi@RIT

By Goral Kansara, Engineering Management ME 

Holi, the Hindu festival of colors symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is one of the most cheerful and fun festivals in India. While many students have made this big change in their life by coming to a different country, RIT makes sure that their students do not miss their home country and feel the same amount of joy by celebrating Holi at the campus. The festival was organized by the OASIS student chapter at RIT.

While the entire Rochester is struggling to adjust themselves in long winters and unpredictable weather, RIT students managed to pick a warm day in Rochester and do complete justice to the day by celebrating Holi. At around noon, everyone got together in one of the open areas on campus and there were colors and joy all around.

Holi specifically marks the last full moon of the Hindu calendar’s lunar month, Phalguna. So, it is celebrated on a different day every year but usually, it is around March when it is very warm in India. So, if you were in India to celebrate Holi, it begins with a group of people gathering around and playing drums and singing along with firing wood to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. This is known as “Holika Dahan”. On the next day, all areas and the streets will be covered in colors as people will throw a bunch of colors to each other and also the water balloons.

The Holi celebration at RIT was totally beyond my expectations. There were vibrant color powders as you would use if you were in India. The brighter the better! They made an artificial the water guns were also there. Not to forget the food! There were free samosas too. The entire arrangements were very good and it was indeed a good feeling as people danced their hearts out and played Holi as if they were in their home country.

Year in Review

As the semester comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on this past year. I have learned

Take a walk through the tunnels and you’ll find some great art!

in so much in what has felt like a short amount of time. Not only did I learn a lot through my classes but I have also learned a lot about Rochester itself. I have made friends, ate great food, and experienced new places and experiences. One of the best parts about being an RIT student is not just the classes that I have taken but the memories that I have created. From my first time trying Turkish food to visiting the beautiful parks in the area to watching my first live hockey game, there has not been a shortage of things to do. I have also learned so much in my classes. Before attending RIT, I had not been in a classroom in two years! There was definitely a bit of learning curve trying to ease myself back into the swing of things. Here is what I felt helped me the most getting through this semester and hopefully it helps you too:

photo credit: https://www.ntid.rit.edu/ambassadors/about-ritntid/

  1. Time-management. I cannot stress this enough, as a student, father, and husband, I have had to balance my time and responsibilities in order to be successful at all three. My tip for time management: make productive use of your free time. Now, that is not to say that you should spending every free second studying, what I mean is that use your study time as an opportunity to be focused solely on studying. You should also make time to do things that you enjoy and socialize but do neither in excess. It is difficult but I have found that by finding balance that I have been able to do well at a variety of things instead of just one. 
  2. Connect with your classmates. This is very important because you want to have a social life and people who are going through the same things that you are that you can vent to. It is also great to have a friend in class who can share notes with you, study with you, and help you through your struggles.
  3. Sleep. I know you may feel like that all-nighter will help you but trust me it won’t. You’ll regret it. My first semester, I sacrificed sleep so that I could get more work done. I pulled all nighters and would sleep from 2:00am to 6:00am basically everyday. I got sick repeatedly because of this. It was also not necessary. By learning to manage my time I have been able to get as much work done, if not more and have been getting a lot more sleep. Again, I cannot stress this enough: all-nighters are not worth it.

This may seem difficult at first and possibly even a little broad but I believe these three things are the most important takeaways I have as first year graduate student. I hope this helps you even little bit as you go through grad school or learn techniques that work best for you. Graduate school is not easy but I can say wholeheartedly that it is worth it.