The Weekend Retail Shuttle

by Ankit Jain, Computer Science MS 

The weekend retail shuttle is a great resource for students who have limited means of transportation and/or are new to campus and wish to explore the communities near campus and stock up on groceries or catch a movie or play laser tag with their friends.

The shuttle operates starting Friday evening and continues until Sunday night. It primarily begins from Gleason Circle and goes to Park Point, Perkins, Residence Halls, Province and takes the students to the following outlets:

  • South Town Plaza (Trampoline Park, Bank of America, Dollar Tree etc can be found here).
  • Marketplace Mall
  • Target
  • Wegmans
  • Walmart
  • Regal Cinemas
  • Jefferson & Scutti Plaza aka Jay Scutti Blvd
    Some of the outlets here are Olive Garden, IHOP, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Wendy’s, Kohl’s, Texas Roadhouse, Panera Bread, Citizens Bank, USPS, Burlington, BJs, Michaels, The Home Depot, Denny’s, PiCraft pizza, Tim Hortons, Sprint, NaanTastic, etc.
  • Jefferson Plaza
    The plaza extends further ahead from the Jay Scutti Plaza and contains stores and outlets like Bar Louis, Sonic, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell, Starbucks, a couple of Indian restaurants, Chase Bank, etc.

Plan your weekend ahead as there’s a ton of things to do around RIT made easier by the Weekend Retail Shuttle.

Find the schedule herehttps://www.rit.edu/fa/parking/transportation/bus

You can also track the live location of the bus using the TransLoc Rider App that can be downloaded here: http://m.rit.edu/?utm_source=RITMobileApps&utm_medium=referrer

Apart from the Weekend Retail Shuttle, there are also two shuttles that take students downtown on Friday and Saturday nights respectively. The Park Avenue shuttle is the late night bus on Fridays to Park Avenue and Alexander Street. The Saturday evening bus is in partnership with RTS, to ensure students enjoy their nights out in the safest way possible while preventing individuals from drinking and driving. The late night bus on Friday to Park Avenue will have similar pickup locations as the Saturday night bus to East Avenue and Alexander Street. Pickup locations on RIT’s campus include:  Perkins Crosswalk, Lot K South, Tyler, Riverknoll (S Lot), and Park Point North. View the actual bus schedule here. All students may ride the late night bus to Park Ave for free with a valid RIT student ID, so don’t forget to bring with you. https://www.rit.edu/fa/parking/sites/rit.edu.fa.parking/files/pats/transportation/Schedule%20%20RIT%20ParkAveFridayNights%202019.pdf

Tiger East End Express TE3: The Saturday Downtown Shuttle also takes students to various clubs and bars located in downtown on Saturday nights and brings them back safely.

There is always something to be thankful for

If you are living in the United States and you love good food, great deals and long weekends then Thanksgiving weekend is a paradise for you. Thanksgiving Day began as a day where people took the opportunity of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and the Friday after Thanksgiving kickstarts the Christmas shopping season with promotional sales. This year, Thanksgiving Day is on November 28th, 2019 and Black Friday is on November 29th. This blog is to help you make the most out of the long weekend.

Travel

An important part of Thanksgiving is families coming together. Extended family members often travel long distances to share the day and Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones. RIT students usually travel to various cities in the US to visit family and friends. The good news is RIT students can save money in transportations like planes, trains and buses. I have listed a few options below;

  1. Student Universe – Flight search and booking
  2. STA Travel – Flight search and booking
  3. Amtrak – Train service
  4. Eurail – Train service
  5. Greyhound – 20% off

For those who are not visiting family (especially international students for whom visiting their home country is not feasible within 4 days), there are a few attractions nearby worth exploring like Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen State Park, Hamlin Beach Park, Sodus Point Beach and lastly the sunsets at the beautiful Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. You can also visit nearby cities that are on driving distance like Buffalo, Syracuse, Ithaca and Hornell.

Things to do in and around RIT

Food

How does a perfect roast turkey with a side of cheese grits and corn pudding sound to you?

Enjoy the traditional thanksgiving meal in and around RIT, my personal recommendations are as follows;

On-campus – Join The Commons and Gracies for a Thanksgiving feast .

Off-campus – Boston Market, Cracker Barrel

Events

Keep an eye on https://events.rit.edu/ for on campus events around thanksgiving.

Shopping

On Black Friday, major retailers open around midnight or earlier with exciting deals for the entire day and sometimes all through the long weekend. The black Friday sale is on a variety of commodities ranging from clothing, footwear, accessories to electronics. I have listed a few stores and outlets near RIT where you can find great deals and splurge a bit.

Stores – J. C. Penny, Macy’s, Best Buy (Electronics)

Malls – Marketplace Mall, Eastview Mall, The Mall at Greece Ridge

Outlets – Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, Waterloo Premium Outlets

Online websites like Amazon, Samsung, Best Buy also offer great deals.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Gap Year with Disney

Kexin “Coco” Wang, Visual Communication Design MFA

“My internship experience was definitely irreplaceable in a sense that it allowed me to explore my own strengths, passions, and preferences as I was getting prepared to enter the real-world creative industry. Without all these hands-on experiences, I would have no idea of which career path or direction I should take even with all the technical and design skills that I had.”

Long time no see MasterRIT blog followers! A year ago I posted an article about my design intern life in NYC, soon after that, I had another valuable opportunity to work with Disney in California as a digital art director intern and my magical gap year journey started all from there. So today I am going to briefly blog about my experience with Disney in the past year and tell you a bit about what I’ve learned and gained which really made a big difference in my life.

First I want to point out that taking an entire gap year from grad school was a big decision for me. My original goal was to finish grad education as soon as I could and locate a job after, but I also couldn’t just let the opportunity go when it was offered on my plate. Since I did not have any work experience prior to graduate study, I thought it would be nice to gain some relevant workplace skills, knowledge, insights and passion for a field that I was interested in. Once I made up my mind, things just became much clearer and I believed professional experience is just as important as excellent academic records.

I worked at Disney’s in-house agency, Yellow Shoes and my job was to help the digital team create digital content that promotes Disney Parks and Resorts. The overall experience was definitely like “living the dream” – my family and I, like most people, are huge fans of Disney and it truly felt like a dream that I got to work for the company when I grow up. I was also fascinated by Disney’s corporate culture and how each individual employee enjoys going to work every day and creates the ‘magic’ every day to bring joy to the others. Even though every single individual plays a small role but the joint effort together connects people around the world. And I was so honored to be able to become part of that joint effort and deliver happiness to the people who have love and trust in the brand.

During the internship, I have also come across unusual opportunities where I got to work on a variety of real-world projects and execute them as well. And these are all based on my team’s trust on me and my partner, and the trust that we placed on ourselves. One time we were asked to come up with an April Fool’s day video which also promotes Disney World. We ended up having the most ridiculous idea of combining the park snacks with the iconic Mickey ears. We faced many difficulties along the way and almost didn’t think it would ever happen. But what was less expected was that we won the creative’s approval at the last minute and got to start the production which eventually led to a big success on April Fool’s day. We couldn’t have made it happen without the team leaders’ support and trust and it’s so rewarding to see your own idea coming into life and win the hearts of your audience.

Another thing I want to share is that internship creates great connections for you. Making new friends and building connections helped me step out of my personal comfort zone during the internship, and eventually made me feel at ease and even somehow “at home”. I was very lucky to have a great team to work with and was able to get all the support and help when needed. And working with different departments and teams is also a great way to acquire new skills and knowledge that can help in the future. Even just by sharing life stories with coworkers allow me to learn the career/life paths they took to get where they are today. I believe these connections and teamwork skills can probably have a lifelong benefit.

My internship experience was definitely irreplaceable in a sense that it allowed me to explore my own strengths, passions, and preferences as I was getting prepared to enter the real-world creative industry. Without all these hands-on experiences, I would have no idea of which career path or direction I should take even with all the technical and design skills that I had. It made me realize that with my skills and abilities, I would have the most added value if I work for a creative marketing organization. I am greatly appreciated and thankful to RIT’s co-op program which allowed me to grow and shine in a unique way. And I truly wish that everyone who is hoping to get an internship in the future will be able to enjoy their co-op experience and try to get the most out of it. And keep in mind, even if it’s not so much a good experience, it still helps you figure out a path you would want to avoid in the future.

How to prep for snow like a pro!

Ruta Mangle, Telecommunications Engineering Technology MS

If you grew up in a place where winter meant wearing a light sweater, you may be a bit scared to have moved to a colder city like Rochester. Your first winter doesn’t have to be a total disaster, though. Take note of these tips in order to survive (and even enjoy!) the freezing temperatures.

 

First things first: Wear Appropriate Clothing

Note: Hold off on buying cold-weather gear until you get to your school city.

  • Layer up with several thin layers – base, middle and outer.
  • Hats, scarves and snow gloves (2 layered gloves).
  • Glasses/goggles as needed.
  • Boots and shoes with rubber or neoprene-composite soles and non-slip tread.
  • Wear two pairs of socks.

Walk Cautiously

  • Use cleared paths when walking around campus.
  • Walk with short, flat strides and keeping center of gravity between your feet.
  • Assume all wet/dark areas are slippery or icy.
  • Wipe shoes/boots before entering a building to keep the entrance dry.
  • Report slippery conditions to FMS by calling 475-2842 or e-mail fms@rit.edu.
  • Report accidents to RIT Public Safety.

Drive Safely and Maintain Your Vehicle

For those who drive to or keep a car on campus, being prepared for winter weather is essential.

  • Use the correct tires and keep them properly inflated.
  • Check belts, hoses, battery and fluids regularly.
  • Keep the fuel tank at least half-full.
  • Take your time in snowy/icy conditions.
  • Keep the proper distance between you and the vehicle in front of you (3 seconds).
  • Always use your seatbelt.
  • Take care when getting in and out of your vehicle – this is when most slips happen.

Things to keep handy in car (mandatory)

  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • De-icer wiper fluid
  • Water
  • Portable phone charger, and extra batteries

Things to keep handy in car (for times when you might get stuck in traffic)

  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Spare blanket.
  • Extra hats, coats and mittens.
  • Energy bars and snacks.

Other important tips

  • Plan for the weather the day before.
  • Plan on leaving early.
  • If you commute, only go when it’s safe.
  • Get food in advance.
  • Take care of your gloves and hat (it is very much likely that you would leave/drop them somewhere).
  • Protect important items and electronics in sealed plastic bins.

What to Do During a Snowstorm

  • Keep your thermostat as high as possible for as long as you have electricity.
  • Stay inside.
  • Limit travel to emergencies only.
  • Keep pipes from freezing by turning on every water faucet to a slow drip.
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids.

While extreme weather can be very stressful to students living on campus, hopefully these tips will help you be prepared for the next hurricane or blizzard to come your way!

Don’t forget to ENJOY!

At RIT we embrace the snow and winter weather! Check out our Snow in 30 video to get a sense of what campus looks like during this season!

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.