myRITStory – DRISHTI BHANDARI

Program: Metals and Jewelry Design, MFA

The journey from NIFT, India to RIT was endearing as Drishti recalls it. Coming from a jewelry-design background wanting to acquire more expertise in her field, Drishti made a conscious decision to join RIT’s Master of Fine Arts program in Metals and Jewelry Design, one of the most reputed metal design programs in the entire country.

“I always have people curiously coming up to me asking questions about my program as a majority of them come mostly from engineering and computing backgrounds”, says Drishti. “They find it brave and challenging to pursue a field so unique and unheard of”.

Having her jewelry pieces represented at India’s reputed fashion shows, it was time for Drishti to explore further into the field and acquire higher professional standing in her field. After extensive research, she chose RIT because of the impressively designed curriculum and the exposure provided by the department. She was taken aback by the composition of the curriculum that provides broad exposure to metalworking techniques, promises expanded knowledge of applied design, strong perceptual and philosophical concepts and helps develop an individual mode of expression, facilitating her to practically implement her theoretical knowledge from her under graduation into the creation of intricate models. With an existing impressive portfolio, she believed that an advanced degree from RIT and assistance from industry-renowned professors were sure to guarantee her immense success in the design field.

Drishti plans on making the most of her experience at RIT. Along with the comprehensive coursework that requires long and arduous hours in the ceramics and metals lab, she juggles between schoolwork and a fun job at the Brick City Café and believes it is a great way to meet new people and make ends meet as well. From late hours in the lab crafting beautiful designs with her own hands, she believes that the hands-on experience is providing her with a more detailed outlook in the metal design field.

“People back home are scared to pursue their interests in fields that are unheard of because of the stringent rules back here in the US. However, if an individual is determined enough to work for something that they truly love, success comes easy. I would not have found a better place to learn and hone my skills than at RIT amongst the best peers and faculty.”

Lastly, Drishti considers that choosing Rochester Institute of Technology turned out to be a much better decision than she expected. She believes that although it has been one of the toughest things she has had to do, at the end of the day she loves every second of it!

 

 

Parking at RIT

by Yingshan Wu, Visual Communication Design MFA 

Credit: Tianna Mañón

RIT is immense, How can I choose the parking place?

RIT have 10 main parking places around the academic buildings and 3 parking areas nearby dormitory area. All parking lots have convenient, reserved, general zones for you.

They are:

D Lot and N Lot nearby gym and playground

E Lot, F Lot, G Lot and H Lot are popular and huge areas that work for the main academic area in RIT. They close to the MAGIC Spell Studios, library, facility, campus employees offices and SAU (the campus center). In addition, if you are student of

1.The E. Philip Saunders College of Business (Max Lowenthal Hall)

2.The College of Art and Design (James E. Booth Hall)

3.The College of Science (Thomas Gosnell Hall)

4.The Kate Gleason College of Engineering (James E. Gleason Hall)

This 4 parking lot also can be the nice place to park your car.

J Lot and T Lot are shared work of main academic area, the STEM student also can parking in those lots as well.

S Lot is another giant parking place for people to go to Global Village, Munsell Color Science Laboratory, University Services Center and The E. Philip Saunders College of Business (Max Lowenthal Hall)

R Lot and U Lot are small size parking lots,  If you are lucky, in ice hockey game day please go to the U Lot early, it super close to hockey field, The Gene Polisseni Center.

Although Riverknoll Apartments, University Commons Apartments, and Perkins Green Apartment have their own parking lots, the L Lot, K Lot and C Lot are parking places for the students who live in the Residence Hall buildings (A, B, C, D) and who are working in Student Development Center.

RIT provides those main parking places, which is super helpful to students’s campus life.

 

 

#myRITstory – Rashmi Jeswani

In honor of International Women’s Day (this Friday, March 8th) we’re proudly featuring the stories of #RITWomen this week. Join us Friday morning at 9 a.m. for a webinar featuring our female students and staff as they discuss RIT history, opportunities for women in STEM, and RIT’s curriculum, research, and campus life. Register today!

Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS

My name is Rashmi Jeswani and I come from the town of Indore located at the heart of India. I am currently a Masters student studying Information Sciences at RIT. I recently switched majors from Business to Information Technology and I am glad I chose RIT for that. I love reading; it is one of my most favorite things to do. I have recently discovered skiing and hiking after coming to the states and I have fallen in love with that.

Coming to RIT was a massive change in my life as I had never lived away from home and my family and this has to be one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do.

I arrived at RIT last fall and plan to graduate in the May of 2020.

I love exploring new places to eat and hang out on campus and have quite a few favorite spots on campus. Some of them have to be the ‘study pods’ on the third floor of the Wallace Library if I have to doze off after a long night of submissions or concentrate on a tough assignment, the Fireside Lounge when I want to hang out with some friends and get work done amidst great music playing on the piano and of course Java Wally’s for their amazing Shot in the Dark and small snacks!!

The thing that I love the most about RIT is that I have developed a sense of freedom and individuality ever since I have arrived here. The ability to manage things on my own and be responsible for my actions and learn from my mistakes. Also, the plethora of resources at RIT have enabled me to learn a lot of things outside the classroom: at my jobs, with the professors, with my peers etc.

The primary reasons that I chose RIT were the courses that I was offered, the Co-op program and the scholarship that I was offered. I had heard really good things about the university, the campus life, employment opportunities, the city of Rochester and I actively decided to pursue my masters at the university.

During my last semester, I got the opportunity to present an idea for a project to one of my professors. The idea was ‘Business Intelligence Tools for Inventory Management and Scalability’. My professor seemed to love the idea and still actively supports and guides me to try and work towards turning this idea into my final capstone so soon into my masters!

In the long run I want to see myself working as a Data Analyst for a reputed firm anywhere in the world and develop tools that can bring about a reasonable change in the lives of the people around me. This is my ultimate career goal, to do what I love doing!

There are a bunch of things that I love the most about RIT. I LOVE the campus, I love the snow (even when people will argue it is something that they hate), I love the two jobs that I am working and most of all I love that I am studying and doing what I have dreamed of doing for so long at RIT. The great places on campus, the amazing people that I have met since the first day that I came to Rochester, the sense of belonging, the resources offered by the university and how everyone is constantly motivating and helping you to strive for the best in your career makes me more passionate every day to go out and work even harder for it even when if I fail sometimes.

Learn more about RIT’s MS in Information Sciences and Technologies program here.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Coming from NYC to Rochester? Here Are Five Things You Should Know!

by Imran Mahmood, MBA student

  1. You will no longer have to deal with the treacherous MTA. If you have ever had the “privilege” of riding with the MTA then you know all about the infamous MTA delays. Well thankfully here at RIT you know longer have to deal with that! You’ll even be able to have your own seat(pretty sweet, right?) Would you believe there’s more? You’ll even be able to have room to breathe! Amazing, right?
  2. Miss all the sites and attractions at NYC? Well, Rochester is home to quite a few great ones. The Strong Museum of Play is home to the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the National Toy Hall of Fame, and houses many other great exhibits. This is is a great place to go if you want to feel like a kid again. If you’re into photography then I recommend the George Eastman Museum which is the world’s oldest photography museum! There’s also the Seneca Park Zoo which is 20 acres and has over 90 different species, including red pandas, elephants, and giraffes. You can also watch the Rochester Amerks, which is a minor league hockey team, play at the Blue Cross Arena.
  3. Tired of NYC traffic? Want to drive without feeling like an unwilling participant in the Fast and the Furious? Then Rochester is great for you. Gone are the days of waiting several minutes on the Long Island Expressway just to move a few inches. Thankfully, the roads here in Rochester are a lot less congested and the drivers are a lot less aggressive.
  4. Tired of walking through the concrete jungle and want to see some actual grass? Here in Rochester,

    Here’s a photo of the beautiful highland park!

    there are plenty of parks to visit with your friends and loved ones. My favorite park to visit is Highland Park. Highland Park is home to 500 varieties of flowering shrubs, a collection of exotic trees, 1200 lilac shrubs, the Lamberton Conservatory, and even a castle! I would definitely suggest checking out Highland Park, it’s not as big as Central Park but it is as exciting to visit. There are also other parks in Rochester that are worth checking out such as Genesee Valley Park and Corbett’s Glen Park.

  5. Okay, so maybe all of those great things I mentioned earlier aren’t enough. Maybe you want to see more. Well, guess what? Rochester is close to some other cool places to visit. Want to visit Canada? Well, Toronto is only about two and a half hours away from Rochester. This could be a great destination for a weekend trip. You could also visit Buffalo which is another great city to visit. If you’re an NFL or NHL fan the Buffalo Bills and Sabres are only about an hour away from Rochester. If you’re into theater, Shea’s Performing Arts Center is another great place to check out. There are many Broadway shows that are performed there, such as Aladdin and Hamilton! You’ll get Broadway-level performances for a lot less than you would pay in NYC.

 

 

The move to RIT – a rough experience, but ready to go!

This is Sushi, one of the three cats that made the move with us!

by Imran Mahmood, MBA student

When I knew I would have to move to Rochester with three cats and a 2 week old newborn son, I figured it would be crazy, but I had no idea how crazy.

It all began on a sunny day in June. My wife and I were gearing up to depart Binghamton to move to Rochester so I could start my MBA program. Our son was only two weeks old, my wife had just had surgery, and the cats were not looking forward to the car ride. Then, came the movers. Right off the bat, they had forgotten the hand truck. I immediately wondered to myself, “how could you forget a hand truck when you are a moving company?” But instead of getting upset I wrote it off as a simple human error. I have about forgotten things plenty of times, I was in no position to judge. However, that was just the beginning of what was going to be a long day. The movers started hurling our furniture and boxes onto blankets and dragged them across the lawn. They complained about the heat. And then they started smoking on the job! It was unbelievable. All we wanted to do was get out of there! Finally, after hours and hours, they had the truck fully packed and ready to go. We left in advance of them, but they promised they would follow shortly after. As we arrived at  our new apartment in Rochester, we waited for the truck with all of our belongings to arrive. Hours passed, and we didn’t understand how they were so far behind us. They didn’t end up meeting us until almost four hours later, even though the drive should have taken two and a half.

By the time they started to unload the furniture, tensions were already high. As they brought boxes up the stairs one by one, we inspected them nervously for damages. And then, we saw what could only be described as a nightmare: our microwave was shattered. Broken. Completely in non-working condition. Have you ever moved before? Do you know how crucial that microwave is on your first night, when you just moved in and you can’t take out your pots and pans to make dinner, and you just want to heat up some popcorn and pizza in peace? On a less important note, they broke the bookcase too, but that would come into play later. At that moment, all we could think about was hunger. We started frantically googling places in the area. Not many places were open to accepting our frantic and hunger-induced phone call at 9:30pm, but we finally settled on one that was open.

Thankfully, this story did have a happy ending and it was all thanks to some delicious Lebanese food.

 

#myRITstory – Trevor Barrett

Graduate Program – Entrepreneurship and Innovative Ventures MS 

Each day 22 veterans in the United States succumb to suicide. It’s a staggering statistic – a figure that doesn’t receive much media attention, but which is of great significance to graduate student Trevor Barrett.

Trevor, a Marine Corps veteran and RIT staff member understands firsthand how difficult the transition from active military member to civilian life can be, and has struggled himself with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) In 2008, after being discharged, his best friend from the Marine Corps took his own life. This loss caused Trevor to spiral downward into a deep depression that almost cost him his marriage and livelihood. With the help of his support network, Trevor overcame his demons, got his life back on track, and is now working in RIT’s Office of Graduate Enrollment Services as the Assistant Director of Veteran Affairs. Trevor is passionate about continuing education and recently began RIT’s MS program in Entrepreneurship and Innovative Ventures. Now, he’s preparing to pitch his business idea at the RIT Sanders College of Business Summer Startup Demo Night on Wednesday, August 8th.

OpSiix Project 

Graduate and Undergraduate students at RIT have access to a wealth of campus resources that help budding entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality. These resources include RIT’s Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and RIT’s “Tiger Tank” competition. Both provide students the skills, education, and experience necessary to realize their entrepreneurial goals, taking an idea from the beginning stages all the way to commercialization. These tools have provided Trevor the opportunity to develop his own idea and business plan.

Alongside his business partner Brandon Sheppard (an Industrial Design BFA student,) Trevor co-founded OpSiix, a mobile app that serves as a virtual community for veterans around the country and a direct communication to the Veteran Crisis Line and other resources. Their team has grown to a group of 8 students, many of whom Trevor met in his Applied Entrepreneurship class, where he also met his coach, Dana Wolcott. Under Dana’s guidance the team created a working business model and have learned much more about beginning a business.

Says Trevor about his experience thus far – “Since starting this graduate project I have learned so much that has already helped me with my career. I have learned things like the value of customer discovery, market research, managing personnel, motivating teammates and much, much more. Additionally, from researching the veteran demographic I have become more knowledgeable and better equipped for my role here at RIT as the veteran service representative. I have truly enjoyed ever second that I have spent working on OpSiix!”

In addition to mentors on campus and valuable coursework, Trevor and his team have a maker space on campus that gives the team a physical space to work and also provides access to 3D printers, tools, and materials. They also participated in the annual Imagine RIT festival where they were able to share their idea with thousands of RIT and Rochester community stakeholders. Trevor is thankful for the knowledge RIT has provided him – “We have access to a huge knowledge set. If one of our coaches doesn’t have an answer that we’re seeking they either know where to find the answer or know who to ask. We also have access to grants, and crowd funding resources that RIT facilitates. Truly, without RIT OpSiix wouldn’t exist.”

You can watch Trevor and his team present their business plan this Wednesday at the Saunders Summer Startup Night at 5:30 p.m.

OpSiix Video

Register for the Summer Startup Demo Night 

#myRITstory – Nathan DeMario

Program: Mechanical Engineering ME, second year

Gleason College of Engineering student, Nathan DeMario, balances his time in the classroom working on his Mechanical Engineering degree with building his own company, Phase Innovations, LLC. As a participant in the Saunders College of Business and Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summer Startup Program, Nathan has been hard at work these past few months, building a plan to make his dreams a reality. The Summer Startup Program offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work on early stage business plans, with the goal of launching plans and seeking investments – all while getting paid.

About Phase Innovations, LLC – “Phase Innovations LLC provides novel stack-based technologies for energy conversion and storage applications. With over 40 patents in this field, we are leveraging our expertise in developing these systems to accelerate clean technology.

Phase Innovations LLC is developing two different technologies, the Membrane Heat Pump and a device named PureAtmos. The Membrane Heat Pump is a novel technology that is a thermally activated, scalable, refrigerant free, combined cooling and de-humidification technology. The PureAtmos unit is a device that provides homeowners with a solution to update their homes ventilation capabilities without requiring large and costly home renovations. This also would enable these homes to meet the current ASHREA regulation (ASHREA 62.1 and 62.2) in which there are currently few inexpensive options available to enable out of date homes to meet these requirements at a reasonable cost.” 

Nathan will present his business plan at the Saunders Summer Startup – Demo Night on August 8th. You can reserve your ticket and learn more on the event’s website.

#myRITstory – Ishan Guliani

Program: Computer Science MS, incoming Fall 2018

From: New Delhi, India

“I always feel that it is important for individuals to specialize in the discipline that drives their curiosity. It not only satiates one’s hunger for a deeper understanding of the subject, but also qualifies a person as a reliable resource for that particular field of work.” – Ishan

Having amassed a wealth of experience in the tech startup scene back home, it was time for Ishan to explore further and delve deeper into what he loved doing – using technology to improve the lives of everyday people. Ishan passed on lucrative job offers from multinational companies to spend 4 years as an entrepreneur. During that time he played a significant role in building up several startups from ground zero.

Ishan knew he’d be able to advance to a central role in technology entrepreneurship if he could expand his technical knowledge. He ultimately had two options before him – an M.Tech from India or an MS from the US. After spending time with his mentors and asking for advice from seniors from his undergraduate days, choosing to go for an MS and get valuable international experience abroad was the obvious choice.

After an extensive search process Ishan chose RIT’s Computer Science program. Says Ishan, “the primary factor for me in choosing RIT was my specialization itself. Coming from a startup background where I’ve seen apps scale rampantly and crash servers overnight, I have been fascinated with highly scalable and distributed systems. This is one of the fields I want to specialize in and RIT’s research and course work in this area is extremely promising and challenging.”

Other factors in his decision to attend RIT included the promptness and openness of both faculty and admission counselors. Ishan had a series of email conversations with professors from the CS department during the application process itself. He also had numerous phone and email interactions with the graduate enrollment office to assist anytime he hit a hurdle. Of course, the scholarship Ishan received as a part of his acceptance package also went a long way in cementing his decision.

Ishan is a people person and loves spending quality time with people who matter to him. At RIT, Ishan hopes to take things one day at a time, breathing in the new experiences and savoring them. Ishan wants to meet new people, get new ideas and learn as much as he can during his time in the US.

Ishan, we look forward to welcoming you to campus!

#myRITstory – Harshitha Nanjundappa

Program: Electrical Engineering MS, graduated May 2018

From: Bangalore, India 

Currently: Platform Power Delivery Engineer, Intel, Hillsboro, Oregon 

From part-time employment on campus to a co-op in her field that eventually led to a full-time job offer, Harshitha made the most of her experience at RIT. After arriving on campus her first semester Harshitha found a job at RIT’s Brick City Café, where she was employed for two semesters. She remembers the job fondly, saying “it was an amazing experience. I met a lot of new people and got to learn a bit or two about how a cafeteria works. I don’t think I would ever got this opportunity if I hadn’t taken this job.”

Harshitha then took advantage of RIT’s Career Fair and hands-on research and working opportunities, and was offered a co-op position at Intel. Before she completed the co-op placement Harshitha had already demonstrated her skillset and earned a full-time job offer to continue at Intel after graduation. She returned to RIT’s campus to finish her last semester of the MS program in January 2018. After graduating last May Harshitha moved across the States to Oregon, where she is currently working full-time as a Platform Power Delivery Engineer.

“I got all my skills in use during my work at Intel, since this was my first ever job in an industry it was very overwhelming for me. I gave my best at every task given and got some practical hands-on experience.”

Overall, Harshitha thoroughly enjoyed her time at RIT – both in and outside of the classroom – “It was quite tough coming to a different country and starting a new adventure, but friends who came with me made it very easy and comfortable. Rochester was an amazing chapter in my life. Thank you RIT for giving so many memories!”