Summers in Rochester

Three months can feel like a dreary long time without work or classes; while some students prefer leaving for a vacation home, some still stay here because of research, classes, or just convenience. If you do choose to stay, it can be a really fun time, especially if you have friends here too. It’s very hard to find a week during the semester where there ISN’T a festival going on somewhere in or around Rochester.

Here’s a bunch of things you can do to make your summer’s enjoyable or productive, or both!

The Rochester Lilac Festival (May 10-19, 2019)

The Lilac Festival happens near the beginning of May, right when finals get out. This is a really great way to start the summer off and is even good for people who are not staying at RIT for the whole summer but haven’t gone home yet after finals. This is an art, music, and food festival with a huge number of lilac bushes spread around Highland Park. This is a must for anyone staying over the summer! There are always cheap concerts downtown throughout the summer! The Sunflower Festival also takes place towards the end of the summer at Wickham Farms (which has a bunch of things going on year-round). This is a festival of fun with games, food, a corn maze, and as you can guess, a ton of sunflowers.

The Rochester Public Market

The Rochester Public Market is a great place for so many reasons during the summer. It’s open throughout the year, but it’s packed during the summer with local farmers selling fruits, veggies, meat, beer and wine, and baked goods. The produce here is super cheap, and you get to support the local farmers! They also have food truck festivals here once a month with over 20 different food trucks and live music. They also have a bakery, coffee, olive oil, and cheese shop inside, and there are a ton of restaurants right next door. My favorite is Boxcar, which has really good fried chicken, donuts, and Korean fried cauliflower. You can also volunteer here at Flower City Pickers to help sort unwanted food from the farmers!

Darien Lake Theme Park

Darien Lake is a great spot, and it’s only about an hour away. This is an amusement park with rides, a water park, and concerts. The park has a ton of rides, and usually, the lines are not long at all, especially if you go on weekdays. When I went, I went on each ride at least 3 times there were so little people there. The stage in the park also has big concerts all the time too!

The city of Toronto

Toronto is also 3 hours away, and while it’s not IN Rochester, it’s an awesome city if you’re willing to drive there. The people are super nice, the food is diverse and delicious, and there a ton of things to do there as well. This is a perfect place to go during the summer when you have free time. You can also take a ferry directly from the city to enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Ontario and get to your destination faster!

Museum Trips 

For art junkies who wish to explore exhibits from the Colonial times, Rochester has a lot of cool museums in store for you guys! The Strong Museum is the only collections-based museum anywhere devoted solely to the study of play, and although it is a history museum, it has the interactive characteristics of a children’s museum making it the second largest museum of that type in the United States.

The George Eastman Museum is world-renowned for its collections in the fields of photography and cinema, the museum is also a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation, educating archivists and conservators from around the world. Home to the 500-seat Dryden Theatre, the museum is located on the estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company.

The Strong Museum of Play

The George Eastman Museum

Summer on Campus

You can also be productive! Many people use their free time to take classes over the summer. This makes your semesters a little easier if you get that class out of the way. A lot of students choose to do research on campus too over the summer. Sometimes this is paid, and many people will write papers, publish something about their research, or end up presenting what they worked on too. Working on campus during the summer can also help you save up some money while still being able to enjoy with your friends and explore all the fun things Rochester has to offer.

Rochester has a ton of stuff to do over the summer, so if you’re here you’ll definitely have a great time!

Last Minute Spring Break planning destinations

Spring break is an entire week to relax in the middle of the semester and if you are not behind on your assignments you deserve to treat yourself with a relaxing time. With a small or large budget, you should take advantage of the Rochester’s near locations to plan a trip or just enjoy what the city has to offer. Here are some popular spots for spring break:

New York City

Is a 5 hours trip in a car, but it totally worth it, especially if you haven’t been there yet. New York city is a popular spot to go on and off spring break but since you have several days off it makes it more ideal to go there and be able to enjoy it without having to rush your trip. I have been there twice for a few days and I want to come back to keep knowing more about this exciting city.

Brooklyn Bridge

A lot people know someone living already in New York, perhaps they could let you stay in for the break and you could save that money. The hotel could be very expensive but thank God, there is Airbnb where you could find a spot according to your needs.

If you happen to be there I can recommend to go to the museums like The Met, The Moma, Madame Tussauds. Another day could be go to China Town where you could take a picture of your aura as I did. Also, eating pasta, gelato, taking a good cup of coffee with some cannoli https://foursquare.com/top-places/new-york-city/best-places-cannoli at Little Italy, or walking through Brooklyn Bridge. It sounds like a lot but is feasible, I did all that in just 5 days. If you plan your days before hand, you would get the most of your trip.

Ski Resort

I know is Spring break but we are in Rochester so Skiing is a legit way to spend this break. Get together with a group of friends and plan a few days trip in any of the resorts we have close by. A season pass is the best way to go but if you don’t have it you also can find ways to save some money. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, you could adjust the amount of days and share expenses with your friends like renting the car to travel, renting the gear and sharing the hotel.

Bristol Mountain Winter Resort

Over the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York 58 miles (1 hour 7 minutes) away from Rochester there are Bristol mountain, Holiday Valley which are popular resorts for skiing. Both offer discount for groups and other activities besides skiing like Winter Carnival dining and spa.

If you are an inexperienced skier is better if you go with a friend who knows and could teach you how things work but if you don’t these places offer lessons that you can take and make you more comfortable on the snow. As a graduate student, you will be in Rochester 2 to 3 years tops so take advantage of this time, the location and the weather. Yes! you are reading correctly, you can enjoy this weather as well.

Niagara Falls

I haven’t been there yet but just seeing the pictures that the scenery is breathtaking and being so close to it you don’t want to miss it. Niagara Falls is a collective name for 3 waterfalls that are place in the international border between Canada and the US (New York State).

Niagara Falls

From largest waterfall is Horseshoe Falls, then next close in size is American Falls and the smallest one is called Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe and Bridal Veil falls, both lie on American and Canadian borders, while American Falls is completely on the US side. So, if you are an international student, you don’t need a Canadian visa to visit. This is also a destination worthy to spend a few days there, from 2 to 3 days. If you enjoy outdoor adventures this destination is for you. You just have to dress accordingly for the weather at this time of the year, for spring break week is not so bad and you will be able to see the waterfall in movement.

Niagara Falls are located 19 miles (34 min) north-northwest of Buffalo City and 86 miles (1h 28 m) away from Rochester. If you are able to go for 3 days you also could make a quick tour through Buffalo City. I encourage you to visit the link niagarafallsusa.com and see the possibilities around this destination.

Rochester

If you don’t have the budget or the time to plan a trip you still can enjoy the city of Rochester. I just have been here for a semester and a half and I have been busy in grad school of course so I haven’t been out that much, but from what I have experience so far, I could recommend you my favorite places here in Rochester, The Strong Museum and The Playhouse. Both places are incredible fun, you could spend hours there exploring and playing. They are design to make you play and be creative.

Strong Museum of P

If you can, also try to talk with a local, they probably could recommend you other places that are not listed in this link https://vacationidea.com/destinations/best-things-to-do-in-rochester.html Even when is a small city in comparison to others, Rochester offers a number of fun things to do inside the city. Talk to your classmates that are not traveling and plan different activities to do together. We are in the middle of the semester and you just went through stressful midterms, you need time to do something fun outside school.

I wish you a relaxing and amazing spring break!

#myRITstory – Antoinette Defoundoux

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!

Antoinette Defoundoux-Fila is from the Republic of Congo in Central Africa and is passionate about helping people. She has always wanted to work in the health field, and for a long time wanted to become a medical doctor. Since starting her studies at RIT, her new passion is to work in the research and develop medical devices. She is currently pursuing her MS degree in Manufacturing and Mechanical System Integration and is avidly working on her capstone project with her adviser, Dr. O’Neil. Antoinette’s project focuses on the redesigning of jet nebulizers (medical devices that are used to treat respiratory diseases) to make it adaptable to a hand cranked compressor. This system will be used in low income countries where access to electricity can be difficult hence making an electric compressor useless. Their work involves redesigning the nebulizers to make sure that the medicine droplet size stays the same dosage when using a hand cranked compressor.

When she is not in class, Antoinette is busy with the Women in Technology (WIT) group on campus where she can give (and receive!) support from other STEM women on campus and the program leader, Nykki Mathews. This serves as a place of motivation and support for her, where she can always seek help and get advice through weekly meetings and the other resources available.

Antoinette also has a passion for helping younger women become interested in STEM fields. Her favorite RIT event is the Girls in STEM fair. During the fair, female students of all ages (kindergarten to high school) from local schools come to RIT to enjoy a day of educational activities put together by female engineering and science students and professors. Antoinette loves the event because it “shows that science and technology can be fun, but also, at the end of the day a lot of those participants want to pursue a career in engineering or science.”

Antoinette will be leaving RIT this spring, but wants others to know what a special place RIT is, especially for women. “There is a club for everybody at RIT. This diversity helps students find a sense of community and belonging in whatever club you identify with.”

.Learn more about RIT’s Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration MS program here.

#MyRITstory- Ajinkya Shinde

Ajinkya Shinde is a second-year graduate student at RIT. He began his journey as a grad student in January 2017 in the field of Electrical Engineering, but his passion laid in robotics and automation. This made him transfer to the Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration (MMSI) department. The smooth shift between the departments helped him to take a step forward towards his passion in automation. It is truly said, “everything comes with a cost”, it was difficult for Ajinkya to get familiar to the mechanical terms as he had his background in electrical engineering, but his interest and dedication made him come over all those obstacles and perform exceptional in his current field of study.

Selection of courses and managing them in the time limit that you are given is another challenging part of a grad life. After he changed his major, he took the classes and electives in a way that can earn him degree in two of the different concentrations that are provided by the department. So, he could know more about Electronics Manufacturing and Advanced Concepts of Semiconductor Packaging.

The greed to achieve more encouraged him to push himself harder and in 2018, he started working as a Teaching Assistant for a Biomedical Engineering course, Control Systems. This was just the beginning and a step towards success. After that semester working as TA, he is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr Martin Anselm. The research is in the field of Photonics. He is also working as a Vice President of SMTA (Surface Mount Technology Association) RIT Student Chapter. Thus, he has been successful in achieving and exploring all possible opportunities that he could at RIT and is hoping to explore more in the future. From the experience as a grad student, Ajinkya says that hard work and perseverance are the foundation to be a successful person”.

Learn more about RIT’s MMSI department.

Learn more about the SMTA Student Chapter at RIT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#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.

 

 

 

 

 

Life outside of RIT!

by Goral Kansara, Engineering Management ME 

To be a graduate student is different from being any student because now, there comes responsibilities and a lot of management. My journey as a graduate student started with stepping into a new and a beautiful place called Rochester. The day I entered in this place, I saw these green fields, a peaceful small city and a huge campus. I knew that academics was going to be challenging but that the hardest part would be not only to stay in a new place, but also to live in it.

An exciting journey of mine started with meeting new people at the new apartment which I also thought would be the hardest part of my grad life as you can probably imagine living so many girls in the same house! However, our story is a little different, I am fortunate to have such housemates. Well, that does not mean that we do everything together or that we have exact same interests. There is just a strange way in which all of us are living together in that house.

Park Point apartment

We live in Park Point apartment, by American Campus. This is one of the  recommended off campus housings by RIT. RIT recommends some great off campus housing options that have very convenient bus stops which makes it easy to commute to the campus and to other places as well, using the weekend shuttles. These shuttles go to grocery stores, malls and to many other places in the city on every weekend. They start from 10:30 am and usually run till 9:30 pm. On week days, the shuttles start from 7:00 am in the morning and they run till 1:30 am.

Park Point apartment

Having to think about the career, home and yourself at the same time is something that one has not faced until this time in life. Therefore, to make this journey smoother, it is important stay focused and live in a happy place.

I would say, Rochester itself has this strange positive feeling which makes it so much easier to live in this place. There are numerous places in this city. Before coming here, I was worried about how I am going to survive in such small place but after a few days, I realized that it has almost everything that a person would probably need in order to have a perfect student life.

Rochester has many places to visit such as the High Falls, Genesee River Walk, Ontario Beach Park, Highland Park, etc.

The High Falls

The High Falls, Rochester, NY

High Falls is located in downtown Rochester. It is one of the three falls to discover on Genesee river. The view of the falls in the evening is spectacular and that it is the best time of a day because after a few hours, the lights turn on; alternately white, red and green and you get to see the beautiful view of High Falls in the dark.

 

High Falls at night

Genesee river walk

view from Genesee river walk

The Genesee river walk is also one of the attractions in Rochester. Especially, the view at night is eye pleasing. The cold breeze and the city lights can make anyone want to sit there for hours.

Ontario beach park

 

Ontario Beach park, Rochester, NY

Ontario Beach Park is one of the most serene places in Rochester. With having a heavy course load on one side, this place in the city that helps you stay close to the nature and its positivity. A beautiful blend of green and blue waters makes it even beautiful.

The Highland park

The Highland Park, Rochester, NY

The Highland park is located on the south quadrant of the city of Rochester which is also known as Highland botanical park. This park is popular for its Lilac festival in May. Apart from this, there are many festivals held in summer and in the winter, it is also open for ice skating, theater, and concerts.

Not only the specific places in Rochester, the entire city for that matter, is a place that has its own vibe which will give you confidence that you will achieve something valuable in life.

 

 

 

Changing majors in your mid 30’s #myRITstory

By Maria Grazia Guerrero

First year Grad Student ID MFA

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

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

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

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

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

Storyboard sketches for 2D Ideation and Visualization class

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

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

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

#myRITstory – Susan Wylie

Graduate Program – Master of Architecture, M.Arch

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

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

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

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

Master of Architecture

 

 

 

First Semester in Review

by Imran Mahmood, MBA student

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

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

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

My RIT Journey – A summary

by Anthony Gutierrez, Mechanical Engineering ME student

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

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

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

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

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

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