Dean’s Alumni Update – Fall 2015
In my first update as interim dean of the Golisano College I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself as well as catch up on exciting news from the past year and look forward to the new academic year.
I arrived at the position of interim dean after serving as associate dean for research and scholarship where I helped lead the college’s nationally recognized efforts in areas including accessibility and computing security. I have been at Golisano College for fifteen years, watching our dedicated faculty, students and alumni help establish Golisano as one of the most comprehensive and respected computing colleges in the nation.
Last spring, dean Andrew Sears accepted a position as dean of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technologies and I was selected to lead the college as we begin a search for a new dean but also continue to grow and enhance our programs. My background is in biological and biomedical informatics – I have previously worked as a cell and developmental biologist and as a program director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Biological Infrastructure. I received my doctorate in developmental biology and master’s in software development from RIT, and serve as director of the college’s Human-Centric Multimodal Modeling Lab.
But enough about me! Our faculty and students have achieved amazing things recently and we’ve also welcomed many new names to college leadership positions. Among recent news highlights:
-Dr. Naveen Sharma has been named new chair of the software engineering program. Dr. Sharma brings impressive industry experience with him to the position. He comes to RIT from Xerox, where he served in many roles for the past 20 years, including director of the Computing and Information Services Lab (CISL) at Xerox PARC and chief innovation officer for IT Services. While at Xerox, he formed a research and development team focused on data science, big data computing, stochastic modeling and optimization, cloud workflow automation and ethnography. He also has led the deployment of lean software development processes across Xerox PARC.
-David Schwartz has been named the new director of the School of Interactive Games and Media. Before coming to RIT, Schwartz taught computer programming at Cornell University, where he began to notice student interest in creating video games. After founding the Game Design Initiative at Cornell in 2001, Schwartz went on to help create an academic minor in game design—the first formal Ivy-League game design program. Schwartz has served as assistant professor, associate professor and undergraduate program coordinator for the School of Interactive Games and Media.
-The next breakthrough in computing that will make our computer networks more reliable, faster and more secure against cyber attacks is being developed at Rochester Institute of Technology.
-RIT was ranked among the country’s top computer science and engineering schools by Business Insider.
2015-2016 looks to be another exciting year for the college – if you haven’t already heard we recently welcomed RIT’s largest-ever freshmen class (Golisano College welcomed the largest number of new students from that class). In addition, we are excited to welcome our new Director of Development, Matt Fratto who brings a wealth of fundraising experience to our college. We are also undertaking new research initiatives, introducing new programs, and working hard as ever to train the next generation of tech leaders.
It was great to see everyone at this year's Brick City Homecoming weekend and I hope to visit with more alumni in the coming months!