Evidence of RIT’s rapid ascent

A. Sue Weisler

We conferred a record 42 Ph.D. degrees at commencement from our doctoral programs in astrophysics, color science, computing and information sciences, imaging science, microsystems engineering and sustainability. That tops last year’s record of 29 Ph.D. degrees.

RIT students are making their mark on our complex planet—and beyond—with significant contributions across the globe from Senegal to Iceland. We’ve had a surge of recent major student accomplishments that I want to share with you:

  • Three RIT students won Fulbright fellowships for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Fulbright program is the largest exchange program in the country and provides funds for American students to live in another country to teach English, conduct research or earn a graduate degree. Kaylin Beiter, majoring in biomedical sciences, will travel to Senegal to study how to improve HIV medications. History Estill-Varner, an ASL-English interpreting and global studies double major, will travel to the Dominican Republic to work on a project that will ensure quality support services for deaf Dominicans. Rose Rustowicz, an imaging science major, will travel to Iceland to work with a research team from the University of Iceland to conduct remote sensing research at the Hekla volcano. A fourth student, Yasmeen Smalley, studying biomedical photographic communications, will serve as an alternate with hopes of researching the biodiversity in the coastal waters of the Philippines. RIT also had 40 international students from 25 countries attend RIT this past year through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
  • Four undergraduate students won prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. Elizabeth Bondi, Selene Chew, Tyler Godat and Emily Holz will each receive $7,500 for the upcoming academic year. There are only seven other universities in the nation with four Goldwater scholars. Our students have been gaining experience that varies from working on laparoscopic cardiac surgical devices to doing a co-op stint at NASA with teams that will determine a landing site for the Mars 2020 rover.
  • Two RIT students took a top prize in Microsoft’s U.S. Imagine Cup National Finals. Dan Plate, an illustration major, and Gary Porter, game design and development, won in the games category for their co-creation, Super Daryl Deluxe.
  • Our cyber defense team took home third place at the 2015 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. This is the third consecutive year that RIT has been among the top contenders, placing second in 2014 and winning the national title in 2013.
  • We conferred a record 42 Ph.D. degrees at commencement from our doctoral programs in astrophysics, color science, computing and information sciences, imaging science, microsystems engineering and sustainability. That tops last year’s record of 29 Ph.D. degrees.

On top of these achievements, preliminary estimates show we will welcome our largest incoming freshman class later this month. The class will also be the strongest academically and most diverse in university history as we reach an all-time record enrollment of about 18,500 students.

Finally, our alumni continue to make us proud. You can read about some of them in this issue, including David Carson ’94 (professional photographic illustration), who won a Pulitzer Prize (page 30); David Borkholder ’92 (microelectronic engineering), who developed wearable technologies that are being used by individuals in places as close as Rochester and as far away as Afghanistan; and alumni working at startup companies in Brooklyn.

Yours in Tiger pride,

Bill Destler, President
www.rit.edu/president

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alumni

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