Twyla Cummings to receive prominent honor

Naomi Berber Award recognizes outstanding women in the graphic communications industry

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Twyla J. Cummings

Twyla J. Cummings, senior associate dean of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences and a graduate executive board advisor at Rochester Institute of Technology, is the 2015 Naomi Berber Memorial Award winner from the Printing Industries of America (PIA). Sponsored by the organization’s Ben Franklin Society, the award honors outstanding women in the graphic communications industry.

Cummings, a professor in the School of Media Sciences, is being recognized for her exceptional record of accomplishments, unusual contributions toward the development of the graphic communications industry, and for having furthered the interests of the printing industry.

“This recognition is very special to me since many of the past recipients are respected colleagues, and I am deeply honored to be part of this esteemed group,” Cummings said. “Naomi Berber was a visionary and a trailblazer for women in print and publishing. I stand on her shoulders, as do many others, and am very proud to be recognized by an award named in her honor.”

The award will be presented at the 2015 PIA Fall Administrative Meeting on Friday, Nov. 13, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Cummings has a long history of industry involvement, including the development of numerous studies, publications and presentations focusing on women in the printing industry. She has both participated in and held numerous chair positions on a variety of advisory boards, including the America East Advisory Board, the Newspaper Association of America, and the National Association for Printing Leadership (now EPICOMM).

Cummings was the recipient of the 2014 Isaac L. Jordan Sr. Faculty Pluralism Award—given annually to an RIT faculty member who has made a significant contribution to diversity efforts on campus and within the Rochester community. Additional community honors include the Rochester Women’s Network 15 Up and Coming Award; induction into NAPL’s Walter E. Soderstrom Society; and extensive roles with the YWCA.

Tim Freeman, president of the Printing Industries Alliance, nominated Cummings for the Naomi Berber award. The nomination was seconded by Frank Romano, a world-renowned printing expert and professor emeritus at RIT. In addition to her industry achievements, Cummings has an outstanding record of mentoring at RIT and through the many community organizations with which she is involved.

Cummings observed that RIT has produced a number of graduates who now serve on the Printing Industries Alliance board of directors as well as in various management positions at many member companies throughout the organization’s footprint.

“While this award is a tribute to me personally, it also is a testament to RIT’s long history of academic excellence and leadership in the printing and publishing industries,” she said.

In addition to earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in business and industrial management from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Cummings earned her doctorial degree in business management from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati.

For more information on the Printing Industries of America’s awards programs, go to

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