The RIT/NTID Alumni Association is actively providing leadership for alumni events, supporting the NTID Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund for students in need of financial assistance, and promoting a sense of community among RIT/NTID graduates!
More information about the Alumni Association
Ways to Give Back
RIT Alumni Referral Award
As a graduate of RIT, you know firsthand the transformative experience of an RIT education. The new RIT Alumni Referral Award gives you the opportunity to help students take a similar journey of discovery. With your referral, incoming deaf and hard-of-hearing students or students interested in the ASL-English interpretation program who you believe would make a great addition to our undergraduate community automatically qualify for a $500 scholarship (renewable for four years, totaling $2,000) upon acceptance to RIT. This new scholarship opportunity is a testament to the importance of your involvement in the lives of our future alums.
The RIT Alumni Referral Award allows you to nominate one incoming deaf or hard-of-hearing undergraduate student or a student applying for admission to the ASL-English interpretation program for a $500/year scholarship if:
- They are a new student applying for this coming academic year
- They apply and submit all admissions materials by the appropriate deadline
- Are admitted to RIT
- Choose to attend RIT
Referral names must be received by the Office of Admission by the application deadline for the selected admission program. Those deadlines are:
- Early Decision 1 – November 1
- Early Decision 2 – January 1
- Regular Decision – January 15
The referral form must be complete by the deadline above in order to qualify them for this special award program. Scholarship dollars cannot be granted retroactively for this program, so please don't delay!
For transfer students, the referral received at the time of their application.
Become a volunteer and you will benefit by reconnecting with the university and join a vast network of NTID alumni volunteers.
More information about becoming a volunteer
In addition to giving your good word to high-schoolers looking for a future at RIT and your time to our Alumni Association, you can also give support in other ways.
One of the biggest ways you can give back is by supporting student scholarships. Many of our students come from families that are eligible for state and federal aid, but are faced with economic headwinds that still require them to contribute to their child’s education beyond their ability to do so. Our endowed scholarship funds help ease that burden for families and allow our students to go on to do great things.
For more information on all the ways you can contribute financially to the success of RIT/NTID, visit our Support section below.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Robert Sidansky is a retired Administrator of Student Services at the National Center on Deafness at California State University at Northridge. In his previous role, Sidansky was responsible for leading the CSUN student services programs for 200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students, including all interpreting, captioning, counseling, notetaking, and tutoring. Throughout his career at CSUN, he worked as the Coordinator of Student Services and Student Personnel Specialist for academic, personal, career, and student development.
He has served as a member and president of the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deaf (GLAD) board since 2008, and as a member and president of Tri-County GLAD from 2004 to 2018. He currently serves on the RIT’s NTID Alumni Association Board of Directors. Sidansky earned a bachelor’s of social work from RIT, and a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from California State University at Northridge.
You can also find out more about past NTID Distinguished Alumni recipients on this page under the National Technical Institute for the Deaf category.
RIT's Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a deserving graduate of NTID or a deaf or hard-of-hearing graduate from another college of RIT. Alumni selected for the award are highly successful in their chosen field of study or career, are actively involved in and contribute to the betterment of the deaf community, and promote spirit among NTID alumni and RIT's deaf and hard-of-hearing alumni. The Distinguished Alumni Award is given annually for each college of RIT.
NTID’s Distinguished Alumnus took the skills he learned at RIT/NTID and applied them to his professional life.
Persistence is at the heart of what drives Tiffany Panko to succeed in medical school and in life.
After experiencing co-ops in Tanzania and at John Hopkins, Jabril Jaha is now working full time at the US Department of Agriculture in Iowa.
News & Events
RIT's Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a deserving graduate of NTID or a deaf or hard-of-hearing graduate from another college of RIT.
The RIT University Magazine is a quarterly publication that takes an in-depth look at the RIT campus and the lives of students, alumni, faculty and staff.
You can be part of making great things happen, now and in the future.
NTID is the world leader in preparing deaf and hard-of-students for high-tech careers, and offers you many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing students from the United States and around the world.
Your gift could help fund a scholarship, help a high school student attend one of NTID's college preparation summer camp programs like Explore Your Future, or provide a student with an opportunity to participate in a study abroad experience. With gifts like these and many others, you can make great things happen.
Make a gift online — it’s convenient, quick and eliminates the need for envelopes, stamps or checks. Your gift starts working for RIT/NTID right away and is considered tax-deductible.
Some popular designations to consider donating to include:
- The NTID Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund: Provides important financial aid to deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT/NTID who need it most.
- The Theatre Renovation Project: A donation to this project contributes to needed theatre and lab renovations, as well as the expansion and naming of the Patrick Graybill Green Room. Click the link for instructions on how to give.
- Robert F. Panara Endowed Scholarship Fund: Established in 1987, this scholarship honors the life work of NTID's first deaf professor, Dr. Robert F. Panara, and his 20 years of dedication to teaching and to the welfare of NTID students. Awards are made to students with a high degree of financial need.
- The Alumni Museum Project: Your contribution to this project will allow RIT/NTID to pay homage to its 50-year history through the construction of an exhibit area that will highlight important aspects of life at RIT/NTID, as well as the institute's contributions to the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals around the world. More information is forthcoming.
- NTID Summer "Campership" Fund: Gifts here provide the resources needed to allow deaf youth to participate in summer camp programs on the RIT/NTID campus that will help them prepare for success in college and beyond.
- Jennifer Van Atta Hayes Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Established in 2014 in memory of Jennifer Van Atta Hayes, a top NTID interpreter who dedicated her career to facilitating communication access for the deaf students she so diligently served. Proceeds from this fund support deaf students participating in study abroad experiences, and interpreting students participating in study aboard mentorship experiences.
- NTID Foundation Endowed Scholarship: Established by NTID as a means of accumulating unrestricted earnings to support various institutional needs such as student scholarships.
- Undergraduate Research Fund: NTID’s undergraduate research fund provides students with substantial experiential learning opportunities that cannot be experienced in the traditional classroom and allows them to contribute in innovative ways to cutting-edge fields. Gifts to this fund will be used to purchase materials needed for their projects and to travel to conferences to present their findings.
If you don’t see your preferred scholarship, please view our comprehensive scholarship list.
Thank you for supporting RIT/NTID students through your scholarship gift. If you are interested in establishing a scholarship, please contact Bryan Hensel, senior director of Development & Special Funding, 585-475-6222.