AlumniNews Stories


RIT graduate Liam Coleman was looking for a way to express how it feels to be caught within one’s own thoughts about navigating identity. As a Deaf person, Coleman ’19 (individualized program) questioned the role that signing or voicing plays with how they interact with the world and their gender expression.

For the past decade, Jingjing Pan ’06 (chemistry), ’09 (chemistry) has worked as a chemist for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal government agency with the mission of ensuring food safety and protecting the public health. Originally from China, Pan’s interest in chemistry began in her childhood when she read magazines about science. 

RIT/NTID alum Jon Mosholder ’09 (business) has a strong entrepreneurial spirit, putting his business degree to work running Bumbleberry Farms, which was founded by his mother, Karen, in 2011. 

Studying abroad can open doors to new adventures and experiences for any student. For Sarah Sabal, her experiences helped solidify and reinforce her sense of self.

Michael Rizzolo didn’t plan on learning American Sign Language when he came to RIT as a student, but he grew interested and eventually became an interpreter. Today, he is founder and CEO of the interpreting agency Interpretek.

Michelle Giterman ’14 (finance) grew up in a Deaf immigrant family that owns Crepe Crazy, a restaurant in Austin, Texas, where Giterman is the general manager. With a strong family background in entrepreneurship, Giterman was always fascinated by how the business world works. Eventually, she attended RIT/NTID to major in finance with an emphasis in communication. She says her time at RIT/NTID and her involvement in the entrepreneurship programs led her to a successful career in finance.

Isabel Laínez ’17 (design and imaging technology) is a designer and illustrator who works with clients to develop a variety of projects, creating visual and brand identities such as logos and motion graphics. As she developed her interest in graphic design, Laínez enrolled in the design and imaging technology program at RIT/NTID, where she gained computer-based graphics skills for a career in the visual communications field. 

Alexander Van Hook has been named to the board of the Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s Alumni Association. A staff attorney at the National Association of the Deaf, and admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, he self-identifies as a person with cross-disabilities (deaf wheelchair user).

Kayley Judd, an RIT/NTID student majoring in mechanical engineering technology, led the Deaf in STEM Conference last month, inviting deaf and hard-of-hearing alumni and professionals to the RIT campus to present on various STEM topics. This student-led conference was a tremendous success, drawing more than 100 attendees, including students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and walk-ins. 

Morpheyes Studio, which was founded by NTID five years ago, is proud to announce the first episode of our docuseries about Deaf culture. “Deaf And…” is now available to stream FOR FREE on the Morpheyes YouTube channel!

NTID’s Co-op and Career Center and Student Life Team hosted RIT/NTID alum Toby Fitch (new media design ’13), a product designer at Microsoft, who visited RIT on Monday, February 12, to give a presentation, “Deaf in Tech: Design and Software and AI, Oh My!” Fitch discussed how his career in media design led to Microsoft, how design has a strong impact on the world today, and why it is important to stay on top of new developments in tech, such as AI. He also shared handy tips on how to succeed in the tech industry.

Ebony Watson ’04 (applied computer technology) shattered accessibility barriers in the footwear industry, becoming the first deaf footwear designer to earn recognition for her work. Watson has loved footwear since childhood, but she says her journey into fashion was far from easy.