NTID AlumniNews

NTIDAA Board News and Updates for the Alumni Community

Students seated around a table with Gerry Buckley
Students spent an evening with their peers and NTIDAA members discussing goals and plans for the future.

Hello, Alumni Community!

I hope you are all doing well. The lilacs are in full bloom here in Rochester, and it’s a beautiful time of year. The NTID Alumni Association Board of Directors had a wonderful spring meeting on campus jointly with the NTID Foundation Board. It was a weekend of networking with fellow alumni and NTID representatives, receiving updates on NTID initiatives and activities, focusing on committee work, and we finished off with the Imagine RIT Festival! 

On Thursday evening, we kicked off with an evening of getting to know some wonderful students; breaking out into small groups led to some fascinating discussions based on different career areas. We learned about the students’ goals and plans for after graduation and provided our perspectives and advice regarding the working world and what they could expect. It was a wonderful networking event! 

NTID President Gerry Buckley presents a State of the Institute address

Friday was full of updates and presentations from various departments at NTID, starting off with a State of the Institute address from President Gerry Buckley, SVP ’74, ’78 Liberal Arts (Social Work), on various topics, including budget, admissions, and some meaningful stories of the students NTID serves. Dr. Denise Kavin and Brittany Comegna, ’15 Applied Science and Technology (Hospitality Tourism Management), presented on NTID Outreach and the NTID Regional STEM Center (NRSC), followed by Dr. Chris Kurz, SVP ’91, ’95 Science (Applied Mathematics), and Dr. Patrick Graham, ’03 Applied Science and Technology (Applied Arts and Sciences), ’05 NTID (Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing), showing us their World Around You work on ASL STEM-focused children’s books (as well as other sign languages). We also got a sneak peek at Boomer, the NRSC STEM-bus, which was in town for Imagine RIT from Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind!

Denise Kavin presents to the board
STEM bus

The afternoon included a luncheon and learning about the projects of current students who were Next Big Idea competition finalists. It was fascinating to see all the innovation on campus and what these students were able to develop! We then took a walk to see RIT’s newest construction—the SHED (Student Hall for Exploration and Development). The new building is not only beautiful, but will be able to support many artistic initiatives with space for students to work together in creative endeavors that include dance, music, glass blowing and woodworking as well as product design and a new home for the RADSCC (RIT ASL Deaf Studies and Community Center). Next up was Eileen Thrall from University Advancement, and we celebrated completion of RIT’s billion-dollar campaign goal! The money that has been raised will go to support a lot of student-centered initiatives in research, campus infrastructure development, and scholarships, to name a few. And lastly, we received updates on planning for NTID’s 55th Anniversary Reunion, which is happening in the fall.

Saturday morning is always another focused time for the board, with the chairpersons from each of our committees providing updates. Here are key takeaways for alumni to be aware of from each committee:

  • Alumni in Training did a great job leading the networking event Thursday evening and will work closely with NTID’s new assistant director of alumni/student mentoring and special projects. 
  • Diversity and Governance will continue to meet with the NTID Office of Diversity and Inclusion and begin meeting with the Student Life Team to become more aware of opportunities for BIPOC students, faculty and staff. 
  • Programming continues to support the growth of the NTID Alumni Ambassador program and will add three more ambassadors for some central states (based in Denver, Austin, and Chicago).
  • Development will continue to support fundraising efforts and will spotlight some endowed scholarships to increase alumni awareness of these initiatives for students. 
  • Communication is gearing up for more social media posts from the NTIDAA Board and NTID about the 55th Reunion as well as other topics.

We’re sharing some photos here from the meetings and the weekend—enjoy!

And as always, GO TIGERS!

Anna-Marie Unger, NTIDAA Board President
Adebola Desalu, NTIDAA Board Vice President

Contributed by Ann-Marie Unger, NTIDAA President, and Bola Desalu, NTIDAA Vice President

Latest 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.