AlumniNews by Topic: Technology

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.

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. 

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.  

RIT/NTID alumnus David Cardenas SVP ’07, ’11, ’15 (AAS in information and computing and BS in applied networking and systems administration) developed a passion for information technology and network security to help organizations and customers in protecting and securing their information and networks from cyberattacks.

Michael Roppolo ’14 (journalism) is an accomplished broadcast journalist and an award-winning content creator who develops engaging content to distribute across digital media platforms. Roppolo serves as a social media associate producer at CBS News, producing content related to crime and justice for 48 Hours, a documentary and news magazine that broadcasts real-life cases affecting the human experience. 

Rydrea Walker, ’19 (design and imaging technology) is an independent filmmaker with 14 years of experience in producing awe-inspiring films in visual media. As a Deaf filmmaker who hopes to bring Deaf culture to the big screen in Hollywood, he owns WarriorsGate Entertainment (formerly named Walker ASL Pictures), a film production company that provides video production services for clients. 

Thousands of visitors converged on the RIT campus April 29 to experience the future through multimedia presentations, exhibits, hand-on demonstrations, research projects, performing arts, and more at the annual Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival. RIT/NTID alumni enjoyed the experience of attending the festival and discovering amazing things. 

RIT’s Alumni Association recently featured RIT/NTID alumna Ebony “Geeky” Watson (AAS ’04) as part of their Tiger Heritage Spotlight. In the profile, Watson shared why she chose RIT/NTID for college, her college experience, and the influence at RIT/NTID had that shaped who she is both personally and professionally. Watson works for one of the top Fortune 500 companies as a technical specialist/software engineering project manager during the day, and a creative director/sneaker designer at night.

The mother and brother of a late NTID faculty member and alumna are paying tribute to her memory by establishing the Skyer Family Foundation Endowed Scholarship to assist deaf and hard-of-hearing students achieve success in STEM-related majors.

Eleven Rochester Institute of Technology alumni have been awarded Distinguished Alumni Awards for the 2022-2023 year.