RIT/NTID hosts “Signing Time” free family concert May 3

light skinned female with brown hair wearing orange shirt and jacket signing ILY.

Rachel Coleman, musician and star of the popular PBS and video series Signing Time, will perform a free show at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, in the Robert F. Panara Theatre, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall. Joining her on stage will be Coleman’s daughter Leah, an industrial design major at RIT/NTID, and her show sidekick, Hopkins the Frog.

Upon discovering that her 14-month old daughter was deaf, Coleman began searching for ways to develop her language and communication skills. Coleman found that by learning sign language, her daughter’s vocabulary rapidly increased.

Coleman and her sister began creating videos for children to learn American Sign Language and started a production company and foundation dedicated to making sign language fun and accessible to all children.

Originally a series on PBS, Signing Time featured Coleman’s daughter Leah and nephew Alex, and ran for two years. The series continued and expanded through online videos.

“It is so exciting to be performing at NTID,” Coleman said. “Signing Time started when my deaf child, Leah, was four years old and in preschool. Over the past 18 years, many of Leah’s peers have grown up watching Signing Time. It feels like we’ve come full circle doing an NTID Signing Time concert now that Leah is a senior in college.”

Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance by emailing Joseph Fox, NTID theater production assistant, at jwfnpa@rit.edu.

NTID rededication ceremony celebrates 50 years of deaf education

Light skinned female and male unveil replica of a large plaque that's on an easel.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf celebrated 50 years since the establishment of the world’s first technological college for deaf students with a rededication ceremony April 5, in Panara Theatre, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall.

In addition to RIT/NTID faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and students, attendees included members of the original faculty and class of NTID students from 1968; local, state and federal government officials; and Lucinda Robb, granddaughter of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1965, President Johnson signed Public Law 89-36, allowing for the creation of NTID. The rededication marks the first time that a relative of President Johnson has visited the campus since Lady Bird Johnson visited in 1974 for the dedication of NTID’s main academic building, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall.

“We are so honored to have you here with us to celebrate 50 years of NTID and the foresight and leadership of your grandfather and members of Congress to establish this great college,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president, to Robb during the ceremony. “As you can see here today, the legacy of your grandfather does not only appear in history books. He continues to be honored by five decades of students and their families who have benefitted from the educational opportunities provided to them by NTID.”

During the presentation, Robb unveiled a prototype of a plaque that will hang near Panara Theatre. A proclamation from New York State Sen. Rich Funke was read in recognition of NTID’s accomplishments and U.S. Congressman Joseph Morelle displayed a statement to the U.S. Congressional Record. Buckley also acknowledged federal, state and local government officials, members of RIT’s Board of Trustees and NTID’s National Advisory Group, representatives from New York state schools for the deaf and other leaders in deaf education, and NTID faculty, staff, students, alumni and retirees.

A video greeting was provided by U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

“Congratulations to all of the staff and students and alumni of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf as you celebrate an amazing 50 years. I’m so proud that NTID has become one of the great American institutes educating our students for the 21st century economy. The Rochester region, in particular, has been enriched thanks to NTID’s contributions and graduates, many of whom stay in Rochester to live, work and create new businesses that propel our region’s economy forward. Your success is remarkable.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sent remarks. “Although I am not with you in person, I join you in spirit to celebrate this remarkable anniversary, to honor the extraordinary efforts of the founding members of NTID, and to recommit ourselves to the mission of this incredible institution for the next 50 years. I have seen firsthand the excellent and high quality education each NTID student receives by having three interns from NTID in my Washington, Long Island and Rochester offices. NTID has empowered deaf and hard-of-hearing people to make history and to change our communities for the better…I know NTID will continue to educate, employ and embolden deaf and hard-of-hearing leaders for years to come.”

Robb, who is the daughter of Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and former Sen. Chuck Robb, worked as director of recruiting at The Teaching Company and is currently writing a book on the tactics of the women’s suffrage movement. She is a director on the board of the National Archives Foundation, the Arlington Food Assistance Center in Virginia, and Communities in Schools of NOVA. In 2016, she started KidsGiving, a project to encourage philanthropy in children. She occasionally writes book reviews for the Washington Post.

“It’s truly an honor to be here at NTID and to learn about the rich heritage of this great college. Knowing that my family played a part in that history fills me with such pride,” said Robb. “They would be so proud of what has been accomplished in just 50 short years at NTID—graduates from all states and from countries around the world who now work in business, industry, government, non-profits and the performing and visual arts – and who make their communities richer by their presence and their contributions. On behalf of my entire family, thank you for inviting me to join you in this celebration today, and for all that you do to honor my grandfather’s legacy.”

New York State Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul stressed the value of RIT/NTID graduates. "This is an institution with its beautiful alliance, its marriage, with RIT that sends people out into the world prepared to accept life’s challenges. But not just to better their own lives, but truly to better the lives of others."

Rep. Morelle shared his appreciation for the quality of instruction at NTID.

“I want to congratulate everyone at NTID, as well as the greater Rochester community, for 50 years of excellence,” said Morelle. “Thank you to the many educators, interpreters, faculty and staff who work tirelessly every day to provide a world-class education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. NTID provides a transformative education that allows deaf and hard-of-hearing students to thrive and reach their full potential. With almost 9,000 alumni, NTID continues to open doors and break down barriers for the deaf community. I am so proud to represent a community that is home to such incredible institutions like RIT and NTID that are truly changing the world for the better.”

Throughout the ceremony, several featured guests recalled fond memories of Lady Bird Johnson who came to campus in 1974 to dedicate LBJ Hall. Alumnus Robert Sidansky, who was president of NTID Student Congress in the 1970s, accompanied Lady Bird Johnson on a tour of the building and spoke with her about the services that NTID provided.

“She was about to leave to catch her airplane, when she turned around and said, ‘It was great meeting you. Thank you, Bob.’ I was awed that she remembered my name. With her brief visitation at NTID, she taught me the importance of recognizing people’s names as an essential part of leadership.”

Frank Sklarsky spoke on behalf of RIT’s Board of Trustees. “We, as trustees, greatly value the national and international recognition that NTID has gained in its own right and has also brought to RIT, and are grateful for the role NTID continues to play in making our university world class. NTID is truly a brilliant jewel of the RIT family and a source of inspiration and pride for all of us.”

The event also featured a video showcasing NTID’s history and a performance by Sunshine 2.0, a four-member traveling theatrical troupe from NTID that entertains and educates audiences about the deaf experience.

RIT Student Government President Bobby Moakley, an environmental science major from Boston, spoke briefly about the next generation of NTID students.

“We, the newest generation of RIT/NTID Tigers, are dedicated to honoring the legacy of the past 50 years, while at the same time blazing our own trail for the future of the college,” said Moakley. “RIT/NTID is an extremely unique environment in that we are leading in the integration of deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities. Every day at our university is a learning experience for everyone here. NTID has been, and will continue to be, a place of creativity, enabling deaf students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

RIT/NTID Presents ‘Signing Time Live” a family concert with Rachel Coleman

Stage with life-size frog character, colorful balloons and female in jeans and orange top.

RIT/NTID's Office of the President presents: Signing Time Live, a Family Concert!

Sing and sign your favorite Signing Time songs with hosts, Rachel Coleman, RIT/NTID student Leah Coleman and their sidekick, Hopkins the Frog, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 3 in the Robert F. Panara Theatre, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, on the RIT campus. This family-friendly concert is approximately one hour in duration. 

Rachel Coleman is the creator of the popular "Signing Time!" series available online and in rotation on PBS stations. 

Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance by contacting Joseph Fox at jwfnpa@rit.edu

No longer lost in translation: Videos depicting complex scientific concepts break barriers for deaf STEM students

On the left, a light skinned male in suit and tie, at right a light skinned female with long red hair in black sleeveless dress

Research has revealed that people who learn English as a second language, including deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, are underrepresented in STEM fields because of academic language abilities required to compete in those disciplines. A new project at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf is helping to break down those obstacles specifically for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Researchers at RIT/NTID will create and test a solution that addresses the academic language barrier in physics by producing a comprehensive series of short, conceptually accurate, signed videos, each of which is focused on a singular physics concept. As part of this process, the team will vet and share conceptually accurate signs for technical vocabulary. The project is funded by a $295,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“Participation of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in STEM fields is limited due to the presence of significant academic language barriers,” confirmed principal investigator Jason Nordhaus, a theoretical astrophysicist and assistant professor at RIT/NTID. “In the college classroom, American Sign Language interpreters must choose the correct signs to indicate meaning of the concept being taught. At the same time, most interpreter training is focused on acquiring American Sign Language. It is rare for interpreters to be an expert in the language and STEM concepts. However, being experts in both is necessary to properly translate. Compounding the issue is a lack of conceptually accurate technical signs in STEM disciplines. Quite literally, information is lost in translation.”

Conceptual understanding will first be measured in RIT physics classrooms and then at two external partner universities. The result of the project will be a sustainable online repository where the videos are freely accessible and will be shared with national interpreting organizations and universities that have interpreter training programs.

“It is our hope that this project results in a template that can be repeated for any discipline, thereby permanently eliminating the academic language barrier and increasing deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals’ engagement in STEM disciplines,” said co-investigator Jessica Trussell, assistant professor in the Master of Science in Secondary Education for Students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing teacher preparation program at RIT/NTID.

Nordhaus is committed to increasing the participation of deaf individuals in physics and routinely involves deaf students in research work, including 11 undergraduate students and one doctoral student, thus far. He serves on, and is a founding member of, the executive committee for the American Astronomical Society’s Working Group on Accessibility and Disability.

Trussell, a member of RIT/NTID’s Center for Education Research Partnerships, has 12 years of experience teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students from preschool age to adulthood. Her goal is to grow the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing people entering STEM fields by enhancing their discipline-based reading and writing skills.

RIT/NTID student Bobby Moakley and RIT’s James Myers to receive this year’s Alfred Davis awards

On left, a younger light-skinned male with brown hair and beard, on right an older light-skinned male with brown hair.

A graduating RIT/NTID student leader who has been engaged in public service, student government and environmental stewardship has been named a winner in this year’s Alfred L. Davis Distinguished Public Service Awards. Bobby Moakley, of Boston, a fourth-year environmental science major and graduate student in science, technology and public policy, will receive the 2019 Bruce R. James Award.

The awards will be given at a public ceremony at 4 p.m. Wednesday in University Gallery in Booth Hall.

Moakley, who serves as president of RIT Student Government, has been an avid participant in leadership and community service projects. Last month he participated in RIT’s Alternative Spring Break, traveling to Florida, where his group did disaster relief from Hurricane Michael and helped with coastline reparations.

Kaitlin Stack Whitney, visiting assistant professor in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences, submitted a nomination for Moakley, saying he used project opportunities in her class “to learn more about Rochester’s environment and human communities. He is a thoughtful and engaged student who wants to learn more about the world around him and seizes those opportunities. This work connects to his goals as a student and future professional – he works at the intersection of environmental and social justice issues.”

Moakley also has been a pioneering member of Into the ROC, an RIT program that connects students with city communities, learning experiences and service opportunities.

“Bobby is motivated by what connects people and changes the world,” Stack Whitney said. “He does so much community service to and for RIT because he’s committed to the campus people and to making this the best campus experience for everyone, not just himself. He clearly enjoys getting to think and do with so many people around campus—students, faculty, staff and administrators. Being a collaborator and succeeding at it, as a true peer—with those diverse teams helps remind him that he can do anything once he graduates.”

David Bagley, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, said Moakley, as Student Government president, “has already tackled several campus issues and has created a collaborative culture and positive environment. His personal experiences and passion for the Rochester area have greatly impacted his endeavors as an agent of public service. He truly understands the importance of public service and constantly identifies avenues/platforms to promote and assist others along his journey.”

He said Moakley’s passion for helping others and his natural abilities as an influencer “positively encourage other students to engage in public service. … I hold Bobby in the highest regard as he is always a role model to others in our community and exemplifies what a great student leader should be. We are lucky to have Bobby on our campus. He continues to be a strong voice and a positive change agent.

“It’s such an honor to receive this award and to be recognized for some of my public services,” Moakley said. “It further encourages me to continue serving the community and contributing my skills to those in need.”

Moakley will donate the $1,000 he earns from the award to the Ibero-American Development Corporation, which renovates and manages buildings and affordable homes in Rochester. He spent last summer working for them as an urban fellow.

Also receiving an award is a dedicated Rochester Institute of Technology administrator who helped expand RIT’s global presence as well as being an active community volunteer locally and in Haiti. James Myers, associate provost for International Education and Global Programs, will receive the 2019 Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award. Myers joined RIT in 1988 as an instructor in the School of Food, Hotel and Travel Management. He left RIT to obtain his doctorate in natural resource economics, and returned in 1999, when he became the first academic associate dean of RIT’s American College of Management and Technology in Croatia, and later professor and director of the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies. He currently is associate provost of International Education and Global Programs.

Myers has been an active community volunteer for more than 30 years. He is chairman of the board of directors for Haiti Outreach Pwoje Espwa (H.O.P.E.), a nonprofit organization that supports health, sanitation and economic development in a rural community in northern Haiti.

He also has been an active member in a marathon training program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Western New York.

“Jim is widely recognized and highly respected across all of RIT’s campuses,” said International Student Services Director Jeffrey Cox in one of the nominations for the award. “Jim does not engage in any of these efforts for personal recognition or advancement, but is a true believer in trying to make the world a better place. He has a very big heart, but also applies a sharp intellect and creative and highly collaborative approaches to bringing about concrete solutions to vexing social issues – particularly in areas of the globe that are struggling to recover from war or natural disaster.”

Myers said winning the award is “humbling. I was honored to be nominated. I never imagined I’d ever receive it. I do this work because I love it, and the work itself is the reward I receive. That is why I do it.”

He also credits RIT for being “so supportive and generous for recognizing community service work.”

Myers will receive $2,500 as part of the award. He plans to give $2,000 of it to HOPE, and split the remainder between the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Cancer Wellness Center.

About the awards:

  • The Bruce R. James ’64 Award was named after James, chair emeritus of the RIT Board of Trustees. The award recognizes a student for exemplary public service within RIT and/or the wider Rochester community. Its purpose is to highlight one of RIT’s own hidden heroes while also encouraging other students to engage in public service.
  • The Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award Fund was created by Alfred L. Davis on the occasion of the 65th year of his association with RIT, to commemorate the dedication of the four RIT presidents with whom he worked, in their service to the Rochester community. The purpose of this award is to honor the four presidents, Mark Ellingson, Paul Miller, M. Richard Rose, and Albert Simone, with whom Mr. Davis served at RIT, and to recognize a current member of the faculty or staff who, through his/her public service, mirrors the lives of the four presidents, who have been not only outstanding professionals but also caring members of the community. Davis died in 2008.

RIT honored nationally as ‘Diversity Champion’

Students gather on stone bench in front of a large building on a sunny day.

Rochester Institute of Technology is being honored nationally for its impact on diversity and inclusion. For the fourth consecutive year, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine named Rochester Institute of Technology a Diversity Champion.

Each year, INSIGHT Into Diversity recognizes selected institutions — those that rank in the top tier of Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award recipients — as Diversity Champions. These institutions exemplify an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels. Diversity Champions are institutions that serve as role models and set the standard for thousands of other U.S. college campuses striving for inclusive excellence.

“RIT is a visionary leader among institutions of higher education striving for inclusive excellence throughout their campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “As a Diversity Champion school, RIT exceeds everyday expectations by developing successful strategies and programs that serve as models of excellence for other higher education institutions.”

In the fall, RIT earned the HEED Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus. RIT was featured, along with 95 other recipients, in the November 2018 HEED Award issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“The strength of RIT’s character is built by a humble, continued commitment to building a climate of true respect, inclusivity and equity for all,” said Keith Jenkins, RIT’s vice president and associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion. “It is an honor to yet again be recognized as a Diversity Champion by INSIGHT. RIT’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion and our partners in departments, colleges and divisions across campus will continue to work diligently to provide more opportunities to learn, grow and succeed for underrepresented men, women and deaf and hard-of-hearing students, faculty and staff.”

RIT’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion features scholarship programs such as the McNair Scholars Program, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the Higher Education Opportunity Program; academic support including the Multicultural Center for Academic Success, the Native American Future Stewards Program, the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, and the MOSAIC Center; and outreach programs like the Office for Faculty Diversity and Recruitment, Upward Bound Classic and Veterans Upward Bound.

For more information about the 2018 Diversity Champions, go to www.insightintodiversity.com/diversity-champions.

RIT and SUNY Upstate Medical University create pipeline to medical school

medical setting with dark-skinned female, light skinned female and male looking at an anatomy textbook.

Rochester Institute of Technology and the State University of New York Upstate Medical University are offering a bridge program that guarantees qualified RIT undergraduates admission to the Upstate Doctor of Allopathic Medicine program.

Students applying to RIT can request to be considered for the RIT-Accelerated Scholars Program with Upstate Medical University. This new pathway to a traditional allopathic medical school education for prospective undergraduates from the United States could be an option for students as early as the 2019-2020 academic year.

The Accelerated Scholars Program is designed to mentor a diverse group of qualified students for careers as medical doctors, and will accept five students per year. Upstate will reserve a place for the RIT graduates to matriculate following the completion of their four-year bachelor’s degree. The Accelerated Scholars Program waives the Medical College Admission Test requirement for admission into Upstate Medical University College of Medicine, also known as SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse.

The number of medical school applicants from RIT increased when RIT solidified its health brand in 2008 with the RIT & Rochester Regional Health Alliance and with the opening of the College of Health Sciences and Technology in 2011.

“Offering the option of direct entry to medical school gives RIT students an edge,” said Dr. Daniel Ornt, vice president and dean of the Institute/College of Health Sciences and Technology.

“The competition for medical school is stiff. There are nearly 53,000 applicants and fewer than 22,000 available spots. The RIT and SUNY Upstate collaborative removes the stress of the application process.”

The Accelerated Scholars Program places a priority on cultivating students with broad interests to become future physicians. While participating students must satisfy the general science requirement for medical school and maintain a 3.5 grade point average each semester, they are encouraged to sample and explore different disciplines during their undergraduate education, Ornt said.

“The RIT and SUNY Upstate partnership creates a pipeline for educating well-rounded medical doctors to help offset the future physician shortage as the baby boomers retire,” Dr. Ornt said.

Participating RIT undergraduates will be offered summer programming with Upstate based on the Association of American Medical College’s medical student competencies, including ethical reasoning, effective communication, critical thinking, cultural competence and other topics, according to Krystal Ripa, director of Special Admissions Programs at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

“During these summers, RIT students will also get an opportunity to build community with other students accepted to Upstate who are expected to matriculate together,” Ripa said.

Ian Mortimer, RIT vice president for enrollment management, said the RIT-Accelerated Scholars Program is the university’s first relationship with an allopathic medical school for RIT students.

“RIT is a great choice for future health care leaders,” Mortimer said. “RIT students gain a forward-thinking perspective that places them in some of the best medical schools and Ph.D. programs nationally. The direct-entry medical school option with SUNY Upstate Medical School reflects the high-caliber of an RIT education.”

Winners announced for RIT/NTID Next Big Idea entrepreneurship competition

Five males, two in suits and three in t-shirts, with one holding an oversized check, are smiling at the camera.

Five teams of deaf and hard-of-hearing students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf went head-to-head March 28 during The Next Big Idea business competition. DiwaTech, an interface design solution to improve video game accessibility, took home the $5,000 first prize.

Judges from the competition’s sponsor, ZVRS, a video-relay service headquartered in Clearwater, Fla., reviewed projects of the team finalists, asked questions and selected first-, second- and third-place winners.

First place: DiwaTech (Daniel Cox, a human centered computing major from Rochester, N.Y.; Chad Cummings, a human centered computing major from West Henrietta, N.Y.; and Anthony DiGiovanni, a web and mobile computing major from Rochester, N.Y.): By applying a user interface design solution, along with new technologies such as voice recognition, to operating systems, DiwaTech is creating a new software product that allows visualized sound data to represent audio output for video games. According to the team’s submission, “Our vision is to bring accessibility awareness to the video game industry and to develop accessibility standards for video games. We believe this will benefit deaf gamers worldwide.”

Second place: Thinking Hands (Karina Baker, a sociology and anthropology major from Culver City, Calif; Moises Tobias, a design and imaging technology major from West Henrietta, N.Y.; Alina Kenina, an exercise science major from Clarksburg, Md.; and Gabriel Veit, a new media/industrial design major from Austin, Texas): Thinking Hands is an online educational platform that aims to provide academic support for deaf and hard-of-hearing students through the development of interactive educational videos taught in American Sign Language. Thinking Hands took home the $3,000 second prize.

Third place: Halbeg (Bakar Ali, an MBA student from Somalia; Tyler Anderson, a journalism major from Las Vegas; and Eric Epstein, a software engineering major from Tucson, Ariz.): Halbeg Technologies makes all-in-one private networking platforms for businesses that want to improve interaction within communities. It offers a simple way for members within communities to share resources such as posting requests, offering jobs, trading or bartering goods, carpooling or ridesharing, and chatting about community issues, in one platform. Team members said, “Our ‘all-in-one’ platforms make it easier for locals to interact and participate in a shared economy, improving the overall sustainability of the local business community.” Halbeg won the $2,000 third-place prize.   

Other finalists were Fireblazer News (Eric Belozovsky, a human computing interaction major from Framingham, Mass; Eleazar Contreras, a web and mobile computing major from Chicago; Anderson Pleasants, a political science major from Williamsville, N.Y.; and Daniel Devor, an ASL-English interpretation major from Gibsonia, Pa.), which works with hearing news outlets to translate audio, written and TV news content into sign language; and Foldify (Musab Al-Smadi, a software engineering major from Rochester, N.Y.; Steven McClusky, a software engineering major from Blue Springs, Mo.; and Matthew Watkins, an electrical mechanical engineering technology major from Covina, Calif.), which makes folding clothes simpler with an electric machine that reduces human time and effort.

The Next Big Idea competition is an annual event where teams of students combine skills related to their individual majors to create innovative products, technology or businesses. Teams work with mentors on their projects and compete before judges for cash prizes. This year marks the eighth anniversary of the competition.  

RIT’s NTID Performing Arts presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences,’ April 11-14

Dark background with African American baseball player, ball field and text August Wilson's Fences.

Fences, the American play written by August Wilson, will be presented next month by the Performing Arts department of Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Shows will run at 7:30 p.m. April 11-13, and 2 p.m. April 14, in Panara Theatre, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, on the RIT campus.

In this production, as with all RIT/NTID Performing Arts shows, deaf actors will use American Sign Language and hearing actors will use spoken English to present the story. This rendition of Fences is the first deaf black production of the play.

The drama takes place in 1950s Philadelphia and features Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues now working as a garbage man. As a black man, Maxson was excluded from the major leagues during his prime and his bitterness takes a toll on his relationships with his wife and son, who now wants his own chance to play ball.

Tickets - $5 for students, youth and senior citizens (60+), $10 for RIT faculty/staff/alumni and $12 for the general public – are available at the RIT University Arenas box office, by calling 585-475-4121 (voice), online at http://www.rittickets.com, or by email at arenas@rit.edu.