Jen LamereComputer Science
Named Emerging Talent of the Year in the prestigious 2014 Net Awards contest, Jen Lamere was the only woman nominated in the 10-person category and the only nominee from the United States. Lamere chose RIT “because the most important thing for me was to get a job really easily when I got out of college, and I felt RIT has a really big emphasis on practicality. Between the co-op program and the classes they offer, you’re fully prepared to work in the real world,” she says. “I’ve really enjoyed my time at RIT. I think it’s a really good place for women in computing right now, and the Women in Computing group is growing exponentially.” Lamere, who was the youngest intern ever at Twitter before she enrolled at RIT, plans to return as a co-op student to Twitter in Boston.
Lydia MoorePackaging Science
Before enrolling at RIT, Lydia Moore came to campus from Chicago for some summer programs to see how she would like it. “I loved it,” she says. “And I like how different packaging science is. It’s a really large industry and constantly changing.” She had co-ops at both Kraft Foods and Mondelēz International. She worked on gum and candy design and repackaging, and on the magnet that recloses the pack on Stride iD gum. Although she was offered a full-time position last year, she declined. “I’ve decided that I want to leave it open. My resume is a design resume, but I love testing! I might even want to go to graduate school.” Moore has also been a very active president of both the AALANA Collegiate Association and the Gospel Choir. She has a lot to say about the importance of campus activities. “I’d feel like I’d wasted my time here if I didn’t do anything outside of class.”
Natasha MartinezGame Design and Development
Natasha Martinez was drawn to RIT’s game design and development major because she likes coding. “I like the fun and creative side to the game industry,” she says, and that’s reflected in her three co-op placements: iD Tech Camps— which teaches children how to code, design video games, and create 3D models; 1st Playable Productions—an educational game company; and Zynga Inc.—a social media game company. “RIT provided me with the skills necessary to jump right into my work. Coding languages, team mechanics, and documentation were all covered in my education.”When Martinez came to RIT for the first time, she was able to gain a sense of how it would be. “I found it to be a welcoming environment where I’d be able to live comfortably. I chose RIT based on its feel. I was not misled by that feeling. Going into my fourth year, I feel as through this is a place I can call home. RIT is a fun place where everyone embraces their nerd!”
Olivia RobertsonElectrical Engineering
In high school, Olivia Robertson says, “I loved putting circuits together and manipulating them to make certain lights go on or off.” Maybe it’s in the genes—her dad is an RIT electrical engineering alumnus—or maybe it’s because she loves math and science. Either way, she was attracted to electrical engineering. Robertson finds RIT to be “a mixture of very techie students and art students. It’s a great school that prepares you extremely well for the working world. The co-op program is a huge benefit. It’s great to see how many companies come just for our students. It shows we’re wanted in the working world.” It’s not all academics for Robertson, however. She’s been on the RIT Women in Engineering’s Hot Wheelz team since its inception. The team is multidisciplinary across engineering majors and includes multiple academic year levels. Robertson has served as both electrical lead and project manager.
Tamalika MukherjeeApplied and Computational Mathematics
Tamalika Mukherjee gets so much pleasure out of studying mathematics that she had three different research projects in the pipeline. On a summer fellowship from the College of Science, Mukherjee studied the dynamics of an economic model and the behavior of its inverse limits. Her second research project focuses on studying the properties of some logical puzzles made by the famous puzzle designer Oskar van Deventer and trying to generalize their solutions. Her third research project is laying the groundwork for her thesis, which she hopes will center on elliptic curve cryptography. “The more I learn, the better I get at learning and understanding new things. Research has taught me discipline and patience, and how to apply my mind in ways I couldn’t imagine,” she says. Mukherjee hopes to earn her doctorate in mathematics and work in a research and development lab for a computing company such as IBM, Microsoft, or Google.
Taylor Barrett chose RIT for its range of undergraduate research opportunities. “Many schools do not have undergraduates in the lab in the way that RIT does,” she says. “In my lab, I’m not working on a graduate student’s project and simply helping them. I am running my own project and coming up with my own ideas of how to overcome any challenges a research project may present.” It’s this hands-on experience that helped Barrett win a 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award for research in the sciences. Working in the laboratory of Hans Schmitthenner, an RIT research scientist, Barrett has worked on creating peptide scaffolds for targeted multi- modal imaging agents. “The thing I love about research is that if I have a question about the way the world around me works, I can use my knowledge of chemistry to try and answer those questions,” she says.
Valeria VillaIndustrial Engineering
When Valeria Villa first visited RIT, she fell in love with the campus and the environment. “I also really liked the co-op program. The idea of getting work experience while still going to school was very interesting to me,” she says. She chose industrial engineering because of the career opportunities it offers. “It is a very broad major; you can work in banks, industry, small companies, hospitals—pretty much anywhere.”Villa has found RIT to be a very supportive place. “The college and my department have always been there to help with classes, schedules, providing resources, and just to talk. ” Villa has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity since her freshman year, and finds being involved in the club helped improve her confidence and leadership skills. “RIT is a great school! There are thousands of things to do and get involved with. You could try anything and most likely find your passion.”