TikTok has become one of the most popular social media apps to hit the market in a decade. Billions of social media users have found both community and entertainment in the vertical short videos that are central to TikTok’s format. With a combined nearly 1 million followers and 25 million “likes” between them, four RIT alumni are establishing themselves as social media influencers.
Environmental science alumna Sydney VanWinkle ’19, ’21 MS will head to Madagascar this fall to study the impact that conservation initiatives have on local communities and the environment as part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
While many colleges and universities require general education courses, RIT’s immersion requirement takes it a step further. Beyond the typical writing, math, science, social science, global studies, art, and ethics requirements, students are asked to fulfill an additional nine credits in a topic of interest. The intended result is to produce well-rounded students who have gained broader, more diverse perspectives.
As outreach coordinator for Sunshine 2.0, a theater group at RIT's National Institute for the Deaf, Beam and his troupe provide performances and activities for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults that highlight the fields of deaf culture, literacy, and STEM.
The Power of Music
Jasen is a physician assistant major and the music director for RIT Players. She is applying her passion for music to research that studied how music can reduce pain and anxiety in pediatric patients.
A Spit Take
Guy's biomedical science research is analyzing microbes linked to cardiac disease. She's hoping to keep the population healthy one vial of saliva at a time.
A Creative Pipeline
Motion Picture Science
Sevigny is conducting research to help filmmakers translate what they create on their computers to a full cinematic experience.
Kha interned with Oculus testing their next generation of VR cameras, which have the potential to aid law enforcement and impact learning in schools. The internship turned into a full-time job, and Kha plans to work on enhancing the VR experience.
Jennifer Wheeler, M.D. BS ’01
After 9/11, Wheeler enlisted in the US Army and served as a doctor in Afghanistan. Now, she practices family medicine and serves as a preceptor to RIT students who are embarking on their own careers in medicine.
Improving Human-computer Interactions
Improving interactions with online platforms for those with disabilities is the ultimate goal behind Huenerfauth’s research. By training designers to create and develop more accessible websites and mobile networks, a wider audience can connect to and benefit from these technologies.
Learning to Learn
John Myers '83
For Myers, who has traveled the world to photograph people and places, RIT was key to preparing him to adapt to an ever-changing industry. The skills he honed as a student – curiosity, responsibility, communication skills – have enhanced his decades-long career as a photographer.
Merging Past and Present
3D Digital Design
RIT's Cary Graphics Art Collection allows students to view printing styles and graphic art from thousands of years ago. In order to preserve these artifacts, Klibanow is working with other students and faculty to create a virtual viewing experience.
Where You Belong
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Mendieta has found a home in student government. As vice president she makes sure that all students have what they need to succeed.
Entrepreneurial Solutions for Environmental Problems
Millette is from Trinidad and Tobago, an island nation that needs a way to manage a waste problem in a country with limited space. Millette is exploring if a circular economy can be the solution.
Giving a Voice to a Community
Tianna Manon '15
As an alum of the journalism program, Manon has put into practice the storytelling platforms and opportunities She took advantage of at RIT. Today, Manon serves as editor-in-chief of Open Mic Rochester, an online magazine that gives a voice to Rochester’s black community.
Film and Animation
RIT’s student-run radio station broadcasts to the Rochester community and streams worldwide. Bellavia, WITR’s music director, appreciates that RIT has a place where people who love music can bond over their passion and share that connection over the airwaves.
More Than One Path
Applied Arts and Sciences
With the flexibility to shape her education around her professional and personal lives, Rivera has found the School of Individualized Study to be the pathway toward a fulfilling degree and a rewarding career that pays it forward.
Making a Positive Impact
Sociology and International Relations
She’s a professional ballet dancer and a humanitarian who spends her free time volunteering at a children’s home in Haiti. Duffy created a degree program in the School of Individualized Study so she can one day establish a non-profit of her own.
The Physics of Animation
Mari Jaye Blanchard
School of Film & Animation
To create movement, Blanchard’s classes are full of motion, with students jumping, crawling, and walking to better understand the physics they are trying to draw.
Engineering Better Solutions
Professor Padmanabhan’s students engage in hands-on research experiences that help build a better future through the creation of advanced complex materials that can solve problems in solar energy, health care, agriculture, and more.
Seeing the world through the eyes of a different species is just one way we connect with the world around us. Through faculty-led research, Wegman is working to improve the quality of life for North American River Otters by studying their visual perception.
Where Science Meets Art
Metals and Jewelry Design
Studying health studies has helped Jaff develop her logic and analytical skills. Adding a dual major in metals and jewelry design will prepare her well for medical school, where today's doctors must be both knowledgeable and innovative in their approaches to patient care.
Protecting Those Who Protect Us
Exercise Science ’17
Aho is putting her exercise science degree to work as a personal trainer who works with first responders. She helps firefighters stay in shape and prevent on-the-job injuries.
It might be just a stool, but it represents more than reaching equipment in the Machine Shop. It’s a symbol of the heightened awareness and inclusivity of women in engineering at RIT. After graduation, Kosak wants to influence change by helping women pursue careers in engineering.
Carlos Diaz Acosta
Diaz Acosta's research in sustainable packaging led his class to a biodegradable solution. Developing corn-based packaging is not only being used to counteract the amount of food waste going into landfills, but also making the world a more sustainable place.
The Art of Negotiation
Department Chair and Professor, Department of Management
It’s more than mediating a good salary, negotiation is a predicter of success and a key life skill for all professionals.
Eye on the Prize
Biomedical Photographic Communications
Lautenschlager's passion for helping others drew her to a co-op opportunity in the medical science field. Through hands-on experience studying the eye, Lily has secured a part-time job while she continues her education at RIT.
Love What You Do
David Even MBA '18
Vice President, W.G. Arthur Co.
Growing to love the business he began working for at 15, Even is now a vice president at W.G. Arthur Co. With a passion for helping others, Even learned from his mentors that treating people right is always the best policy.
Creating a Balanced, Equal World
Communications and Media Technology
Open source software is integral to building a movement toward equality. For DeCausemaker, that meant creating a degree program in the School of Individualized Studies that targeted the specific areas of expertise he needed to craft the career path he wanted.
The nutrition is an ever-changing field where knowledge is always evolving. Ruder enjoys watching her students question what they know as they use hands-on experiences to contribute to future nutritional guidelines.
The Spice of Life
Finance and International Business
Variety is what Ferguson thrives on. And no day is ever the same for this double major who plays soccer and is involved in a range of activities at RIT.
The Power of Architecture
Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture
Nan-Yaw Andoh teaches his students that architecture is more than beautiful buildings. It's an element that can connect and unify communities.
A Part of Something Bigger
Computer Engineering Technology
For Hedger, giving back is a special part of the RIT community that lets her impact the world, one service project at a time.
Education: A Powerful Tool for Sustainability
Moore is researching nanomaterials and their use in clean energy technologies. She’s sharing this knowledge with future generations, who have the power to impact the environment.
Innovation Science in Neurotechnology
The School of Individualized Studies enabled Canning to create a degree that combines studies in computer science, business, and neuroscience so he can build a business that can mass produce brain-computer interfaces to help people with disabilities.
Connecting Kids to Science
Devon M Christman
Over the summer, Christman taught a workshop called “Experiments in Science” to a group of children from RIT’s Kids on Campus program. By helping to change their perspectives on who and what a scientist is, Christman is shaping the minds of tomorrow’s scientists.
Architecture Is Awesome
When Blair changed careers she realized that it is never too late to pursue your passion. Now she embraces the collaborative nature of the design process, combining functionality, aesthetic appeal, and responsible practices in her architectural work.
Evoking Emotion Through Music
A difficult task to accomplish, yet a joy to teach, Kruger enjoys composing for visual mediums. As chair of the Department of Performing Arts, Krugar focuses on enhancing a scene with music while keeping the audience immersed in the medium.
Take the Leap
Michael Oshetski '03
CEO, Micatu Inc.
Focused on making the utility grid more efficient and sustainable, Oshetski, an RIT alum, has a passion for entrepreneurship. Turning a start-up into reality led him to sharing a key piece of advice: Just go for it.
With only a split second to get the perfect shot, Hamilton's passion for capturing emotion is an asset to creating authentic images in the moment.
Amanda DeVito MBA '19
Vice President of Client Engagement, Butler/Till Media
Happiness of employees and driving business outcomes are DeVito's main focus at Butler Till Media and Communications. Knowing all the work and energy she puts into driving a client's business is satisfaction in itself.
A New Way to Tell Stories
Undeclared Art and Design
By combining the performing arts with technology and design, Claire Wilcox is creating a storytelling dynamic that engages technology to share stories on film and on stage.
Advancing the Success of Women
As head of public relations for Women in Computing, McHale strives to organize professional opportunities for its members, advancing women’s experience in computing majors, and giving back to a club that has given her so much.
Bringing Deaf Culture to the Big Screen
Design and Imaging Technology
Walker wants to share Deaf and hard-of-hearing stories to bridge the gap between cultures and represent the Deaf community in Hollywood.
Diana Solt BS ’10, MS ’17
Lead, Strategy Development
L3/Harris Corp. Communication Systems
Combining her technology degree with liberal arts provided Diana Solt the powerful combination she needed to develop business strategies for L3/Harris.
Trading gloves and helmets for a monitor and a mouse has ushered in a new era in sports: competitive, organized gaming. By mirroring professional eSports, the RIT eSports team pursues competitive gaming at the highest possible level, rivaling the excitement of traditional sports teams.
Tina Goudreau Collison
Professor of Chemistry
A complicated vocabulary and a lack of dedicated signs in American Sign Language makes Organic Chemistry a challenge for deaf and hard of hearing students. Collision worked with interpreters to develop new ASL signs, leading to profound learning improvements for her students.
The AI Gateway
Syed is pushing the world forward by developing algorithms that apply artificial intelligence to make everyday tasks easy and more efficient.
The Hands of Time
At RIT’s makerspace you’re free to design, test, tinker, and build. Hatch utilizes The Construct to create 3D-printed mannequin hands for Genesee Country Village & Museum's 19-century clothing exhibit.
Game Design and Development
Tinkering, testing, designing, coding – it's what he does. Through RIT's game design program, Campbell and his team created a game that garnered attention from 20th Century Fox, leading him to an internship with the company.
The Excitement of Live Performance
Director of Steelband Ensemble
For Professor Ted Canning, music is a universal language anyone can learn. No matter your major, no matter your level of experience, you can make music part of your life at RIT.
Headed to Google
New Media Design
The skills Lung learned in the new media design major prepared her for an internship at Google. This career-related work experience, which turned into a full-time job, is just one of the ways experiential learning shapes a student’s future.
By working on a faculty-guided research project, Pannullo has gained hands-on research experience to pursue a future in regenerative medicine. It’s one way Pannullo is putting experiential learning to work.
The Sky’s the Limit
Film and Animation
Gordon started Optic Sky, an animation company, after graduating from RIT with a degree in film. He helps develop new talent by inviting RIT students to work on his production crews.
Relationships Are Key to Success
Jess Sudol '06
VP/Civil Dept. Manager - Passero Associates
Building relationships and honing communication skills are crucial skills for success in any field. Passero Associates has recognized the collaborative nature of RIT students. They continue to hire RIT students and graduates for their dynamic interpersonal skills as well as their knowledge.
Line up has begun! So excited to celebrate with the Class of 2022, their families and friends, and the outstanding RIT faculty and staff who supported them on their journey. t.co/uT5yW9Msat
Apr 08Ellen Granberg @RITProvost
It’s a great night for RIT’s Microelectronics program. Congratulations to founder Dr. Lynn Fuller and the entire MicroE family on 40 great years! t.co/uvV4mkAEnt
Feb 11Ellen Granberg @RITProvost
Ignite, a celebration of dance at NTID’s Panera Theater starts in 20 minutes! t.co/pNgDyoetJS
Dec 25Ellen Granberg @RITProvost
And it’s off! The James Webb Space Telescope blasted towards its destination and, with it, the aspirations of some of RIT’s top faculty - outstanding scientists who are helping us all gain a better understanding of our universe. Congratulations and best wishes for your work.
Today was a great RIT day. Spent the afternoon at the NTID/RIT production of Angels in America and then watched the RIT women’s basketball team defeat Nazareth in a terrific game. SO MUCH FUN watching RIT’s students do their thing!
Nov 13Ellen Granberg @RITProvost
Looking forward to spending the day with the Baja, Formula SAE, and Hot Wheelz teams down at Monticello Motor Club. #ritracingt.co/DW2GyxElwK
Nov 05Ellen Granberg Retweeted @RITtigers
RT @RITtigers: The @RochesterBeacon takes an extended look at the plethora of construction projects that are transforming our campus. It's the largest set of building work since we moved to Henrietta in 1968.