Open@RIT is a Key Research Center of the University and serves as the Open Programs Office for the University. It is part of the Office of the Vice President of Research.

Open@RIT is dedicated to fostering the collaborative engine of "Open Across The University" for Faculty, Staff and Students. Its goals are to discover, and grow the footprint, of RIT’s impact on all things Open including, but not limited to, Open Source Software, Open Data, Open Science, Open Hardware, Open Educational Resources and Creative Commons licensed efforts, what we like to refer to in aggregate as Open Work. 

Its charter was approved by the Provost in June of 2020 and it was established under the Office of the Vice-President of Research in August of 2020.

What We Do

Faculty and Staff: Open@RIT provides support for the Open Work already pursued by RIT Faculty and Staff, and mentoring for those interested in getting started in it. We currently offer our Open@RIT Fellowship program for University projects and a variety of services to support the writing and execution of research and project proposals with requirements to release the work as Open. 

We're developing our recommendations for best practices in releasing and promoting Open Work and the evaluation of Open work in annual review, tenure and promotion. We will back these recommendations with a program and services for registering your work with Open@RIT, supporting the collection of metrics and analytics to use in those processes.

In the fall we'll be offering a collection of informational resources on working in the Open.

Students: Open@RIT's roots lie in the formal and informal educational opportunities for undergraduate students which include...

Research: Open@RIT also does formal and applied research in Open Work that has included qualitative studies of Open communities, FOSS education and the creation of Open Platforms for Deaf education. research to research page.

Service to the Profession: Open@RIT is an Associate Member of the Linux Foundation and its director serves on the Steering Committee of the ToDo Group.  The office is also active in IEEE SA Open, OSPO++, CHAOSS Community, Sustain OSS and the IGDA Open Source SIG.


Latest News


Open@RIT Monthly Meetings

March 10, April 14, May 12
Second Wednesday of the month
11am via Zoom
Sign Up

Upcoming Presentations and Papers:

Birds of a Feather session: How can we use data on Open Work for Tenure and Promotion?
May 4th UTC 6:00


Teaching Open Source Colloquium
April 16th

Conference Lightning Talk: Open@RIT, Our Model for an Academic OSPO
FOSSASIA, March 14th, 2021

Conference Panel: The Culture of Open Source between Institutions
FOSS BackStage, February 1012, 2021

All Events



Stephen Jacobs is a professor with the School of Interactive Games and Media and an interdisciplinary scholar who works in several different areas that often overlap including Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture. Digital Humanities, Game Design and History and Interactive Narrative. His Open Work has been funded by The Ford Foundation, UNICEF Innovation, Red Hat Inc, Northern Telecom and AT&T. Professor Jacobs received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring for 2019-2020. He has held the position of Visiting Scholar at The Strong National Museum of Play since 2009.

Assistant Director

Mike Nolan serves as the Assistant Director of Open@RIT. A former RIT alum, he went on to work in the tech industry at companies such as GIPHY and Mozilla. He then proceeded to work in the humanitarian aid sector abroad (Jordan & UK) for organizations such as the International Rescue Committee and UNICEF. He continues to pursue his mission of technology and social good by helping lead RIT's open programs center.

LibreCorps Co-op Students

Head shot of Quinn Foster

Quinn Foster

Digital Humanities and Social Sciences - May 2022

Head shot of Django Skorupa

Django Skorupa

Playbook Designer
BFA Industrial Design - May 2021

Head shot of Rahul Jaiswal

Rahul Jaiswal

User Experience Designer
MS Human-Computer Interaction - Dec 2021

Head shot of Urvashi Kokate

Urvashi Kokate

User Experience Designer
MS Human-Computer Interaction - Dec 2021

Head shot of Emi Simpson

Emi Simpson

Full Stack Web Developer
BS Computer Science - May 2023

Head shot of Suhas Chikkanaravangala Vijayakumar

Suhas Chikkanaravangala Vijayakumar

Full Stack Developer
MS Computer Science - Dec 2021

Advisory Board

picture of matthew bernius from the side

Matthew Bernius

Principle User Researcher
Code for America
BS New Media Publishing, RIT, 1996

a photo of Deb Nicholson from above

Deb Nicholson

Interim Director 
The Open Source Initiative

portrait of Silona Bonewald

Silona Bonewald

Executive Director 
IEEE Standards Association

portrait of Mel Chua

Mel Chua

ABD, Purdue, School of Engineering Education

portrait of Ihudiya Finda Ogbonnaya-Ogburu

Ihudiya Finda Ogbonnaya-Ogburu

HCI Researcher (PhD candidate), University of Michigan School of Information
BS, Information Technology, RIT  2010

Portrait of Remy DeCausemaker

Remy DeCausemaker

BS & MS, School of Independent Study, RIT '08, '13 

portrait of Nithya Ruff

Nithya Ruff

Board Director & Head of Open Source
Comcast, Inc

portrait of Justin W. Flory

Justin W. Flory

FOSS Technical Advisor
UNICEF Innovation
B.S. Networking & Systems Administration, Minor, Free & Open Source Software & Free Culture, RIT 202

portrait of Justin Sherrill

Justin Sherrill

Developer, DragonFly BSD
Information Technology Masters, 2002.

portrait of Wilfried Hounyo

Wilfried Hounyo

Software Engineer
Zendesk, INc
BS in Computer Science, RIT 2019

portrait of Kyle Suero

Kyle Suero

Application Security Engineer III
BS, Computing Security, RIT, 2019

Portrait of Jenn Kotler

Jenn Kotler

UX Designer
Space Telescope Science Institute
BS Medical Illustration, RIT 2014

Portrait of Tom Callaway

Tom Callaway

Principal Open Source Evangelist, Amazon Web Services

Portrait of Ruth Suehle

Ruth Suehle

TiDirector, Software Engineering, Global,Red Hat

Headshot of Chris Aniszczyk

Chris Aniszczyk

Chief Technology Officer, Cloud Native Computing Foundation
Vice President, Developer Relations, The Linux Foundation

Head shot of Erin McKean

Erin McKean

Docs Advocacy Program Manager
Google Open Source Programs Office
picture credit: CC-BY Kirill Ignatieff (

 April Kyle Nassi

April Kyle Nassi

Google for Games Open Source Strategist at Google