RIT alumni and faculty innovators to speak at Futurists Symposium on April 26

Symposium celebrates innovation, technology, and creativity ahead of Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival

RIT’s Futurists Symposium on April 26 features a collection of alumni and faculty who are innovative experts in their fields. The symposium is the kickoff to Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival on April 27.

A highlight of this year’s Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival takes place one day before thousands of visitors descend on campus. The annual Futurists Symposium, featuring a unique collection of the university’s alumni and faculty innovators, will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 26, in the Wegmans Theater, MAGIC Spell Studios.

Panelists will showcase their expertise on a variety of topics, followed by a question-and-answer session. Moderated by WXXI-AM Connections host Evan Dawson, the symposium will feature four panelists.

Robert Morreale ’92 (medical illustration), MST ’93 (visual arts-all grades) is senior division chair for Immersive and Experiential Learning and assistant professor of biomedical communications at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Morreale is a board certified medical illustrator and a fellow of the Association of Medical Illustrators. His career has included leadership roles at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Cleveland Clinic. His scholarly work has focused on advancing the use of innovative visual communication techniques to enhance medical education, patient care, and scientific research. His current work focuses on revolutionizing medical education and healthcare workforce training through immersive and experiential learning strategies and the use of AR/VR and spatial computing to design hands-on experiences with unparalleled fidelity.

Jeyhan Kartaltepe, associate professor, RIT School of Physics and Astronomy, and director for the Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, is an expert in galaxy formation and evolution. She works to understand how the first stars and galaxies in the universe formed and how various physical processes shaped their transformation into today’s galaxies.

She is the principal investigator of COSMOS-Web, the largest James Webb Space Telescope program observed in its first two years of operation, which is mapping out a large area of the sky in infrared to study how galaxies in the early universe were formed. She is also a leading co-investigator on the CEERS program, one of the first programs to obtain observations, as well the principal investigator of POPPIES, a newly approved JWST program that will obtain spectroscopy for thousands of galaxies in the early universe.

Chukwuma “ChuBoi” Morah ’09 (industrial engineering), is chief marketing officer for FUT.GG, a gaming data startup company with more than 7.5 million users.

His passion for gaming led him to become the community and influencer manager for the EA SPORTS FIFA games in 2012. He has amassed over 1.1 million social media followers and has worked with brands including Adidas, Coca-Cola, and PlayStation.


Karen E. Roth ’06 (software engineering) is president of the Society of Women Engineers and deputy director for AFWERX, which brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and startups to address the most pressing challenges of the Department of the Air Force.

Roth is a 2024 Distinguished Alumni awardee representing the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. As part of AFWERX, she leads strategy and execution across a $1.3 billion portfolio, which serves to expand the defense industrial base for advanced technologies. Previously, she served as a chief engineer for the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, ensuring technical excellence on the international stage. Her previous work led to the creation of the Innovare Alliance, a global community of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs converging on Air Force technology interests and open innovation.

“Our faculty and alumni are doing amazing things at the intersection of technology, the arts, and design,” said Orlando Ortiz ’04 (robotics and manufacturing engineering technology) ’08 (MBA), president of the RIT Alumni Association. “The experts gathered for the symposium demonstrate the extent of university’s reach and commitment to multidisciplinary work. I’m looking forward to hearing their personal stories about the work they do, innovations they have contributed to, and their outlook for the future of their industries and of RIT.”

The symposium, which is open to the public, is sponsored by Rochester Regional Health, Julia K Caters, Micron, Paychex, WXXI, and Liberty Mutual.

The Imagine RIT festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 27, will showcase the creative and innovative spirit of RIT students, faculty, and staff through more than 400 exhibits.

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