Innovation Hall of Fame, Class of 2011

Published Oct. 21, 2011

RIT’s Innovation Hall of Fame is intended to acknowledge individuals and innovations that have had a positive impact on global society.

Criteria for inclusion in the hall focus on: artistic, creative and/or technical work; creation of a working product, system or design; unique developments within a particular field or profession; creation of a product or start-up business based on a unique intellectual property.

Four people were inducted into the RIT Innovation Hall of Fame in 2011. RIT alumni, students, faculty, staff and others affiliated with the university were eligible. This is the second class of inductees.

The following individuals were inducted in 2011:

  • Hans Christensen: Internationally renowned metal smith Christensen taught at RIT’s School for American Crafts for 29 years, until he died in an automobile accident in 1983. Born in Denmark and educated at the School for Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen and the School for Arts and Crafts in Norway, Christensen came to the United States in 1954 and joined the faculty of the School for American Craftsmen.
  • Nabil Nasr: With a background in sustainable production, remanufacturing, clean production and sustainable product development, Nasr sets a visionary strategy for RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, where scientists, engineers and industry leaders come together to deliver innovative educational programs in sustainability and to conduct related world-class research.
  • Albert Paley: Modernist American metal sculptor Paley is the first metal sculptor to receive the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects, the group’s highest award to a non-architect. Paley has been active as an artist for more than 30 years at his studio in Rochester. Paley, who holds an endowed chair at RIT, has completed more than 50 site-specific works, including The Sentinel, the massive figure that greets visitors to the RIT campus.
  • D. Robert Frisina: Without Frisina, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf would not exist. More than 40 years ago, he saw NTID—what he called “the grand experiment”—not only as one of RIT’s colleges, but also as a national institution. He worked to get the building up and running and to recruit faculty and students.

For more information about the RIT Innovation Hall of Fame, go to