The Final Stretch!

Since I last blogged I talked about different self-care methods here on campus… well it is time to put it all to the test with finals coming up soon! We just had Thanksgiving break last week and it was everything I needed to get motivated to finish this semester strong! I was able to go home to Maryland and see my family and do a bit of hiking!

It’s the final stretch with only two weeks left of classes and then a week of final exams. In my classes I have presentations, in-class interpretations, projects, and homework left to do until winter break! Only three more weeks! Also since I last blogged I registered for my classes for this Spring. This will be my last semester in the Interpreting program so it is important to finish strong especially with my capstone class! It’ll be a challenging semester but I am looking forward to it… maybe not the 8:00 am classes though!

This winter break I am looking forward to visiting some extended family in Chicago, but also catching up on my reading! Over this semester I have been adding books to my “must-read” list. Some books are like “Mother Father Deaf”, “I Am Malala” and “Because We Are.” I’m looking forward to catching up with some reading and also getting ready for the Spring semester. Maybe I’ll run another half marathon this Spring…hmmmmm 🙂

Catch up soon!

Introducing Susanna

Hey guys!

So, if you’ve been on this blog before, you know that you have no idea who I am. So, I guess I’ll introduce myself. My name is Susanna, and I am currently in NTID’s interpreting program here at RIT. When it comes to talking about myself, I feel so awkward and egocentric. However, I think I can do it for you guys. My life pretty much centers around school and work, both of which I adore. This semester is coming to a close, and it’s all happening so fast. Understand, this was my first semester at RIT and it went better than I thought it would. I didn’t feel so clumsy like I did when I first started college. I feel very comfortable and at home here. Having the semester end is almost a bad thing, ALMOST. When this semester ends, I’ll finally have the chance to breathe and not worry that I’m missing something for my next class. While RIT is large and scary, it somehow manages to feel like a second home. However, not the “I’m always here I might as well live here” second home, but the “I couldn’t imagine my life without RIT” second home.

Now, about work. I love my job so much! It’s so much fun to see prospective students come to open houses or personalized visits. Coming here can be a bit intimidating and I try my best to make it as welcoming as possible. Everyone that comes has a good time and they get everything they need, and that’s what makes me happiest.

I should probably be studying for a test that I probably have. Which test you may ask? Honestly, I’m not even completely sure, but when I can weed out which test I have next from the mess that is my planner, I’ll get to it. I hope your year is going great just like mine!


My ethnic identity is awakening

Hello, my name is Franly. I am a fifth-year student at this university. I finally joined Latin American Deaf Club (LADC) today as the Director of Fundraising! It’s been a while since I was involved in any clubs.

Since freshman year, my instinct keep telling me I should consider joining this club because my Latin identity was ambiguous. However, I was not clear with my priorities for participating in clubs until now. Instead, I grabbed several leadership opportunities like former Student Government (SG) NTID Senator, NTID Student Assembly (NSA) speaker and several other committee positions. These experiences gave me a wealth of experience with Deaf peers and staff.

I also worked as a Step-Up Mentor during the academic year under the department of NTID’s Student Life Team (SLT). This job allowed me to work with students of color and international backgrounds in academic and social environments. I learned a new concept called “intersectionality.” This concept answered my struggle between my identities. My friends and I discussed this idea of having more than one identity. I heard several positive experiences from students of color about events hosted by clubs with ethnic backgrounds including the LADC, Ebony Club, Asian Deaf Club and Deaf International Student Association, among others. These organizations give students of color a place where they can bond, feel comfortable and get a sense of home.

At this time, I decided I wanted to do something for people of color  in return. I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I did some research and found some information on the Internet about my country, the Dominican Republic. I decided I wanted to share my Hispanic history with Deaf students who have a Latin background, so I finally stepped up and joined LADC, a club where I can flourish my Hispanic identity before my time at college is over.

Since joining the club, my Hispanic identity is awakening. I feel a positive vibe and motivation to work with the executive board on LADC before my graduation. I wish I had participated in this club sooner, but at least I joined LADC now than never at all. My lesson is to “to carry your dignity and cherish your ethnic identity.” I am more excited than ever to create different fundraising ideas with Deaf and Latin people. I am looking forward to this journey. My recommendation is don’t wait too long to join a club. Grab the opportunity and do it as soon as possible!

What kind of skills do you have?

Hey hey! IT IS FAATT CHRISTINE!! (those of you are not familiar with the movie called “Fat Albert,” this is one of Fat Albert’s trademarks).

How are you guys? I hope you are doing great! I recently was selected to be part of the Deaf Volleyball Association (DVA) committee. I will be the new DVA commissioner for spring semester. I am kinda excited and nervous, because I will be responsible for making the DVA club run well for spring semester. My deputy commissioner and I will soon be interviewing for positions available on the committee. I realize how many responsibilities apply to my position. I can’t just choose my friends who apply for certain positions, but I have to pick individuals who have the right skills and experience.

Do I have skills as a leader? I can use those I have and apply them to the DVA commissioner position and make DVA be great. Leading the club is not only about having leadership skills but it is also about what ideas I envision for DVA and what can I do to make this club even better than before. I am a very talkative person and friendly. I am very open-minded. These are examples of my strengths. You might be surprised that people who are shy or close-minded also can be leaders. I am going to select people to be on the committee with me that have skills I may or may not have. Each person on the committee will have different strengths that the group can benefit from to form a cohesive team.

For example, recently we had an Open House for RIT/NTID. It was my first campus tour, so I shadowed another ambassador. On this tour I helped this ambassador by sharing my experiences as a student here with prospective students and their parents. Every RIT/NTID ambassador has different skills and strengths, some are more humorous while others are more outgoing.

You don’t need to have the same skill sets as everyone else. People with other skills are not necessarily better than you. The skills you have right now are part of who you are and also part of the strength you have that will help make this world or community better. So tell me, what kind of skills do you have?

Self Care is Everywhere!

Week 12 means tests, papers, projects, and trying to balance self care somewhere in there. As an RA in the residence halls we learn about how important it is to take care of yourself both mentally and physically to avoid burn out in our academics. RIT has so many ways to de-stress and take care of yourself. We have an excellent gym facility with great classes. So far I have taken kick boxing and gotten a personal trainer. Both were awesome experiences and really fun! We also have the Red Barn which is an indoor rock climbing barn here on campus. Another personal favorite is the fish tank at the library. I could spend hours there just watching all of the fish (oops…did that last week).

Personally when weeks get busy (especially this week) I head outdoors. At RIT we have what we call the “loop”. It is a 5K loop around campus that is really nice to run on especially when the weather is cooperating. I also like to head outside to the walking trails. This is definitely one of the hidden gems of campus to me. It’s a great way to shift your focus and take care of yourself. Here is a view from one of my runs this week! Catch up with you all soon! Hopefully by then projects and papers will be the least of my worries:) Happy November!


What is success?

Time flies by so fast! I have been thinking about what it means to be successful. Is failing part of being successful or not? This kind of question makes me wonder and gives me a lot to think about. I know sometimes some of us struggle with classes and can lose motivation. I have to admit that sometimes this happens to me. But it doesn’t stop me from giving up. Being successful is part of who I am.

We learn new things everyday that can help us be successful. It may not be easy and can be difficult. Sometimes failure can help us get back on the right track because we learn through our mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Myself included. The takeaways from making mistakes are some of the most important lessons in helping us be successful.

There is no right or wrong answer about what it means to be successful, because it means something different to each and everyone of us. Everybody has their own colors and personality and how to become successful in their own ways.

I am glad I have support from my friends and RIT advisers who can help us get back on the right track. Why? Because they want us to be successful. I believe everybody can be successful. Just be yourself and don’t give up!

What Fall?

As I am typing this, snow is beginning to fall and surprising many unprepared (me) students! Nonetheless I am excited for winter and looking forward to Christmas break!

I’ve been busy throughout the semester taking 15 credits while managing four jobs! I might seem crazy to some, but I found the perfect balance allowing me to tend to my studies and working. I work at the RIT coffee shop Artesano, the School of Individualized Study as an office assistant, the NTID Admissions office as an ambassador, and finally student coordinator for No Voice Zone.

No Voice Zone is an event held every Wednesday night from 10-11:00 pm and students come and learn sign language from their deaf peers! I’ve loved every second of it and seeing new people learn an awesome language! We recently hosted a Halloween pizza party and students came dressed in their best costumes and we awarded prizes to the “Most Creative” “Scariest” and “Funniest” costumes.

I’m going to hit the books seeing I have several exams coming up…Happy Week 10 and enjoy the snow!

Happy (almost) Halloween!

Hey everyone! This is my first time posting, as I recently joined the RIT/NTID Student Ambassador Team. I’m very excited to be on board, so I can share my experiences at RIT. I’m currently a fourth-year student here, studying political science with minors in sociology/anthropology and history. I’ve been happy with the wide range of programs RIT offers a liberal arts student such as myself. Given that RIT tends to focus on science and technology, it’s been nice to discover that it’s a very well rounded environment here. Many of my friends come from all different majors, which is nice because I get a taste of each that way.

I’m taking an exciting course load this year as I wrap up at RIT. This semester, I’m finishing my minors, and am taking political science courses as well. I’m taking U.S. History since 1945, Comparative Politics, Law Enforcement in Society, Immigration to the U.S. and Globalization and Security. In the spring, I’ll be taking my capstone course – kind of like my thesis – along with three other courses. And then it’s a wrap! Looking forward, I’m currently applying to graduate school for a master’s in Global Studies and International Relations. While I’m sad to be leaving my friends and RIT overall in May, it’s exciting to see what the future holds! Stay tuned…


Happy Week 10! (Already?)

Hi everyone! Welcome to another busy year here at RIT! Since I last posted I have successfully ran that half marathon that I trained for last semester, traveled to both the Dominican Republic and Haiti (in Haiti I got to work at a Deaf school), worked at Camp Mark Seven’s KODA Camp, and successfully began my practicum year for the interpreting program.

Currently I am taking five classes: Interpreting III ASL-English, Interpreting III English-ASL, Intro to International Relations, Practicum and Seminar I, and STEM Education: Research and Practice. The STEM class is for the Learning Assistant program here at RIT. It is where students become integrated into classes and help teach. I will be doing that next semester, so I can talk about my experience with that later on! Currently I am doing my practicum at the Department of Access Services (DAS) here on campus as a student interpreter. I get to interpret a variety of assignments both academic and non-academic with a DAS mentor. Practicum has been very busy balancing both my practicum hours (interpreting, observing, and supervision) and my classes and homework. It is very busy, but has been a rewarding experience.

And in true Brianna nature it is never too late to learn a new talent or skill, so I have officially decided to double major in both ASL-English Interpretation and International and Global Studies here at RIT. I am really excited to take these classes. One of the requirements of this program is to study abroad, so I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all related to that.

Happy week 10! Time has truly flown by this semester!


A Retired Diver Has Come a Long Way

For those who don’t know my story, here it is. It is hard to believe that I am a retired collegiate diving athlete now, with only two years of diving competitively at RIT under my belt. But I have to say that those two last years of my college years and being on the RIT Swimming and Diving team are the best two years of my life thus far. I’ve grown and fought to prove that no obstacle will stop me from diving again.

Summer before I started diving for RIT, I excelled in diving with only 18 months of training with the Junior Olympics National Team, going from getting last place at Regionals Summer 2011 to being the top 12 divers at Regionals, Zones, and my dreams came true. I qualified and competed at my first and last ever Junior Olympics Nationals Championships August 2012. I was so eager to come to RIT and break records, compete at Nationals all four years, and maybe get All-American every year. But my triceps torn right before my Nationals Championships 2012, and I had to drop out of Diving with RIT my freshman year. After my first year at RIT, I finally found out that my shoulder was severely torn in two places and I needed to get a surgery or I would not be able to dive ever again. This injury was going to end my diving career forever. I knew I needed that surgery and I wanted to come back to diving. After one year of intense rehabilitation and strength training to get ready for diving again. I stepped up and joined the RIT diving team again for my third year of college.

I came back and only did 1-meter as 3-meter was too tough on my shoulder. I kept fighting and surprised myself by getting second at States Championships, breaking one record, and qualifying for the Regionals Championships. That did not go too well. That didn’t stop me, and as a Senior at RIT, I knew I only had one more year of diving. I had one last chance to soar and make it to Nationals.

Senior year came, I got back up on 3-meter and had so much fun with it. Throughout the season I broke all four records for both one and three meter diving, including pool and team records. Won first for my States Championships on 1meter and 3rd for 3 meter. I wanted to keep my undefeated record for one meter diving and I kept it by winning the Regionals Championships and I was on my way to my first and last ever Nationals Championships.

As you all know, I got fifth at Nationals and was RIT’s first All-American diver for 1 meter and 19th for 3 meter. I was not thrilled at the moment as I wanted at least top 4. Over the last couple weeks, I had to take as step back and look at the whole picture. All of these divers I’ve competed against had far more years of experience diving at Nationals, and I didn’t. It doesn’t matter how many NCAA trophies you have, how many All-American recognitions you have, or how many years of diving you’ve had. What matters the most is where you are today and how you got there. I came back to diving after believing it was inevitable for me to end my diving career. I fought through and I made it. I made it to be the RIT’s first All-American diver, getting 5th place is incredible for me and I’ve proven that any obstacle I’ve had does not stop me from doing what I love. Diving has always been a passion of mine, and I’m not ready to let go of it. I know I will be a diving coach some day, and I will.

My coaches, Cliff Devries and Jeff Stabile, made me believe that I will succeed. I cannot thank them enough for where I am today and how far I’ve come. Thank you for your support. Thank you, my parents, my brother, my RIT Swimming and Diving family, my interpreter, Alisa J Supplee, my bosses, my friends, and most importantly my conscience to allow me to believe in myself. I hope to inspire all of you to go after you dreams, no matter what obstacles you may have.IMG_3104

The summer after my first year of college, I finally had the surgery and I had the hope to dive again.


Two and a half years later, my persistence and determination brought me to my dreams of diving at Nationals, placing in the top 5, and being RIT’s first All-American diver.