Record 414 RIT/NTID students earn diplomas

President Buckley congratulates graduates
Story Highlights: 
  • A record 414 RIT/NTID students are graduating with associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
  • Students were honored at the Academic Achievement Awards luncheon.
  • The award recipients had high academic records and gained personal achievements.
  • Some students have jobs waiting for them upon graduation; others will continue their education, seeking higher degrees at RIT or elsewhere.

As the academic year comes to an end, a record 414 RIT/NTID students are receiving diplomas this weekend, including 121 associate degrees, 27 master’s degrees in secondary education, 54 bachelor degrees in interpreting, and 212 bachelor or higher degrees in other colleges of RIT.

Some students will continue their education, including Hannah Worek, the 12th member of her family to graduate from RIT/NTID. She’s receiving her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and has been accepted to law school in San Francisco.

Others have a job waiting for them after graduation, like Dalton Allen, who earned an associate degree in engineering studies and is going to work making jewelry at Tiffany & Co. in Rhode Island.

Prior to commencement ceremonies, the annual Academic Awards Ceremony for RIT/NTID students was held, where top graduates and their families were recognized during a luncheon by faculty and staff.

“To become a success and to receive an award, you must be smart, determined, creative, motivated and hungry,” said Stephen Aldersley, NTID’s vice president for Academic Affairs. “And you need to do these things every day, all throughout the quarter. I’m confident you will carry these characteristics with you throughout the world after you graduate.”

NTID President Gerry Buckley said he recalled being a student at the ceremony when he attended RIT/NTID. He congratulated the students and their friends and family for attending, some who traveled from as far away as New Zealand and Brazil.

One honoree, Scott Farrell, was selected as the NTID delegate, to represent NTID students at RIT’s commencement.

“He knew what he wanted before he started on Day 1: academic success, and success on the swim team,” said Dino Laury, chair of NTID’s engineering department. “He was determined and motivated and is a model student. Farrell has a 3.97 GPA and helped the RIT swim team break two records this season.

The following students were honored at the luncheon:

  • Vanessa Bacellar, a science and mathematics major from Bahia, Brazil; Marlyn Calderon, a business major from New York, N.Y.; and Scott Farrell, an engineering studies major from North Tonawanda, N.Y., received Academic Achievement Awards for associate degree candidates.
  • Pauline Widurski, an information and computer studies major from Wheeling, Ill., received an Academic Achievement Award and an Outstanding Graduate Award for associate degree candidates.
  • Hannah Worek, a criminal justice major from Brighton, N.Y., received an Academic Achievement Award for baccalaureate degree candidates.
  • Cory Behm, a mechanical engineering major from Henrietta, N.Y., received an Academic Achievement Award and an Outstanding Graduate Award for master’s degree candidates.
  • Gayle Sanchez, an arts and imaging studies major from Miramar, Fla., were given Outstanding Graduate Awards for associate degree candidates.
  • Kyla Ciranni, an interpreting major from Columbus, Ohio; and Aileen Wu, a graphic design major from Jackson Heights, N.Y., were given Outstanding Graduate Awards for bachelor degree candidates.
  • Samantha Braidi, a Master of Science in Secondary Education major from Vineland, N.J., was given the Outstanding Graduate Award for master’s degree candidates.

Other students were also recently recognized with awards and scholarships:

  • Abubakar Ali, of Lansing, Mich., received the Bruce R. James ’64 Distinguished Service Award for his service to the RIT community, in Rochester and his native Somalia. He is an Urban and Community Studies and International Studies double major. He also received the Alfred L. & Ruby C. Davis Leadership Award.
  • Robb Dooling, a computer science major from Omaha, Neb., and Helen Yu, a business major from Sunnyvale, Calif., received the Alfred L. & Ruby C. Davis Leadership Award.
  • Interpreting students Danielle Mitton, of East Aurora, N.Y., Alanna Palardy, of Fairport, N.Y, Corina Scarinzi, of Binghamton, N.Y., and Brianne Yannotta, of Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y, each received Outstanding Undergraduate Awards for having at least a 3.85 GPA and completing at least 125 quarter credits. Their selection was also based on other factors complementing their academic achievement, including creative work, independent research and university, college and community service.
  • John Huang, an accounting major from Brooklyn, N.Y., received the Al J. Van Nevel Memorial Foundation Award.
  • Cathy Bellevue, a business technology major from Hyde Park, N.Y., and Graham Forsey, a management information systems major from St. John, Newfoundland, Canada, received the Dr. Frank B. Sullivan Memorial Foundation Award.
  • Terrika Fowler, a business technology major from Montgomery, Ill., was awarded the Dawan L. Albritton Memorial Award.
  • Brittany Comegna, a hospitality management major from Joppatowne, Md., received the Dawan L. Albritton Humanitarian Student Award (female) from the RIT/NTID community.
  • Alex Van Hook, a political science major from Upper Black Eddy, Pa., received the Dawan L. Albritton Humanitarian Student Award (male) from the RIT/NTID community.
  • Barbara McCloud, an interpreting major from Rochester, N.Y., received the Ellie Rosenfield Outstanding Community Service Award from the RIT/NTID community.
  • Robert Harris, a criminal justice major from Middletown, Md., received the Outstanding Graduate Award (male) from the RIT/NTID community.
  • Traci Goodrich, a psychology major from Lake Worth, Fla., received the Outstanding Graduate Award (female) from the RIT/NTID community.
  • Jenna Stein, an interpreting major from Ithaca, N.Y., received the Outstanding Interpreting Student Leadership Award from the RIT/NTID community.
  • Wilma Dennis, an applied liberal arts major from Tacoma, Wash., received the Outstanding Student Leadership Award from the RIT/NTID community.
  • Elizabeth Uhrinec, an interpreting student from Brewerton, N.Y., received a Walls Olson Memorial Scholarship.
  • Justin Simmons, an applied computer technology major from Pinkerington, Ohio, received a Frederick Douglass Memorial Scholarship.
  • Zack Jodlowski, a multidisciplinary studies major from St. Louis, Mo., received the Michael Thomas Endowed & Jephson Edcuational Trust Fund Scholarship.
  • Shaylee Fogelberg, an undecided major from Enumclaw, Wash., received the Elizabeth Williams Performing Arts Scholarship.
  • Lauren Aggen, an applied arts and sciences major from Algonquin, Ill., Nigel Evans, an applied computer technology major from Pensacola, Fla., Timothy Holmes, an applied arts and sciences major from Stockbridge, Ga., Nic Shaw, an accounting technology major from Sun Prairie, Wisc., and Charmina Stuart, an applied arts and sciences major from Lake Waccamaw, N.C., each received Performing Arts Scholarships.

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