RIT/NTID and EPA ink development of cooperative program

Story Highlights: 
  • RIT/NTID and EPA ink development of cooperative program that will provide educational and career opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the environmental sciences.
  • The parties plan to establish a program committee consisting of representatives of RIT/NTID and the EPA to manage implementation of the memorandum. 
  • The purpose of the MOU is to increase cooperation between RIT/NTID and the EPA in areas of mutual interest, including promoting equal opportunity in higher education, contributing to RIT/NTID’s capacity to provide high-quality education, and encouraging the participation of RIT/NTID in EPA programs.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students attending Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will benefit from enhanced educational and career opportunities in the environmental sciences, thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the college and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The MOU was formalized during a “virtual” signing ceremony Sept. 12, with representatives from both RIT/NTID and the EPA connecting through live video conferencing.

The purpose of the MOU is to increase cooperation between RIT/NTID and the EPA in areas of mutual interest, including promoting equal opportunity in higher education, contributing to RIT/NTID’s capacity to provide high-quality education, and encouraging the participation of RIT/NTID in EPA programs.

Activities being considered as part of this partnership include:

  • Inviting RIT/NTID faculty and student participation in public policy forums, presentations, seminars and other events at the EPA.
  • The EPA participating in career fairs and other outreach to RIT/NTID students, faculty and alumni regarding EPA employment opportunities.
  • The EPA providing assistance to RIT/NTID for the advancement of environmental education by distance learning technology.
  • EPA representatives participating in lectures, webinars, conferences and other events at RIT/NTID.

“The federal government has been a strong advocate for equal employment opportunities for all individuals, including deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “We are so pleased to be partnering with the EPA on behalf of our students.”

The parties plan to establish a program committee consisting of representatives of RIT/NTID and the EPA to manage implementation of the memorandum. The EPA has designated EPA Region 2, headquartered in New York City, to administer the MOU on behalf of the EPA, working with other EPA offices, regions and laboratories as appropriate. RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment will administer on behalf of the college.

Representatives participating in the signing were, from the EPA: Bisa Cunningham, director, Diversity, Recruitment & Employee Services Division; Richard J. Manna, assistant regional administrator, EPA Region 2; Jon Gabry, branch chief, Division of Environmental Science and Assessment, Hazardous Waste Support Branch, EPA Region 2; Colin “Mark” Oldland, disability employment program manager, Office of Policy and Management, EPA Region 2; Christopher Emanuel, EEO manager/Disability Employment Program, Office of Civil Rights, Affirmative Employment, Analysis and Accountability; Johahna Johnson, Civil Rights and Finance Law Office, Office of General Counsel; Tania L. Allen, chief, Diversity & Recruitment Branch Diversity, Recruitment & Employee Services Division; and Anthony Napoli, diversity and inclusion program manager of the Diversity, Recruitment & Employee Services Division. Gerard Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean; John Macko, director of RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment; and Shyrl Scalice, assistant director and employment adviser, RIT/NTID’s Center on Employment, represented the college.

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