Jason Gallant

Jason Gallant’s introduction to RIT was attending the NTID Explore Your Future program when he was in 11th grade. It was there that he experienced being part of the deaf community for the first time.

“I loved it,” says Gallant, 22, from the small town of Clinton, Me. “My hearing loss is a nerve loss, and it’s progressive. I was mainstreamed and was the only hard-of-hearing student in Lawrence High School. I didn’t get hearing aids until 10th grade, and before EYF, I really hadn’t had contact with any deaf people.”

Gallant was interested in crew before college, and after arriving at RIT, he joined the team because he likes the challenges crew presents. The team practices six days a week and competes in regattas across Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania during the fall and spring crew seasons. During spring break, the team goes to Coco Beach, Fla., to train for a week.

“Crew challenges you mentally and physically and you really have to focus,” he says. “Everyone has to work together and it’s not about one person. It’s always the team that wins.”

Growing up, Gallant worked on many build-it and fix-it projects with a friend’s dad and knew from a young age that engineering was in his future. With a major in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, and a few co-ops yet to fulfill, Gallant plans to graduate in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree.

One of Gallant’s favorite experiences has been a troubleshooting class in an automation technology course, involving an assembly line breakdown and figuring out how to get it up and running. With Dean’s list success, he is preparing for a career in manufacturing.

“I could see myself working with an engineering design group in product development,” he says.

To finish his degree, he’d like to get a co-op or two in the Rochester area, not so he can be in a familiar place—but so he can still row.

“One word I would choose to describe RIT is ‘inspiration.’” says Gallant. “RIT encourages you to be the very best that you can. And, to achieve your goals.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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