Jesse Naumann

Rochester, N.Y., may be a long way from Tulsa, Okla., but to Jesse Naumann, 22, a second-year Arts & Imaging Studies student, it’s well worth the trip.

“I chose RIT/NTID because the college knows how to effectively help deaf and hard-of-hearing students learn,” says Naumann, who transferred to RIT after attending colleges in his home state. “The faculty are experienced and give their best every day. It’s been my experience that other colleges that have ‘deaf programs’ are not really that effective in helping or teaching students with hearing loss.”

Naumann started out in the Career Exploration Studies program, which is designed to help students sample different majors and settle on one that matches their interests. Now, he is thinking seriously about an animation major and is taking AIS courses to prepare for that path. 

“I love to study pretty much anything,” says this Dean’s List student, “and animation gives me the chance to do that and incorporate many subjects into my animation projects.”

When he’s not studying, you can find Naumann either practicing Capoeira, a combination of African and Brazilian martial arts, characterized by fluid, dance-like movements, or swimming, running, working out, drawing, reading, watching anime and the list goes on. 

“I have multiple interests,” he says. “I take Kung Fu now and would like to fit in some dance classes. I want to develop new interests and try new things and take advantage of the opportunity to have a fantastic experience here.”

In fact, if Naumann had to describe RIT in one word, it would be “opportunity.” After graduation, he looks forward to getting a job he enjoys, living in new and different places and traveling.

“I have many goals for the future,” he says, “and I have many mottos and philosophical ideas about life. But the best wisdom I get is from what I learn for myself and from my grandpa who tells me, ‘do the best that you can do.’”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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