Joe Lingle

RIT has been a great fit, both inside and outside the classroom, for fourth-year student Joe Lingle, who found his calling as an Environmental Science major. 

When searching for colleges, the Philadelphia native briefly looked at other universities in Pennsylvania, but chose RIT because it was the best fit. Although Lingle, 21, attended mainstream schools while growing up, he went to two different deaf camps every summer. He liked being a part of both worlds, so when it was time for college, RIT was his first choice. 

“RIT had my major and offered many extracurricular activities, and the support here for deaf and hard-of-hearing students didn’t compare to anyplace else,” he says.

Lingle’s interest in environmental science stems from his enjoyment in learning about all science disciplines and the hands-on field work that he gets to do. 

“In the future I hope to work for an organization where I get to use Geographic Information Systems to generate data to map environmental concerns and issues,” he says.

The self-proclaimed “nerd” enjoys woodworking, building computers and playing with LEGOs. He also is the event planner for Wolk, a deaf Jewish club at RIT. 

But real fun for Lingle is hockey, a sport he’s been playing for nearly a decade. He played for his high school varsity team and attended hockey camp sponsored by the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association where he received several Most Valuable Player awards. In 2009 Lingle played on Team USA in the World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship in Winnipeg, Canada, bringing home a bronze medal. This spring he traveled to Finland to compete in the 2013 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships as part of the USA Deaf Olympic hockey team, and the experiences he gained there were amazing. 

“The level of competition was the most challenging I ever played, and the opportunity to meet other deaf hockey players from all over the world was so rewarding,” he says.

At RIT, Lingle is the goalie on the club and intramural ice hockey teams, so for most of the academic year he is playing hockey every night. How does he do it?

“I do what’s fun and take one day at a time,” he says.

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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