Thomastine Sarchet

Paying it forward is important to Pittsburgh native, Thomastine Sarchet, associate director of NTID’s Pre-College Education Network (P-CEN).

“I knew that I wanted to work at RIT/NTID because I wanted to contribute to the community that helped me grow up,” says Sarchet, a two-time RIT alumna.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in Biology at RIT, she got a job—coordinating Vocational Rehabilitation services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT’s Campus Connections Bookstore.

“My career here has had a strange trajectory,” she says. “I had learned to sign as a student, and at the bookstore, I could maintain my connection to the deaf community. I then worked as a C-Print captionist, but missed interacting with deaf students in the way I had been able to do at the bookstore. That’s when I realized I wanted to combine my love of science and teaching with my deaf community involvement, so I applied for the Master of Science Program in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. While completing my master’s, I worked in the Center for Education Research Partnerships at NTID, then moved to my current role at P-CEN. I also have worked as an adjunct instructor for two NTID academic departments.

“I love working here because I love the energy of our students, and I appreciate the support of the community,” says Sarchet. “Each unit I have worked in has been like a family. My proudest achievements here are seeing students I have worked with graduate, and working with deaf education programs in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Region.”

“RIT/NTID is a unique place that gives me the ability to use my varied skill set,” says Sarchet, who is working on her doctorate in Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Rochester.

“My mother told my siblings and me, if we were going to do something, do it all the way. RIT/NTID has given me a lot, so I want to give back all the way.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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