Alesia (Howard) Allen

It’s no surprise that Alesia (Howard) Allen’s favorite memory of RIT/NTID is socializing. The Champion, Ohio, native’s bright smile and energetic personality fill the room.

“I enjoyed mixing and mingling,” Allen says, “but my favorite memory has to be my term as Ebony Club president. It was such an eye-opening experience for me, and allowed me to meet many of our African-American students as well as the presidents and members of other campus organizations. Because of this experience I also realized I could make a difference in other students’ lives. It helped me learn important leadership skills, and how to prioritize and do what’s best for the organization. It was one of the best times in my life!”

Allen, who now lives in Hatboro, Pa., graduated from RIT’s College of Liberal Arts in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology—Human Growth and Development. She currently is a therapist at the Deaf Services Center in Glenside, Pa., specializing in education for deaf adults with severe mental illness. She credits her experiences at RIT/NTID with helping her succeed.

“RIT prepared me in so many ways,” says Allen, who also holds a master’s degree in psychology and currently is working on her doctoral dissertation. “It helped me establish a network of supporters that continue to be in my life. They provided an array of support services for various situations. At RIT, they understand that there’s not just one way to be deaf. It was such a blessing—so many people out there don’t have the same luxury!”

Allen continues to consider RIT/NTID Assistant Professor Peter Hauser a mentor.

“I didn’t know I could go so far, but Peter showed me,” she says. “He also taught me that you can have a Ph.D. and still be a fun person! Having balance is important.”

This busy therapist and Ph.D. candidate now can add “newlywed” to her biography—she married her husband, Earl Allen, in October, 2010.

“It’s so nice to have a guy who understands and wants you to succeed,” she says. “He’s very supportive. I’m very blessed.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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