Crystal Phan

"If I were to choose one word to describe RIT/NTID, it would be ‘wonderful’," says Crystal Phan, 20. “There are so many opportunities for me here, and it feels so great to be a part of this college.”

Phan comes from Westminster, Calif., where she attended a mainstream high school with a small deaf program, and grew up in a hearing family not knowing much about Deaf culture.

When Phan was a junior in high school she came to RIT/NTID for the Explore Your Future program and decided that the college was the right place for her.

“The unique diversity of both deaf and hearing people at RIT/NTID intrigued me,” she says.

Now, this third-year student is taking advantage of the many opportunities on campus and making the most of her experiences here.

She’s a member of the Deaf International Students Association and the Asian Deaf Club.

“I’m thrilled to be able to learn so much about Deaf culture and interact with other students like me,” she says.

When she’s not studying or doing homework, Phan enjoys reading, surfing the Internet and watching movies.

An Visual Communications Studies major, Phan’s interest in art began in high school.

“My favorite classes are graphic design and photo editing because I like taking photos and retouching them, and then using my graphic design skills to make posters, brochures and other publications.”

Her artwork was selected for the annual NTID Honors Art Show—which showcases the best works from students in the Visual Communications Studies program. Phan also has earned Dean’s List honors.

“I’m keeping my options open for my future, and wherever I go I will be successful because I know RIT/NTID will prepare me for the real world,” she says.

Her advice for other students is to “take advantage of every opportunity offered here and learn from each one of them.”

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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