Emily and Alyssa Schreiner

Sisters Emily and Alyssa Schreiner both chose RIT, but for different reasons.

“RIT established a Biomedical Science program in the beginning of my freshman year, and it was exactly what I wanted,” says Emily, 21, now a third-year student in the program. “I also wanted to be with other deaf students and, at the same time, maintain my interaction with hearing students. Additionally, I received a full scholarship to attend.”

Biomedical Science provides a blend of research and working with people that appeals to Emily, and will prepare her to become either a medical examiner or a specialist in sports exercise.

“My research experiences have given me a look at what my future might be if I choose a laboratory career,” Emily explains. “I’m able to see the correlations between the classroom and real world, which will help me decide what I want to do after graduation.”

For Alyssa, 19, having Emily at RIT was a factor in attending, as was a strong deaf community and interpreting and notetaking services. She also found two programs that appealed to her.

“RIT/NTID offers a master’s in education that will allow me to teach deaf and hardof- hearing children as well as hearing students,” says the first-year student. “I want to teach American politics and history, so I picked a Public Policy major because it deals with politics and our government system, both of which fascinate me.”

The sisters from St. Louis, Mo., represent the third generation of their deaf family— they have deaf parents, sisters, aunts, an uncle, cousins, grandparents, great-aunts and -uncles. Their youngest sister, Rachel, who also is deaf, plans to attend RIT in fall 2009.

Both Emily and Alyssa find time to participate in intramural sports, including soccer, softball and ultimate Frisbee.

When asked how they would advise others, Emily suggests “students should know their priorities, since time management is so important.”

Alyssa agrees and recommends that students “balance their academic and social lives to be successful.”

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

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