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RIT/NTID alumna Tracy Tao-Moore (graphic design), is one of about two dozen Department of Defense employees who received a 2018 Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Service Members and Civilians with Disabilities. Tao-Moore is the lead graphic artist for the Mission Support Branch, Technology Division, U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky.

The award recognizes personnel with disabilities for their contributions in support of the DOD mission and recognizes exemplary department organizations for their efforts to advance a diverse and inclusive workforce. More.

Third-year design and imaging technology student Miko Arayata, from the Philippines, was presented with the 2018 Student Beacon Award. Arayata was commended for being an outstanding student leader at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), most recently, as vice president for Asian Deaf Club (ADC). Arayata has served as a student ambassador and been influential in promoting and attaining a working relationship with Discovering Deaf Worlds, a non-profit organization that focuses on enhancing self-determination, empowerment and leadership of deaf individuals from different countries.

The annual Student Beacon Awards are presented to students who utilize their leadership skills by fostering diversity and inclusion within the RIT community and demonstrate a balance of academic and co-curricular excellence.


RIT/NTID student Geraldine Dang, a 3D digital design major, was selected for the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Japan. RIT international fellowships and scholarships are financial awards granted to students to support study, research or work abroad. Eligible students are selected through an often competitive application process.

Here is a spotlight on Dang.

"Before I attended NTID, I had no idea what studying abroad was. While at NTID, some of my friends chose to study or work as interns in Italy, Croatia, Japan and China. I then began to dream that I could do something similar one day. I chose to apply to a program in Singapore because Singapore is known for its use of advanced technology. With my background in Graphic Technology and 3D Digital Design, I am interested in all Digital Design work. Also, Singapore is well known for its multiculturalism where the different nationalities (Chinese, Indians, Malaysians, and Caucasians) live together in harmony. The streets, I am told have signs in four different languages! The government promotes respect of the different cultures, funds the technologies, and provides universal healthcare to its citizens. This is the “caring” aspect of the culture I would like to learn along with how the deaf people live in Singapore. Finally, my grandfather used to be a diplomat working in both Malaysia and Singapore and it means a lot for me to be able to study and have an internship at a place where he used to work.

My advisor suggested that I apply for the Benjamin Gilman International scholarship to help pay for the trip abroad. Even though I was nervous to write the essays, I knew that the statement of purpose essay should describe me and my aspirations, and that my project proposal essay should be meaningful. For my follow up project, I plan to capture my daily activities on video and share my thoughts about studying and working abroad. The video will be presented at RIT and NTID with help from RIT Global to inspire other students. I will also present it to the Rochester School for the Deaf and to my family and friends."

On co-op, Curtis Martin applied his design and imaging technology training and enjoyed a number of new experiences that helped him build a professional portfolio to share with potential employers. More.

Shannon Connell, originally of Eldon, Missouri, has joined the faculty in NTID's Visual Communication Studies Department. He has more than 12 years of design experience, working as an art director, visual designer and production specialist before joining the NTID faculty. In his time with the college, Connell has taught classes in Raster/Vector Graphics, Graphic Design and Typography, History of Graphic Design, Identity Design and is co-teaching Web Design 1.

Connell earned his bachelor’s degree in studio art with an emphasis in graphic design from the University of Missouri. He also attended the University of Arkansas and the University of Central Arkansas where he focused his studies on traditional studio art methods with an emphasis in design communication principles. He won the Hermes Creative Award twice for his work as an art director at a digital agency in Saint Louis, Missouri. Connell intends to obtain his MFA with a focus on applying psychological and cultural perspectives into user experience design.

In his free time, Connell is an avid cyclist and cycles to campus from downtown Rochester on most days. In the past several years he has been involved in the bike racing community.