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Local residents chosen to be Rochester Institute of Technology commencement delegates


ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Twenty-three graduation delegates will represent Rochester Institute of Technology's colleges and degree-granting units during this year's commencement and convocation ceremonies May 11-12. Delegates were selected based on their academic standing and will give a speech at their respective college's graduation service:

Stephanie Rankin of Rochester (14625) is the graduate delegate for RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology. Stephanie graduates with an MS in service leadership and innovation. She previously completed a BS in marketing at RIT. Her professional experience includes serving as a marketing coordinator at LaBella Associates and she is a co-founder of Rochester Brainery. At RIT, Stephanie serves as a member of the Faculty/Staff Alumni Chapter Committee, Rochester Alumni Chapter Committee, RIT Young Professionals, and the RIT Benefits Advisory Board. Following graduation, Stephanie plans to continue working at RIT as a foundation relations officer in the Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

Tara Shedlosky of Pittsford (14534) is the graduate delegate for RIT's Saunders College of Business. Originally from Old Lyme, Conn., Tara now lives in Pittsford, N.Y., and graduates with an Executive MBA. She completed a BA in chemistry at Colgate University and a Ph.D. in coatings and polymeric materials at North Dakota State University, where she developed a protective and removable coating for outdoor bronze. Tara's professional experience includes manufacturing-based research, and improvement and leadership roles at DuPont, including serving as a plant manager for DuPont's Advanced Printing division. With the knowledge gained in the EMBA program, Tara is now employed in the service industry as a business improvement process manager at Paychex.
Rachel Abbett of Rochester (14609) is the graduate delegate for RIT's School of Individualized Study. Rachel graduates with an MS in professional studies, with concentrations in communications and higher education administration. She completed a BS in visual arts and interpreting at Northeastern University. Her professional experience includes serving as a staff interpreter at RIT/NTID and the University of Rochester Medical Center, in addition to freelance sign language interpreting. She is certified in health care interpreting and a nationally certified interpreter. Rachel plans to continue working in the Department of Access Services at RIT/NTID, where she serves as the manager of the interpreting team for the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Shakierah Smith of Rochester (14613) is the undergraduate delegate for RIT's College of Liberal Arts. Shakierah graduates with dual BS degrees in criminal justice and communication. Shakierah served as a youth mentor for the Higher Education Opportunity program at RIT and as a project assistant for the National Science Foundation AdvanceRIT program. She is a member of the Honors Program and the McNair Scholars Program. She is a recipient of the Richard B. Lewis Award, the Kearse Undergraduate Writing Award, the Center for Public Safety Initiatives' Excellence in Research Award, the RIT Innovation and Creativity Award, and the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholarship Award. Shakierah plans to obtain a law degree and become an advocate for victim's rights.

Ronald Kemker of West Henrietta (14586) is the graduate delegate for RIT's College of Science. An active-duty U.S. Air Force Captain, Ronald graduates with a Ph.D. in imaging science. He received a BS in computer engineering, a BS in electrical engineering (photonics), and an MS in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University. At RIT, his research interests include applying machine and deep-learning techniques to solve remote sensing problems and developing brain-inspired frameworks for artificial general intelligence. Ronald supervised four high school and undergraduate students, and their work has been published in top-tier artificial intelligence conferences and remote sensing journals. Ronald will return to the Air Force as a program manager.
Susan Wylie of Rochester (14607) is the graduate delegate for RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability. A licensed attorney from Rochester, N.Y., Susan graduates with an M.Arch. She completed a co-op at Bero Architecture focusing onhistoric preservation. Susan earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame. She has 25 years of experience as an attorney in both private practice and at Eastman Kodak Company, where she served as assistant general counsel. At RIT, she was a recipient of the Leadership Award, the Academic Merit Award from the School of Architecture, and the American Institute of Architects (Rochester Chapter) Scholarship. Susan intends to obtain a position in which she can apply both her legal expertise and knowledge of architecture in endeavors such as community and urban planning, neighborhood renewal, and research and policy initiatives.

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.
The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo.

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