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June 21, 2004

NTID Students Get ‘A’ In Service

From: NITD - Jun 21, 2004

Contact: Karen E.M. Black
(585) 475-6840 voice/tty


ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 21—Motivating college students to add something extra to their already full schedules can be a daunting task. But, students in one National Technical Institute for the Deaf class found room in their schedules and their hearts to make service-learning projects rousing successes.

As part of National Youth Service Day, students Humberto Guzman, Elisabeth Haney, Michael Madden, John Roper, and Matthew White sold Krispy Kreme donuts and returned bottles and cans to raise money for new outdoor children's toys. They presented a water flow set and sand play system to Margaret's House, a daycare and early childhood education center on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology, home to NTID.

"I learned a lot about goals, planning, and working with a team on a project," said Roper.

"I learned to work with others, and it gave me a warm feeling that the kids were thrilled to receive new toys," added Madden.

The project built on the success of another led by Associate Professor Linda Gottermeier for NTID's Organizational Communication and the Deaf Employee class. Students in Gottermeier's class raised money to purchase a set of multicultural dolls for Margaret's House.

Victoria Benjamin and Gopal Bhattacharya went door-to-door to raise money by collecting bottles and cans. Fellow student Nhoc Ly collected donations from faculty, staff, and students. The dolls purchased were given to Margaret's House at Christmas.

"I think community service is important because you become a better person and a role model in the community," said Benjamin. "You get to see a child smile with joy and feel the satisfaction of working together and helping out."

Gottermeier's class also created squares for a quilt representing deaf culture that was donated for auction to Project Gonzo, a national group that supports inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of life.

Service projects are part of Gottermeier's course curriculum focusing on leadership, teamwork, professional etiquette, and strategies to break down barriers in the workplace.

Gottermeier said she chose to work with Margaret's House to expose young children to deaf culture while at the same time, allowing her students to see the immediate results of their hard work.

Students also gained entrepreneurial experience, setting up a business where they assigned roles and tasks to each other, set goals for themselves, and finally, purchased the toys they donated.

NTID is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. One of eight colleges of RIT, NTID offers educational programs and access and support services to its 1,100 students from around the world who study, live and socialize with 14,200 hearing students on RIT's Rochester, N.Y., campus.

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