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Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology


Doreen Edwards


Dean, Kate Gleason College of Engineering



Rochester Institute of Technology joined PIT-UN in 2020 to contribute to the network’s mission to grow a new generation of civic-minded technologists. To date, RIT has been awarded two PIT-UN Challenge Grants to advance that goal: Paul Shipman’s grant to build a career/placement pipeline model within tribal communities, and Justin Pelletier’s grant to help people underrepresented in the computing workforce, particularly dead and hard of hearing individuals, launch new careers in cybersecurity. In addition to the dozens of projects and initiatives that are highlighted on our PIT-UN website (, we have established a committee with representatives from each of our nine colleges and two degree-granting units who are responsible for widely disseminating PIT-UN opportunities and events within their units. In the upcoming year, the committee will develop a framework that strongly communicates how we are advancing PIT-UN goals within RIT’s mission to leverage the power technology, arts and design for the greater good. This will be followed by a strategic planning exercise to map out our activities over the next several years.

Ellen Granberg, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Strengthening PIT-UN

Renewable Energy as a Public Interest Technology to Reinforce Tribal Sovereignty

An internal, RIT-funded seed grant enabled us to engage directly with Tribes on their views on the relationship between Tribal sovereignty, energy development, and service provision on Tribal lands. This grant would increase the number of Tribes we engage, in partnership with Navajo Technical University (NTU). The broader set of data gathered will be analyzed to identify common themes and contrasting views between and within Tribes. The results of the study will be disseminated and refined through a workshop with Tribal leaders and energy professionals, where we will present research findings and workshop with participants to refine a framework for defining, discussing and pursuing TES and the role of RE as a PIT in pursuit of Tribal objectives.  As part of this project, we will also develop a series of short educational videos in Indigenous languages.

Principal Investigator

Nathan Williams, Assistant Professor, Department of Sustainability

Career Pipeline/Placement, Strengthening the PIT University Network

Career Launch Pad: Building a Cyber-Protection Apprenticeship

Faculty with the Global Cybersecurity Institute (GSI) at Rochester Institute of Technology will build a federally certified, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) in cybersecurity.

Principal Investigator

Career Pipeline/Placement; Faculty and Institution Building

PIT in Tribal Communities
This project provides a model for career pipeline/placement and builds a working group in PIT at RIT specifically aimed at working within tribal communities. This is accomplished within the framework of a well-established faculty-tribal relationship, and through the RIT Future Stewards Program and its tribal affiliations. The working group will be initiated through information sessions and a request for proposals for three student fellowships and two faculty mini-grants. Working group members will participate in a Native Science and Technology workshop before funded projects begin. The project would conclude with a roundtable discussion of outcomes, institutional resources, and future needs.

Principal Investigator