Benjamin Woelk

Professional Studies, concentrations in Public Policy. Tourism, Marketing 2011   I am pursuing my degree in the hope of developing skills for not only a new career but ultimately to address a need that I feel exists within the world which is to build community and celebrate culture within the context of urban and community development based around the arts and agriculture. My belief is that an individualized degree gives me the ability to market myself within a broader context to government, non-profit and private organizations. Abby Cantwell has been an incredible resource as she has met with me on … Continue reading Benjamin Woelk


Charles Moreland

Bachelor of Science 2010 I started at RIT in the Fine Arts program with a concentration in sculpture. By my third year I realized there was so much more that I wanted to do in life and switched to the School of Individualized Study. This move allowed me to finish my last year in Anatomy and Physiology. By the end of my time at RIT, I didn’t entirely know what I wanted out of life at this point but I knew I wasn’t meant for a typical career or a regular 9 to 5 job. I’m extremely independent and I … Continue reading Charles Moreland


Rachel McGinnis

Bachelor of Science (concentrations: women’s studies, public policy, psychology) 2005 Rachel E. McGinnis learned early how important a multidisciplinary approach was in her career field. After graduating from Perry High School, Rachel thought that her passion for affecting grassroots change and improving human rights could be accomplished through hard work alone.  But she saw that passion alone can lead to a narrow approach to problem-solving.  She quickly learned that social problems required multiple skills and the ability to see issues from multiple perspectives. After graduating from Monroe Community College with honors in 2003, Rachel enrolled in RIT’s BS in Applied … Continue reading Rachel McGinnis



Onsite Exhibition Content Methodology: Content was culled from RIT Archive Collections and the archives of Gleason Corporation, a long-time partner of RIT. In addition, oral histories were collected in October 2015 from Gleason employees. Online Exhibition Content Methodology: Timeline content … Continue reading Methodology


Student Enrollment Over the Decades


Year Enrollment








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Case 1: The Early Years

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Under Principal Eugene C. Colby, the Rochester Mechanics Institute established a program of classes for drawing and designing. The program had three goals for the first year, “(1) a felt need for trained men to man the industries; (2) a desire to help worthy young people to better their ways of living; and (3) a belief in the educative value of training in the sustaining activities of life.” Continue reading “Case 1: The Early Years”


Case 1: The Early Years Cont.

In 1886, the Institute introduced clay modeling, china painting, water color painting, and oil painting. By 1891, five three-year courses Continue reading “Case 1: The Early Years Cont.”