EAST GREENWICH, RI – Dr. Douglas H. Sherman, Senior Vice President and Provost at New England Institute of Technology, announced that three students enrolled in the university’s Criminal Justice Technology program earned gold medals in Crime Scene Investigation in the College/Post-Secondary Division at the 52nd SkillsUSA National Competition held in Louisville, Kentucky June 21-24, 2016. The winners were Shelby Mortin of North Kingstown, RI, Stas Belch of West Greenwich, RI, and Mikayla Guarino of Wrentham, MA. These students join the growing list of NEIT Criminal Justice students who have won medals at SkillsUSA National. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, NEIT students have earned medals at this prestigious competition.
More than 6,500 students from across the U.S. competed in 100 occupational and leadership skill competition areas. Rhode Island was well represented with 81 secondary and post-secondary career and technical students with 29 individuals finishing in the Top 10. These industry-driven competitive events are modeled after the Olympics where the top three individuals or teams receive gold, silver, and bronze medals. To compete at the national competition, all students must earn a first place spot at their state-level SkillsUSA competition.
Students must work both against the clock and other competitors demonstrating their expertise in their chosen occupational field. The Crime Scene Investigation competition consists of a skill-related written test as well as hands-on activities. Students must show proficiency in crime scene methodology to include photography, gathering physical evidence, crime scene sketching, dusting a crime scene for collecting latent fingerprints, and releasing a crime scene properly and legally.
New England Tech’s Michael Webb earned a bronze medal in Architectural Design at this year’s competition. All four NEIT students who earned a medal were presented with job offers by industry representatives in attendance.
As Sherman stated, “The New England Tech community is very proud of this year’s Criminal Justice team as well as our other student competitors. NEIT students are encouraged to participate in SkillsUSA as a means to enhance their knowledge and skills as well as leadership and job opportunities. Congratulations to our faculty who work so diligently with our students in preparing them for this well respected competition. ”
The Career Services Office recently asked New England Tech graduates to share their success stories with us. NEIT is always proud to hear how well our graduates are doing. This week we are featuring a 2012 graduate from the Digital Recording Arts (now called Digital Media Production) program: Chris Esper.
We asked Chris to share a little bit about himself and asked a few questions. Here’s what he had to say:
To start, I now own and operate my own production company, Stories in Motion, where I make narrative films, music videos, corporate videos, commercials, wedding videos, etc. My work has had the honor of playing in multiple film festivals across the country as well. Back in 2014, I also managed to intern at OddLot Entertainment in Los Angeles, CA, where I got to read screenplays from various writers and share my feedback with the story editors of the company.
I also recently self published my first book. It’s called The Filmmaker’s Journey, which is about giving advice on starting a career in independent filmmaking based on my own experiences, successes, hardships, struggles, etc. The goal is to help others and to show how to ultimately survive in what is a very difficult career. It was just released on Amazon on Kindle and paperback: http://amzn.to/2908y2l.
- Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in film? What/who inspired you to pursue such a career?
Film has been something I loved since I was a child. I think I’ve always subconsciously knew that film is what I wanted to do, but it took me a while to get there. When I was younger I wanted to be in front of the camera as an actor and/or comedian. Slowly, though, my focus started to shift behind the camera with directing. In my teens, I discovered that I could combine everything I loved into one medium, that being film. I think it was when I first saw Martin Scorsese’s classic “Raging Bull” that I got a deep understanding as to what cinema is truly about and it greatly inspired me to want to make movies.
- Were there any experiences you had while you were in school that you believe helped you once you entered the work force?
There were lots of experiences that I feel helped me once I graduated. I think I grew as a person in how I approach my work as a creative and professional through my professors and classmates. While I was in school, I took advantage of what the New England film community had to offer from internships to working on various sets. Those experiences taught me a lot in never being afraid to aim high, always do my best and to put myself out there as much as possible. All these things and more have helped me a great deal since graduating in 2012.
- What kind of challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
I think my biggest challenge was self doubt and rejection. No matter how well I made a project or did well in a task, I focused on the negative side and just questioned myself. Finally, I just gave all that up and told myself that I’m not the only one and that this is part of the journey. Ultimately, I think those who are looking to get into any field of choice, especially creative fields, should look at the biographies of their idols and look for their failures. That will put things in perspective. We never hear enough about what our idols went through to make it to the top, when we should. The media tends to focus on their successes, but I firmly believe that failure is what drives us to be a success. One has to receive a lot of ‘No’s before they can receive a ‘Yes’.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement thus far?
I would say setting out to write and finish my book. As a filmmaker, shifting to another medium is quite difficult, especially one that is not a visual medium. My goal was to share my story and advice based on my own successes, hardships and failures. My goal is to give back what I learned to others who also want to get into the field of filmmaking. What started out as a simple video blog on my YouTube page, turned into a bigger project that is so far proving to be successful.
- What do you attribute your success to?
I believe my success comes from my tenacity and determination. I think without that, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve as much as I have achieved. I also think I have a huge support system that surrounds me, especially my parents. They instilled their work ethic into me and also taught me to do what I love in life without settling for less.
- What advice can you offer to students/graduates interested in pursuing a career in film?
It’s a long hard road, but if you don’t give up and keep creating, you will eventually reach your goals. You can have all the talent in the world and the greatest resume in the world, but it doesn’t matter. You need to network with people and put yourself out there. Nobody is looking for you, so you need to make the first move.
If you are a graduate of NEIT, or know someone who is, and would like to share a success story, please contact Caitlin Beagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Joy of creativity is never lost
“The final pieces of art are so beautiful and striking. It’s stunning. You would never know these pieces were made by someone experiencing memory loss and that’s the beauty of it all,” Dottie Santagata, administrator of Cornerstone Adult Services on Warwick Neck Avenue said recently.
Cornerstone Adult Services is on their second installation of Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program, a 10-week program that pairs memory loss patients one-on-one with occupational therapy students to work on abstract art pieces. Cornerstone is the only facilitator of the national program in the Northeast.
Santagata explained that even as one’s memory fades, the desire and drive to express ourselves and to be creative remains.
OMA offers participants “failure free” art activities with manageable steps and support from an occupational therapy student. Studies also find that when individuals with memory loss participate in artful self-expression it improves their physical and psychological well-being.
“We gear our programs to focus on the participants’ abilities not disabilities. We emphasize what they can still do, what brings meaning and engagement into their lives,” Santagata said.
Cornerstone began with two sessions in January partnering with New England Institute of Technology’s occupational therapy department. The sessions were so successful they continued with the program. The art created in these sessions is displayed throughout Cornerstone’s facility. Cornerstone is planning an art gallery sometime in June with competition of the second session. In many cases caregivers and family members can’t believe their loved ones created the art and often get emotional seeing them. The art is becoming so popular family members are asking to purchase prints of the work.
At the end of each session, Cornerstone participants get the opportunity to title and share their art with the rest of the program.
Santagata said, “Our participants are so energized and when they get to show off their work they are just beaming. It’s just amazing people who never thought they were creative leave considering themselves artists. They receive so much joy and validation from this program.”
In an artist quote provided by Santagata, one of the OMA artists said, “I never thought of myself as an artist before starting this. I like all the different materials we use in the art. I never know how it will come together in the end. It’s amazing how different everyone’s art turns out.”
Another said, “I wish I could have done more with art. I discovered that I really enjoy art, and I never had the chance to do art before. I find that all I am really interested in right now is art.”
Patients aren’t the only ones benefiting from OMA, the NEIT students get two days of working with patients with memory loss previous to the program and get real world experience throughout the 10-week program.
Doug Fallow, who participated in the program’s last session, said OMA was an “eye opening experience” for him. He was better able to understand how memory loss can affect someone’s entire life. He was able to take what he was learning in the classroom and “put it to work in the real world.”
“When you ask people what they like to do they may not remember or it may not translate to their current abilities,” Fallow said. “This is universal, everyone can participate and be creative. It’s important to build on these experiences.”
Both Fallow and Satagata said that students and participants form a strong bond over the 10 weeks they work together.
“It’s a win-win all around,” Satagata said. “Everyone has been so enthusiastic. This program has really surpassed all of our expectation on so many fronts. We see it in the expressions of our patients faces.”
ONE-ON-ONE PARTNERSHIPS: Cornerstone Adult Services participants are paired with an occupational therapy student from New England Institute of Technology once a week to work on step-by-step abstract art projects. (Warwick Beacon photos)
STRIKING: Administrator of Cornerstone, Dottie Santagata, said that the final art pieces are becoming so popular that families are asking for prints of the pieces. Cornerstone intends to open an art gallery with all the work later this summer.
BEAMING FACES: At the end of each session, all of the Cornerstone participants have the opportunity to share their piece of art. Santagata said the patients are beaming and take a lot of pride in their work.
Source: The 25 Best Jobs of 2016
New England Tech loves when careers on the U.S. News report for Best Jobs are ones that our students have the opportunity to experience. Here is a list of the careers that made the U.S. News report:
#20 Web Developer
#22 Registered Nurse
Timothy Henry, coauthor of Data Abstractions & Problem Solving with C++: Walls and Mirrors, winner of a 2016 McGuffey Longevity Award: “I have expanded the writing and explanations in both the material I prepare to support lectures and the assignments I give to students. This provides an opportunity to practice a writing style similar to the one we use in our books and to receive feedback from students on the effectiveness of the writing.”
- Textbook & Academic Authors Association Blog article on “Getting Started and boosting your confidence”
Timothy Henry: “I ensure I have a good block of time with no meetings or classes. With my schedule, I have come to accept a block of 2 to 3 hours as valuable (though I do occasionally have an entire day). Because that is a short window to write, my normal writing day begins by clearing my desk and work list of distractions, such as minor ‘ToDo’ items, urgent emails, etc. Then, my email, phone and other messaging apps/devices are turned off so there will be no interruptions. I try to have any needed research completed outside of my writing time, since research can be done in ‘snippets’ of time.”
Carrano & Henry: “We are most proud of these key pedagogical features:
- Security Notes.
- Relatively short chapters that provide focus one a topic.
- Chapter dependencies and content are designed to give an instructor great flexibility in the order topics are covered. (Concept/Abstraction Chapters, Implementation Chapters, Language/C++ Chapters).
- Many diagrams that clearly show step-by-step how algorithms work.
- That the differences between steps are highlighted with color. (As opposed to a single diagram with numbered arrows to show sequence).
- That the book is culturally sensitive.”
Carrano & Henry: “We describe the features of the book, major changes in a revision, and remain receptive to user questions and suggestions. We are open to email correspondence with both instructors and students who use our book.”
Carrano & Henry: “After publication of an edition and even before the first book is sold, we maintain a list of tweaks or changes that we either could not make during production or that occurred to us after publication. During the course of the edition’s lifetime, we collect any comments and suggestions that are made to us by current instructors and students. About a year before the next edition will go into production, I ask the publisher to get reviews of the current edition. We analyze these reviews and decide how these comments and suggestions fit with our own ideas about how to improve the book. We also look at any updates or changes to the programming language discussed in the book to see whether the changes are relevant and need to be covered. Typically, we discuss the plan with our editor.”
- Textbook & Academic Authors Association Blog article on “Scheduling writing time and getting involved in marketing”
Timothy Henry: “I now clearly understand the phases/steps in the process. Ask for a clear timeline from the publisher.”
- Textbook & Academic Authors Association Blog article on “Advice and lessons for other writers”
We are thrilled to learn that New England Institute of Technology was named one of the country’s top nursing schools. The Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on over 3,200 institutions nationwide and New England Institute of Technology is pleased to report that we have ranked:
#39 nursing school in the New England region
To review the complete list or to view the ranking methodology visit http://www.nursingschoolsalmanac.com/articles/top-50-nursing-schools-new-england
To learn how to get started on your associate degree in Nursing and to schedule a visit to our campus, please call Admissions at 800-736-7744, ext. 3357, or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu.
The New England Institute of Technology, Masters of Science in Construction Management program is proud to be a 2016 Gold Sponsor of the Construction Management Association of America – New England chapter (CMAA NE). Our faculty designed the program for the hands-on construction manager, and the curriculum aligns with the CCM certification. Visit our website to learn more. We look forward to working with you to advance your career in Construction Management.
NEIT Joins the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements for its Online Degree Programs
Dr. Douglas H. Sherman, Senior Vice President and Provost at New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), announced that the university has been approved by the State of Rhode Island to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). SARA is a voluntary agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to simplify the process for students taking online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.
SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. The members of SARA are states, not institutions or students. Therefore, a state becomes a member of SARA while a college or university participates in the SARA initiative. States may join SARA through their respective regional compact.
In order to gain SARA approval, the State of Rhode Island passed legislation to join the national agreement at the state level. NEIT had to also participate in a certification process by the Rhode Island Office of the Commissioner for Postsecondary Education to be granted status as a participant. Nearly 40 states across the country have earned the SARA designation. New England Tech is one of four Rhode Island participating institutions of higher learning.
SARA’s mission is to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines, as well as make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education work. As a result, institutions of higher learning can make their academic programs more widely available and accept enrollments from students in many other states. All SARA institutions must annually commit to providing high-quality online learning opportunities to students.
In January of this year, U.S. News & World Report released its 2016 Best Online Programs and New England Tech earned the No.1 spot in Rhode Island for its online bachelor of science degree programs and was ranked 3rd in New England as well as 49th nationally. Sherman stated, “Earning this recognition is a testament to the important work that our faculty, instructional design staff and student services team have performed in making our online learning environments the absolute best that they can be. Now that our university is a SARA participant, we look forward to assisting students across the county to achieve their academic goals.”
For more information on any of NEIT’s programs, contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744, 401-467-7744, by email at NEITAdmissions@neit.edu or visit www.neit.edu.