New RIT Buses Revealed

Last semester, RIT announced we will be switching from our longtime bus provider Regional Transit Service to First Transit. This means good things for the community, including branded buses, more flexibility and lower costs for the university. Director of Parking and Transportation Randy Vercauteren gave us a sneak peek at the just-released design mock-ups, as well as insight into the choice to change service providers.

Parking and Transportation Services found in their research that when you have branded buses, students are more willing to get on them. Seeing their school’s colors or messages gives students a sense of assurance and belonging. Take a look at what our branded buses are going to look like! Way more welcoming than something drab and plastered with irrelevant advertisements, right?

Parking and Transportation Services presented the bus project to Professor Deborah Beardslee’s graduate level Design Theory and Methods Seminar as if they were the class’ clients, asking the students to come up with a system of original designs for consideration that would accommodate different bus sizes and styles. The graphic design concept on the surface of the buses can be attributed to students Rootwa Sagar and Trina Ray and the slogan “Reducing Our Carbon Paw Print” was incorporated from the designs of students Jordan Reading and Rachel Smith. Beardslee acted as a client liaison and design consultant for the design’s implementation.

Vercauteren also sought feedback on the administrative level and it was Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Sandy Johnson who suggested the addition of RIT’s 10 year strategic plan statement, “Greatness through difference.”

On top of branding capabilities, of course cost was a factor. Parking and Transportation could have opted for an in-house busing model, but the need for infrastructure to house the buses, to hire drivers and get new certifications would have made this an extremely costly choice. Public transportation companies like RTS also tend to have high prices due to their large administration costs and need to recover the loss created by straying from their usual routes. Since First Transit is a privately owned company, they were also able to offer a competitive bid for RIT’s business, which will save RIT students money.

“We’re a tuition-driven university so we need to always be circumspective of how we’re spending our money,” said Vercauteren.

Vercauteren mentioned that RIT considered route accommodation in their decision to switch the buses to First Transit as well. Since RTS is public transit, their routes couldn’t change to take trips as far off as the Racquet Club or the RIT Inn. Changes to the schedule could only be made four times a year, while RIT can now change the schedule with a day’s notice using First Transit.

RIT still recognizes the value of public transit and will continue its partnership with RTS for Route 24 trips to campus and the Tiger East End Express (TE3) that runs students into the city and back Saturday nights.


Looking for Summer Adventures? Rent a Bike.

Are you looking for some adventure in Rochester this summer, something that is both exciting and healthy? Here is what we’ve got for you: RIT Bikeshare!

RIT Bikeshare, as the name suggests, is a rental bike initiative created by RIT Student Government with the help of other administrative bodies like Center for Residence Life, Facilities Management and Parking & Transportation. The program maintains and rents bikes (RIT Orange, of course) to students for up to 24 hours at a time for free!

If you plan to rent a bike, you can simply log in to the RIT Bikeshare website where you can find a list of available bikes, their location and the terms of use. Also, if you are anywhere near Gracie’s, you can walk into the Parking and Transportation office at Grace Watson Hall and request a bike. The staff will be happy to help.

Once you rent a bike you should hunt for fun places you can ride to! I rented a bike for myself and my friend Jenny joined me for a ride. Don’t miss the pictures Jenny took on our small but amazing trip.

The little adventure began at Infinity Quad around 10 a.m. July 1, 2015. We were delighted to find some painted turtles in a pond near Perkins apartments even before leaving RIT. The Bike routes on campus connect to the Lehigh Valley Trail that connects to Crittenden Road, East River Rd and finally meets the Erie Canal Heritage Trail. With the destination set to Pittsford, we stopped by Lock 33 on the Erie Canal. We got lucky and could see the lock in action as a private boat was being raised as the water was filled in to match the level on the other side of the lock.

Directions from RIT to Schoen Place Pittsford
Directions from RIT to Schoen Place Pittsford

On such biking trips, you might get hungry and we are no exception. We decided to grab lunch at The Coal Tower in Schoen Place in the town of Pittsford, a brilliant choice by Jenny who, as a local Rochesterian, was an awesome guide throughout the trip. The Coal Tower is a cozy place and has great food options for both meat lovers and vegetarians. After lunch, we met some fishing hobbyists who gladly shared information about the fish that can be found in Erie Canal.

Towards the end of this escapade, we had already seen deer, a rabbit, a vole, a chipmunk and various kinds of birds. Riding the bike with such greenery around was a pleasant experience. Finally, we returned on campus at 2:45 p.m. smiling proudly at our adventure. The best experience about such ventures is getting closer to nature and meeting new people.

There are many more trails and parks in the Monroe County that can be explored on your RIT rental bike. You can get started here.

We look forward to having more visits like these and sharing our experiences with you.


Photography by Jeanette Schramm

Brand Yourself this Summer

Doing well in school is only part of landing a job. In this competitive market, there will always be applicants who did similarly well, and you need to figure out how to communicate what makes you different. Get ahead by building your personal brand.

Define Your Brand

Employers like people who can bring a unique perspective to the table, people who add something to the atmosphere. Be aware of what you have to offer.

In my advertising classes here at RIT, I was taught to think about your brand in terms of which THREE words or phrases best represent you. Of course, pick ones that would appeal to employers in your specific industry. As somebody working in communications, my brand is “bold, culturally conscious and genuine,” but there’d be a more desirable collection of adjectives to use if I were in a different field.

What have you done outside of class? Sometimes that’s what gives you the edge. If you’re a sustainability major with a cool hobby like building furniture out of recycled milk crates, you should find ways to tell people about that. If you’re majoring in game design but you’ve done extensive independent research on color psychology, mention it. These relevant but unexpected knowledge and skill sets are what separate us.

Communicate Your Brand

If you’re not sure how to get your brand across to others, practice! The Office of Career Services & Cooperative Education is here to help us better ourselves professionally, and part of the way they do that is through advisement. Setting up an appointment to discuss developing your brand can be your first bit of practice communicating what you’d like it to be. If you’re already confident in what your brand is, you can get further practice communicating it by setting up a mock interview for constructive critiques.

Design Promotional Content

Once you’ve figured out how to communicate your brand, reinforce it.

Never overlook the impact of a smartly designed business card. You don’t want your name to be lost in a stack of 20 others. Play around with fonts, sizing, placement and paper type to get across your brand’s essence. Don’t worry if you’re not a designer; you can use your subscription, which is free to you through RIT, to teach yourself design principles and how to navigate the big world of Adobe.

Once you’ve finished the design, the HUB can help make your creations tangible. For smaller print projects, visit the HUB Express, near Artesano. After printing, they can send your sheets to their main location to be cut into the traditional card shape.

If you’re in a buttoned-up industry, remember to keep things clean and minimalistic (Not to be confused with boring). If you’re in a creative field, don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to your standard business card. The HUB also offers stickers, which are a great way for artists to show off their work.

Launch a Website

You know employers are Googling you, so make sure they find something you’re proud of.

It’s fairly easy to create a simple static/portfolio site. First, you will need to register a domain name. I’d say Google Domain is your best bet because it has fast, free private registration, and you can use your RIT Gmail to do it all. A typical domain will cost you a small sum in the range of $10-$15.

Tip: When picking your domain name, try your best to get an address ending in .com. It’s best to get a .com for Google and other search engines to pick your site up, and everyone is used to .com.

When you have a proper domain, it’s time to get a provider to host your files online. Easy hosting providers that can be trusted are GoDaddy and HostGator. Both offer built in website builders as well as WordPress integration (which this very site uses). Again, has helpful tutorials to guide you through the process of setting up a website.

Check Your Presence

Once your brand is established online, you need to check your presence regularly to gauge whether it needs improvement.

There’s a brand new online product that can aid you greatly. It’s called BrandYourself and it provides you with information like reports of how your site is doing in relation to search engines and how strong your social media presence is.

Spend your summer free time on a project that’s fun and professionally fulfilling. Learning your unique value and mastering how you express it can give you the advantage you need to get job of your dreams.


Co-Author: Mohammad Daraghmeh

Father’s Day Gifts $30 and Under

Father’s Day shopping is a game where the objective is to find one item… but nobody tells you what that item is and you always manage to get yourself stuck on expert mode. Here’s a cheat: no matter what your dad is like, you can go to Shop One^2 and find him a gift he’ll love at $30 or less.

The Geek Dad

Does your dad long for the days History Channel was more about invention and less about ice road trucking?


Shop One^2 carries kits to create miniatures of two of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous machines. In about an hour or two, your dad can build himself an ornithopter ($34) or a catapult ($24) to add to what I imagine is an impressive collection of other quirky devices.



This set of a dozen drone-captured stereo views ($15) shows the campus at gorgeous angles, and owning documentation of what is now activity banned by the Federal Aviation Administration will leave your dad feeling super geek-edgy.


The Hip Dad

Does “Portlandia” resonate with your dad? In, like, a half-ironic but pseudo-reflective kind of way?


These one-of-a-kind wallets by Rochester’s EvenOdd ($28) are upcycled from bike inner tubes. That’s right; one-of-a-kind, local, upcycled and made of bikes. If you’ve planned to get your dad something hipper, I can only assume you’ve somehow managed to get an original pressing of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” on vinyl.



Your hip dad loves coffee, right? Gift him this Bruer mug set ($30) and he’ll be enjoying the note of dried cherry in his Papua New Guinea Kunjin blend from Joe Bean in a stylish design that holds the temp just right.


The Dad Who Never Grew Up

Does your dad express an Andy Dwyer level of enthusiasm for fun?


Cubebots ($15 for small, $20 for large) are a non-traditional take on robots inspired by puzzles. Just imagine your dad’s goofy grin as he puts his robo-dudes in sweet martial art stances meant to ward co-workers away from his desk.



Blackjack? Gin Rummy? Sure, if that’s what your dad is feeling. But since this set of plywood playing cards ($20) has interlocking slots for building, he’ll probably be concentrating on building the best house of cards… ever… in all of history.


Shop One^2 has something for your dad. You just need to stop by and find it before Sunday!

Textbook Season

sean-bean copy

Textbook season is coming. Make the process a bit easier with Barnes & Noble’s new features.

Have you been stalling to get textbooks for your summer courses? We all know how hard it is trying to find the right books for the right price. Our budgets are tight, but Barnes & Noble has made it easier by offering used versions that work just as well as the new.  You can also opt to rent instead of buy, another way to stay within your budget. Even if you are not taking any summer classes, this will help you out for the fall and spring too!

Here is a short tutorial that shows just how easy it is to find your textbooks through Barnes & Noble:

Method 1

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Rent/Buy Textbooks
  3. Type in your textbook criteria (department, course, section)
  4. This cool new feature tells you how much you can save by renting a used textbook versus buying new.
  5. Rent/Buy the textbook right on the spot!

Method 2

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Student Info System
  3. Sign in with your RIT credentials
  4. Find your weekly schedulerit
  5. Click on the button that says “Buy my Books from Barnes and Noble
  6. Go ahead and buy/rent the textbooks you need!


By installing the The Barnes & Noble College App (iTunes/Android) you can receive awesome discounts like the one pictured below, which is still active as of June 2nd, 2015.