Transferring to be a Tiger | Writer’s Cut

RIT Official Tiger

After graduating from a high school in the suburbs of Rochester, I went to a college about two hours away from home. There, I was a marketing major. After about a year, I decided I wanted to pursue graphic design instead; I loved playing in Photoshop and dreamed to create advertisements. However, there was one problem: I hadn’t taken an art class since middle school. I made a bold decision to leave my four-year university and head home to my local community college. There, I started to explore fine arts and graphic design. I built up my portfolio and applied to new colleges. Two years after walking the stage at RIT for my high school graduation, I ended up back here as a second year Graphic Design major.

Pre New Student Orientation

After having gone to two different colleges already, I really hoped my next college would be the one I graduate from. To tell the truth, I struggled on where to transfer to for a long time. I was picking between RIT and another university, both with their different ups and downs. Thankfully, it was a really easy process transferring into RIT; the ease of the admissions process increased my urge to go here. My academic advisor, my program supervisor, RIT housing, and everyone else I met while applying was super helpful and accommodating.

Being a transfer student is intimidating. There are strength in numbers, and the freshmen are able to feed off of each other for guidance and support. However, when you transfer to a new school as an upperclassman, all of your classmates are already comfortable with their professors, can easily navigate their way around campus, have class experience, and know a lot of people. I was especially nervous to go into a major with a great reputation; I had developed a comfort zone at my community college, but I wasn’t being pushed. I wanted to develop my skills as a graphic designer, but also feared not being able to keep up. Regardless of my fears, the transition into RIT was as simple as possible, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more; I simply hoped for the best when I arrived on campus.


Shayna and her friends during at the firework ceremony during student orientation.

For New Student Orientation, I  had to arrive the Tuesday before classes started. After I moved in and say goodbye to my parents, I headed to the Ritter Ice Arena to meet my orientation leader and my transfer orientation group. Orientation week was long and overwhelming. I was in a group with only transfer students, but we participated in all the freshman NSO activities. At times it felt juvenile, especially because all transfers had already “been there done that”. However, I knew stepping out of my comfort zone was crucial. Therefore, I decided to embrace the activities at the NSO.

Orientation is designed to help new students get comfortable with their school before classes start. NSO at RIT did serve this purpose, but also did more than just provide me with helpful information. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I was able to make a bunch of friends who were also transfer students. I found it really easy to form relationships with other transfers, especially because we all had at least one thing in common. The relationships I had formed at orientation really helped me feel at home in a new environment. Without the support of my new friends, the beginning of my semester would’ve been much tougher. In the end, I am happy I decided to attend the full week of orientation events. Even though not all of the events were top notch, orientation gives you time to develop relationships and form friendships which will hopefully last you your whole college career.

Post Orientation

I am extremely glad I had the opportunity to meet other transfer students. Some of my closest friends here now are those of which I met at orientation. Their support and kindness has made my first couple weeks of classes much easier. My first couple classes were tough. I didn’t know much about RIT, yet all of my classmates knew other people and seemed to have the class routine down. Thankfully, once my professors and classmates knew I was new, they were overly accommodating and helpful.

I decided it was best in my situation to get as involved on campus as I could, right away. Now, I am part of two clubs, am on the Women’s Tennis Team, and have a lovely job as a writer for Behind the Bricks. My schedule is busy, but I like it that way. I intend to stay involved on campus, but also want to ensure my studies are my priority. Before I walk the stage at the RIT graduation ceremony, I hope to have developed relationships with my professors, have made lifelong friendships, and have gotten the opportunity to do some cool internships and graphic design pieces. I am happier than I have ever been. I am overjoyed to have transferred to be an RIT Tiger and I cannot wait to see what other opportunities RIT brings me.

Shayna and her new tennis team.

To learn more about the transfer process at RIT, please visit the transfer students section of the undergraduate admissions website.


The Pride Project at RIT

The first thing you see when entering the Student Alumni Union (SAU) is a big rainbow flag with a panel besides it that states, “The Rainbow or Pride flag was designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker as a symbol of unity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This flag is raised to honor past, present, and future gender and sexual minorities at RIT, as well as the allies who support them.”

The Pride Flag installation in the SAU

As years progressed, this flag became a normal part of RIT life; greeting everyone who walked into the SAU with vibrant rainbow colors. It is the simple act of installing this flag that has spoken for RIT’s inclusive community, which was the vision Dr. Chris Henry Hinesley, the person who successfully led the Pride Project with the help of the RIT community.


Dr. Chris Henry Hinesley

The idea came to him after admiring the many flags that hang in the SAU in 2011. “I realized there wasn’t a Pride flag and started asking questions,” says Dr. Hinesley. The questions traveled, as many did not know how to answer such a question. This wasn’t something thought of before, but Dr. Hinesley persisted.

Eventually, this idea made it’s way to Carol Reed who streamlined it right to the Campus Aesthetics Committee. “It was perfect timing as the space was already going to be cleared,” mentioned Dr. Hinesley. He envisioned a small flag in a glass case to ensure it was protected from vandalism and theft, but the committee insisted on something bigger with no case.

In a time where LGBTQIA identities were accepted but still a difficult discussion, Dr. Hinesley worried about the response to this flag being put up. However, in the time since, he never heard anything bad about it. In fact, he’s known it to be a beneficial presence for current and future students. On the impact of students, Dr. Hinesley remembers, “students telling me when they saw the flag during campus visits, they immediately transferred or decided to come here.”

First visions of the Pride flag in the SAU

Since the flag has been installed, the LGBTQIA community at RIT has seen great change. A leader and an advocate, Dr. Hinesley finds himself busy working with departments across campus to ensure proper protocol is in place to respect the identity of students, faculty and staff. Adding preferred names into the system, creating gender inclusive bathrooms, and SafeZone training for over 1,000 people every year is just some of the ways RIT is creating a more inclusive environment for the community.

Throughout his time at RIT, Dr. Hinesley was most pleased by how supportive and open RIT is when it comes to implementing change that positively impacts LGBTQIA students. “There are a number of times where faculty and staff would approach me with questions to ensure they’re doing the right thing.” This attitude is what inspired the creation of Q Center Advisory Team (QCAT), where faculty from all across RIT can become more involved with the center. A complete list of those on the advisory can be found here.

As Pride Month continues, the flag in the SAU serves as a reminder to the kind of campus RIT is; one that strives for diversity and inclusiveness in its function and community.


RIT Summer Bucket List

The First Day of Summer is here!

June 21, the first official day of summer. With the first day of summer upon us, the Behind the Bricks team created the ultimate Summer bucket list for you to try and complete before the first day of the fall semester. We challenge you to try every single item out and track your progress using the hashtag #RITSummer. Good luck!

Eat at every dining location on campus

There are various dining locations that are open during the summer time at Rochester Institute of Technology. Whether you are craving a burrito, a gourmet cup of coffee, or a garbage plate, Dining Services has you covered. For a list of summer dining locations and their hours of operation, visit:

Run the loop

Whether you are interested in getting your fitness back on track, or have some spare time during the day, running the loop around RIT is a great option. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the 3.14 mile running path. For more hiking and running trails, check out:

Try every Starbucks drink at Barnes and Noble in Park Point

The drink selection at Starbucks in Barnes and Noble in Park Point is endless, so it really will be a challenge to complete this by the end of summer! Whether you are interested in a frothy frappuccino or a refreshing cold tea, Starbucks is the place to go. While you’re visiting Starbucks, take a peek at the awesome summer deals going on in the apparel section of Barnes and Noble!

Volunteer at RIT FoodShare

RIT FoodShare is located at 113 Riverknoll, within the Apartment Area West office. FoodShare is constantly in need of volunteers. Open Monday-Saturday, stop in if you are looking for some volunteer work this summer! Check out for more information.

Count how many steps it takes you to walk the entire Quarter Mile

You can find this bullet on nearly every RIT bucket list out there, but hey, if you have the time, go for it! The Quarter Mile starts at the compass statue outside of Kate Gleason dorm building, and extends all the way to the infinity quad, just past the Wallace Center. The Quarter Mile is actually 0.41 miles long, not 0.25, so be prepared for a long walk!

Visit Rochester’s Public Market

The Rochester Public Market runs all 52 weeks of the year, and is a great way to embrace the culture of our campus city. RIT even has shuttles going out there some weekends! Running since 1905, the Public Market is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Whether you are interested in picking up some fresh produce, or getting off campus, the Public Market is for you. For more information, visit:

Try every smoothie on Ultimate Smoothie Blendz (USB) menu

Who wouldn’t want to be constantly refreshed and cooled down by delicious smoothies? With greens and protein options available, there’s a smoothie that will satisfy whatever you are craving. Pick up a smoothie at Beanz, or Crossroads!

Get a new hairstyle at Shear Global

Starting the Fall semester with a new hairstyle is the perfect way to boost your confidence, and make an impression. Shear Global is open Monday through Friday, and accepts walk-ins. If you want a trim, a blowout, or a completely new hairstyle, Shear Global has you covered. The salon accepts Tiger Bucks as a form of payment. Check out their website for more detailed hours:

Try every flavor of ice cream flavor at Ben and Jerry’s

With more than 60 flavors, this is sure to be a challenge to complete before the end of the summer. Ben and Jerry’s is located in the center of the Student Union next to Brick City Cafe, and across from Nathans Soup and Salad. Next time you pass through the SAU, stop and try a new flavor!

Go camping at Letchworth State Park

In need of a trip off campus? A 40 minute drive from RIT will take you to the “Grand Canyon of the East;” Letchworth State Park. The park has something for everyone including; kayak rentals, cabin rentals, bonfires, hiking, you name it. If you gather a group of friends for a weekend, the cost to rent a campsite is relatively inexpensive. Embrace the great outdoors while you can!

Go to a concert in the Rochester area

Rochester is packed with endless concert venues. If you are interested in a smaller venue, check out the upcoming concerts at Waterstreet Music Hall. Want something a little but bigger? Main Street Armory is for you. Even bigger? Blue Cross Arena hosts popular artists and bands all the time. Rochester also offers plenty of free concerts. If you want to stay close to campus, Park Point holds a free concert series during the summer months!

Skate at Frank Ritter Ice Arena

Although this isn’t something to do outdoors this summer, open skate at Frank Ritter Ice Arena is always an option for inexpensive fun. Open skate is offered year round, and summer is a perfect time to try it if you haven’t gotten a chance to during the academic year. Visit for summer open skate hours.

Eat a garbage plate

This may not be the healthiest option, but garbage plates are a Rochester staple. Crossroads offers a Garbage Plate as an on campus option, but Nick Tahou’s and Henrietta Hots have THE authentic plates you have to try.

Visit Salsaritas for Taco Tuesday

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate Taco Tuesday? Visit Salsaritas on Tuesday for a meal deal. Grab yourself some loaded tacos, queso and chips, and head outside to take in the Rochester summer sun. Open on Tuesday’s from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Taco Tuesday is a great option for lunch or dinner!

Go for a swim in the pools in the Student Life Center

The multiple pools in the Student Life Center are often taken for granted by members of the RIT community. The SLC offers a lap pool with multiple diving boards, a recreation pool with a whirlpool, and a large hot tub. Cool off from the summer heat by stopping in the SLC for a quick dip! Check out for updated hours.


Do you think we’re missing something from this list? Send your ideas here!

Men’s Health Week

June is Men’s Health Month, and this week (6/12 – 6/18) is International Men’s Health Week! According to, one of the main goals of Men’s Health Week is, “to increase the physical and mental health of men so that they can live fuller and happier lives.”

In the spirit of that, here are some resources and places on campus that can help (any and all) Tigers stay healthy and fulfilled.

Student Life Center

RIT’s Hale-Andrews Student Life Center features any and all of the recreational, athletic, and wellness related resources you need. In the SLC you’ll find:

  • Five multi-purpose courts
  • Seven racquetball courts
  • Squash court
  • Two dance studios/fitness rooms
  • Mini-gym (basketball, volleyball, multi-purpose court)
  • Elevated 200-meter jogging track

And that’s not even everything! Adjacent to the SLC you’ll find the Judson/Hale Aquatics Center and the Wiedman Fitness Center.

Let’s talk about the Wiedman Fitness Center. This two-story 16,000 square foot gym features a full range of selectorized machines, free weights, cardiovascular equipment, and a large stretching area. As an RIT student, you have unlimited (within open hours of course) access to this incredible fitness center, so why not use it! If you’re not sure where to start, or have never been to a gym before, you can schedule an appointment with one of the Fitness Center Supervisors. You can learn more about this free service, as well as nutrition education, personal training, and other fitness services here.

Healthy Eating (and Drinking!)

You can work that core all you want dude, just remember… “abs are made in the kitchen.”

Eating healthy takes a bit of habit forming (or breaking), but will improve your health and overall well-being in the long run. Many people think that they’re all set with their health goals for the week because they hit the gym a couple times. Making sure to consume “good” food and drink is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What is “good” food?

Be sure you’re getting enough protein and fiber, eating lots of greens, consuming good fats (like avocado and olive oil), and limiting sugar intake. Empty carbs, like cookies and Doritos might make you feel happy, but they won’t benefit your health in any way (especially if you’re trying to lose weight)! Everything in moderation of course, it’s okay to enjoy yourself and satisfy your sweet tooth every once in awhile.

Plan out your trips to Wegmans (because what other grocery store is there?) ahead of time. Create a shopping list that includes broccoli and excludes Mountain Dew!

Plan your meals ahead of time too. It’ll make it easier to purchase healthier choices. You can also practice financial wellness at the grocery store and limit your spending! Make sure you check out the Market at Global Village for organic, local, ethnic, fair trade, and sustainable foods and beverages.

Another important note: don’t drink your calories. Soda and other sugary beverages contain large amounts of sugar and other unhealthy syrups in each bottle or can. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men. An average can of Coke contains 7 teaspoons (35 grams) of added sugar. If you’re drinking a few sodas or other sugary drinks every day, try changing it up. Stick with water, milk or natural, no-sugar-added juices.

Mental Health

Taking care of your body is important, but never forget your mind. Mental health is an often overlooked part of wellness, and directly contributes to your success in college.

If you feel like you’re struggling with internal problems, or just need someone to talk to, be sure to find out more about Tigers Care. Housed in the Office of Student Affairs, Tigers Care is an RIT program that focuses on reaching out to those who are facing challenges and directs them to helpful resources on campus. It’s also about bringing people together through various programs and activities, to foster greater understanding and support.

College, if anything, is stressful. Effectively managing your stress goes hand in hand with a healthy diet and exercise. Working out can help take your mind off the massive test you have at the end of the week, and help to relieve some of that emotional strain from that girl who just won’t text you back. Most importantly, all work and no play only exacerbates stress levels. Take some time to treat yourself, relax, or hang out with friends. Everybody needs time to recuperate and socialize.

Keep your physical health in check and your mental health will follow!

RIT Wellness

As an RIT student, you are required to take a minimum of two wellness courses over the course of your education. The Center for Wellness Education is divided into 8 disciplines:

  1. Health & Wellness Seminars (WHWS)
  2. Dance (WDAN)
  3. Fitness (WFIT)
  4. Health & Life Support (WHLS)
  5. Recreation (WREC)
  6. Outdoor Education (WINT)
  7. Martial Arts (WMAR)
  8. ROTC (WMIL)

Within these 8 categories, RIT offers over 550 courses during the academic year! These include physical and exercise based courses like: Extreme Fitness, Functional Yoga and Indoor Cycling, to more mental and healthy lifestyle based courses like: Financial Fitness, Friends, Foes and Lovers, How to Become Smoke Free, and Stress Management. All of these courses can help you take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, and give you a baseline for your fitness and wellness goals.

Oh, don’t forget to try Swing Dance… and Ninja Training.

RIT Better Me

RIT’s Better Me program is a one-stop-shop for all your health related needs on campus. They offer various fitness programs and classes, nutrition counseling, and even cooking classes! The Better Me initiative is mainly focused on RIT faculty and staff. If you’re a staff member looking to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle but aren’t sure where to start, make sure to check out all that Better Me has to offer.


Singing to an Eight Beat Measure

RIT’s academics are hardly the only thing that the university receives accolades for.

RIT has many student clubs and organizations that have been recognized for excellence both internally and externally. One such organization is Eight Beat Measure, RIT’s very own male A Cappella group. In April, Eight Beat Measure received the prestigious Contemporary A Cappella Society (CARA) award for best Hip Hop song, carried to glory by their 2016 album Polarized. For those of you who do not follow A Cappella closely, the CARA is the A Cappella equivalent to a Grammy. 

Now, if you are asking yourself, “Wait a minute, Hip Hop album? Don’t A Cappella groups just do those silly barbershop quartet songs like in movies?”, you’ve never had the chance to see a modern A Cappella group perform. A Cappella is simply music without instrumental accompaniment. It can be any style of music from the Blues to Jazz to, yes, Hip Hop. To see Eight Beat Measure in action, check out their YouTube account. You can also listen to their music on Spotify, Google Play, and Apple music. This, of course, includes the award winning Polarized.

Polarized, released May 2016, is a collection of covers done by Eight Beat Measure. It has received a fair bit of attention, with their rendition of Usher’s single Scream has been streamed over 77,000 times on Spotify. That’s hardly their best performing song, either, with a song off of a previous release receiving over a QUARTER MILLION streams. Needless to say, the world has heard of Eight Beat Measure.

What does this album sound like, anyway?

It’s not what you may expect from an A Cappella group, especially the barbershop quartet version you may have in your head. It’s smooth, well produced, and thanks to some clever production, sounds like they’re using instruments where they use only their voices. It sounds like a hip hop or modern R&B album – not some sort of corny knock off of one. Of course, that is not to say the album is entirely formulaic, it has a style and charm all its own.

There is a strong element of vocal harmony, as is the expectation with an A Cappella group. These harmonies add rather than detract to songs originally sung by a lone vocalist, especially on tracks such as “Scream” or “Fascinated”. Even when a soloist takes care of the lyrics, the track does not seem empty so to speak. It sounds like there is a full band backing up each track, even though it is only the voices of the various members of Eight Beat Measure. This is best heard on their cover of “Uptown Funk”, which stays extremely true to the original version.

You might think that in the wake of all this success, that Eight Beat Measure would be more than happy to sit back and enjoy their success.

This could not be any further from the truth. The group is already hard at work planning what is next in the weeks and months ahead. In the short term, you can expect a new song to be coming out. Their new single “Forgiven”, originally performed by Kwabs, will be dropping soon. Further out, Eight Beat Measure plans on attending several international A Cappella festivals and competitions. Chief among these will be International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), which will take Eight Beat Measure down to New York City. The group will be performing closer to home during the upcoming school year as well, so keep an eye out for Eight Beat Measure near campus.

Utilizing RIT’s Resources to Find a Job


So it’s the last week of classes and you may be scrambling to find an internship, or if you graduate next week, a full-time position. Hopefully you’ve already begun to apply for jobs but if you haven’t, it’s never too late to start. If you’re not sure how or where to start, or just need a little help, I’ve put together some RIT resources that you can use to assist you in your job search.

Job ZoneJobZone

One major resource RIT provides for students and alumni is JobZone. It can, or maybe already has, help you tremendously when searching for a full time position or a co-op. JobZone can be found on the Career Services students page. When you get there, you are able to do an “advanced search” for jobs. You can search by your major, whether you need a co-op or full time position, and even location.

Always make sure your profile is up to date! Make sure you marked your profile as published if you’re searching for a full time job or co-op position. Be sure you have the correct resume and cover letter uploaded.

You can also go into documents > opt-in books and opt-in to your major’s “grads seeking full-time” or “2017 co-op” books. This will make you available to any employers looking at RIT for positions in your major to be filled.

Career Services

Another option is meeting with your career services coordinator to discuss your job search, your resume or cover letter, or the interview process. An important thing to remember is that they are still available to you after you graduate! Take advantage of their assistance and make sure you’re in great shape to be hired! To find out who your career services coordinator is, visit and use the search bar at the top to search by major.


Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and contains a bunch of relevant, professional information about you. You can apply to jobs on LinkedIn as well under the “Jobs” tab. You are able to pick your search term and location. There are usually “easy apply” options where you click apply and the employer is simply sent to your profile. Again, make sure your profile is updated first!

Other options that I have had success with include ZipRecruiter and Indeed. I signed up for the daily emails from ZipRecruiter and downloaded the app to make it even easier. The more, the merrier.

Best of luck on your job search, Tigers!

An Introductory Guide to the Wallace Library


If you have never spent an appreciable amount of time walking around it, the Wallace Library can seem like a daunting place. And let’s face it, most of us rarely venture past Java’s, and if we do it’s for the odd group project or because a professor required a print source for a research paper. It gets easy to think of the library as more of a spot to nap than an actual resource. However, the Wallace Library is far from an outdated, labyrinthine building blocking the view from Liberal Arts Hall. The library has a wealth of information and resources for the RIT community, especially with finals coming up.



Most of your time in the library basement is probably going to be spent staying out of the cold. The A-Level of the Wallace Library consists chiefly of tunnels and offices, with such attractions as the Sportzone office, thesis binding, Production Services, and classroom A400. The Liberal Arts and Library tunnels connect and can be difficult to tell apart (thankfully we already have a guide for that).

IMG_2231First Floor

The first floor of the library is a hub of activity. This is one of the most popular areas of the library for group work, since it does not have the noise restrictions that the upper floors do (within reason). The first floor is also home to Java Wally’s, your friendly neighborhood coffee shop.

Second Floor

The second floor houses the Cary Graphic Design Collection, a number of books, and a few tables. The second floor is a quieter floor, but you are able to do group work at a lower volume.

Third Floor

This floor is a quiet floor, so it’s best for individual study. You are allowed some noise, but it’s better to keep your headphones on.

Fourth Floor

The Fourth Floor is the smallest floor in the library, and is best suited for individual work. It is a silent floor, meaning there is no talking aloud. There are several tables and individual cubbies you can use for individual study. This is where you should go when you want absolutely no distractions.



There are many resources in the library that are available to all students, and they go way beyond books. One such service is the ability to sign out a laptop for up to 4 hours. The library has 38 Windows and 10 Apple laptops available, which can be taken anywhere on campus. This may not be much time for homework or doing an entire project, but it’s a lifesaver for presentations and in class activities that require a computer. It’s easy to do, too. All that you need to do is present your RIT ID and a photo ID (such as a driver’s licence or passport), state your preference of Mac or PC, and off you go. Best of all, there is no guesswork with knowing if a machine is available. An up to date count is available right on the Wallace Library main webpage.  

In House Resources

Going to the library gives you access to a number a resources. While you can gain access to many of them online, there are plenty more in person.

Study Room Reservations

You can reserve study rooms throughout the library. These rooms come in 1-3 and 4-8 person sizes. These rooms often include white boards and have plenty of outlets, so they are ideal for group projects.


There are a number of places to print and scan documents in the Wallace Library, mostly on the First and Second Floors. Be aware some printing services will require you to pay.


Of course, possibly the greatest resource available at the RIT library are the Librarians. There are a total of 9 librarians at the Wallace Library with various specializations, from NTID to Engineering to Liberal Arts. The Librarians have offices in the Wallace Library and are usually there during standard business hours.


Writing Commons

If you want to better your writing, the Wallace Library is home to the Writing Commons, a service dedicated to helping RIT students improve their writing skills. It’s located on the first floor of the Wallace Library and appointments are available.

Online Resources

On top of all the physical resources available at the library, the Wallace Library hosts a wealth of information online. You may be familiar with the database search function, where you can peruse a number of online databases for scholarly resources. However, there are many things you can do through the main library website beyond research.


The RIT library gives you access to a number of specialized databases, with access to a wealth of information. This is great for that research paper you’ve been putting off, since the database selection can get you every possible academic source imaginable. Which is much more legitimate than Wikipedia.IMG_2230


Like most libraries, you are able to search the RIT book catalog online. You can see the location, availability, and even due date if it’s checked out.

IMG_2225All in all, the RIT Wallace Library is an amazing resource for RIT students. Let’s be honest, we tell ourselves that libraries are an outdated thing and there is no reason to walk around a big musty building full of books and shooshing. The Wallace Library is far from that Hollywood portrayal you may have in your head. It is a place of learning, a place to gather information, and most of all, a vital part of an RIT education.