Behind Imagine RIT: 5 Years and counting

Regis Pollard headshot

Hello, All!  My name is Regis Pollard and I currently am a graduate student in the MBA program at RIT.  I did my undergraduate work at RIT as well, and have worked with the festival my entire time here.  When I’m not at work or in class, I usually can be found playing on a variety of intramural teams on campus.  I am also head baseball coach at a local school district, which keeps me involved in the community.

Over the last 5 years I have had a chance to work at many different positions with Imagine RIT.  This year I am the Educational Outreach Coordinator, working with local school districts and charter schools to assist in planning trips to campus the day of the festival.  I am also helping to coordinate and assign positions to the over 600 volunteers that we get every year.  I don’t think the average person realizes how much planning and preparation goes into making the festival successful.  No detail is overlooked and we are continually trying to make the day better for our visitors, exhibitors and volunteers.

Although I haven’t had the chance to enjoy the festival as a visitor, because I am busy working the entire day, I have heard nothing but great things.  It is such a positive experience for people to come to campus and see all the incredible things that RIT students, faculty, and staff are doing.  The creativity and innovation present at all the exhibits is impressive, and really makes you believe that anything is possible.  The day is one of the highlights of the year for the campus and community, and I look forward to the first Saturday in May each and every year.

Behind Imagine RIT: Co-op Students part 2


Hello readers, my name is Eric Lizotte and I am a third year Management Information Systems and New Media Marketing student at RIT. I was born and raised in Massachusetts and like most students it was a big change for me to move away from home. Fortunately for me I made some close friends rather quickly that I enjoyed going places with.

I remember some of the bigger events that I went to during my freshman year. I had attended homecoming, Freezefest, and I even walked through parts of Toracon. All of the events were huge, so I thought it was safe to assume that I had seen the largest events that RIT had to offer. Then I heard about an event called ImagineRIT.

All the advertisements I saw for it made ImagineRIT sound like the largest event that RIT had. Usually an event has to be large scale in order to merit a commercial on TV. Even though it seemed big I remember thinking that there was no way a one day event could be of a grander scale than Homecoming or Freezefest which lasted multiple days.

I was wrong.

On the day of the event I walked around campus with a few of my friends and saw that ImagineRIT truly was RIT’s signature event. It embodied the true spirit of innovation that no other event could. Seeing the creations that other students at RIT had produced truly made me proud to be an RIT student. After a day full of visiting exhibit and watching performances I decided that Imagine RIT was something that I wanted to be a part of.

Now it is my third year at RIT and I have a co-op position with Imagine RIT. It feels amazing to be contributing to RIT’s mission of innovation and creativity. As the festival gets closer I hope that some of you will also find the desire to be a part of Imagine RIT on May 2, 2015, whether it be as an exhibitor, a volunteer, or a visitor.

Behind Imagine RIT: Co-op Students


As pictured in my majestic glory, my name is Juan Lachapelle and I’m currently a 3rd year Advertising and Public Relations/ Philosophy double major student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). I’m on co-op (or internship or cooperative learning etc) under Imagine RIT focusing on social media and anything else Imagine RIT related.

Small Tidbit about myself, I’m originally from Bronx, NY and came to RIT on a random whim. Never visited the campus or even knew how it looked like before I got on it that hot summer day back in 2012. Parents leaving in tears and me trying to get a feel for where I’m going to be for the next 4 years of my life. In about 3 years, I’ve joined a multitude of organizations, became integrated into the campus and started living on my own with some good friends. It’s been a rough but wonderful ride and my current stop is working with the Imagine RIT team and bringing you a glorious event.

My first experience with Imagine RIT was a short-lived one. I worked at a booth for Reporter Magazine and never really left it. It was nice seeing people come up and talking to them about our magazine but that was my entire day. My second year, I wanted to experience the festival to the fullest. I got some friends and we went to every building and every exhibit we could find. With that I was hooked. It’s a beautiful event for students to see what our colleagues are working on and staff to see what students can actually do. Then you have the Rochester community, being able to see what RIT is all about .

Throughout my time here I’ll be bringing you behind the scenes look at the things happening beyond the festival and interviews with people who make Imagine happen every year. I will be trying to post stories and articles weekly/bi-weekly so be on the lookout. You can ask me questions about Imagine RIT or just about anything though email ( or twitter (@jhlachapelle). Come back tomorrow for a look at my co-worker and second co-op student, Eric Lizotte.

Imagine RIT Exhibits Live On

It’s important for you to know that the research, business plans, prototypes, and other types of exhibits one will experience during Imagine RIT, do not fade away after our one day festival, but rather they live on as RIT students, faculty and staff continue to develop and refine their work.

MotionSavvy is one such exhibit – an application that will translate a hand shape into a text letter of the alphabet in sign language.

Check out this video on CNET’s website.  A captioned version of this video may be found on YouTube.

 Other great press placements for MotionSavvy may be found in:

The RIT/NTID students involved include: Ryan Hait-Campbell, Alex Opalka, Wade Kellard, Jordan Stemper, Daniel Mooney, Claire Bernard, and Robert Dooling.  In 2013, the team was accepted in and completed RIT’s Summer Start-Up course for new businesses at RIT’s Saunders College of Business and the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  This was followed by an award of $25,000 and acceptance into Leap Motion’s LEAP AXLR8R in San Francisco to help further their work.  MotionSavvy has also been developed as part of RIT’s research in Effective Access Technology.

Only 200 Days…?

That’s right, folks!

The countdown has already begun with 200 days until the 8th annual Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival.

Time and again I run into people out in the community who say, “What do you do at RIT?” Answer: “I coordinate the Imagine RIT Festival.” Only to hear the follow up response, “Oh, yeah, I’ve heard that’s a great event. We haven’t made it there yet.”

I think to myself, “Do you mean you have not been among the 200,000 visitors who have made it to the festival since its inception in 2008? Hmmm…”

Well, if this conversation describes YOU don’t let another year go by without carving out some time – even one hour – to visit this unique, fun, and educational festival that “engages all ages.”

And guess what? It’s absolutely FREE!

So mark your calendar for Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., rain or shine.

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Don’t know what the festival is all about?

Picture the RIT campus, both indoors and out, covered with 400+ exhibits put on by our very own students, faculty and staff, covering any and all topics related to Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM).

Plus…live entertainment and lots of food!

Check out our website for more information, and please follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

2014 Imagine RIT: an Innovation and Creativity Festival in Rochester, NY


Thanks to Hackaday for this amazing blog post about our festival.

Originally posted on Hackaday:

Metal Imagine RIT Sign

Every year, the Rochester Institute of Technology hosts Imagine RIT, an innovation and creativity festival “that showcases the innovative and creative spirit of RIT students, faculty and staff.” The festival is free to the public and really brings the community together to celebrate technology, science, art, innovation, and creativity! We had the chance to attend this weekend and we had a blast looking at all of the engineering projects on display.

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Attention: Imagine RIT Exhibitors!

 Attention: Imagine RIT Exhibitors!
We are distributing t-shirts and meal cards to confirmed exhibitors today and tomorrow in Eastman Hall Lobby, 11am-2pm
Group pick up is allowed (please be prepared to show ID) – shirts/meal cards will not be available on Saturday, May 3 



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