Sasha-Ann Simons, WXXI

@SashaAnnSimons

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She most often tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York as part of a journalism collaborative, and is a fill-in host and regular contributor to WXXI-TV's weekly news magazine program, Need To Know.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Sasha-Ann comes to Rochester after spending her formative years growing up in Toronto, Canada. She studied broadcasting at Ryerson University, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism. Sasha-Ann earned her first news gig as a chase producer at CityTV, while still a college freshman. She subsequently took on various roles in other Toronto newsrooms as a videographer, host, and producer, and was part of the award-winning Global Television Network news team.

Sasha-Ann has covered and produced stories in the Canadian national spotlight, including Occupy Toronto, the Eaton Centre mall shooting, the Toronto Argos CFL championship win, and the Mayor Rob Ford crack scandal.

Sasha-Ann is fun-loving and sassy. She is also passionate about education issues. When she's not on the air, Sasha-Ann spends her time with family and exploring new recipes in the kitchen.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

On a cloudy summer morning, Rochester Institute of Technology professor Carl Salvaggio and a student from the school’s Center for Imaging Science stood in an open Pittsford field, eyes fixed on the sky. They were flying an unmanned aircraft system — also known as a drone — with the help of a longtime pilot. 

The trio took the DJI S900 n-copter on a series of 20-minute test flights, to check how well its sensors and six high-definition cameras can provide aerial imagery for precision farming. Salvaggio moved to a table off to the side, using a computer loaded with data-tracking software. He set up a small monitor on a tripod next to him to get a closer look at the airborne drone. Its short voyage would help the researchers assess the health of the vegetation.

SHUTTERSTOCK

You may not notice it at first, but atop the roof of the wine press building at Lakewood Vineyards is something that marked the beginning of change in the region.

The 47-kilowatt solar energy system has been invaluable to the Watkins Glen, New York winery, according to president and winemaker Chris Stamp. If he has his way, workers will install more panels once the building’s expansion is complete this summer.

Lakewood started harnessing the power of the sun four years ago, a move Stamp said put them “way ahead of the curve” compared to other Finger Lakes wineries.

FORMULA HYBRID

An all-female car racing team from Rochester Institute of Technology finished third place in the electric category in its first global event. In early May, Hot Wheelz took part in the Formula Hybrid at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

The addicting effect of video games is one an avid gamer can certainly describe. Once the controller hits the tips of their fingers, they are transported into a world of challenge and excitement.

The pastime is often criticized and accused of contributing to inactivity, and sometimes for having a violent influence. Studies have shown, however, that gaming can actually provide therapeutic value.

The innovative thinking of Rochester Institute of Technology students was on full display at the school’s Henrietta campus during the ninth annual Imagine RIT festival on Saturday.

Thousands turned out to see the hundreds of exhibits across campus that showcased a wide variety of skills and creativity. In Clark Gymnasium, the focus was on access and inclusion technology.

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