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2019 Power 50: Alan Ritacco

Alan Ritacco Dean of the School of Design & Technology Becker College, Worcester Residence: West Boylston Colleges: Worcester State University, Fitchburg State University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Becker has long graduated more students in veterinary technician and nursing majors, but for the school to succeed in the coming years, it may rely most on its video game design and esports programs, which have the small college on the same level in national rankings as New York University and other leading institutions. Ritacco is the dean of Becker's 600-student-plus School of Design & Technology, making him the leader of a program putting Becker on the forefront of a new era of video games.

This fall, Becker will begin its esports management program, which the school says is the first of its kind in the country. Ritacco set up the first-of-its-kind underprivileged 7th/8th grade girls STEAM program with the intent of inspiring girls to peruse fields of technology and sciences; last year the program hosted about 60 students from three states. He is on the board of the Worcester Public Library Foundation and has worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Worcester and Fitchburg & Leominster. He has worked on grants for a virtual realty project Gettysburg historical society and an Opioid Early Prevention App, targeted at 3rd and 4th graders.

Where is the Central Mass. community headed? We are heading into a technology boom, where we will see a stronger focus and buildout of incubation in both software and engineering. We are at a pre-inflection point in many of these industries and have the strength in local leadership, technology and overall geography to be a driving force in in these areas.

The gentleman farmer: On my property in West Boylston, I harvest corn, tomatoes, potatoes, apples, and other vegetables and fruits.

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