NYIT Cybersecurity Conference 2014
NYIT Cybersecurity Conference 2014
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Pictured, left to right: Juan Alcantara (B.S., Computer Science, ’13), Tony Grullon (B.Arch., Architecture, ’11), Philander Herrera (B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, ’10), Nahima Hoque (B.S., Life Sciences/Biology, ’11), and Harpreet Singh (B.S., Business Administration/International, ’09)
On Tuesday July 2nd, incoming freshmen in the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) were welcomed by NYIT staff, alumni, and current students who participated in the third annual HEOP Alumni Panel and Luncheon. The Alumni Panel is the official start to the HEOP summer program, an intensive five week program that prepares incoming freshmen for college. This year’s panel was made up of four alumni and one current student nearing graduation, all of whom attended NYIT through HEOP. The panel members spoke about their backgrounds, majors, roadblocks, experiences as HEOP students at NYIT, methods of coping with the challenges of college, and much more.
Among the most consistent pieces of advice given to incoming freshmen was the importance of utilizing their “HEOP family” whether that is the staff or their fellow HEOP classmates. Every panel member spoke about the value of coming to their HEOP counselors with any concerns and questions. “They are there to help you, use them!” Panel members also stressed the importance of utilizing the services required such as tutoring and counseling. They noted that while these requirements may feel a bit burdensome at first, the freshmen would soon come to realize the value in them. The panel members encouraged students to take advantage of the many other resources offered by NYIT from tutoring at The Learning Center to student leadership opportunities such as becoming Orientation Leaders, Peer Mentors/Advisors, and more. Many of the panel speakers had reduced their need for student loans by taking advantage of the numerous leadership opportunities offered at NYIT.
This year’s panel showed a trend towards continuing education. Among this year’s panelists, there were several who had obtained or were in the process of seeking advanced degrees. One graduate in particular, Harpreet Singh, obtained his M.S. in Accounting and Information Systems from Queens College, City University of New York. He soon after landed an impressive job as an Investigations Specialist at JP Morgan Chase. The students were awed and inspired to hear that he had already paid off all of his student loans!
Current student Juan Alcantara spoke about his experiences in different student groups and organizations. Juan is a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) National Honor Society. He spoke about the numerous community service activities he has been involved in since being inducted into XAE such as soup kitchen visits, high school mentoring programs, and toy drives for a local foster care agency. Juan said it has been an extremely fulfilling experience and encouraged students to aim for the GPA requirements that would allow them to also become a part of this elite group.
“It was inspiring to see the HEOP alumni giving back to the program and sharing their experiences,” said Deepa Bhalla, director of the program. “They are proof that hard work does pay off despite hurdles you may face along the way.” After the panel was over, the alumni stayed to have lunch with the freshmen and answer more questions. This was a great opportunity to stay connected and give back to a program they love so much. We would like to thank everyone who took time from their busy schedules to take part in this event. The HEOP freshmen will remember your advice for years to come!