Student researchers from NYIT-Abu Dhabi’s M.B.A. program visited the U.S. last week to present their work at a conference organized by the International Journal of Arts and Sciences (I.J.A.S.) at Harvard University. After their conference presentation, Robin Carvalho and Aya Wadi (class of 2015) visited NYIT-Old Westbury to share their findings with a select group of School of Management (SoM) faculty. Dean Jess Boronico, who hosted Robin and Aya, congratulated them on their achievement, calling them “exemplars of student leadership at its finest.”
SoM faculty and other guests engaged in high-level analysis with Robin and Aya as all examined the students’ work on how foreign universities in the U.A.E. should present themselves via their websites. Faculty members questioned the students’ research methodology and statistical analysis, which was carried out under the mentorship of SoM faculty member and marketing specialist Vanaja Menon Vadakepat, Ph.D. Aya and Robin responded as professionals, explaining the details of the research and asserting the validity of their findings.
Dean Boronico noted that the students did more than simply gather and analyze data, important though that work is; they also used their findings to make a measurable impact on NYIT’s website. “We have spoken with leaders at NYIT-Abu Dhabi about our findings,” said Robin, “and the Abu Dhabi page of NYIT’s website has implemented changes as a result.” For example, social media links are now featured prominently. “Research in the School of Management is not just an exercise,” affirmed the dean.
Dean Boronico also highlighted the collaboration between SoM faculty and administrators in Abu Dhabi with colleagues in New York. “The close support we have given these students, from both New York and Abu Dhabi, is an example of the interactions that occur among the multiple campuses where the School of Management has operations. We encourage exchange among both faculty and students.”
Aya and Robin’s early research, including careful data collection and analysis, resulted in their first paper, “Consumers Perceptions: Gap Analysis on University Websites,” which they presented at the International Conference on Technology and Business Management (ICTBM-14) in Dubai in March.
Encouraged by the reception their work received on that occasion, the students refined their work, now titled “Perceptions of College Websites: Abu Dhabi Market Response,” in preparation for the I.J.A.S. conference. The I.J.A.S. accepted their presentation after double-blind peer review process; most other participants were university faculty members.
Robin and Aya will return to Abu Dhabi with experience of U.S. academic culture, but also with connections to the SoM’s New York-based faculty. In the immediate future, they are working with their mentor to publish their work for an academic audience. At the same time, NYIT staff members in Abu Dhabi and New York will continue to assess and implement the students' findings as part of ongoing efforts to communicate with NYIT’s non-U.S. student population.
School of Management