Barbara Multari Director, International Education Office: International Education Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 1996
The art of gratitude is just one of the many lessons Barbara Multari has learned from NYIT’s international students over the years. She remembers discussing winter break plans with a student who was returning home to Bhutan for the holidays.
“He said he would be taking flights to India and then to Bhutan— then proceeded to tell us the rest of the story,” she recalls. “He would take a bus with chickens and other assorted poultry for a day or so; after that, he would get on a horse and ride for three days, sleeping in caves while watching out for snow leopards and Himalayan bears.”
Noting that the student would finally arrive at an 80-family village where residents sleep on animal skins in tents without electricity, Multari would never again complain about the long winter walk from her parking spot to her office.
“The international students have expanded my world view and they continue to inspire me every day as I watch them strive to achieve their goals in the wake of personal hardships, financial stresses, and academic and language challenges.”
During the more than 11 years she has served at NYIT’s Office of International Education, Multari has worked with students representing approximately 98 countries, from Albania through Zimbabwe. Although her office’s primary role is to ensure that NYIT international students are compliant with the rules and regulations of the Department of Homeland security, she also credits her office with the creation of a nurturing campus environment—“a home away from home” that fosters cross cultural dialogue, understanding, and respect.
“I am a people person and I enjoy working with young adults as they embark on their life’s journey,” she explains. “My top priority is that each student be given the opportunity and support needed to reach his or her full potential.”
Under Multari’s direction, the Office of International Education provides this support through events and resources that help international students adapt to life in New York and equip them to share their experiences with others. The office’s projects include orientation workshops, essay contests, visits to area schools, and a new initiative that will invite faculty, administrative staff, and domestic students to hear the stories of international students through web-based information sessions.
“The best part of my job is meeting students from all over world and hearing first-hand about their lives, values, cultural mores, and the journey that brought them to NYIT,” Multari says. “Aristotle said it best—“where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.” To be able to get up every morning and look forward to coming to work because you love your job, what else can anyone ask for?”