Gladys Kimutai is a top student-athlete on the women's cross country team and a member of NYIT's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She received All-Academic honors from USTFCCCAthe U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Associationfor the 2013 cross country season.
Why study at NYIT?
I received an athletics scholarship, which has sustained me through my academic years. NYIT has strong coursework, a nice campus, and good athletics records for cross country and track and field. I am proud to be a Lady Bear!
What have been your best experiences at NYIT?
Going to a college where I can always count on great academics, caring professors, and friendly classmates. It has been a pleasure to meet NYIT's wonderful team of athletic staff members, including Athletics Director Clyde Doughty Jr., all the coaches, and fellow student-athletes. The Old Westbury campus offers a quiet learning environment and an ideal setting for cross country training. I have also enjoyed living with roommates from different countries and diverse cultures.
Have you completed an internship or volunteer work?
I completed my first internship with NYIT Sports Medicine during the spring 2014 semester. I have also volunteered several times, such as providing help after Hurricane Sandy.
Have you faced a personal challenge?
Managing my time at college. Being a student-athlete calls for personal sacrifices, creativity, discipline, commitment, endurance, and focus. It's not always easy. I try to manage stress of any kind, be it classwork or athletics, plan ahead, seek help when I need it, and avoid discouragement.
What were your expectations when you came to NYIT and what's different?
I expected a college just a little bit better than my high school back home, but when I got here, I was surprised by so many thingsthe buildings, resources, facilities, administrators, and friendly atmosphere. I appreciate everything I have here.
How would you define/describe YOUR NYIT?
MY NYIT has been a home and a place where I can become who I wish to be. I am learning new things, pursuing my career, making friends, nurturing my talents, and becoming a well-rounded person academically, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
What has it been like for you to adjust to American culture?
When I first came to America, I didn't expect so many different things, especially in terms of clothing, food, culture, religion, and education. In my country, the shortest dress worn by a woman only goes a little beyond the knee. There's no pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and broccoli. When I first came here, I only ate bread and milk until I started having stomach problems and improved my diet.
Relationships between men and women are different here, too. In my culture, you are not allowed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend until age 23 or older. Even then, you must have traditional ceremonies and pay a dowry before living together. In the United States, there is a lot of freedom. A woman can go around with her boyfriend or even stay together as they wish. In terms of child care, a woman can leave her baby to a neighbor any time. In Kenya, women carry their babies on their backs as they work.
What are your career aspirations?
I left Kenya to study biology in the United States, but after some time at NYIT, I changed my major to health sciences. In my country, so many people suffer and die from diseases such as malaria, typhoid, and cholera. I'm learning everything I need to make a big difference for people in Kenya.
What are your favorites?
Book:Think Big and Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
TV:24 starring Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
Home-cooked Kenyan meal: Pilau (flavored rice and meat mix), chapati (like a pancake), and ugali (made of white corn flour, like polenta).
What is one fun fact about you?
I like cracking jokes with friends.