Karen Vahey Dean, Admissions and Financial Aid Office: Enrollment Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 2014
Why join NYIT?
A number of reasons. I was looking for an institution committed to providing access to all
students. As a first-generation college student, I was overwhelmed by the college search
process and the cost of a college degree. As a result, throughout my career I've tried my
best to help others like me navigate the admission and financial aid process. In addition,
when I met the senior staff here, I could see NYIT is a place that has strong leadership and a
vision for the future.
What is your job?
I oversee admission and financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students,
How did you become interested in this career path?
As an undergraduate at Fordham University, I volunteered as a student ambassador in the
admissions office. When the opportunity to become an admissions counselor came up shortly
after graduation, I jumped on it. I had no idea it would lead to a lifelong calling.
Where did you grow up and go to college?
I grew up in Five Towns, N.Y., and currently live in Bellmore, N.Y., with my husband,
Kevin (B.S. '96). I received my bachelor's and master's degrees from Fordham University.
What is your proudest career moment?
As director of admissions at St. John's University, I worked with New York City's
Department of Homeless Services to create an associate's degree program for formerly
homeless individuals or those currently living in shelters. I truly felt I was carrying out St.
John's Vincentian mission.
How do you spend your free time?
At spinning class, adding to my wine cellar, or catching up on The Real Housewives.