Monika Schueren Director of Advising and Enrichment Program Office: Enrollment, Communications, and Marketing Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 2003
Eight years ago, when Monika Schueren (M.A. '05) decided to leave Boston University with just a semester to go in a master's degree program in physical therapy, she never imagined the value of that disappointing experience. Today, as director of advising and enrichment, she understands the firsthand challenges faced by the students who seek her guidance.
"I help students who are in that limbo regarding their choice of major," Schueren says. "I tell them not to stress and that they'll be successful by taking their time to find their own way."
After leaving Boston, Schueren accepted a job in NYIT's Office of the Registrar, where she realized how much she enjoyed interacting with students. She later became coordinator of the Central Advising Center, the precursor of the Advising and Enrichment Center, and was named director in 2009.
"I make sure students get the best support services and academic advisement," says Schueren, who often meets with students on academic probation. "What I see as most important is that I listen to their needs as an individual, something that often gets lost in translation."
Implementing new technology is central to Schueren's efforts to expand academic support services to all students, regardless of their location. In 2011, she implemented the online tutorial system, Brainfuse, and debuted advisement with Skype, a video-chatting service that enables her to reach students from New York to China. These forays into technology earned her a 2011 Presidential Technology Award.
Schueren, who also uses Skype to keep in touch with her family in Peru, Mexico, and Germany, speaks fluent Spanish and visits these countries frequently. In June, she toured Machu Picchu, Peru's famous ancient Incan ruins.
Her connection to Peruvian culture is not the only thing she inherited from her mother, who also imparted her tenacity. When Schueren and her brother started college, her mother pursued two master's degrees in her spare time.
"That wasn't easy for someone who is a foreigner," Schueren says. "That kind of dedication and hard work are always an inspiration to me."