At an NYIT alumni event this past spring, Indera Rampal-Harrod joined her mentor and former NYIT professor Richard E. Dibble, Ph.D., onstage to receive a leadership award for her support of NYIT’s Center for Human Resource Studies and her dedication to the profession. The evening celebrated all that Rampal-Harrod has contributed to the school—with degrees in computer science, human resource management, and instructional technology, she is an NYIT triple threat. It also marked a transition in her own career.
After holding high-level positions at several Fortune 500 companies, including as director of Human Resources Global Business Partner at American Express, Rampal-Harrod chose to leave the corporate world to work as the chief human resources officer for Gersh Academy, a company that runs schools for students with autism. Moving from a company with 80,000 employees to one with 200 employees allowed Rampal-Harrod “to be the chief architect in building an HR agenda” for the Gersh brand. Large companies already have their practices in place, says Rampal-Harrod, but with smaller businesses like Gersh, “I can demonstrate my operational skills, be practical and effective and that’s exciting.” In many ways, the move was a natural one. Throughout her career, Rampal-Harrod has been a champion of education. She explains, “My mother used to say, ‘You don’t need a boyfriend. Everything can be taken away from you except your education.’”
Rampal-Harrod followed her mother’s advice and earned three degrees at NYIT. She also followed her heart: During her freshman year, she met her future husband, Leon Harrod (A.O.S. ’98, B.S. ’01, M.S. ’12). After graduating with a degree in computer science, Rampal-Harrod stayed on at NYIT and worked full-time as an assistant athletic director. While pursuing two master’s degrees, she guaranteed her younger sister’s undergraduate education so her parents could help her save for medical school, and managed to earn a Ph.D. in Organization and Management, specializing in Human Resources, at Capella University. Rampal-Harrod says NYIT’s human resources program is different from others because “the instructors have an affinity to the program and to Dr. Dibble. They come back and teach, and that makes the quality and the approach more holistic.”
Dibble is chairman of NYIT’s School of Management Center for Human Resource Studies and the director of the Center for Labor and Industrial Relations. When he asked her to teach at the graduate level at NYIT, it was a sweet homecoming. “Going through Dr. Dibble’s program, learning the importance of HR, and seeing how passionate Dr. Dibble was about his work made me want to become an expert.”