Mashup of illustration of students sitting on stacks of books and Deans Quigley, Boronico, Maria Perbellini, and Beheshti


Community Conversations: Academic Deans

August 25, 2020

Pictured clockwise from top left: Dean Dan Quigley, Dean Jess Boronico, Dean Babak Beheshti, and Dean Maria Perbellini

The seventh event in the Students First: Community Conversations series was held on August 20 with the academic deans of four of New York Tech’s six schools and colleges. Students heard from Dan Quigley, Ph.D., dean of NYIT College of Arts and Sciences, Babak Beheshti, Ph.D., dean of NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Maria Perbellini, M.Arch., dean of NYIT School of Architecture and Design, and Jess Boronico, Ph.D., dean of NYIT School of Management.

Throughout the discussion, the deans shared what students can expect and have to look forward to for the fall semester. While each dean shared information specific to the students in their school or college, one message was clear: faculty understand the unprecedented circumstances and will do everything within their power to ensure that students have a safe, successful, and productive academic year.

See what they had to say.

College of Arts and Sciences

Dan Quigley noted that in June, the college began its plans to move all humanities courses to remote instruction for the fall semester. Quigley highlighted the dedication of instructors, who have been working all summer to build robust Canvas or Blackboard platforms for these classes. The move to hybrid remote instruction for humanities courses freed up more space for in-person labs and studios in the fall. Chairs and faculty, in lockstep with New York State requirements, have been working proactively to ensure sanitizing procedures for these spaces. However, students who do not feel comfortable attending labs in person may choose to attend virtual labs, which will be rolled out shortly.

College of Engineering and Computing Sciences

Babak Beheshti reminded students that they are part of a proud history of accomplishments and innovation. He encouraged them to rely on student engagement staff, including Sarah McGough, senior student engagement specialist, based in New York City, and Thomas Leggio, senior specialist of professional development, based on Long Island, who can provide helpful information or direct questions to the appropriate individuals. Beheshti told students that a number of the key gateway and freshmen courses would be offered in-person, but that the remainder of courses would be delivered via hybrid remote instruction. He explained that all faculty are instructed to be flexible to students’ needs and accommodate those who do not feel comfortable returning to campus. Directing his attention to international students, he noted that courses will be offered in compliance with ICE requirements and that students will not have to fear immigration sanctions or deportation. Beheshti also urged students to take initiative and virtually join some of the many clubs and activities available on both the Long Island and New York City campuses, including chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and NYIT Ventures as well as the many programs in the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center.

School of Architecture and Design

Maria Perbellini reminded architecture and design students that they are part of an inclusive community of innovators from all backgrounds. Sharing messages from an email sent to students the previous week, Perbellini told students that all New York City courses will be offered remotely, with no in-person classes. On Long Island, only first-year studios and visualization courses will be offered face-to-face. The remainder of classes will be held in a hybrid remote format. Some courses will be supplemented with asynchronous online activities, allowing students the flexibility to learn on their own schedules. Due to New York State regulations, there will be strictly limited access to computer labs on both campuses, and students will have regulated limited access to the fabrication laboratory in Education Hall. Perbellini noted that the school would proactively continue to contact students to gauge their comfort level in order to plan for class modalities. Students will have the option of attending courses remotely if they do not feel comfortable coming to campus. She also urged students to check their New York Tech email and follow the School of Architecture and Design on social media for future updates.

School of Management

Jess Boronico emphasized that the School of Management offers a non-traditional education, where students are encouraged to embrace their individuality. He noted that some courses would have the option of in-person attendance, as some students may prefer face-to-face instruction. Boronico also encouraged students to virtually participate in the School of Management’s Triple Platforms of Excellence, a program that offers students real-world management experiences through professional enrichment, experiential education, and student advancement. Students can learn about these opportunities through the School of Management’s newsletter. Students will also be assigned a faculty mentor, and Boronico encouraged students to take advantage of this opportunity throughout their academic career.

All of the deans reminded students that following the Thanksgiving break, all classes would be held remotely. In fielding student questions, all four acknowledged that every student has different circumstances and comfort levels. They stressed that students will have options to attend classes remotely and will not be penalized for choosing to do so. They also reminded students that all faculty are required to offer office hours. Whether hours are held in physical offices, virtually, or even large on-campus settings such as the academic quad, will depend on the individual faculty member and the school or college. Students are encouraged to raise specific questions regarding schedules, office hours, and class requirements directly to their chairs and professors.

Students First: Community Conversations is a series of discussions aimed at informing students on the changes to be made at New York Tech during this pandemic and the support systems that are available to members of the campus community. View all Students First: Community Conversations Series videos.