On September 23, faculty, friends, and family gathered at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia to celebrate New York Tech-Vancouver’s Classes of 2021 and 2022. Nearly 250 students attended the ceremony, including graduates from the university’s M.B.A.; finance, M.B.A.; instructional technology, M.S.; energy management, M.S.; and cybersecurity, M.S. programs.
In her address, Executive Director and Campus Dean Irene Young, Ed.D., commended graduates. “Dear students, we understand that you have worked very, very hard and been diligent in studying in your chosen field. And, of course, that was not without its challenges. In the last couple of years, we’ve all been through the pandemic and all the ups and downs and the challenges that has introduced to us,” said Young, who went on the praise the students, faculty, and staff for rising to the challenges and obstacles. “And now we are here to celebrate all of our success.”
In his remarks, President Hank Foley, Ph.D., congratulated the newest alumni.
“Today, you join a powerful alumni network of over 110,000 people, all of whom are New York Tech alumni,” he said. “All our graduates, like you, are educated to become professionals. That’s why we say we are the school of doers, makers, innovators, and healers. Welcome to the fold.”
From left: Student speaker Anthony Song Lara addresses his fellow graduates.
Student speaker Anthony Song Lara (M.S. ’22) addressed his fellow graduates and thanked family and friends who supported them along the way. Song Lara was the president of the Graduate Student Association and was awarded an Edward Guiliano Global Fellowship to travel to Peru to teach digital literacy to teachers in communities that are struggling due to the pandemic.
He also thanked the deans, teachers, student life department, and staff. “You have helped us to high standards and showed us what we are capable of. We are all grateful to have had your mentorship and are proud to now be alumni of New York Institute of Technology,” he said.
Vancouver Celebrates Inaugural Alumni Awards Gala
On September 22, the eve of New York Tech-Vancouver’s 13th annual Commencement ceremony, the university hosted its inaugural Alumni Awards Gala at the Italian Cultural Centre, celebrating the accomplishments of the campus community and honoring two alumni with achievement awards.
Joining in the festivities were President Foley Vice President for Development, Alumni Relations, and External Affairs Patrick Minson, Ed.D., College of Engineering and Computing Sciences Dean Babak Beheshti, Ph.D., and Interim Dean of the School of Management Deborah Y. Cohn, Ph.D. (M.B.A. ’89).
The Alumni Awards Gala was established to recognize the professional achievements and community service of the alumni of the Vancouver campus. This year, the honorees were Hariomsinh “Hari” Bhati (M.S. ’20) and Mahdi Bina (M.S. ’21).
Presented with the Alumni Achievement Award, Bhati is currently an integration engineer at Hydroflyer and a technical project manager with Watts Water Technologies. While a student at New York Tech and with a passion for sustainable engineering, Bhati co-founded Umbra and Lux Studios, a sustainable light company. He also landed two internships that led him to a full-time position with Envo Drives Systems developing electric vehicles for snow and water use. During his time with Envo, Bhati hired more than 15 New York Tech graduates.
From left: Patrick Minson, Hariomsinh “Hari” Bhati (M.S. ’20), who was presented with the Alumni Achievement Award, and President Hank Foley.
Bina received the Alumni Service Award. The cybersecurity graduate is an information and communication technology (ICT) engineer with Samsung Electronics. In his professional and personal life, Bina always thinks about how he can add value to people and society by creating products or services that tackle humanitarian or environmental issues. In addition to hosting a radio series on Canada Toranj Radio, he has given talks on 23 entrepreneurs across British Colombia and shared their success stories with his community in Canada. He recorded 24 broadcasts, one of which was with more than 287,000 listeners and viewers in British Columbia. He is driving part of the new horizon program for positively impacting senior citizens, social participation, and community development. Bina is a volunteer leading a 12-member team to upgrade seniors’ knowledge and awareness about scams and preventing senior abuse by increasing senior citizen’s digital literacy. He also helps to motivate senior citizens to combat social isolation and foster inclusion.
Mahdi Bina (M.S. ’21) received the Alumni Service Award. He is an information and communication technology (ICT) engineer with Samsung Electronics.
The evening also featured a performance by the Wild Moccasin Dancers, a dynamic dance collective that captivates its audiences through pow wow culture. The group was featured at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies.
The Wild Moccasin Dancers performing at the Alumni Awards Gala on September 22.