New undergraduate and graduate students from near and far joined the third annual New Student Academic Convocation, held virtually on September 6, to kick off the 2022-2023 academic year. The event featured inspiring talks from New York Tech’s leadership team, Student Government Association (SGA) presidents, and alumni.
Nearly 200 new students were featured in a slideshow accompanied by upbeat music that showcased intended programs in business, computer science, digital arts, engineering, molecular biology, health professions, and more. Serving as host and emcee, Dean of Students Felipe Henao, Ed.D., extended a warm welcome to the engaged group.
SGA President for the New York City campus, Zoya Haq, posed an important question: “Why are you here?” Whether students chose New York Tech because they were interested in an academic program, becoming a New Yorker, or felt a connection to the community, she said, “from here on out, you’ll create your new experiences, moments that will last a lifetime, and solidify your future path.” She told students, “academic life is what you make of it…Always ask why but also don’t be afraid to ask why not. Be a doer, maker, and innovator. Never let that spark of curiosity fade away.”
New York Tech President Hank Foley, Ph.D., congratulated students for their choice in prioritizing their returns on investment for their education. “You made a great choice because we are educating young people to become engineers, health professionals, scientists, architects, and business leaders,” he said. “These are all wonderful occupations and terrific professions, and they typify the fact that you will be doers, makers, innovators, and healers. It’s people like you who will reinvent the future and make the country and world even better.”
President Foley stressed the importance of seeking help from people and resources at New York Tech and encouraged students to take the time to get to know people from other backgrounds.
Jerry Balentine, D.O., executive vice president, chief operating officer, and interim provost, promised to deliver the best possible experience at New York Tech, focusing on three areas: excellent academic opportunities and support services to help students achieve their passions; extracurricular options through clubs, interests, and research; and finally, helping students make campus a second home.
“When you are a student at New York Tech, you are never alone; you are never on your own,” shared Balentine.
Alumni Offer Advice: Positive Attitude; Push Through Comfort Zone
Two alumni who received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York Tech recounted how their student experiences set them up for personal and professional success.
“Approaching your work, problems you may face, and even your friends and colleagues with a positive attitude and optimism can make all the difference. Your skills and knowledge will come with time as you continue to learn and get better. But something you can do right now is to try to approach every new challenge with a positive attitude,” said Siddhant Kulkarni (B.S. ’15, M.S.’19, D.O. ’19), resident physician at Northwell Health. “There are going to be tough challenges ahead in your life but tackling them with optimism will help you and those in your life overcome them.”
Vice President for Strategy and Growth at Health Plus Management, Dina Selecky (B.S. ’17, M.B.A. ’18), remembered feeling overwhelmed as a new student with new information, new faces, new campus, and a new town but promised it would get easier. “You can get comfortable with being uncomfortable. There will be many instances in life where you will feel the same way, and that’s how we grow…Working hard and staying outside of your comfort zone can lead to great things,” she said.
Principles of Community
Saad Khan, SGA president for the Long Island campus, then led the students in reading the Principles of Community that will guide their experience at New York Tech.
Henao closed the ceremony with a challenge to all students: “Take advantage of all opportunities that are shared with you at New York Tech. Balance your time well so that you make it to your classes on time and meet all of your course requirements. Also, make time to develop healthy and long-lasting relationships with classmates. Make your voices heard and stay connected.”
The New Student Academic Convocation was followed by individual school and college meetings.