Tiffani Blake walking with students on the Long Island campus and Inside Higher Ed logo.


News Byte: Inside Higher Ed Features Student-Focused Initiatives to Help Weather Uncertainty

September 2, 2020

A recent article in Inside Higher Ed highlights several student-focused initiatives that New York Tech is rolling out through a multi-pronged approach leveraging communication, collaboration, and community.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiffani L. Blake, Ed.D., interim assistant provost for student engagement and development, in collaboration with the five departments she manages, has been instrumental in launching innovative student-first initiatives including a food bank, leadership development programs, virtual career counseling, and interactive online programming.

Like most of New York Tech, Blake had to pivot quickly to keep students feeling engaged and connected. She collaborated intensively with a host of people—including representatives from student government and leadership groups, and from the Greek life system—to figure out how to turn live events into remote experiences.

“I’ve learned that we all need to be flexible—and be transparent about that flexibility,” she explains. “When students ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to, I say, ‘We’ve never encountered this before, but I’ll see what I can find out and will get right back to you.’ How faculty and staff interact with students at this time is a learning experience for them about how to handle a crisis.”

“It’s hard to plan in the unknown,” she continues. “But I’m confident that at New York Tech, we’ll execute all of our programs well. That’s something we can control.”

This story is part of an initiative in which New York Tech has partnered with Inside Higher Ed. This is the third of four sponsored content features that will appear in the next month. See the August 3 story about one faculty member’s innovative teaching approach to support his students’ success during the pandemic, and the July 6 story about the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center’s E.R.R.S.E.L.A. robot.