Believing in the Transformative Power of Higher Education
Polizzi, who particularly enjoys working on high-value and high-impact endeavors, brings her beliefs to life through involvement in strategic projects, planning, and key relationship development to achieve the College’s—and broader university’s—goals.
“I view my responsibilities as bringing the resources that faculty, students, and staff need within the College so that they may do their best work,” she says. “I identify needs, understand and shape plans, and match available resources to accomplish our goals. Students’ activities and enthusiasm are a reminder of why we do what we do and help me understand how I can assist.”
A milestone development Polizzi contributed to was expanding New York Tech’s degree programs to include a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in computer science in the 2020-2021 academic year and engineering in the 2021-2022 academic year. These new doctoral programs provide students with an advanced research-oriented education in cybersecurity, data science, cloud computing, bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering. In the spring 2024 semester, there are 21 Ph.D. students enrolled in the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences.
In support of New York Tech’s goal to become a Research 2 (R2) status university—a doctoral university with high research activity—Polizzi assisted with the renovation of the New York City campus’ engineering laboratories, which will be unveiled in spring 2024. On the Long Island campus, she upholds the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC), the university’s hub for cultivating new ideas in technology, engineering, and applied sciences.
In May 2023, Polizzi spearheaded the College’s efforts to join the membership ranks in KEEN, the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network. This national partnership of engineering faculty focuses on developing and promoting innovation in engineering education for the good of society. Accordingly, the partnership equips College of Engineering and Computing Sciences faculty with curriculum resources and programs that are dedicated to advancing students’ technical skills and entrepreneurial mindset to better prepare them for their future.
“KEEN and its focus on the entrepreneurial mindset is a very powerful approach that will benefit our students, their future pursuits, the companies they may someday work for, as well as our faculty in their teaching,” says Polizzi. “I look forward to hearing from faculty about their successes in the classroom and students’ success from using KEEN’s entrepreneurial mindset approaches.”
As she continues working to advance academic and research opportunities within the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Polizzi was named to the 2023-2024 cohort of the Emerging Leaders Program by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). This professional development experience for leaders in higher education business and finance helps participants enhance their leadership skills, expand their cross-campus relationships, and build their professional network.
Since cohort activities kicked off in September 2023, Polizzi has traveled to Chicago to meet her fellow members and has since participated in remote group meetings every two weeks to discuss leadership topics and frameworks. Additional monthly meetings allow attendees to reflect and discuss how they are applying newly learned concepts to their own experiences and work. Polizzi cites a social styles framework that she’s been able to apply to her own role at New York Tech.
“I’ve learned how to understand coworker styles and what approaches are effective. During times of stress for myself and my colleagues, I can now identify how to best appeal to different social styles so that we may work together more effectively,” she says.
As the Emerging Leaders Program concludes in April 2024, Polizzi hopes to stay in touch with and continue to see her new colleagues at future NACUBO conferences. Making and maintaining connections is important to her, and she advises students to do the same in their academic journey at New York Tech.
“Be curious, be involved, and follow your interests,” she says. “Make connections between your experience, other people, and the knowledge you are gaining. Keep your end goals in sight.”