New York Institute of Technology held its 57th commencement Tuesday at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
Number of graduates
1,009 bachelor’s degrees, 1,411 graduate degrees and 314 professional degrees.
Carol Silva, Emmy-award-winning anchor at News 12 Long Island, NYIT alum and an honorary degree recipient, encouraged graduates to anticipate difficulties and believe in themselves. “You are being launched into a challenging world. I live the heartbreaking headlines every day. God bless the people. God bless the kids of Santa Fe, Texas, of Parkland, Florida, of Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Some of those kids never saw their high school graduations,” she said. “I won’t pretend to have all the answers on how to fix the world, but I do know this: You and I can start simple. Take better care of your immediate corner of the world. Be nice to the person next to you even if you don’t feel like it. Include somebody who has been clearly left out . . . Decide to be the best ‘you’ every day.”
Maylan Studart, of Rio de Janeiro and Long Beach, who earned a bachelor’s degree in global and electronic journalism, emphasized the importance of perserverance. “You are the only one standing in the way of your success,” said the former jockey who has accepted a position as a markets reporter with Modern Wall Street, a business news channel. “Whatever that thing is that you really want to do but think you can’t? You can. Trust in yourself and how far you’ve come, because you can always go farther.”
Krishan Wanarajan, of Suva, Fiji, the graduate student speaker, earned a master’s in computer science. He urged students to take risks and not to be afraid of making mistakes. “If NYIT has taught me anything besides computer science, it’s that we need a lot of courage. The courage to fail — to fail hard and to fail often. Think about it. Almost every time we failed, it’s because we took a risk or tried a new approach to solve a problem or an issue. . . . The beautiful part of those anxieties and failures is that they always lead to learning. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, ‘One fails forward toward success.’ ”
Nicholas Cariello, 21, computer science
“I’m very excited after working so hard for the degree. It’s like the culmination of the process. This summer I have an internship with IBM lined up, so I will be working with their cyber security department . . . so that is a great experience,” said Cariello, of Levittown. “And then in the fall I will be continuing my education within NYIT with my master’s in computer science. Actually I’ve already technically started the program. The program allows students to get both a bachelor’s of computer science and master’s of science in computer science in a total of five years. I finished my undergrad in three, so I should have a bachelor’s and a master’s in a total of four years.”
Peggy Chiang, 22, hospitality management
“It was a hard four years of education,” said Chiang, of Manhattan. “It was fun, of course, to learn about hospitality management, but I actually came to NYIT as a biology major. Biology wasn’t for me, so I found my way to hospitality management.” She has accepted a position at InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel, where she will be the executive office and marketing coordinator. “I am excited; that is why I cannot wait to graduate and start working.”
Matthew Goldstein, 27, doctorate, osteopathic medicine
“I thought I would be ready for it. It’s truly a humbling experience when you walk across that stage with everyone who supported you and you look up and see your family in the crowd. No one did this on their own,” said Goldstein, of Manhasset. He is moving to Orlando to work at Florida Hospital for Children in pediatrics. “Hopefully I will be doing a fellowship in intensive care or pediatric oncology. The medical curriculum is grueling . . . We have the faculty that were beyond supportive. The administrators there were in touch with every aspect of our lives.”
Quizan “Teddy” Mullings, 42, master’s, energy management
“I’m really proud that I am walking today. I’m doing this for me and also for my family — my son, Elijah. He’s 16,” said Mullings, of Floral Park. “If it wasn’t for the love of my family, it wouldn’t have motivated me to achieve my education. I am still in IT at NYIT even though I am completing my master’s in energy management. So right now I am going to continue doing what I am doing because I do enjoy technology. The future is whatever it may be. Working full-time and going to school part-time was a lot of hard work, but my lovely wife, Sherifa, she was there backing me, supporting me.”
Matej Selecky, 22, finance
“Well, NYIT is my whole life in America, so now it is going to be a really new part of my life, entering hopefully the labor force and everything after NYIT,” said Selecky, of Slovakia. “So I am feeling that this is that sweet gap between school and real life, so I am trying to enjoy it.” He will be working for a Long Island firm in data analysis and hopes to get a visa and a green card to stay in the United States. “I feel like [NYIT] prepared me well enough to go and show what I can do.”