Letter from the Advisor

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This is Professor John Hanc, faculty advisor for the Campus Slate, NYIT’s student publication—digital and print.

I’m writing to welcome all of you to the new academic year. Why me, and not the editor in chief, Hiba Khanzada? Because Hiba has an exam tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow. The day after Labor Day. She’s taking a test before most of us have even started the semester. It’s because she’s pre-med; an outstanding student at the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine. I have no doubt that Hiba will go on someday to become a fine physician. But right now, she’s not only enduring the intense pressure and work load of being a medical student, but she’s also editor of the Slate, our 47-year-old student publication.

I think this says something about NYIT and its students.

I don’t think there’s another college in the country that has a pre-med student as the editor in chief of its student publication. And while Hiba will certainly have to do a little bit (okay, a lot) of juggling, she’s not alone. Most of our students work outside the college, as well as in. They are professionally-oriented—which is the mission of NYIT—and take their jobs seriously, as students, as student-athletes or students engaged in many of the programs we have here. As well as the job they may have at Starbucks, the local bagel store, or the Radio Shack or Apple retail outlet at the mall.

Hiba is surrounded by a team of returning students, most of them (but not all) from more conventional journalism-related majors: Communications and English, to be specific. But we also have business students, computer science majors, Fine Arts studentsalmost every one of the majors offered on this campus. That kind of “cross-disciplinary” team, experts tell us, is the future of the American work force.

If this is beginning to sound like a commercial for NYIT or the Campus Slate, I apologize. Believe me, the Slate is an independent voice, and will stay that way. But that doesn’t mean, we—or I—can’t be proud of students like Hiba.

One last point about dedication: The stories in this, the first digital issue of the Slate website (the first print edition will be out in a couple weeks), were written and reported by Erica Brandt and Miasha Lee, our managing editor and senior writer, respectively. They took time out of the same kind of busy summer you probably had to write these stories. They’re both really good pieces, worth reading—especially if you’re just starting at NYIT. Similarly, the rest of the site was put together by Anthony McMahon, our web editor, who took time out of his Labor Day weekend (and yes, he has  a job too; he had to work all day Sunday, in fact) to get this done.

That’s the kind of attitude our students have here. So while we don’t have a residential campus, a football team or a lot of the other trappings of some institutions of higher learning, we do have opportunities for students to excel; to get hands-on experience in areas that will prepare them for what is a very fluid and fast-changing work environment.

In the long run, that may count for more.

So we wish Hiba good luck on her exam tomorrow; and wish you a good semester. Please come back to this page soon—or pick up the Slate around campus, or get it our new App. I promise you, that the next time you do, you’ll be hearing from her.

 

John Hanc

Author, The B.A.A. at 125The Coolest Race on EarthNot Dead Yet (with Phil Southerland), Jones Beach: An Illustrated History

Contributing writer and columnist, Newsday; contributing editor, Runner’s World

Associate professor, New York Institute of Technology

www.johnhanc.com

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