Our NYU: November 2018
A Note from President Hamilton
A colleague of mine was recently surprised to hear that I can actually speak French passably well. I don’t get to practice as much as I’d like, but I must say it’s something I’m quite proud of, and I have my stint as a postdoc at the University of Strasbourg to thank for it.
My time in France didn’t simply sharpen my language skills—it gave me the opportunity to view the world differently, and to live and to work differently. I was extremely fortunate, having also previously studied at UBC in Vancouver for my master’s degree. By the time I was 30, I had access to an international network of mentors and collaborators, and I know for certain that helped to make me a better scientist, as well as a more informed person.
One of NYU’s great strengths—where we undeniably stand head and shoulders above the rest—is that we’re able to facilitate a global educational experience for so many of our students. Just last week it was revealed that for the fourth year in a row, NYU sent more students to study abroad and hosted more international students than any other university in the United States. Our study-abroad rate is at an all-time high of 46 percent, and it’s my goal to get that figure to 65 percent in the coming years.
And it’s not just a numbers game. NYU’s three degree-granting campuses and 11 study-away sites physically plant us on six continents, with programming designed to provide a meaningful, rigorous academic experience. It also enables us to attract remarkable faculty and provide them with research opportunities they couldn’t otherwise access.
The results have been astounding. I love hearing about how Clive Davis alumna Maggie Rogers found the inspiration to write her breakout debut song during her study-away experience in Paris. I am also so proud of Maria Vogel, an undergraduate NYUAD biology student who had such success studying in New York—in my own lab—that she’s coauthored two journal papers linking scientists on the square and with those at NYUAD. Our several coastal campuses around the globe were the main drivers of the Henry Luce Foundation funding NYU’s multi-city, cross-disciplinary study of port cities. And in a single year, graduate student Jesse Bradford-Rogers’s degree program in Global Public Health enabled him to work on a longitudinal study of gay and bisexual young men in New York City, test a mobile phone app designed to improve treatment for HIV-positive men throughout Ghana, and study Emirati government policy around HIV-positive people.
This was the vision behind the creation of NYU’s global network: expanding opportunities to ensure our students are prepared in every way possible to excel no matter what they choose to do or where they choose to do it. It’s the same vision that brought us most recently to Los Angeles, where we prepare to launch in fall 2019 an academic and residential program for our students interested in careers in the entertainment industry.
Why do we at NYU feel this desire to embrace all the world has to offer? I believe it’s because NYU owes much of its own success to its belief that nothing beats actually being at the heart of the action. With that in mind, I hope you all have a restful holiday break, ensuring you can come back into your arena of learning ready and rearing to go!
You’ll hear a wide range of languages spoken in the cafeteria at NYU Abu Dhabi, which was why it was the perfect place for FAS doctoral candidate Esti Blanco-Elorrieta to study the neurobiology of bilingualism, analyzing the inherent effort involved in switching languages.
The ability to transfer effective pedagogical concepts is one of the great advantages of a global university. Steinhardt professor Alex Ruthmann’s Creative Learning Design course was a big hit at NYU Shanghai this past summer, where students developed culturally relevant digital learning resources at the intersection of music, coding, arts, and technology.
After many Liberian healthcare workers lost their lives in the Ebola outbreak of 2014–2016, NYU Meyers responded by partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Yale to develop quality education programs in order to train the next generation of Liberian nurses and midwives.
The law school’s Global Justice Clinic has been working since 2010 to redress rights violations related to global inequality. Just last month, students helped collect water samples as part of a study on the right to water in mining-affected communities in northern Haiti.
It would seem that global employers are increasingly seeing the value of an NYU degree. In just one year, NYU moved from 43rd to 15th in the Times Higher Education ranking of the top universities—in the world—that best prepare students for the workplace.
The dental school’s Henry Schein Cares Global Outreach Program, which sends dental students to underserved communities all over the world, is just one of the many global outreach initiatives highlighted in the NYU Community Impact Report, a new compendium of information on NYU’s wide-ranging public service initiatives, from healthcare to the arts.
It was difficult to know who to root for at the first intercollegiate soccer match between the women’s teams at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai at the Shanghai Community Sports Club last month. The NYUAD Falcons prevailed in the end, beating the Shanghai Qilins 5-1.
I always enjoy my visits to NYU’s international houses, particularly when they involve (pictured right to left) Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Alice McDermott, and Terry Galoway, who hosted me for the book launch of Being New York, Being Irish. The book commemorates the 25th anniversary of Ireland House at NYU with essays from some of the best-known Irish writers on both sides of the Atlantic.NYU has made green-building renovations a priority, committing up to $4 million annually to ensure new and renovated buildings at NYU will be, at a minimum, LEED Silver–certified. Beyond reducing our carbon footprint, green buildings will also enhance our overall well-being and cognitive function, according to a study conducted at Harvard University.
I sampled a variety of global cuisines, including British fare (represented by lamb curry!), at last week’s Global Bazaar, a fantastic gathering for students at the Kimmel Center that provided tasty morsels along with great information about all our study-away sites.
Finally, backing away from global to focus on the most local of rivalries, I was on the edge of my seat at NYU fencing team's most recent competition against Columbia University this month. Though Columbia ultimately won the day, it was wonderful to see parents and students come out in support.