NYU student wearing a mask.

This year, 300+ students served as Public Health Ambassadors, acting as role models and providing resources to fellow students during the pandemic. ©Miller: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

Our students, staff, and faculty are always discovering new and inventive ways to give back—so no surprise that they sprang into action this year alongside the many others around the world responding to COVID-19. The stats below capture the impact of both ongoing projects and crucial new efforts, from Stern students sharing their expertise with local businesses to faculty and researchers across the University using 3D printing to create personal protective equipment (PPE) to send to where it was needed most.

recipes and activities offered in a free virtual cookbook for families created by NYU Steinhardt students.


letters written by Liberal Studies students to support people held in confinement during the COVID-19 crisis.


rain ponchos intended for NYU's commencement donated as PPE to the City of New York.


COVID-19 PSA videos translated into indigenous and diasporic languages including Quechua, Nahuatl, and Mixtec.


face shields distributed to NYC hospitals, printed by NYU Tandon 3D printers and assembled by NYU Langone staff.


plant species cared for by NYU Grounds staff throughout the pandemic.


Stern students provided pro bono expertise to NYC small businesses and nonprofits hard hit by the pandemic.


masks donated by NYU Shanghai to NYU New York (pictured).

Homemade masks


survey responses from MTA transit workers detailing the effect COVID-19 has had on their quality of life collected by NYU GPH.


Stern students served as Coronavirus Response Fellows, designing real-world business solutions to problems caused by COVID-19.


items donated by NYU employees to autistic and unhoused children through NYU's Holiday Toy Drive.

Harmonicas in Solidarity

Photo by Christian Motos


harmonicas distributed as part of the Harmonicas in Solidarity project to honor healthcare and essential workers (pictured).


green spaces maintained throughout the pandemic by NYU Grounds staff.


items donated by NYU employees to NYC families as part of the AMC Thanksgiving Food Drive.


daffodils planted as part of New Yorkers for Parks' Daffodil Project by NYU Grounds staff.


donated by NYU employees to the Combined Campaign and distributed to 80+ NYC nonprofits.


costumes shared as part of NYU's first-ever virtual Children's Halloween Parade and Costume Contest.


bears knitted for Knitting Without Borders by the AMC's knitting circle (pictured).

AMC Knitted Bears for Knitting Without Borders


NYU volunteers supported their neighbors during the pandemic through telephone check-ins, meal delivery, and as-needed support.


America Reads/America Counts NYU tutors working virtually with NYC Public Schools for the Fall 2020 semester.


preschool classrooms served virtually by Jumpstart student tutors teaching socio-emotional skills.


schools represented in NYU Silver's Service Learning Through Community Engagement, in which students offered virtual tutoring to NYC youth.


students served as Public Health Ambassadors, acting as role models to fellow students during the pandemic.


students volunteered via NYU Abu Dhabi's service programs.

[These face shields] demonstrate how creative entrepreneurship can be a force for good in a time when we most need ideas and solutions..."

–  Jelena Kovačević, Dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

I am holding onto the glorious moments of how incredible students can be in the face of all odds.

– Peggy Morton, Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Silver School of Social Work

Even if we are thousands of miles away, we still feel anxious and want to do something to help.

–  One of the anonymous Shanghai-based parents who helped donate PPE to NYC

This year, in honor of the class of 2020, we were happy to donate commencement rain ponchos to the City to help keep essential workers safe.

– Regina Drew, Director of NYU’s Office of University Events

To Learn More...

See NYU’s inaugural Community Impact Report for an extensive listing of service initiatives, outreach programs, volunteer efforts, and community-based partnerships.

Both the Community Impact Report and This Year in Outreach are products of NYU’s Community Connections Committee (CCC). Composed of representatives appointed by deans and University leadership, the committee aims to document and showcase NYU’s community engagement efforts locally, nationally, and abroad.