NYU Tandon's New Dean Welcomes the Class of 2022

Dean Jelena Kovačević and Student Council President Florence Tong

Dean Jelena Kovačević and NYU Tandon Student Council President Florence Tong at the Class of 2022 Convocation Reception

The school year has officially begun: in late August, NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s incoming first-year undergraduates joined Dean Jelena Kovačević, along with faculty chairs, alumni, and student council members, in ushering in the fall semester. This year’s class is 43 percent female, where the average percentage of female students hovers around 22 percent nationally. The year is off to an impressive start: the 805 incoming students also have the highest SAT averages to date. Still, NYU Tandon’s academic leaders had some advice for the high-achieving first-years.     

“Get involved socially, academically, and civically,” Dean Jelena Kovačević told the crowd of incoming undergraduate at the convocation ceremony. “When I have the privilege of addressing you at your commencement, I am sure I’ll be speaking to a cohort of not only well-trained engineers and technologists, but also a group of engaged, empathetic citizens who will go on to change the world.”

The dean’s expectations for the world-changing incoming class followed the theme for the week’s orientation: superheroes. The hundreds of new first-year students were split into smaller groups named after comic book heroes like Black Panther, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Thor. The incoming students spent the week following their Orientation Leaders to events in Brooklyn and Manhattan that prepared them for the upcoming semester: they met with professors, took placement exams, and got to know the NYU Tandon campus. 

The keynote speaker at the 2018 Convocation Ceremony was University of Pennsylvania Wharton Postdoctoral Fellow Lauren Eskreis-Winkler. Her work as a psychology researcher, she explained, focuses on goal achievement. “We all perpetually underestimate ourselves and others,” Eskreis-Winkler explained to the crowd, “We assume that when we’re struggling, we need hand-holding, and we need someone else to come to our aid in order to get back on our feet. Our results suggest the exact opposite. If you find yourself lost and unmotivated at some point in your college career or beyond, you may find nothing quite as motivating as going out of your way to help someone else to solve the problem that you yourself are struggling with.”

Eskreis-Winkler’s speech was followed by presentations of two awards: the 2018 Jacobs Excellence in Education Award, which went to Industry Assistant Professor Jack Bringardner. To close the ceremony, NYU Tandon Student Council President Florence Tong and Polytechnic Alumni Association President Anthony Concolino presented the Class of 2022 banner together. 

Later that day, incoming students attended the Presidential Welcome event at the Barclay’s Center, where NYU President Andy Hamilton congratulated the incoming class on beginning their college journey. From there, the first-year students took part in the Brooklyn Bash at Tandon’s gymnasium, getting a chance not only to enjoy some arcade games and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but to meet incoming students from NYU’s other colleges. 

Annie Brinich
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Master of Science in Integrated Digital Media, Class of 2019