A place is only as good as the people in it. I can say I have experienced this to be true.
Florida Tech held its first ever Town Hall on March 30. It was intended to provide a platform for students to interact with Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, the next president of Florida Tech, as an opportunity for students to meet McCay, as well as learn about his vision for the future of Florida Tech.
I was glad to hear that McCay liked the Town Hall idea and would like to see more of them in the future. McCay stressed on the importance of getting the student body to be more involved and engaged in both academic events as well as academic ceremonies. Florida Tech graduates are getting great jobs and doing very well and making a difference in the world and McCay has plans of making it even greater.
McCay also talked about making Florida Tech academically strong by strengthening the academic standards and ensuring a higher graduation rate.
In his words, “We are going to be one of the best engineering schools in the country and we are going to get credit for it!”
McCay emphasized how it was important to give both teaching and research credit to enable really good teachers to continue imparting excellent education to students. For the attendees, this was an excellent opportunity to ask McCay questions that they had about their departments, athletics, research and campus resources. Coming from a school where my principal always kept the office door open for any student to walk in whenever they felt the need to, I was really glad to see how approachable McCay was and his enthusiasm and big dreams for Florida Tech.
In any profession, in any position, passion is key. McCay’s passion is certain to enable Florida Tech to take great strides in every field. I’ll conclude by quoting McCay’s words on enjoying one’s work: “It would be great if you got a job where you didn’t care if you got paid or not.”
One of the questions asked was, “What are your three favorite things at Florida Tech?” Here’s McCay’s list:
- The “flavor” of the students, who are all so polite and courteous.
- The working staff.
- Our statistics because our alumni and graduates are so successful. (McCay added that it’s hard to deny how special the people here are.)
I could not agree more about the people here. This is something I have always felt and experienced. Right from my first meeting with a Florida Tech admissions counselor in Mumbai four years ago, everyone always made it a point to ensure that the people around them are comfortable and I cannot thank them all enough for that. Every person, student or staff, whom I have met here is friendly and kind and concerned for my well-being. Everyone is really wonderful, always cheerful and wants us students to do well, be happy and be safe.
I remember arriving at Florida Tech for the first time and being so exhausted after a really long flight. However, the staff in Campus Services and the security officer who gave me a ride to my dorm made my exhaustion vanish with their cheerful conversations. If there was any weariness still left, my awesome RAs made it disappear within a jiffy! Their enthusiasm and excitement were infectious and I felt at home right away.
It’s been getting better and better since then as I have made awesome friends and meet new, wonderful people. I would agree with McCay that the people at Florida Tech are on top of my list of favorite things about Florida Tech. They make my day, even if they just smile and say hi. They are always there for me, whenever I need any help.
For example, there are people who made this cake for my birthday last year.
There are people who worry if I don’t drop by to say hi every few weeks. People who tell me to tell my parents not to worry because they’re looking out for me. People who take time off their extra busy schedules to make my birthday special. People who ask me to text them when I’ve reached my room if I’m walking back late at night. People who steal my ID and my phone if I say I’m walking back when it’s raining and get someone to drive me back. People who are so nice they make me cry with joy and gratitude.
It’s like having a huge, loving and caring second family that is going to make it incredibly hard to leave this place after I graduate. This quote by Miriam Adeney aptly summarizes what I feel:
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”