Jan Wallace Director Office: Operations and External Affairs Campus: Abu Dhabi
Member of NYIT Since: 2007
Jan Wallace begins her “typical day” early in the morning at her office desk responding to e-mails she received overnight from her New York campus colleagues. After that, she might be preparing for a meeting with students, local school counselors, or an ad agency. Her responsibilities at NYIT-Abu Dhabi include oversight of student recruitment and career planning, design and implementation of public relations strategies, and management of operational relations with CERT, NYIT’s partner institution in Abu Dhabi.
How has your education and past experiences prepared you for your position at NYIT?A well-rounded education is one of the keys to success in an academic environment and, particularly, in NYIT’s global community. I have a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and, prior to joining NYIT, I taught for 16 years in Abu Dhabi, Kenya, and Kuwait. I’ve also held corporate management positions here, which benefits NYIT’s relationship with local businesses and enhances the career placement opportunities for our students.
What do you consider to be the most significant differences between U.S. and Abu Dhabi students?
Students in the United States and Abu Dhabi are actually quite similar. They are proactive in their academic and professional endeavors, and the Abu Dhabi student population, like its New York counterpart, is very diverse.
What has been your favorite NYIT experience?
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings visited the Abu Dhabi campus in November of 2008. The excitement was palpable. Not only did she deliver an important speech, but also took time to tour the campus, meet one-on-one with our students, and view their classroom projects.
What do you like to do when you’re not at NYIT?
I enjoy going to the beach and swimming with my family, and playing tennis. Abu Dhabi is a terrific place to view from the sea, so it’s nice to hire a boat for a day. My family loves eating out, especially in Italian restaurants—maybe that has something to do with the standard of my cooking.
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