Welcome - and welcome back!
There’s something about the first week of class that still gives me butterflies in my stomach. I think it’s because of the promise of a new year and the opportunities it brings: to begin again, to make new goals, meet new people, and learn new things. I hope that you find DAUS to be the place where all of that can happen for you.
Even for returning/continuing students, this semester also likely feels a little different as life on NYU’s campus returns to a state that we once took for granted. In all fairness, its rhythms may take a little time to feel familiar once again. Our world is more complicated than ever before and we are living hybridly more seamlessly than even just a semester ago. All of this comes with its opportunities and challenges and we are all in this together.
As you may already be experiencing as you start classes this semester, DAUS is an extraordinarily diverse community - in all ways imaginable. What connects us is a powerful sense of aspiration, of wanting the world, our community, our profession, etc., to be better, stronger, more equitable, and more just than how we found it. Because of this drive, DAUS students always have one foot in the classroom and the other in the world beyond. This makes our time together exciting, valuable, and precious.
Our faculty and advisors are here to help you along the way. Our faculty come with rich backgrounds in research and industry and are eager to work with you. A little nervous about contacting a professor you don’t already know? Ask them about their research, or why they decided to teach. I think that you will be impressed by the wide range of projects and issues that our faculty are thinking about, writing about, and otherwise working on. So many of us are motivated by social issues that affect our daily lives. For example, in a recent essay, Educating for American Democracy, Dr. Lisa DiCaprio, DAUS Clinical Associate Professor, emphasizes the need for civic engagement in the U.S. Specifically, she discusses the new Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative, which seeks to revitalize civics education in the K-12 curriculum, and seven ways that we can protect our democracy and the right to vote.
As you will soon experience for yourself, the Fall semester will fly by and then the Spring will move even more quickly. There will always be so much to do and only a 24-hour day. My advice to you is to remember how much you worked to be here right now and do what you can to make the most of this special time and place.
I look forward to seeing you on campus or at a virtual event in the coming weeks.
Dean Gastic Rosado