Sena Pottackal has been described as a phenomenal student who has demonstrated immense professionalism and leadership in the midst of various personal adversities.
Over the last few years at NYU SPS, Sena’s academic record and service to both SPS and NYU record have been impressive. This past year, Sena received the New York Women in Communications Incorporated and Interpublic Group Scholarship and Internship. Sena received $5,000 and a summer internship at Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, becoming the first blind intern to work there. In 2018 Sena was chosen for the NBC Universal AAPTD Tony Coelho Media Scholarship, a highly selective nation-wide competition for communications students with disabilities. Winning this scholarship enabled Sena to build relationships that ultimately led to an internship at NBC Universal this past fall.
During Sena’s time in student government, she has made considerable contributions spearheading multiple initiatives. As an NYU student senator-at-large for students with disabilities, she led the effort to create an extensive list of recommendations about how the university can improve the quality of life for students with disabilities. Many of these recommendations have resulted in policy changes or provided additional support for students who are visually impaired. The university’s “Digital Access Initiative” has been the result of Sena’s advocacy efforts. The initiative called for the university to update its technology policies and procedures to align with the Worldwide Web Consortium 2.0 guidelines.
At SPS, Sena has been a member of the school’s community service committee where she helped raise money for the American Cancer Society and the Ghani Foundation.
Her contributions across the university and at SPS were recognized with the President Service Award in 2017 and 2018.
Over the years, Sena has had the opportunity to speak to many different groups – ranging from small gatherings to large audiences. Her story has filled her listened with emotion and good will.
Sena’s impressive record both in and out of the classroom made her the perfect SPS graduate convocation speaker.