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Meet the Class of 2024 Speaker

Health sciences student Zeiad Kawy will serve as speaker at New York Tech’s 63rd annual commencement ceremony. Apr 23, 2024

Thousands, including students, family, friends, faculty, and staff, will convene on the Long Island campus for New York Tech’s 63rd annual commencement on Sunday, May 19. But before this year’s graduates toss their caps skyward in celebration of their collegiate achievements, one student will take the stage to deliver a speech to his peers.

Zeiad Kawy, a candidate to receive his B.S. in health sciences, will serve as this year’s commencement speaker.

“All I can think of is my late father,” says the School of Health Professions student. “I know he would have been so happy and excited to hear me speak at my graduation ceremony. It is such an honor to have the opportunity to speak in front of students and their families.”

Kawy, who lost his father during his time at New York Tech, says he reflected on those darkest moments of his life to prepare the content for his speech. While it may have been tempting to give up on his higher education at the time, his desire to “jump into the unknown” was stronger. He recalls pushing to find the will to persevere through tragedy and achieve the best version of himself—a task that, while not easy, he was able to succeed in doing.

When he leans into the microphone in May, listeners can expect to hear his message of never settling for less. “Do not stick to the familiar. You need to be in an uncomfortable situation,” he advises. “Once you are in that situation, then—and only then—will you be learning.”

Looking back on his time as an undergraduate, Kawy is most grateful for the courses that placed him with physical therapy (PT) professionals so he could witness firsthand the healing and rehabilitation that takes place. As he participated in these hands-on experiences, he gained technical skills and created long-term networking relationships.

Outside the classroom, Kawy will leave a legacy. In spring 2023, the Cairo, Egypt, native founded the Long Island campus’ Egyptian Student Union, where like-minded students can come together to discuss, educate, and inspire others in their Egyptian culture. The friendships he formed through this on-campus organization are some that he will never forget.

“My favorite memory of New York Tech is being with my friends who were supportive every single day,” he says. “I’ve formed connections with so many people both inside and outside of my degree program. The student life here gave me so many opportunities to enjoy my undergraduate years.”

After he receives his bachelor’s degree, Kawy plans to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) at New York Tech. In fact, the D.P.T. curriculum stands out as one of his main reasons for choosing the university for his undergraduate studies.

Having decided on his future while in high school, the budding PT specialist looks forward to having a career where he can help change lives. After becoming licensed to work in the field, Kawy hopes to someday create a franchise of clinics in the New York tri-state area.

“Just keep pushing forward,” Kawy advises future graduates. “The road to success is hard, but anything is achievable when you put your mind to it.”

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