2020 My NYU Experience: Words from a Diversity & Inclusion Fellow

June 23, 2020

By: Barr Morgentstein


I moved to New York in November of 2017. I had visited New York many times before, but this was my first New York winter (I was greeted by snow and frigid winds). Coming from the hot and arid Israeli weather, it was quite a shock.


I received my B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University and was working in the biomedical industry for a few years when I moved to the US and decided to pursue a master’s degree. Studying for the TOEFL and the GRE took time (and much sweat and tears), but it was all worth it when I received the letter of acceptance to NYU Tandon School of Engineering, on the night of my birthday of all days!


As I have progressed through my career and academic path, it has been paramount to me as a woman to partake in advancing women in leadership and in STEM. To bring thoughts into actions, I volunteered to be a mentor to junior female students and joined the Convergence of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) institute at NYU as a research fellow. As a CIE fellow, I had the opportunity to meet smart, talented people on their path to becoming entrepreneurs. I analyzed data and surveys supporting the promotion of female and minorities’ representation in the entrepreneurial world. I also interviewed some of the graduates on their accomplishments and progress since they first launched their projects and start-ups. 


Beyond my academic activities, I joined the Dysautonomia Center at NYU Langone hospital as a Research Coordinator, managing data and evaluating visual functions in autonomic disorders. At the hospital, I formed strong relationships with colleagues and peers including other that had moved from abroad to New York, from countries like Argentina, Spain, Iran and Israel. 


It took me a while to adjust to the weather, the subway and to cut myself off from all the bagels for breakfast. After 3 years, I no longer need to constantly check the MTA maps to find my way and wearing 3 layers is enough even when it’s 40 deg out (okay, maybe 50). 

When I think about my experiences over the past few years, I feel proud and fortunate. Studying at NYU enabled me to meet and work with people of many nationalities and backgrounds. What may seem usual in New York was a very pronounced change for me as Israel is a very small country with less diversity and mixing of cultures. In this experience I forged lifetime friendships with people from all over the world and now many more places to visit. 


And while I never expected to complete my master’s from home, with an online commencement, I learned to embrace the changes. I value the journey and am proud of my achievements.  



NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s CIE Institute supports initiatives that help faculty and students reach greater heights by harnessing important technologies and re- imagining business ideas. We catapult these ideas into advanced, problem-solving innovations to address society’s greatest problems.

Our mission is to increase diversity and multi-disciplinary in STEM entrepreneurship and provide guidance as well as resources for STEM innovators to start-up.


For more information about these programs, please contact us at cie@nyu.edu