The Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awarded Dr. Junius Gonzales, provost of the New York Institute of Technology, its Academic Excellence Award on Nov. 17.
Gonzales joined the university in July as provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“I came to NYIT primarily because of the student body — diverse, with many first-generation college students,” Gonzales said as he accepted his award at the chamber’s annual gala. “It’s a very special place.”
Gonzales is the son of Peruvian immigrants and said that despite his family’s financial struggles when he was growing up, he “experienced the power of education.”
“It goes without saying that without education, specifically a college degree to start, I wouldn’t be standing here this evening for such recognition for academic excellence,” Gonzales said.
The event was the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 30th annual gala. Every year, the chamber honors individuals and corporations from Long Island.
NYIT President Henry C. Foley attended the Gala.
“We at NYIT are extremely proud of Dr. Gonzales’ recognition,” he said. “We see the excellence and dedication he has to our students’ success every day, and we are appreciative of the LIHCC for showcasing it in the larger community.”
Gonzales was previously the senior vice president of academic affairs for the University of North Carolina System and served as its interim president for three months in 2016.
In his position at NYIT he visits local high schools, he said.
“Take Glen Cove, for example,” Gonzales said. “The student body is nearly 55 percent Hispanic, and I want to make sure all of them have access to opportunity. And despite many obstacles, our students, especially with their families’ support, can and do rise to the challenge of excellence and succeed.”