If stereotype suggests that engineers are a reclusive and slightly obsessive lot, then Redwan Hussain embodies a crushing rebuttal. Smartly dressed yet laid-back, in love with his work yet nevertheless amiably accessible, it should come as no surprise that Hussain has been instrumental in bridging the gap between the NYU-Poly student body and the NYU Washington Square campus. He seems like he could have emerged from either world, and he has used this characteristic to the advantage of fellow students on both sides.
Even before he was elected Student Council Vice President of Academic Success for the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Hussain was working to make the resources of the two campuses accessible to one another.
“I have a lot of friends at the Washington Square campus, so whenever there was some kind of event going on, I used to spread the word,” Hussain said. “Poly’s sort of like a myth on the NYU campus. During my first semester at Poly, we didn’t even have access to Coles or Palladium … [We] did not have access to NYU Home [online].”
But things have steadily improved, and Hussain has worked to facilitate this change in every manner possible. He was part of the first group of NYU-Poly students to be given positions as Welcome Week leaders.
“I met a lot of different students from … various schools at NYU,” Hussain said. “I acquainted myself with staff members as well.”
He used these contacts to help him coordinate events open to students from any of the multiple schools at NYU and not simply NYU-Poly.
“It’s really important to foster a sense of student life and community,” he said. “A lot of our programs are open to students from the other [schools].”
The secret to Hussain’s success may lay in his apparent commitment to never settle for what is merely good enough. He uses a calendar application to plan his appointments down to the half hour. He is even bringing NYU-Poly’s Student Council into the digital age by helping to implement an active Twitter feed.
“We might incorporate some kind of incentives program,” Hussain said. “Every fifth tweet gets some kind of prize.”
Anyone could set up a Twitter feed and vainly expect people to take an interest in it, but Hussain actually intends to do something with it.
“You can’t just repeat something that another organization or engineer did before you,” Hussain said. “You need to always be creative when it comes to … finding more efficient solutions to problems, when creating new products to outdo your competitors or to create things that are just fascinating.”
Only a junior, Hussain still intends to expand his efforts at NYU. He currently maintains a highly successful mentoring program that allows upperclassmen to assist first-year students in their studies. He attributes the program’s success to the long-term pairings and frequent interaction required by the program’s guidelines.
“All the mentors love their mentees and vice versa,” Hussain said. “A lot of first-year students feel more welcome because of this mentoring program.”
Hussain wants the mentoring program and his latest endeavor, an Academic Workshop Series, to constitute his legacy at NYU. With his prior work in mind, he hopes for that legacy to be embodied by a spirit of inter-campus unity.
“I don’t want these to be just open to Poly students,” Hussain said. “I want students from all of NYU to benefit.”
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Dec. 13th print edition. Stefan Melnyk is arts editor. Email him at [email protected],com