June 26, 2014

Bear Spotlight, Gladys Kimutai

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (June 26, 2014) - Gladys Kimutai is a stellar student-athlete. She has a cumulative grade-point average higher then 3.30, she is a scholarship recipient on the women's cross country team and also a member of NYIT's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. On June 2, Kimutai was named a CoSIDA Women's Track and Field/Cross Country Academic All-District I first team selection.

The 2013 East Coast Conference Women's Runner of the Year, Kimutai reset the course record twice at LIU Post, beating her own time that was set in the 2012 season. The new course record of 17:39.37 is also the NYIT all-time record for a 5k course. She also earned All-ECC first team honors and was an NCAA All-East Region selection.

Kimutai is now approaching her senior year and her final year on the cross country team. She enjoys the strong coursework NYIT has to offer as well as its beautiful campus and its athletic department. Her initial anticipation of college life just three short years ago was something just a bit better than high school back home in Kenya. She had not expected the large buildings, endless resources, facilities, and administrators, and also the inviting atmosphere.

I enjoy going to a college where I can always count on great academics, caring professors, and friendly classmates," said Kimutai. "It has been a pleasure to meet NYIT's wonderful team of athletic staff members, including Athletics Director Clyde Doughty Jr., all the coaches, and fellow student-athletes. The Old Westbury campus offers a quiet learning environment and an ideal setting for cross country training. I have also enjoyed living with roommates from different countries and diverse cultures."

Kimutai was born in a village in Africa called Eldama Ravine, Kenya. "I left Kenya to study biology in the United States, but after some time at NYIT, I changed my major to health sciences. In my country, so many people suffer and die from diseases such as malaria, typhoid, and cholera. I'm learning everything I need to make a big difference for people in Kenya."

During her time here in the New York, Kimutai continues to acclimate to the American culture. The clothing, food, culture, religion, and education style were all completely different and new to her. "In my country, the shortest dress worn by a woman only goes a little beyond the knee. There's no pasta, pizza, sandwiches, or broccoli," she expressed.

Another subject that took Kimutai by surprise were the relationships between men and women. She described that in her culture individuals did not have permission to be involved with any other individual until 23 years-old or older. Once this requirement was met you must engage in traditional ceremonies and pay a dowry before living together. The amount of freedom in the United States came as a shock to her.

"A woman can go around with her boyfriend or even stay together as they wish. In terms of childcare, a woman can leave her baby to a neighbor any time. In Kenya, women carry their babies on their backs as they work," said Kimuati.

Gladys' biggest challenge thus far has been time management.

"Being a student-athlete calls for personal sacrifices, creativity, discipline, commitment, endurance, and focus. It's not always easy," said Kimutai. "I try to manage stress of any kind, be it classwork or athletics, plan ahead, seek help when I need it, and avoid discouragement."

NYIT has become a home for Kimutai as a place where she can grow in her own personal way. To her, personal growth is learning new things, pursuing her career aspirations, making friends, nurturing her talents, and becoming a well-rounded person academically, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Fast Tracks
Favorite Book: Think Big and Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

Movie: Titanic

T.V. Show: 24

Favorite Food: Kenyan Meal called Pilau (flavored rice and meat mix), Chapati (similar to a pancake), and Ugali (made out of white corn flour).

Favorite Past time: Cracking jokes with friends.

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 13,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.

Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger void. To date, 95,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu.

Contact:
Chantel Diaz
Sports Information Graduate Assistant
O: 516.686.7522
cdiaz13@nyit.edu