Alumni Association Annual Report 2019-2020

A message from alumni association president robert j. debrauwere, esq '87

I am pleased to present you with the Stony Brook Alumni Association Annual Report for the academic year 2019-2020. While this year has presented us with many challenges, I am filled with immense pride in the knowledge that we as a community have come together to support one another, fortifying the Seawolves bond.

This year has been one of great transformation. Although we have not been able to connect in person as much as we would have liked, alumni and friends like you have continued to go far beyond to stay connected. This was especially evident as we pivoted our programming to meet the needs of a now-entirely virtual alumni community. Our virtual programs saw record-high participation. For that, I must thank our entire community of Seawolves, as well as our campus partners who have joined us to continue to encourage engaging and informative conversations.

As you read through this year’s annual report, I hope you, too, are filled with pride in what we have all achieved together.

Wishing you all peace and good health,

Robert J. deBrauwere, Esq. ‘87, President Stony Brook Alumni Association

See how Seawolves have come together to help one another.

It’s no secret that Stony Brook students are known for being smart, driven, and determined to succeed, no matter the odds.

And it’s this ethos of dogged determination that has always inspired the Stony Brook community to do what they can to ensure students stay in school, graduate on time and excel in life. So when the COVID-19 crisis further inflamed the financial hardships of Stony Brook’s most vulnerable students, there was no question that Seawolves would come together to help.

In fact, more than 950 alumni, faculty, staff and friends crowdfunded for Emergency Student Support during Seawolves Helping Seawolves week starting on April 29 and ending May 5. Giving was bolstered by a $100,000 match from the Stony Brook Foundation, creating a total impact of over $263,000 before the week’s end.

Thanks to the crowdfunding project, coupled with major gifts from other generous donors, overall philanthropic emergency student support reached nearly $1 million in the months following the pandemic.

“It’s been so gratifying to see our community stepping up to keep our students’ dreams alive,” said Former Interim President Michael A. Bernstein. “These critical dollars were put to immediate use for many students who have nowhere else to turn.”

Crucial funds were disbursed to nearly 400 students to help offset housing, food and living expenses and help purchase the technology they needed to continue learning online and finish their semester strong.

Most students who applied for emergency funds had returned home to families who were already struggling to get by and were in desperate need after losing jobs, health benefits and income to pay their bills.

The emergency fund money I received was life-changing,” said graduating senior TyAra ’20. “When my father passed a few weeks ago, we had to put the house on the market, but now it’ll take months to sell. My mom and I have been so stressed about bills. Now we can stay in our home another month or two.”

“As our nation struggles to recover from the economic and societal impact of the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, our students will be architects of our future,” said Dean of Students Rick Gatteau. “We can’t let this crisis derail their dreams and their potential to make a difference in all our lives.”

Those who joined together and invested in Stony Brook students understand this. Aside from the financial relief, the recipients of emergency funds have benefited from the knowledge that there are people in their corner, who care about them, who believe in them, and who share their ambitions for the future.

“It’s so unbelievable in this day and age, in a time of pandemic, that Stony Brook alumni and friends are still willing to donate money to help others,” said Maame Gwamfi ’20, “Knowing there are people behind me has helped me feel more hopeful about the future.”

See how the Alumni Association has gone digital!

With over 200,000 alumni worldwide, virtual programming has allowed our community of Seawolves to stay connected no matter where they are. The introduction of the Alumni Virtual Lecture Series this year has provided alumni and friends with the opportunity to hear Stony Brook’s experts on topics ranging from the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak to global race relations.

Celebrating alumni with the fifth 40 Under Forty program.


On January 15, Stony Brook University celebrated the remarkable early-career accomplishments of an esteemed group of alumni at its fifth 40 Under Forty celebration. This year’s honorees represent the very best of the University’s recent graduates — alumni who have leveraged their talents and education to excel in their professional and personal lives.

“Your accomplishments in your professions and your impact in your communities embody the best of our University,” Interim President Michael A. Bernstein, PhD, told the honorees. “You have shown us that you are courageous, visionary, principled and unbound by tradition.”

Over 200 alumni, former honorees, and friends joined Interim President Bernstein and Alumni Board President Robert J. deBrauwere, Esq. ’87 at Current at Chelsea Piers in New York City to celebrate this year’s honorees.

“Since its inception, the 40 Under Forty program has honored the University’s most creative and bold young professionals,” said deBrauwere. “Each of you has had your path to success, but what connects us is Stony Brook.”

This year’s alumni honorees include world-class athletes; dedicated humanitarians; artists and leaders in science, healthcare, engineering, finance and government.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award from my alma mater,” said Kapil Kanugo ’07, head of artificial intelligence for Accenture. “This award underscores my achievements and, at the same time, motivates me to reach further heights and serve society for a positive and inspiring impact.”

In addition to Kanugo, the 40 Under Forty Class of 2019 includes Franck D. Joseph III ’12, deputy commissioner, New York City Commission on Human Rights; Renee DiResta ’04, co-founder of Vaccinate California; Jennifer Eng-Kulawy, MD ’06, Lieutenant Commander – head of pediatrics, U.S. Navy; Lora Webster ’17, Paralympic gold medalist and Christopher am Ende, PhD, ’08, ’13, senior principal scientist, Pfizer Inc.

“Stony Brook’s recognition of my Paralympic accomplishments proves how much the university cares about its students, past and present, and their commitment to supporting those students,” said Webster. “I am proud to be a Seawolf and will continue to work to make Stony Brook proud.”

For more information on this year’s honorees, photos and more about Stony Brook’s 40 Under Forty program, please visit stonybrook.edu/40underforty.

See how students are making a difference as "Alumni Leaders of the Future."

The Alumni Association’s mission to engage and connect alumni begins with our students. That’s why we’ve joined forces with student leadership to form Alumni Leaders of the Future. Students selected as Alumni Leaders of the Future serve as official representatives for the Alumni Association and foster interaction among students, alumni, administrators, parents and friends by providing support at alumni events, activities and other opportunities.

These student leaders play a vital role in bringing together students and alumni, creating a culture of engaged alumni and strengthening our University.

In this role, they act as student champions at our occasions, help us create a culture of engaged alumni and play a vital role in strengthening our University.

The group’s exceptional leadership, resilience and strength were on display during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the students worked alongside the alumni relations team to support students and alumni through an exceptionally challenging time. They also have been highly engaged with the alumni community, despite the remote learning environment and social distancing restraints, by staying actively involved in the Alumni Association’s many virtual events.

The classes of 1970 and 1971 will be celebrating 50 years at their 2021 reunion.



Special Thanks to our Class of 1970 Reunion Committee:

Marsha Cohen, Philip Farber, Mary Beth Medley (Olbrych), Ronee Nassi, Rajiv Roy, Richard Sacks, Daniela Sciaky, Miles St. Jaques, William Stellwagen, and Allen Tsao

Stay up to date with the latest updates and learn more about joining your reunion committee.


This year, the Stony Brook Alumni Association introduced a new faculty lecture series, hosted at Harmony Vineyards on Stony Brook Harbor. Featuring a new faculty expert each month, the Minds & Vines series has successfully engaged alumni, faculty, staff and community members, many of whom had not engaged with the University before this program. Lecture topics have included relevant and timely subjects such as the measles outbreak, Long Island’s great white shark research and the science and the romance of wine.

The intimate nature of the lecture series has allowed Stony Brook faculty to share cutting-edge research in a way that is organic and unassuming, creating a dialogue between speaker and guests and forging important relationships along the way.

Thanks to alumni like you, graduation went digital with a special message!

While commencement may have looked a little different this year, alumni from around the globe came together to keep the spirit of graduation alive. With the help of a little star power from singer-songwriter Prince Royce and a heartfelt video from our alumni, our social media posts during graduation weekend reached over 120,000 people!


With social justice always at the forefront of our efforts, the Stony Brook University Black and Latino Alumni Network has played an invaluable role in educating and informing alumni. The group, which provides a forum where members can develop and strengthen ties, promotes values that reflect their community interests and investments as members of the Alumni Association.

Following the death of George Floyd, the alumni network quickly came together to create a system of support with a forum designed to encourage critical conversations among students and alumni.

The group has held two sessions with the alumni and student communities: A Virtual Community Conversation on Racism and Social Justice in America and A Student-Led Conversation on Race.

The efforts of the Black and Latino Alumni Network have not gone unnoticed, garnishing the attention of the Stony Brook administration and newly appointed President Maurie McInnis, PhD.

“I am grateful to the Black and Latino Alumni Network for expanding access to our world-class education for future generations,” said President McInnis.

We're proud to celebrate essential workers with this message of gratitude.

Thank you, essential workers!

From all of us in the Alumni Association, thank you to all of the essential workers on the frontlines of COVID-19.

Explore highlights from the Health Science schools including programs, celebrations and reunions!

Academic Year 2019-2020 started off strong, with each of the five Health Science schools welcoming their incoming classes and alumni providing increased scholarship funding as well as in-person career support and guidance. Nine reunions took place, and two others were postponed due to COVID-19, making 2020 the most successful year ever for class reunions. The School of Health Technology and Management’s Respiratory Care’s 50th Anniversary Reunion were postponed, as was the School of Dental Medicine Class of 1980’s 40th Anniversary Reunion scheduled for June 2021. In support of Black Lives Matter, Black and Latinx Alumni came together recently to form a Black and Latinx School of Medicine Alumni/Students Network for mentoring and dialogue.

Renaissance School of Medicine

Highlights from the Renaissance School of Medicine including Careers in Medicine, The White Coat Ceremony & Stethoscope Gift, The RSOM Distinguished Alumni Awards, The Black and Latinx Alumni/Student Network and Reunions with the Classes of 1979, 1984, 1994, 1999 and 2009.

School of Dental Medicine

Highlights from the School of Dental Medicine including the GNYDM Meet Up, the Dental Medicine Career Panels and Reunions from the Classes of 1979, 1984 and 2009.

School of Nursing

School of Nursing NP Alumni reception at a conference in Syracuse; Welcome Reception for Dean Annette Wysocki

School of Social Welfare

School of Social Welfare Focus Group; School of Social Welfare Story Corps. ® Filming

School of Health Technology & Management

School of Health Technology & Management Dean's Choice Award
The Stony Brook Alumni Association is proud to award scholarships to students who have shown excellence and dedication to the Stony Brook community.

Alumni Association Awards over $50,000 in Student Scholarships

For Seawolves, graduation is perhaps the most important milestone in their journey to becoming alumni. It’s the experiences along the way, however, that truly makes someone a Seawolf for life. That’s why the Alumni Association makes it their mission to ensure that students have all of the resources they need on their journey to graduation. This year alone, the Association provided over $50,000 in student scholarships and support through alumni awards programs like the Dean’s Choice Awards.

“We are constantly impressed by the high caliber of students here at Stony Brook University. Being able to support their journey from student to alumni makes our work all the more meaningful.”- Janet Masini, Interim Director of Alumni Programs
Learn more about the programs hosted by the Alumni Career Services team.

Career Communities Mentoring Program

Our long-term “Career Communities” mentoring program for undergraduate and graduate students grew in its second year from 90 to 140 mentorship pairs.

On Sunday, October 5, 2019, mentors and mentees met at our kickoff to learn more about the program and begin building relationships. This year, participants were given the option to select affinity groups — such as LGBTQ*, DPLN, EOP/AIM, SAAS/SAAB and clubs and organizations — so we may more purposefully identify pairs.

In 2019/2020, we are proud to say that we helped facilitate 62 one-time student/alumni mentoring matches through our Micro-Mentoring program.

We are very grateful to all of our mentors! Thank you for helping our students experience the power of building professional relationships! Our programs were a success because of you.

“Nilaja and I both had busy schedules and our mentorship was impacted by COVID-19, but we made it work! I’m proud of her go-getter attitude and her transparency. She secured an internship, and I am so proud of her! Though the school year has ended, we still keep in touch. Not only was I able to help Nilaja, but she was able to teach me new things as well, which is truly the beauty of this SBU mentorship program.” - Stephanie Hayman '12, '18, Mentor
“The relationship Stephanie and I built during the mentee/mentor program was really impactful. Hearing her journey made me realize how many opportunities are out there that you just have to apply yourself to. Through her help, I was able to get my summer internship, which I have to thank her for. The relationship Stephanie and I built over the year is one that I plan on cherishing and building over the course of my career.”- Nilaja Croft, Mentee, Diversity Professional Leadership Network (DPLN) Intern and Marketing Intern at the SBU Career Center

2019/2020 Alumni mentoring/volunteering

2019-2020 Micro-Mentors: 62

2019-2020 Career Communities Mentors: 103

2019-2020 Career Education/Panels: 84

ALUMNI Seeking career support

In response to COVID-19, Alumni Career Services redesigned our programs into a virtual format. The following are some of our offerings, including a specially designed virtual alumni job fair.

  • I’m Graduating - Now What” was offered twice last year to support graduating seniors who are applying for their first full-time job and were unsure of their career path and how to navigate the process.
  • "Job Search Strategies During the Coronavirus Pandemic" was offered several times in May and June in response to the overwhelming number of job losses this year and the additional challenge of finding a job during the pandemic.
  • “Differentiating Yourself in a Challenging Job Market: Stand Out From The Pack” On May 28, 2020, 55 alumni and recent grads joined this virtual career conversation with Adam Sherman '91 and Renee Salerno '20 and Stony Brook Alumni Career Coach, Marie Parziale '10, to learn the practical and tactical steps they can take to best position themselves to secure a job.
  • “Navigating the Challenging Economic Job Market as a Recent Graduate” On June 4, 2020, four accomplished alumni from the classes of 2008 and 2009 spoke to 67 alumni about their experiences with a compromised job climate upon graduation. During this panel discussion, they shared their experiences of adjusting their career goals to respond to the changing marketplace. Special thanks to our panel: Stephanie Brumsey ‘09, Vincent Costa ‘09, Boyan Doytchiov ‘08 and Dale Summerville ‘08.

Alumni Virtual Job Fair for Recent Grads and ExperienceD Alumni

In response to COVID-19 and the unprecedented economic crisis, the Career Center organized a career fair on June 24th exclusively for Stony Brook alumni. It was our very first virtual job fair and we were proud to host 63 employers. Amazon, GEICO, and Brookhaven National Laboratories were among the companies that were represented. Recruiters met with 432 alumni for a total of 1250 one on one virtual meetings through Handshake. Both employers and alumni shared feedback that this was a mutually helpful experience and our alumni reported that they felt supported by their alma mater.

Ongoing Career Support:

Alumni Virtual Career Chats | Wednesdays at 2 pm |

These small-group appointments help alumni share ideas and support one another as they manage the ups and downs of the job search, especially during this challenging time.

See how alumni are staying connected through digital media.

Social Media:

Top Social Media Posts:

Digital Engagement By The Numbers:

127,727 Alumni in Newsletter Circulation

97,078 Engaged Email Recipients

718 Readers of Advancement’s Top Story

7,630 Email for Life Users

See what your classmates are up to with this year's class notes.

Charles A. Fleming ’77 has been elected president of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society.

Atefeh “Atti” Riazi ’84 has been named chief information officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She previously was the chief information technology officer and an assistant secretary-general at the United Nations.

Milagros “Milly” Peña ’86, PhD ’90 has been named the next president of SUNY Purchase. She will be the first Hispanic woman to lead a SUNY college.

Assemblyman Carl Heastie ’90 is listed in the 2020 Albany Power list, ranked No. 10.

Joseph Moreno, Esq. ’96 is general counsel at SAP National Security Services Inc., based in northern Virginia.

Lauren Hallam ’99, ’03 leads Fox Corporation as vice president of employee and community engagement.

Genevieve Sly Crane ’12 has been honored with a 2020 Whiting Award, based on the early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come for her first book, Sorority. She teaches in the Creative Writing and Literature BFA program at Stony Brook.

Yalile Suriel ’14, a PhD candidate in the Department of History, has won a 2020-21 American Education Research Association Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research Award.

Karen Tsai, MD ’17 and Kevin Tsai, MD ’19, along with their organizatio

Our work is truly a team effort. View a full list of our campus partners.

Thank you to our campus partners who continue to provide invaluable support in engaging alumni.




Career Center

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Business

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Graduate Student Organization

Health Sciences

  • Renaissance School of Medicine
  • School of Dental Medicine
  • School of Health Technology and Management
  • School of Social Welfare
  • School of Nursing


Mattoo Center for Indian Studies

School of Journalism

School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

School of Professional Development

Staller Center for the Arts

Stony Brook Southampton

Student Affairs

Undergraduate Student Government

University Archives

Women in Science & Engineering

Meet the Alumni Relations team!
Meet the Alumni Association Board.

Executive Committee:

Robert J. deBrauwere, ESQ '87, President

Ahmed W. Belazi '06, '09, President-Elect

Errol A. Cockfield '94, Vice President, Alumni Strategy

Neil Butterklee '80, '82, Vice President, Board Membership

Milin Rao '00, Treasurer

Immediate Past President:

Bedel Saget '88

Association board:

Frank Barile '02

Alyssa Breres '10

Morgan Cato '04, '05

Robert Cuccaro '96, '18

Hilda DeJesus '07

Heather Dufficy '99, '09

Ed Fabian '08

Hon. Lizbeth González '74

Shahnilla Jamal '00

Taylor Light '15

Patricia Matos-Puente, MD '84

Jaime Moore '88

Joseph Moreno, Esq. '96

Leonard Moss, DO '80

Michael Poch '05

Robert Roth '77

Eddie Shek '90

Deepti Sharma '08

Danielle Tedesco '14

Ex-ofFicio directors

Deborah Lowen-Klein, Interim Vice President for Advancement

Janet Masini, Interim Director of Alumni Programs

Kristin Matthews, Interim Director of Alumni Operations