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Kimberly Joy Dixon Honored for Efforts Pioneering Diversity Career Preparation Programming: July 31, 2017

Kimberly Joy Dixon is the Career Center’s Assistant Director of Employer Relations, specializing in Business & Diversity Recruitment. She plays a crucial role at the Career Center, as she is responsible for soliciting, maintaining, and enhancing employer relationships to increase job and internship availability for SBU students, finding and developing diversity-related opportunities for SBU’s underrepresented talent, and working with students interested in various business career paths.

Kimberly is recognized in her awards for her multifaceted responsibilities as well as her numerous programs, one program being the Diversity Professional Leadership Network (DPLN). DPLN was created to address the challenges many underrepresented students have in enhancing career development and finding internships and job opportunities. This program assigns students of color to professional mentors in their career interest area, helping them increase their knowledge of industries and sharpen their soft skills. At the end of the program, students are guaranteed an interview with their host company.

Created in 2008, student participation in the program grew more than five times in nine years, with that number doubling from 2015 to 2016 alone. Student response to the program is both supportive and positive. As one student proclaimed in Kimberly’s SUNY Chancellor Award nomination letter, “I’m really glad I got the opportunity to be a DPLN student. Not only did I learn so much about the importance of networking with professionals and other students, but I learned I can effectively and successfully advocate for myself in professional settings. Because of DPLN, I am graduating with a full-time job, something I was not expecting when I started this program.”

Employer response to Kimberly’s work is also overwhelmingly positive. For her diversity career preparation work, the Career Center received the INROADS 2007 and 2011 “Educator of the Year Award” as well as the SUNY Career Development Organization (SUNY CDO) 2016 “Committee’s Quality Program Award.” As Cheryl Hamilton, Director of the EOP Program writes, “The value she has brought to the University and the lives of students cannot be measured… Kimberly’s efforts have changed the lives of so many students.”

Among other initiatives, Kimberly also works to maintain and broaden the Career Center’s network of agencies, some of which include INROADS, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, the T. Howard Foundation, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. These recruitment agencies work to connect underrepresented students with companies that do not hire directly from SBU. Additionally, in the last year alone, Kimberly coordinated 67 corporate participants in the On Campus Recruitment program, which involved more than 9,000 applicants and 1,600 individual corporate interviews.

Kimberly’s efforts in pioneering diversity career preparation for underrepresented students was recently honored by several awards, one of which is the 2016 SUNY Outstanding Student Affairs Program Award in the International, Multicultural, Cultural, Gender, LGBTQ, Spirituality, Disability, and related category. Presented annually, this award recognizes Kimberly’s program as having a “significantly positive impact on students and their development, improving the overall quality of the student experience on campus.”

Kimberly was also awarded the 2016 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. This award is annually presented to SUNY staff across its 64 campuses who demonstrate “consistently superior professional achievement and serve as professional role models for a University system in pursuit of excellence.” Nominated by Dr. Marianna Savoca, Director of the Career Center, Kimberly is recognized for her immense contributions and dedication to the Career Center and SBU students.

Marianna praises: “Kimberly Joy Dixon has been a tremendous asset to Stony Brook University. She is dedicated and caring, a mentor and role model for many students and staff within and outside the Career Center. Her incredible skill set, her passion for student development, and her outstanding stewardship of corporate and alumni relationships have made a significant and lasting impact on Stony Brook University.”

In response to her two 2016 awards, Kimberly humbly said, “It is wonderful to have my work and efforts recognized by the State of New York. At my core I am a connector and developer of people, and all that I do at the Career Center is for these efforts. I love what I do and am happy and grateful that my contributions have been a benefit to Stony Brook University students and employers.”

Learn more about Kimberly Joy Dixon   here


Three Stony Brook University Students Receive Scholarships to Attend Professional Conference in Arkansas: June 3, 2017

The International Organization of Black Security Executives (IOBSE) is the leading organization for minority security professionals, providing students and experts alike quality resources, programs and opportunities in the security industry.

In its dedication to provide educational networking events for minority students, IOBSE annually organizes the IOBSE Spring Conference, recruiting and bringing together promising individuals from across the country. The conference’s goal, overall, is to “provide education, training, and professional networking to keep practioners and students abreast of current trends in security operations and technology.”

This year, three Stony Brook University students—Neil Hall, Carlton Johnson, and Gibrill Kamara—were selected to attend the IOBSE conference in Bentonville, Arkansas from April 25 th to April 27 th, with all costs covered.

The 2017 conference featured security experts such as Larry Barton, Keith and Christina White, Raymond Sosa, and invited company representatives from Walmart, Tyco, and Pacific Protection Services. Experts and representatives presented on topics such as global security operations, security risk, critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and information security. The 2017 conference highlights and pdf presentations can be found   here.

Carlton Johnson, a 2017 IOBSE attendee and a SBU senior majoring in Political Science, stated that he “applied to IOBSE because of the opportunity to connect meaningfully with black executives” and his “expectations were exceed by an enormous margin.” Not only was “the interactive environment amazing, but lifelong bonds, interests were made in a single week,” as the conference allowed him to “network with multiple companies, from Walmart, to CVS, to privately owned companies and entities” and “sparked his interest in the [security] field.”

The Stony Brook University Career Center is dedicated to educating and preparing students for their future careers, and to connecting hiring organizations with our diverse student and alumni talent. Visit us at the foot of the Zebra Path or online at

Students Learn About Diversity From Company Representatives: March 2, 2017

The Diversity in the Workplace Panel, which took place on March 24, 2017, is one of many diversity-related events the Stony Brook University Career Center organizes. Featuring moderator Jessica Carroll from Enterprise, panelist Christina Lolito from GEICO, Rebecca Russell from GEICO, Tina Newsome-Lee from Travelers, Linda Brown from Canon, Carole Lakin from Enterprise, and Sondra Debysingh from Broadridge Financial Solutions, the event offered students a wide array of perspectives on diversity-related experiences in the corporate world.

The event was created to introduce students to professionals who can speak on their diversity-related experiences in the workplace, as it relates to overcoming adversity, celebrating uniqueness, and company-commitment in creating diversity initiatives.

Tina Newsome-Lee, the representative for Travelers, spoke about her experience as a woman of color and the hurdles, such as the lack of respect she was given in comparison to her peers, she had to overcome. She encouraged students to be assertive, stand up for themselves, and believe in their convictions.

Another panelist, Rebecca Russell of GEICO, spoke on how diversity is a strength and encouraged students to maintain a positive attitude. She also talked about her personal experience. When competing with a coworker for a position, she had to dispel the idea that she is incapable of the job; she is not just “nice,” but as “smart” as the other candidate.

Students from the Diversity Program Leadership Network (DPLN), a program that helps students of color increase their knowledge of various careers and enhance their soft skills, attended and found the event useful. As Avisha Sanassie, a health science major, states, “the event was eye-opening and reassuring because being an underrepresented individual in the workplace is something I often worry about, but hearing from these knowledgeable panelists helped me understand that being different is invaluable. Having a workplace composed of varied backgrounds offers different perspectives to the company.” 

Likewise, Anfernee Graham, a technological systems management major, asserts that from the panel of company representatives’ personal experiences, he learned “about obstacles such as gender inequality, racial inequality, and sexual orientation inequality in the workplace and how the panelists’ overcame it.” 

After the panel convened, Anfernee networked with both the moderator, Jessica Carroll, and panelist Carole Lakin, both of Enterprise Holdings. Providing him with a “great deal of information about working in a professional establishment, they discussed topics such as dress code and hairstyles, professional opportunities, and pay scale equality.”

Technological systems management major Jonathan Cruzate, learned about “the different struggles the panelists had to face due to their gender or ethnicity and how fightstereotypes and prove themselves to their peers.” Speaking on salary differences and wage compensations, he also stated: “I found it very interesting when she brought up that women sometimes just take what they get, while men are better at asking for a higher salary.”

As Kimberly Joy Dixon, Assistant Director of Business and Diversity Recruitment, says, "I organized this event because I was motivated by the need of our student population.  Navigating the workplace can be difficult for anyone, however, there are questions we receive at the Career Center from students about the work environment specific to race, cultural beliefs, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.   ​I believe it helps students to here from professionals in the workplace how they have navigated their career, overcame obstacles, and have been able to bring their entire self to work regardless of their differences."

The Career Center is dedicated to educating and preparing students for their future careers, and to connecting hiring organizations with our diverse student and alumni talent. Visit us at the foot of the Zebra Path or online at

Urszula Zalewski Recognized for Programming Initiatives at SUNY CDO Conference: October 26, 2015

At this summer’s SUNY Career Development Organization conference, the Stony Brook University Career Center’s own Urszula Zalewski received the 2015 Award for Excellence in Programming in the Employer/Community Collaborations category. Each year, this award is presented to a SUNY CDO member who has shown outstanding initiative toward establishing career development programs in collaboration with employers.

The SUNY Career Development Organization, or SUNY CDO, is an organization of career development professionals representing over thirty SUNY institutions. Each summer, members congregate to exchange ideas on how to establish and enrich connections between career service offices, employers, and SUNY students. This year’s conference, held over the course of three days in Corning, NY, saw award proposals from more than a dozen SUNY institutions.

Chosen from a group of sixteen submissions, Urszula’s proposal,       Career Center EXT Internship Program: The Campus as a Learning Laboratory, the University as an Employer of Student Interns   , highlighted the impact of her efforts to improve the Career Center’s EXT Internship program over the past several years.

The EXT program is a structured, academic internship based on specific, pre-determined learning outcomes that combines knowledge gained in the classroom with practical application in a professional setting. Students have the opportunity to earn academic credit while receiving guidance from a faculty sponsor who evaluates their learning progress over the course of the internship.

Recognizing the transportation challenges that many students face, Urszula has taken steps over the past several years to increase the number and quality of on-campus internships available to students. On her initiative, the Career Center has been “turning inward, to the campus itself, to identify internship sponsors who could provide enriching learning experiences valued by the academy and by future employers.” Urszula’s efforts have resulted in a significant expansion in EXT enrollment, with more than 271 on-campus internship opportunities in more than sixteen departments last year.

Among other changes, Urszula has also developed more rigorous learning outcomes to better prepare students for the workforce, as well as detailed performanceto measure and showcase student success. These evaluations include self-assessments in which students reflect on what they have learned through weekly journal writing.

Speaking to the impact of the EXT program, Awards Committee Chair Amie Vedral said that “it can help other SUNY institutions see the opportunity to create meaningful learning opportunities for their students on their own campus, as opposed to always looking outside campus for internship employers.” She also remarked that Stony Brook’s on-campus experiential programming is “unique within the SUNY system and is particularly responsive to the needs of our student body given transportation challenges.”

As Assistant Director of Experiential Programs at the Career Center, Urszula plays a critical role by building alliances with companies and nonprofits and establishing experiential opportunities for students. Urszula’s award reflects her commitment to fulfilling the Career Center’s goal of making Stony Brook “a higher education leader in creating high-impact, transformative on-campus work experiences that prepare students for meaningful and productive careers.”

The Career Center is dedicated to educating and preparing students for their future careers, and to connecting hiring organizations with our diverse student and alumni talent. Visit us at the foot of the Zebra Path or online at


SBU Career Center Honored by Partnership Awards: October 21, 2014

The Stony Brook University Career Center has been awarded the 2014-2015 Dr. Frederick R. Preston Partnership Award by the SAC and Union Facilities Operations team. The award recognizes the Career Center’s success under the leadership of director Marianna Savoca. Her dedication to the University and advocacy for students has made the department an extremely effective and essential resource for students at Stony Brook University.

The Dr. Frederick R. Preston Partnership Award was established in 1995 at the Campus Life Awards Program. It is presented annually to a University department or an individual that demonstrates passionate and continuous support for the Office of the Dean of Students’ mission. The Career Center’s core values and goals directly align with the Dean of Students’ mission; both departments strive to advocate for student needs by providing services, support, and programs that cultivate student growth.

The award also celebrates the Stony Brook University Career Center and the SAC and Union Facilities Operations team’s collaborative work. Their joint efforts in planning, developing, and launching programs has created events like the Computer Science Tech Day & IT/Computer Science Job & Internship Fair and the Engineering Job & Internship Fair. The collective work is crucial in creating events and services for Stony Brook University students.

The Career Center is dedicated to educating and preparing students for their future careers, and to connecting hiring organizations with our diverse student and alumni talent. Visit us at the foot of the Zebra Path or online at




















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