Browsing: Service

Omar Naimi ’17 thinks of himself as “absurdly ambitious.” As a child, he wanted to become President of the United States. But as he grew older and learned about the complications inherent in politics, he traded that dream for a new one: becoming an architect. Then in high school he became obsessed with the microscopic complexities of cells and their components, atoms. He realized that big dreams could involve the smallest building blocks and processes known to mankind. “I went from wanting my name on a skyscraper to wanting to have a protein named after me,” said Queens native Omar, a…

Stony Brook University student-athletes recently went to bat for one of their own. When Stony Brook softball player Danielle (“Danni”) Kemp learned that she had an inoperable brain tumor and needed treatments, her male diamond counterparts put on their rally caps in solidarity, creating the initiative #BeardsForDanni. Danni, who played second base for the Seawolves in 2015-2016, was hit in the helmet by a pitch this past summer. Soon after she experienced balance problems, trouble focusing and dizziness. Doctors discovered she didn’t have a concussion, but a brain tumor. Stony Brook University Associate Baseball Coach Pennucci learned the news about…

Every year, Stony Brook students, faculty, staff and alumni share their time and talent through thousands of community service hours. Each day in December, we’ll showcase a new story of community service on the “31 Days of Giving Back” blog, found at you.stonybrook.edu/31days. The University was again nationally recognized this year with the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary community service programs in four categories: General Community Service, Economic Opportunity, Education, and Interfaith Service. This caring campus community has a positive impact on friends and neighbors locally and around the world. From organizing clothing drives to blood donations to…

Computer Science major Brandon Cuadrado ’17 came to Stony Brook so that he could focus on a career path that emphasized product development rather than theoretical work. By all accounts, while still in school, he has already realized his goal. While working as a student staff assistant at the Office of the Dean of Students, the Ronkonkoma, New York native created an ID swiping system that collects quantitative data for all students who visit the office. The data collected allows the Dean’s Office to look at the big picture when analyzing the services it offers, helping administrators to understand who…

Imagine saying goodbye to the mother who raised you and not knowing when you might reunite, if ever. That was the pain of separation that Gabriela Quintanilla ’16 and her sisters felt when their mother left their native El Salvador to join the rest of her extended family in the United States. But Gabriella declined to wallow in self-pity. Instead, she became an advocate for social change, turning her own personal pain into gain for others like herself. “My mother promised to send for us in two years,” said Gabriela. “She just wanted a better life and thought of the…

Haley Wodarczyk ’16 always knew she wanted to help people, but she wasn’t sure how best to translate her inclinations into meaningful action.. Her mother had acted as her role model, volunteering for organizations such as Make-A-Wish and Big Brothers Big Sisters. But Haley yearned to travel her own path, and Stony Brook showed the way. “It was definitely the right choice for me,” she said. “Going away from home (East Syracuse, New York) and being exposed to such a diverse new environment made me grow tenfold,” said Haley. “The diversity is what I love the most. I’ve learned so much…

As a freshman who lived just 30 minutes from campus, James Vassallo ’17 thought he would experience Stony Brook like a stereotypical commuter student, showing up for class and heading home afterwards. Instead, his dynamic involvement with University life entails  a schedule more demanding than most campus residents. “I had no idea just how much this school would become part of me,” said the Bellport, New York, resident. James joined a variety of clubs and organizations that involved a high degree of volunteerism, and to his surprise, he found the experience addictive. “I became more and more invested in this school and…

Six students in the Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare got a taste of experiential learning the weekend of April 14. They parlayed their classroom lessons into a way to help the stricken community of Flint, Michigan, which has been without clean drinking water for two years due to a lead-contaminated water supply. The students, all from the class of 2016 — Stephanie Dick, Tiffany Hervas, Alaina Ingram, Lindsay McBeth, Tira Skaggs and Taylor Zummo — helped distribute more than 10,000 bottles of water, baby wipes and hand sanitizer to Flint residents after connecting with pastor Tom Mattiuzzo of…

SBU Taandava, the University’s Indian classical dance team, performed its annual charity event, Jana Seva, at the Charles B. Wang Center on April 29. Jana Seva translates to “helping the community,” and the event began as a tradition for the team after alumni member Sharugash Kiruba inspired the team to help the war-torn children of Sri-Lanka. Since 2014, the team has made donations to Ozanam Bhavan, Camp Kesem, and this year to Akshaya Trust. At this year’s event, the group raised more than $1,200 in two hours to help the homeless and mentally disabled in Madurai, India, through the Akshaya…

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