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Stony Brook University External Relations Stony Brook University External Relations

Meet Our Team

crossonElaine M. Crosson, JD
Vice President for External Relations

Elaine M. Crosson, JD, was appointed Vice President for External Relations at Stony Brook University in February 2011. In this newly established position, Ms. Crosson is the University’s primary liaison for state and federal legislative matters, and oversees the offices of Communications, Community Relations, Government Relations, and Media Relations. As VP for External Relations, Ms. Crosson reports directly to the President and works closely with the other Vice Presidents and Deans.

Since joining Stony Brook University in February 2011, Ms. Crosson:

  • Led the University’s advocacy efforts in support of NY SUNY2020
  • Spearheaded the University’s re-branding efforts
  • Secured state/federal funding for the University and Stony Brook Medicine
  • Negotiated a new use permit between the University and a community soccer organization
  • Leading efforts to redesign the University’s website
  • Re-launched Stony Brook University Magazine (formerly known as “The Brook”)

In recognition of her efforts, Ms. Crosson was awarded the “2013 WOLFIE Award” for her support of the SBU Athletics Program and the Outstanding Service Award from the Undergraduate Student Government and Sports Club Council for her successful negotiation for new student soccer fields.

Ms. Crosson holds a BA from St. John’s University and a JD from Albany Law School, Union University. She began her career in 1980 as a legislative aide in the New York State Legislature. Following graduation from law school, Ms. Crosson held two positions in the New York State Court System including Legislative Counsel for the Office of Court Administration and Principal Law Clerk to a Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. Upon conclusion of her clerkship, Ms. Crosson held various legal positions in private practice and also served as a Magistrate in Suffolk County Family Court. She served as General Counsel to the Interest of Lawyer Account Fund (IOLA), which funds civil legal services for the poor. Just prior to joining Stony Brook University in 2011, Ms. Crosson served for 12 years in the Counsel’s Office at Long Island University rising to the position of General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs.

Michael Arens, Assistant Vice President of Government and Community Relations

arensMichael Arens joined Stony Brook University in 2012, bringing with him experience as a Government Relations Manager from Brookhaven National Laboratory and numerous years of management and communications experience during his tenure with the New York State Senate and other local governments.

In his role at Stony Brook and under the direction of the Vice President for External Affairs, Michael serves as a liaison to the University in both Albany and Washington, D.C., monitoring legislation and issues that impact students, faculty and higher education.

Michael’s favorite spot on campus is in the stands at a Seawolves Men’s Lacrosse game with his two sons.

  Joan Dickinson MA ’12,
Director of Community Relations

dickinsonJoan serves as the liaison between Stony Brook University and the communities of Long Island. She works with local civic and business leaders as well as members of the surrounding neighborhoods to share information about the University and build relationships with the community.

Joan works in collaboration with several campus departments to bring student volunteers together with community service projects that enhance our neighborhoods. Prior to this, Joan served as University Marketing and Licensing Director for 15 years developing media and outreach plans for a variety of campus departments. Her corporate experience in positions for marketing, copywriting, media and promotions were at Newsday, CBS and 20th Century Fox.

Karen Leibowitz, Art Director

leibowitzKaren Leibowitz has been leading the design team in the Office of Communications since 2001. She is a creative and accomplished Art Director and Designer with more than 25 years of experience in the visual communications industry. Karen works with internal and freelance design, editorial, photography and Web staff to develop, conceptualize, plan and execute high-profile, award-winning pieces, providing artistic direction and inspiration at all stages of the design process.


Jacob Levich, Director of University Web Content

levichJacob Levich has helmed the University's Web presence since 2001. Before joining Stony Brook, he served as Editor-in-Chief of Maxim Online and was a founding editor of A graduate of Yale University, he is author of numerous published articles on cinema and politics and was editor of The Motion Picture Guide (1996), The Virgin Film Guide (1996) and Behind the Invasion of Iraq (2003).

Joanne Morici,
Editorial Director

moriciJoanne Morici joined Stony Brook University’s Office of Communications in 2001 to oversee major print publications such as the view book and other student recruitment publications, as well as the University magazine. Prior to Stony Brook, she served as Managing Editor for Family Circle magazine’s Special Interest publications. She was a columnist, book editor and writer for Family Circle magazine as well as other major consumer magazines, including Psychology Today, Self and Woman’s Day.

  Lauren M. Sheprow,
University Media Relations Officer


Lauren Sheprow joined Stony Brook University in 2005 as Hospital Media Relations Director. A native Long Islander with nearly 30 years of experience in public relations and marketing communications, Lauren spent the first part of her career in St. Louis and Miami at some of the largest public relations firms in the world. She moved back to Long Island in 2001 and served for four years as public relations director at a community hospital before joining Stony Brook where she felt an instant connection to academic medicine and academia. After two years at SBUH she accepted the opportunity to take on her current role as Media Relations Officer for the University.

Susanne Walsh, Senior Director of Operations

walshSusanne Walsh joined Stony Brook in 1988 as a marketing assistant. She currently works as a Senior Director for External Relations overseeing business, financial, technical and human resources activities, as well as the Office of Communications’ production unit, the University’s licensing and trademark program, and the on-site advertising agency. In her tenure at Stony Brook she has researched and implemented several institutional initiatives including the centralized advertising agency, institutional licensing program, first corporate purchasing card system, first car rental fleet, and centralized photography unit/photo library. She has also worked as the University’s Director of Marketing and Advertising and has managed the rollout of two institutional branding campaigns.


Lorraine M. Rubino,
Executive Assistant to the Vice President

rubino(631) 632-6302