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Our Scholars, Our Pride

Since its inception in 2000, the Stars of Stony Brook Gala has provided more than  $62 million in support for academic programs and scholarships, which have made a significant impact on the lives of our exceptional students. The generosity of our friends and supporters has enabled our student and alumni scholars to demonstrate to the world that they are the true stars of Stony Brook.

Trustee Scholarship Students

 

Brianne Ledda  

Brianne Ledda

Class of 2021

A native of Miller Place, New York, Brianne has immersed herself in activities that will go a long way toward rounding out her journalism academics, including the School of Communications and Journalism Student Advisory Board and the SBU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Thanks to her Foundation Trustee Scholarship, Brianne also has been able to accept resume-boosting internships with WSHU Public Radio, Royal Media and the Fire Island Chronicle. At the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak on Long Island, Brianne juggled classwork with her duties as  news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman. Brianne worked around the clock to manage her own work and keep her fellow students apprised of news and developments related to the pandemic.

 

Sarah Kelly  

Sarah Kelly

Class of 2022

Sarah is a first-generation coastal environmental studies major and a member of the Women in Science and Engineering Honors program. This Foundation Trustee Scholar from Lindenhurst, New York, has devoted much of her extracurricular time to making Stony Brook a more equitable, inclusive campus. She serves on the President’s ADA Advisory Committee — which is committed to making sure Stony Brook is free of discrimination, barriers and bias toward individuals with disabilities — and is a mentor for the Academic Community Engagement program, where she helps students with disabilities better navigate and engage with the University. Sarah also serves on the Future Ready career program with the Stony Brook Career Center and as a volunteer with the Ashley Schiff Preserve, and interns at Dashboard.Earth, a citizen activism app focused on climate change.

 

Christian Yun  

Christian Yun

Class of 2022

A first-generation college student from Poughkeepsie, New York, Christian is pursuing a degree in biology. Alongside his studies, he has been embracing his passion for photography. One day, Christian hopes to bring together his love of photography and of nature by photographing America’s national parks. In addition to his photography and his challenging academic schedule, Christian volunteers with the Campus Community Emergency Response Team and participates in Philippine United Student Organization events. When he’s home in Poughkeepsie, Christian helps build affordable housing for local families through Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County.

 

Trustee Scholarship Alumni

 

Ayyan Zubair  

Ayyan Zubair

Class of 2018

Born and raised in East Meadow, New York, Ayyan graduated from Stony Brook with a degree in economics. The Foundation Trustee Scholarship gave Ayyan the freedom and confidence to pursue opportunities that ultimately played a significant role in his success at Stony Brook. As president of the Undergraduate Student Government, Ayyan honed his leadership and organizational skills, which have been invaluable to him as he has worked his way through nearly three years at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. During his time at Berkeley Law, he has participated in pro bono legal services in the community, completed internships at nonprofits to advance social justice and helped secure asylum for a widowed mother and her two young children.

 

Ryan Kawalerski  

Ryan Kawalerski

Class of 2019

A native of Buffalo, Ryan graduated from Stony Brook with a joint degree in biochemistry and applied mathematics and statistics. As a Foundation Trustee Scholar, Ryan was able to focus his energy on succeeding in his courses, pursuing demanding research projects and developing himself professionally to prepare for applying to MD/PhD programs. After graduating from Stony Brook, Ryan was accepted into the dual-degree MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He recently completed his second year of medical school at Johns Hopkins and will be matriculating into the Biomedical Engineering Department this summer, where he plans to focus his thesis work on basic RNA biology using experimental and computational approaches. 

 

Sandhiya Kannan  

Sandhiya Kannan

Class of 2017

Currently residing in New Jersey, Sandhiya earned her degree in chemical engineering with minors in astronomy and nanotechnology. The Foundation Trustee Scholarship enabled her to pursue these minors, both of which she considered passion projects. She was also able to devote her summer breaks to internships and research programs that shaped the direction of her career. Since earning her master's degree from Columbia University, Sandhiya has been working as a scientist at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Research and Development, where she focuses on skin health and developing new skincare products for top brands, including NeoStrata and Neutrogena. A proud Stony Brook alumna, she recently gave a virtual talk to the Undergraduate Biochemistry Society and currently serves as the chief alumni advisor for the Stony Brook chapter of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.