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Graduate Student Advocate


Here to Help

Similar to the   Ombuds Office, the Graduate Student Advocates (GSAs) can help resolve problems students may encounter during their graduate studies at Stony Brook. In many situations, students may simply need more information or assistance finding and contacting the appropriate people within the University. We’re here to help. 

When to Contact Us

Contact us anytime you have a serious problem or concern that you don’t know how to handle. When faced with a conflict or issue, it is always best to start locally. Talking first to your advisor, graduate program director, graduate program coordinator, or department administrator can often remedy the situation. In most cases they will be in the best position to handle your problem quickly and efficiently as they are most familiar with your specific field. When this is not possible, or if you are unsure of how to proceed, we are here to help.

Students come to us with a variety of concerns. We’ve addressed conflicts with faculty advisors, health insurance problems, housing problems, cases of discrimination, questions of academic standing, problems with funding, and other work-related issues. Work-related problems involving Graduate Assistants (GAs) and Teaching Assistant (TAs) are the jurisdiction of the   Graduate Student Employees Union  (GSEU) and must be referred to union representatives. In cases where the issues are particularly serious or where students may wish to work with an independent professional conflict management specialist, we can refer you to the Ombuds Office.

Whatever the issue, we will help you navigate the University’s resources to find the help you need.

How We Help:

1. Explain University policies and procedures. 
2. Assess possible courses of action and offer guidance in pursuing the options best suited to your specific situation. 
3. Refer you to the person most capable of addressing your concerns, arranging introductions and meetings as necessary.
4. Provide support on personal matters that may be effecting your academic performance. 
5. If necessary or appropriate, intercede on your behalf or mediate for you 
6. Recommend specific changes to University policy to address student issues and concerns.

Contact Information

The Graduate Student Advocate for the 2017-2018 academic year is Nicholas Ciuffo, a  graduate student in the Department of Political Science, studying Public Policy. His contact information is below.

Nicholas Ciuffo

Nicholas A. Ciuffo, Graduate Student Advocate


Office Location:   The Graduate School, 2401 (old) Computer Science Building

Office Phone: 631-632-1947 (ext. 2-1947 on campus)

Appointment Hours: Monday to Thursday 2PM - 6PM, or Remote via Google Hangouts or Skype

Online Inquiry Form:

About Nicholas

Nicholas graduated from Stony Brook University with a BS in Business in 2014. He subsequently worked as a full-time employee in the Division of Information Technology for three years as a web developer and Interim Director for IT Strategic Relations. Having been a part of the Stony Brook community for 6 years, as an undergraduate student, graduate student, and Stony Brook University employee, Nicholas is uniquely equipped to handle a variety of challenges students may encounter.





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