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Student Centers Team Highlights

 

Assistant Director Russell C. Patterson Presenting at LICSPA 2022!

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Congratulations to our Assistant Director Russell C. Patterson on being selected to present at the 2022 LICSPA Conference. LICSPA will be taking place November 11, 2022 in our very own Stony Brook University Student Centers.  

Russell's presentation is titled "A Show About Nothing and a Job About Everything: How the TV Show Seinfeld Taught Me How to Survive and Thrive in Student Affairs." His session takes the widely-successful and popular television show and analyzes some of the show’s most memorable moments and characters to highlight skills that can be utilized in your career as a Student Affairs professional.  While a general understanding of the television show helps to provide a deeper appreciation of the material discussed in this presentation, it is not necessary.

 

 

 

Michael Ingenito - New Assistant Director of Audio Visual Services!

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Congratulations Michael Ingenito on his well earned promotion as the Assistant Director of Audio Visual Services! Mike has worked at the Student Centers for 7 years and assists in all events that require audio visual equipment in the Student Activities Center and Stony Brook Union. He currently manages a team of 13 A/V techs that move around furniture and set up for events. This includes but is not limited to setting up stages, computers/laptops, projectors, and podiums. Apart from furniture, his team arranges the lighting, sound, and provides help for event organizers with presentations during their events. A/V techs are trained to assist in troubleshooting and work quickly on their feet when equipment malfunctions or isn’t working properly. Mike works with outside vendors and campus partners to fix and repair equipment to ensure the success of events. He manages Solstice which is a software used in most programming spaces that can cast screens from personal laptops onto the projector in the room. Mike trains and supervises his A/V techs, DJs, and acts as a mentor for Undergraduate Student Government staff members. 

Thank you for your hard work and determination, Congratulations Michael Ingenito!


Welcome Riccardo McClendon

Our New Assistant Vice President & Dean of  Students!

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The Stony Brook Student Centers welcomes Riccardo McClendon, the new Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students to Stony Brook University! Before working with us, Dean McClendon worked at George Mason University. He worked for 6 years in University Life and in the Business Service Divisions. One of his many accomplishments while working was establishing the first ever Student Centers Fund which was possible with the help of individual donations and corporate partnerships. The fund raised $10,000 in the first two years and went towards creating new programs, activities, and professional development scholarships for students at George Mason. Moving from Virginia all the way to the empire state was not an issue for Dean McClendon. In 2008, McClendon moved to upstate New York to work at Colgate University. His decision to move back to New York was due to his interest in Stony Brook University and since being here, he has formed many strong relationships with peers and students. While serving as the AVP and Dean of Students, he plans to continue to learn more about the campus culture and to improve the student experience on campus.

At an early age, Dean McClendon wanted to be somewhat like Judge Carl Robertsonin from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He decided against being a judge when he went to a technical trade high school where he studied hospitality and marketing. This pulled him towards a career path in hotel management before entering into higher education. Dean McClendon graduated from Western Carolina University with a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism and a MEd in College Student Personnel. After graduating, he went to Shenandoah University where he received his Doctor of Education degree in Administrative Leadership. He didn’t realize that he was destined to work with students until the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs took notice of his numerous talents and skills. He always advocated for student needs and interests and acted as a student leader in many clubs and organizations. One of the organizations that he was heavily involved in was the Sigma Chi International Fraternity. As an undergraduate brother, he served as a secretary, treasurer, house manager, and scholarship chair! 

As an alumni brother, he served as Chapter Advisor at Western Carolina University and George Mason University. Currently, he serves as a member of the Accountability and Membership Team and the Membership Development Committee which focuses on Mental Health and Wellness. Being so far away from his family, encouraged McClendon to join Sigma Chi. To him, Sigma Chi was a brotherhood that filled the void of not having his family close on campus. Sigma Chi helped him enhance his leadership skills and it allowed him to come out and identify as an openly gay African American man. With the support from his fraternity, he found comfort in his own skin as he faced the world around him. Till this day, Dean McClendon still spends his free time with his fraternity brothers in the city. Occasionally, he takes small trips to visit friends in other states but would prefer to teleport there instead! When asked what superpower he would like, Dean McClendon said he loves to travel and being able to “pop up anywhere with his friends and family would be awesome.” Welcome Dean McClendon!


Aneil Persaud - Supervisor of the Year Award Winner!

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The Stony Brook Career Center awards Aneil Persaud with the Supervisor of the Year Award for being an outstanding leader to student staff at the Student Centers. By receiving this award, the career community on campus can recognize a model supervisor and Aneil’s exceptional mentoring work. As a supervisor, he has gone above and beyond in educating and directing student employees whether interacting with external clients or internal departments. With Aneil’s help, many student staff members have gained important professional work experience such as strong customer service and communication skills. His quick thinking has demonstrated how to effectively resolve conflicts in their workplace so that students can learn how to do so on their own. Aneil’s attention to detail reminds his student employees of the importance of dedicating time and effort to any task or project at hand. As an amazing supervisor, Aneil always offers his helpful feedback so that students can continue to learn and grow in the workplace. Aneil takes every opportunity to motivate his student employees to further their professional experience. Congratulations Aneil Persaud!

 

Aneil Persaud - Student Affairs New Professional Award Winner!

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Aneil Persaud has been awarded the Student Affairs New Professional Award for his exceptional service to the Student Centers in his role as the Event Services and Technology Coordinator at Stony Brook University.  Aneil's role in the operation is vast, managing the scheduling office, which includes the processing and management of roughly 4000 events (pre-covid) annually, managing our department website and marketing, along with supervising student staff in various roles.  One of the many hats Aneil wears is serving as the technology guru for our department.  He manages the scheduling software, inventory and training for our division. Aneil’s work ethics and determination is unlike any you'd have the opportunity to work with, on a personal level and in the office he is a goal setter and go getter. This Fall he began the HEA program and it’s his passion to work with students and develop them for life beyond graduation that has reinforced his career path for the field of Higher Education.  Congratulations to our very own Aneil Persaud!

 


 

Samuel Sowah - LICSPA Individual Excellence Award Winner!

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Student Centers would like to congratulate our facilities manager, Samuel Sowah, on his incredible and well-deserved achievement! The LICSPA Individual Excellence Awards are presented to those who have been innovative in their use of technology and creative methods in updating their operations, supporting their team, and facilitating the shift to remote work. These are individuals that care deeply about their facilities and the communities they serve, extending beyond their professional responsibilities in order to uplift and support students & colleagues through the unprecedented adversities of this past year.

As a facilities manager, Sam is seen executing event setups and managing events as they occur. He engages with the students on his team as a mentor, advocating for their well-being in the sincere and accepting environment he has fostered. In light of the challenges and difficult conversations that have been had this year, Sam has stepped forward as a supportive figure in understanding the effects of these events on students and staff. He has taken on the greater responsibility of building a space for his students to express their concerns and support one another, offering advice, mentorship, and comfort to those in need. Sam has also extended his care to those that no longer work with him, emphasizing the feeling that his team is forever like family. Thank you, Sam, for your great work!


 

Charlie Beier - Chancellor's Award Winner!

 

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The SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence honor the individuals dedicated to the advancement of their university and the community it serves. The five categories, Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and Teaching, recognize the vast skill set of our outstanding faculty and staff, and those who exceed expectations in their field. The Award for Excellence in Professional Service is bestowed upon the candidates who not only fulfil the requirements of their position, but succeed in the quest to go far beyond their professional obligations. This includes an inventive outlook on leadership, decision-making, and problem-solving, with an ability to remain flexible and adapt to the needs of the university. 

In the search to identify these distinguished members of our community, the selection process is thorough and competitive. Candidates are nominated by a local committee on their campus, and their nomination portfolio is extensively evaluated by System Administration. Of the candidates recognized for their Excellence in Professional Service in the 2020-2021 academic year, Charles Beier is one of only nine recipients at Stony Brook University. He has been an invaluable member of Student Centers for over 20 years, and we would like to congratulate him on his achievement and express our gratitude for the effort he puts into his work each day. Charles has set a great example for the members of our university, and continues to surpass expectations with both warmth and appreciation toward the community he serves.


 

Student Affairs Distinguished Service Award Winners

 

 Hedieh Yazdanseta, our esteemed Associate Director of Events and Initiatives, received the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding  Service for establishing professionalism, creating unity, and reevaluating inefficiencies in the Student Centers Reservation office. Hedieh   notably encouraged positive gestures on a Team Board in the office, allowing employees to leave uplifting notes for each other. By fostering   appreciation and lifting spirits, Hedieh serves as wonderful and caring supervisor. She strives for high standards and professionalism with   clients and has worked to eliminate inefficiencies in payroll and reservations systems. Congratulations Hedieh! 

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  Stefano Caruso, who serves as one of our exceptional Facilities Managers, received the Distinguished Service Award for Student   Development  for expanding transferable skills for students, creating training opportunities, and nurturing the Student Centers employees.   Stefano consistently displays leadership qualities and serves as a model when focusing on details. By providing training materials and   onboarding programs, he has established a work environment that encourages access, direction, and mentoring opportunities. Stefano’s   excellence truly puts the “team” in teamwork and fosters a work environment that also serves as a family. Congratulations Stefano!