Stony Brook University is a big place and it’s ranked among the top 40 public universities in the country. With a campus of over 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students, trying to find your niche as a freshman can be a pretty difficult feat – but this list will make it easier. If you’re concerned about how you’ll make it through a semester without a quality cup of coffee, your weekly yoga class, or just an ear to listen – SBU has got you covered. These are eight important people you should meet on campus that will make adjusting to college life a little smoother:
1. The Student Voice
Who to meet: Timothy R. Ecklund, Dean of Students, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
“I’m a dream maker. So when students come and have dreams of being a college student and achieving a college degree, I’d like to think that we are positioned to help them reach that dream.”
What he does: Most importantly, Timothy’s function at Stony Brook is to understand YOU. His primary duty is to hear student voices and learn what the student body wants and needs in order to achieve their goals. His office, located in the Student Activities Center, room 222, also houses other student organizations which include multicultural affairs and LGBTQ services. In addition, there are almost 400 campus clubs and organizations registered through the Dean of Students’ office which makes it an ideal place to visit if you’re looking to see what student life Stony Brook has to offer. Being that Timothy is the former Vice President of Buffalo State where he spent 14 years dealing primarily with student affairs, he knows how to help.
T. (631) 632-7320
2. The Career Counselor
Who to meet: Caterina Reed, Walk-In Advisor at the Career Center
“It’s just better to start early. Usually students wait until they are juniors or seniors and we can still help them but it does take a longer time for the process to begin. If you come in as a freshman, we can work on your resume, help you look for part-time jobs, either on or off campus through zebra-net, which is our job database. We’re counseling, so if you’re indecisive about your major or your career, we help with all that.”
What she does: Catarina is the first person you’ll see, and the first person who will help you, when you walk into the career center—located at W0550 Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library. If you’re familiar with the zebra path on campus, the career center is on your left (if you’re heading towards the SAC). Anyone who walks through the door, whether they may be a student, professor, or alum, Catarina will assess their needs and schedule an appointment with the most appropriate for whatever the situation may be. Besides offering assistance in resume and cover letter building, the career center also offers counseling for those students who are still undecided in either career path or major. For on and off campus jobs, the career center offers ZebraNet—Stony Brook’s job database. It’s never too early to start preparing for your future!
T. (631) 632-1198
3. The Therapist
Who to meet: Julian Pessier, Interim Associate Dean and Director for the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
“In the course of a meaningful college experience, some difficult, or stressful things will happen, and we are a place we hope that freshman will know—that all students will know—where students don’t have to wait for things to get really bad to come talk to someone about it, or just have a confidential, private, free, comfortable place to problem solve and get some good ideas for how to make a situation better.”
What he does: Julian oversees 30 different counselors on staff at CAPS. For any problem you may be having, CAPS is here to help; or if you just want to chat, come by and make an appointment. Counseling is an extremely important tool that too few students take advantage of. It’s easy to brush off feeling sad or stressed, but don’t ignore those feelings; your mental health is just as important, if not more than, your physical health. CAPS is a great outreach program with extremely flexible, open, warm and welcoming counselors who all take pride in being a place that is tailored to students in helping them succeed in all aspects of their college experience.
4. The Nutritionist
Who to meet: Kristina Tiernan, Nutritionist for Campus Dining
“It is important for students to know they have an on campus resource if they want to discuss how to eat healthier, how to lose, gain or maintain their weight, how to build muscle tone or how to identify foods appropriate for their special dietary needs or restricted diets.”
What she does: As the Campus Dining dietitian, Kristina provides free private nutrition counseling to students, and works with students to provide healthier menu choices and help students accommodate their special dietary needs such as Kosher, Halal, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and other food allergies. She also meets with athletes and sports teams to improve performance through nutrition counseling, calculate and update nutritional information for the foods served on campus and develop programs to assist students in adopting healthier lifestyles. It is important for students to know they have an on campus resource if they want to discuss how to eat healthier, how to lose, gain or maintain their weight, how to build muscle tone or how to identify foods appropriate for their special dietary needs or restricted diets. Check out her video series on how to eat healthy at Stony Brook here!
T. (631) 632-9979
5. The Athlete
Who to meet: Dean Bowen, Assistant Director of Fitness & Wellness Programs for the Department of Campus Recreation
“We have any and every activity you could think of, and if we don’t, we’re always open to new ideas and new things to keep the students moving outside the classroom.”
What he does: Not only does Dean take the time to sweat with his students (he teaches multiple classes at the campus’s top of the line recreation center) but he also assists in developing a comprehensive wellness program each semester that include over 50 free classes held per week. If you’re interested in tailoring your gym experience to meet your specific fitness needs, there are 16 experienced personal trainers to choose from (including Dean). Also included in the comprehensive wellness program is a number of social exercise events scheduled throughout the semester.
T. (631) 632-4661
6. The Barista
Who to meet: Kevin Singh, Barista at the Student Union Starbucks
“I’m a people person, so I like talking with people, interacting with people, and I try to keep a smile on at all times.”
What he does: Kevin makes finals week a little less dreary by whipping up the classics – whether it be a cool, caramel frappuccino on a blistering hot day, a pumpkin spice latte to inspire holiday spirit, or an original Americano – Kevin has got you covered. If your stomach is growling – do not fear! There is a variety of sweet treats, sandwiches, salads, and snacks to stave off that hungry belly regardless of the hour – the Student Union Starbucks is open until 12:00 a.m. all week. Also, if you have a resident meal plan, you pay tax-free. courtesy of Stony Brook’s Faculty Student Association. After applying to the Student Union Starbucks, one of the busiest locations on Long Island, Kevin received the highly sought after position a year ago – so he has plenty of experience to meet your caffeine needs!
7. The Chef
Who to meet: Kevin Kessler, Owner and Chef of Backstreat Burger Food Truck
“I’ve worked on college campuses before, and I know what the kids like. We just take it to another level, try to get them really good quality food.”
What he does: You don’t have to look far for restaurant style food – Kevin Kessler, who said he’s an executive chef by trade, is grilling specialty burgers, Philly steak sandwiches, and cheesy quesadillas to ignite your taste buds all semester long. Conveniently located outside the Student Union with over 15 menu options to choose from, food prepared fresh every morning, and convenient hours from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., you’ll be sure to have your cravings thoroughly satisfied.
8. The Postal Service Expert
Who to meet: Kevin Maguire, Manager of the UPS Store at Stony Brook
“I manage the store, basically overseeing major functions for shipping and printing. We do all the printing on campus for faculty, administration, and students. We’re always busy with a lot of printing. We have a lot of shipping for international students. So UPS, plus we do regular mail…the only things that we can’t do are things that are hazardous materials.”
What he does: Kevin is the friendly face at the front desk of the UPS store, located in the basement of the library. He is there to help you with any and all of your shipping needs—as long as they are not hazardous materials! Kevin can also assist with printing projects: if your campus group needs posters or flyers printed, Kevin’s your guy. The UPS store offers both regular postal services as well as expedited shipping services— with tracking! Thinking of sending your friend a care package? Come see Kevin at the UPS Store!
T. (631) 632-1831