Janice Costanzo, coordinator of the Craft Center at Stony Brook University, recently earned the Beyond the Call Award, meant to recognize her tireless dedication to the Department of Student Activities.
Costanzo, who has worked for the Craft Center for 12 years, has always emphasized the fact that it is very important for students to work on their creativity skills. This was one of the main reasons why she decided to join the Craft Center.
“Many students don’t have the opportunity to be creative,” Costanzo said. “When they come here, they realize and see new things which make them realize that everything is doable.”
The Stony Brook University community noticed Ms. Costanzo when she offered help to students on several occasions. During Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo she organized events to provide relief for students stuck on campus.
“I was aware that the hurricane was very risky and that not all of the students would be able to come to my event,” Costanzo said. “I told them to come only if they could. We had craft events for students left on campus so they had some places to go, to chill out.”
Costanzo won the prize primarily for her dedication to helping students during the various natural disasters that occurred last year. The prize was also given to her for managing the Student Activities Center Gallery and promoting the arts on campus.
“We have 22 students who are part of the SAC Gallery,” Costanzo said. “The students are very involved with the club and all the things that we organize, it’s nice to see them coming back every year.”
Not only is Costanzo known for her work ethic and enthusiasm, but also for her fundraising work.
“Last year, we collected stuffed animals and organized a big event in the ballroom of the Union where we sold the stuffed animals one to five dollars each,” Kate Schwarting, a graduate student majoring in art who also works at the Craft Center, said. “We then went to a children’s hospital and used the money we won to buy new things for the kids, this was a very innovative event.”
Throughout the years, Costanzo’s reputation has only gotten better and more students are joining the Craft Center.
“I’m part of the Craft Center since a year now and what I’ve noticed about Jan is that no matter what she does, she always gives 100 percent,” Aminah Rasheed, a sophomore majoring in sustainability studies and employee at the Craft Center, said. “She is a great person who has a name, a face on this campus and she totally deserves this award.”
It is clear that Costanzo has built a community on campus and has impacted the students in a positive way that has led to all of them describing her with only kind words.
“The Craft Center is such a fun place to go to and it’s essentially thanks to Jan’s gaiety,” said Sandy Hu, a junior majoring in biology and part of the Craft Center.
“She is a very dedicated, enthusiastic and wonderful person,” Schwarting said. “I could not imagine this place without her, she brings such a positive energy and contributes a lot to the wonderful environment.”
In the past 12 years Costanzo has built and improved the students’ quality of life. The result, which is particularly encouraging, has pushed not only her but also the students involved to move forward and make the Craft Center even better.