By Megan Miller and Julianne Cuba
Stony Brook University is a big place, and it is ranked among the top 40 public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With a campus of over 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students, trying to find your niche as an incoming student can be a pretty difficult feat—but this list will make it easier. If you are concerned about how you will 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.
The Student Voice
What he does: Timothy Ecklund’s function at Stony Brook is to understand the students. His primary duty is to hear student voices and learn what the student body wants and needs in order to achieve their goals. The Dean of Students Office, Room 222 in the Student Activities Center, also houses the Office of Multicultural Affairs and LGBTQ Services. In addition, there are almost 400 campus clubs and organizations registered through the Office of Student Activities under the Dean of Students’ Office, which makes it an ideal place to visit for students looking to see what student life Stony Brook has to offer. Ecklund is a former Associate Vice President of Buffalo State, where he spent 14 years dealing primarily with student affairs.
The Career Counselor
What she does: Caterina Reed is the first person students will meet when they walk into the Career Center, located at W0550 Melville Library. For any student, professor or alumni who visits the Career Center, Reed will assess their needs and schedule an appointment with the most appropriate counselor for whatever the situation may be. Besides offering assistance in résumé 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.
What he does: Julian Pessier oversees 30 different counselors on staff at CAPS. For any problem students may be having, CAPS is there to help. For those looking to talk, students can make a free appointment for up to 12 sessions. If a student requires more attention, counselors will provide outside referrals for more permanent assistance. Stony Brook University makes counseling an accessible tool. According to the CAPS website, they not only provide individual sessions but also “group psychotherapy, psychiatry consultation and medication management, mindfulness meditation, [and] couple’s therapy.” The department has flexible hours intended to accommodate different schedules and can be found in two locations: the Student Health Center on Stadium Road and the Health Sciences Center on the East Campus.
What she does: As the Campus Dining dietitian, Kristina Tiernan provides free private nutrition counseling to students and works with students to provide healthier menu choices and help students accommodate special dietary needs such as kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free foods and 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. Tiernan is a resource for students who 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 he does: Not only does Dean Bowen take the time to sweat with his students (he teaches multiple classes at the top-of-the-line Campus Recreation Center), but he also assists in developing a comprehensive wellness program each semester that include over 50 free classes held per week. For students interested in tailoring their gym experience to meet their specific fitness needs, there are 16 experienced personal trainers to choose from (including Bowen). Also included in the comprehensive wellness program is a number of social exercise events scheduled throughout the semester, which have included a ski trip to Catamount Mountain in upstate New York and a Brooklyn Nets game.
What he does: Kevin Singh makes finals week a little less dreary by whipping up the classics, such as a cool caramel Frappuccino on a blistering hot day, a pumpkin spice latte to inspire holiday spirit, or an original Americano. There is a variety of sweet treats, sandwiches, salads and snacks to stave off that hungry belly. After applying to the Student Union Starbucks, one of the busiest locations on Long Island, Singh received the highly sought-after position a year ago—so he has plenty of experience to meet your caffeine needs.
What he does: You don’t have to look far for restaurant-style food—Kevin Kessler, who said he is an executive chef by trade, is grilling specialty burgers, Philly cheesesteak 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.
The Postal Service Expert
What he does: Kevin Maguire 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. Maguire can also assist with printing projects: if your campus group needs posters or flyers printed, Maguire’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 Maguire at the UPS Store.