Students and faculty were honored at Stony Brook University’s Jerrold L. Stein Student Life Awards on Monday, April 30, in the Sidney Gelber Auditorium. Award recipients won for their outstanding contributions to university life through “leadership, campus programming and advising throughout the academic year,” according to the website.
Twenty-eight individuals and 39 organizations were nominated by fellow students, faculty and staff. Thirty-six awards were given out in total. Specific programs such as the Avi Interfaith Meal (Shabbaton) from the Muslim Students Association, Newman Club and Hillel were also recognized at the event.
“Student Life Awards is one of the major recognition events here that celebrate the contribution of all the ways of all the folks who come to build community and make Stony Brook a fun, a vibrant, and an exciting place to be,” said Jeff Barnett, interim associate dean of students, when introducing the event.
The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team was honored with a special recognition, receiving the first ever Trailblazing Seawolf Award. The team, number one in the nation, was the first from Stony Brook to finish with an undefeated season.
“It’s been a really exciting time for me,” Brooke Gubitosi, a redshirt senior currently in the School of Professional Development and defender on the team, said. “I’ve been here for five years now. We’ve been working hard for a really long time and you know, going into the postseason, we have a lot of unfinished business to take care of.”
The award is meant to recognize the team’s accomplishments in academics and campus involvement, in addition to its athletic prowess, and will become an annual installment at the Student Life Awards.
“The plan is that [the award will] go to an athletics team, for a combination of on and off the field work,” Richard Gatteau, the interim vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said. “That was, I think, one of the things we wanted to highlight about women’s lacrosse. It’s not just about their athletic ability that makes them so special, it’s also their academic work that many of them have such strong GPAs, and have done incredible community service activities.”
The team held an average 3.3 GPA in Fall 2017, and three individuals earned 4.0s, according to Gatteau. Team members are also involved in several campus organizations, such as the One Love initiative, Red Watch Band CARE team and the Student Life Advisory Council.
Cheerleaders and a drum line performed in front of the stage as the award was presented, and Wolfie made an appearance. The audience stood, giving the performers and recipients a standing ovation.
“We’re just thrilled, it’s really exciting to you know, find this emerging sport at Stony Brook, that everyone’s rallying around,” Gatteau said at the reception following the event. “We’re thrilled that Wolfie was here, and the band was here, and the director of Athletics was here, and the women were here because we’re really, it’s almost truly unbelievable that they’re undefeated. They haven’t lost a game. That doesn’t happen. It’s incredible.”
Two clubs — the Peer Mental Health Alliance and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. — also stood out at the ceremony, winning two awards each.
“They say it takes a village, and here at Stony Brook, we have wonderful people who every day in many ways express their willingness to support each other, to advocate for each other and to create a sense of community and a cultural connectedness,” Barnett said.