The Coronavirus Effect: Class of 2020 Response
Play • 58 min

With graduation, commencement and impending job searches in the air, Stony Brook University is bringing to bear the full breadth of its resources to create the best possible experience for soon-to-be alumni, in our true ‘Stony Brook Strong’ spirit. In this episode of Beyond the Expected: The Coronavirus Effect, we'll see how professionals across our campus are working to deliver the special celebrations the Class of 2020 deserve, the career assistance they need in an unpredictable economic climate, and the overall support the SBU alumni network offers to help this unique class transition from students to alumni.

Diana Hannan, Executive Director, SBU Conferences & Special Events
Diana Hannan has more than 30 years of professional experience in conference and event management and related fields, with more than 15 years producing Stony Brook University events. That has included everything from academic conferences, to galas, to one-time special events like groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings, to annual milestone events like State of the University addresses and commencement ceremonies. All that said, perhaps nothing could adequately prepare her -- or any of us -- for the challenges she and her team would face trying to provide an appropriate celebratory sendoff for our Class of 2020. We’ll get to hear about how her team, and many others, are dedicating themselves to moving conferral degrees to a virtual setting, helping new alumni feel celebrated and hoping to bring them back in the future for an in-person ceremony.

Kimberly Joy Dixon, Director of Employer Engagement and Diversity Recruitment, Career Center

As Director of Employer Engagement and Diversity Recruitment at the Career Center, Kimberly Joy Dixon builds and maintains relationships with employers from various industries who seek to recruit students for internships, full-time jobs, part-time positions and volunteer opportunities. She also develops programs to connect students to employers that want to diversify their workforce and prepares students for national diversity-related internship programs. We’ll get to hear about unique challenges -- but also heartening successes and reasons for optimism -- as the Career Center is connecting the class of 2020 with employers and helping guide them toward their chosen career paths in the wake of COVID-19.

Matthew Colson, Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Alumni Association
As Executive Director of Alumni Relations and the Stony Brook University Alumni Association, Matt Colson is responsible for the overall development and oversight of events, programs, services and communications for more than 200,000 alumni worldwide. He works closely with the Alumni Association’s Executive Committee and develops student and alumni experiences that will create and sustain lifelong relationships between alumni and the University. Matt will talk to us today about alumni programs, how alumni are stepping up and connecting with our students, and how the alumni network is as strong as ever and ready to support their new fellow alumni.


Guest Host: Michael Bernstein

Executive Producer: Nicholas Scibetta

Producer: Lauren Sheprow

Art Director: Karen Leibowitz

Assistant producer: Ellen Cooke

Facebook Live and Social Media: Meryl Altuch, Emily Cappiello, Casey Borchick, Veronica Brown

Production assistant: Joan Behan-Duncan

YouTube Technician: Dennis Murray

Vodcast Director: Jan Diskin-Zimmerman

Engineer/Technical Director: Phil Altiere

Production Manager/Editor: Tony Fabrizio

Camera/Lighting Director: Jim Oderwald

Camera: Brian DiLeo

Original score: “Mutti Bug” provided by Professor Tom Manuel

Special thanks to the School of Journalism for use of its podcast studio.

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