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New Beginnings

A new year is upon us and change is in the air.

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New Year Newbies

The Office of Marketing and Communications has a lot of new faces and new pets, too, so we asked our colleagues to let us know what their furry friends' hopes are for 2023.

black cat under christmas tree


(Mini poodle, age 6 months)

"I'd like to break my personal record, and destroy more slippers than 2022. And of course get more belly rubs, because being cute is a full time job and I earned it. "

— Pet parent: Ying Zong, Front End Web Developer

apricot poodle mix puppy


(English Mastiff, 6 months; picture of him is at 3 months old)

“My resolution is to stop chewing on furniture.”

— Pet parent: Jaime B. Woll, Graphic Designer and Licensing

brindle puppy
Kona and Vito

Casey (front) and Hamlet (back)

(Quarter Horses, age 20)

Casey: "I will not bite and push around my brother (though I am just playing)."
Hamlet: "No New Year's resolution needed — Mom thinks I'm perfect."

— Pet parent: Allison Schwartz, Assistant Art Director

2 horses in paddock


(Maltipoo, 12 years old)

“I'm going to take the time to enjoy the little things like laying in the sun, feeling the wind in my hair, and laying on my person while they're trying to entertain guests. We take those moments for granted. I'm slowing down in the new year!”

— Pet parent: Allie Seal, Senior Director, Digital Strategy



(Labrador Retriever, age 6)

“My goal is to improve my ‘puppy eyes’ stare to entice my mom into giving me more treats. It seems to be working already!”.

— Pet parent: Shelley Catalano, Senior Project Manager and Editor, University Magazine

yellow lab
Vasyka and Mishka


(Shepard/Pit mix, 1 year old)

“I will try to be less photogenic so my sister won’t be so jealous.”

— Pet grandparent: Lynn Zawie, Asst Web Director

Shepard puppy with ears down
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Slide 1
An End to the Joanaissance
After a 25-year stellar Stony Brook career, Joan Dickinson, the assistant vice president for community relations, retired at the end of December. Joan has been responsible for many popular events and initiatives throughout the years that alumni and members of the entire Seawolf community may remember fondly.

In her first role as director of creative services, which she began in 1997, she helped build the University communications office and ran the first Fountain Festival, helped promote Red Fridays for Spirit & Pride building, and led a group to design a new class ring that featured Wolfie and the stars and rays as an option. She then created a ceremony to celebrate those who were graduating and purchased rings, which was hosted by the university president for several years.

Joan and members of the Communications team at an early Stony Brook Day in Albany.

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Joan was also involved in many committees throughout the years, including Wolfstock, EarthStock and the Year of Community. “When I first joined the campus, my search committee encouraged me to get involved in as many committees as possible, attend any lecture that sounded of interest, and to learn about the exciting work being shared in our academic departments. I took that advice to heart and went on to chair, participate in or support dozens of committees and teams. Also, for many years, the highlight of my spring semesters was being a judge for the Homecoming Royal Court.”

Joan pulled together Stony Brook’s team to participate in the Port Jeff Dragon Boat race for many years.

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In January, 2013, Joan moved into the government and community relations office and developed new programs to improve town and community relationships, such as CommUniversity Day, the 9/11 20th Anniversary event and Brookology. She connected with local chambers of commerce and worked closely with local businesses and officials to foster new connections to benefit the entire community.

Joan speaks at a business connection event on campus, one of several that she held over the past 10 years.

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Joan created the concept of uniting the Community and University in one event, CommUniversity,Day and brought together an interdisciplinary team to bring her idea to life. CommUniversity Day, which ran for three years before COVID struck, brought out hundreds of faculty, students and staff from all parts of campus to highlight all the incredible things the university has to offer the community. More than 3,000 people attended and learned more about us, had fun and experienced some of our most loved traditions, including our annual rubber duck race.

Joan and her family at the last CommUniversity Day (daughter, Samantha, left; Joan; son, Cody; husband, Kelly).

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Although Joan is retiring from community relations, she isn’t going very far. “I'm still teaching on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the spring in the Honors College. I've made some wonderful friends here and we've watched together as our lives have changed. I hope to keep in touch.”

Congratulations, Joan!

Joan in 2012 when she earned her master’s degree from Stony Brook, with fellow retiree Kate Valerio.

Music is in the Air

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHoF) museum in Stony Brook village officially opened its doors for visitors on November 25. The space is the non-profit organization’s first physical facility and is located near other LI cultural centers including The Long Island Museum, The Jazz Loft and The Reboli Center.

Co-founded by Norm Prusslin, lecturer, Undergraduate Education/ Honors College/Theatre Arts, and founding general manager of WUSB-FM, Stony Brook’s commercial-free radio station, the museum is dedicated to honoring and preserving a rich local music heritage that Stony Brook helped foster.

“The memorabilia here reflects the vibrant and pioneering music scene here on Long Island,” said Prusslin. “I’m proud that Stony Brook played a key role in nurturing artists that would become a critical part of music history.” 

One of those bands, Blue Oyster Cult, which got its start on the Stony Brook campus in 1967, would go on to sell more than 25 million records worldwide.

The first exhibit features replicas of Long Island clubs, with videos of artists performing, ads, posters, instruments, and an exact replica of a typical 1960’s stage, with vintage equipment and sound system. There is also a permanent “Hall of Fame” with plaques and exhibits recognizing more than 120 current inductees.

LIMEHoF is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Rob Emproto; photos provided by Ed Shin/LIMEHof)


Joe Borchard, founding member of Blue Oyster Cult, who got their start at Stony Brook in 1967, performed three of the band’s hits during the opening event.


LIMEHoF members Felix Hanemann and Randy Jackson of the band Zebra also performed.. Jackson is a past recipient of the Shirley Strum Kenny Student Arts Festival Partner Award in recognition of his decades of contributions to the Stony Brook University community.

LIMEHoF inductee Wayne Robins, Newsday pop music and culture journalist from 1975 to 1995, Norm Prusslin, and Ernie Canadeo, LIMEHoF board chair and SBU alum.