Stony Brook University’s class of 2023 is one of its largest and most diverse classes to date, with a total of 3,372 students enrolled, according to Stefan Hyman, interim associate provost for Enrollment and Retention Management. On top of that, the class is extremely high-achieving, with a mean GPA of 93.4, a mean SAT of 1,328, and an ACT averaging 29. This year’s class also includes 32 valedictorians and 43 salutatorians, among the highest numbers of students with top honors in university history.
Typifying this stellar freshman crop is trailblazer Muizz Izad, the first student ever to attend Stony Brook from the small country of Brunei and the only freshman student representing Brunei in the United States this year, according to International Admissions Counselor Youssef Wahib.
“I’m very encouraged to hear about and be a part of one of the most diverse classes in Stony Brook’s history,” said Muizz. “I’m staying in a small suite on campus but all of my roommates have a different cultural background. Not many students know where Brunei is, and I would love to share my cultural heritage with them.”
Another super-achiever is first-year international student Jessica Uviovo, a computer engineering student from Nigeria and winner of Stony Brook’s inaugural #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship. #YouAreWelcomeHere is a national campaign with an embracing message from U.S. higher education to international students around the world. Stony Brook has joined a consortium of more than 50 colleges that offer this half-tuition scholarship.
Students applying for the scholarship were asked to submit either an essay or short video describing their aspirations to conduct projects, research, employment or other experiences that will advance intercultural learning. Jessica’s video offered creative ideas on how to promote and celebrate campus diversity.
Jessica said she chose Stony Brook for a variety of reasons. “I felt as if it would offer me a first-class education for a fraction of the price,” she said. “When you couple that with its diverse campus and the Women in Science and Engineering program, these were important factors.
“The whole purpose of my studying abroad is to learn about other peoples’ lives and make connections with people from different parts of the world,” said Jessica. “The world is too large to know only a portion of its happenings.”
Jahlisiah Scott, a member of Stony Brook’s acclaimed Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) with ancestral roots in Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada, feels like she is a making history being a part of one of the most diverse classes in Stony Brook’s history.
“Diversity is very dear to me because it shows that a school gives an educational opportunity to members of every background and ethnicity,” said Jahlisiah. “Growing up, I never had the opportunity to attend a school that wasn’t predominantly African-American. Now, I see not only people who look like me, but many other students who bring with them their own uniqueness.”
— Glenn Jochum