Phil Altiere, a mainstay of the Stony Brook School of Communication and Journalism, will receive a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service this spring.
Altiere is the production supervisor for the School, responsible for maintaining and overseeing the production studio and two-story newsroom. Over the years, he has built and expanded the studio and, in partnership with students, devised new ways for them to gain additional hands-on experience.
“I have had the privilege of leading the School of Communication and Journalism for four years. In that time, I am proud of the efforts the school has made to update legacy programs, build new ones, hire new faculty and staff, and stabilize our budget,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the School and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “I am equally proud to say that nothing overseen by Phil has ever needed to be reimagined. He is a central part of our students’ experience and one of our greatest assets. A self-effacing and deeply kind person, Phil consistently seeks what is best for our school and our students.”
Altiere leads teams of students in livestreaming Roth Regatta, a favorite Stony Brook tradition, and helped to create a partnership with Stony Brook Athletics in which students create a pre-recorded 3-minute halftime report to air during men’s and women’s basketball games.
He supports every class that takes place in the production studio and oversees the School’s equipment room where all journalism and mass communication students can borrow professional video, photography and sound equipment. He oversees staff responsible for maintaining the School’s 3-terabyte server that houses student projects, including videos, podcasts, photography and other large files.
During the worst of the pandemic, Altiere worked closely with faculty to ensure that students could still have a hands-on education despite shutdowns and social distancing. During the shutdown, he worked with the School leadership to find free or low-cost equipment and software so students could shoot and edit multimedia stories from home. When the university re-opened, he built and enforced strict social distancing procedures so students could collaborate in the studio safely.
Part of the School for more than a decade, Altiere has worked with generations of students. Without exception, all of them consider him a mentor, advocate and a key ingredient to their success at Stony Brook and beyond.
“As a student journalist, every single day is different but the one constant was Positive Phil,” said Jessica Suarez Miata ’15 journalism. “He was always available to talk about the challenges I was facing on an assignment. Phil didn’t always have the answer, but he had something a lot more important, a positive Phil pep talk. I am not sure how he did it, but when leaving his office, I would always feel confident and ready to take on anything. It has been about seven years since graduation, but to this day I still consider Phil a mentor and one of my biggest supporters.”