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Building Community Through Food at Stony Brook Southampton 

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The Faculty Student Association (FSA) is continuing to work with the students and staff at Stony Brook Southampton on new ideas for food service options. Although Stony Brook Southampton is a small campus, many departments work together to ensure that the students are engaged by providing an exceptional experience both academically and socially.

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Stony Brook Southampton students gather for a food-tasting event.

“There is a highly collaborative nature of faculty, staff and campus departments to pitch in and support each other in a variety of ways for the academic and student life programs and events. It truly takes a village to do what we do at Stony Brook Southampton,” explained Michael Austin, student life specialist, Stony Brook Southampton.

Margaret Sheryll, director of Southampton Operations for the School of Health Professions, often collaborates with Student Life to engage the School of Health Professions students — the largest academic department on campus — by promoting events and helping to find availability for the various programs and their class years. Most recently, Sheryll has been working with FSA to bring more food options to the library where students congregate during their short breaks. “One of the benefits of being located on this campus is the close connections we have with our campus partners, which allow us to collaborate on behalf of all the students. We often share with each other, particularly this time of year, how ‘thankful’ we are to be here in Southampton,” stated Sheryll.

The FSA operates the food service department at Southampton Hospital, which is led by Shannon Cressy, director of Dietary and Retail. Southampton staff and the FSA worked together to conduct a brief survey to enable students to provide feedback about the food selection they would like to see offered and the vending options available.

Cressy and his team catered an event along with South Fork Bakery just before the Thanksgiving break, after designing a menu based off of the results of the survey. Students enjoyed the hand-pressed chipotle turkey and cheddar paninis, traditional caprese panini (tomato and fresh mozzarella with basil pesto) and sesame ginger and buffalo wings. In addition, South Fork Bakery of Amagansett, provided sweet treats for dessert. South Fork Bakery empowers adults with special needs through education and employment. They provide meaningful paid employment to special needs residents in local communities.

“Students are always on the go and looking for portable hot food options, and it was great to see them step inside for a warm delicious respite. They were pleasantly surprised and happy to be a part of this community-building event, and I look forward to more engaging events like this one,” stated Cressy.

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