SBU News
SBU News > Coming Back Safe and Strong > Celebrating Each Other at Stronger Together’s Employee Appreciation Event

Celebrating Each Other at Stronger Together’s Employee Appreciation Event

Eap event 1
Eap event 1
Healthier U Director Cathrine Duffy with one of the attendees of the Employee Appreciation event at the Wang Center. Photos by John Griffin.

Cold temps and end-of-week weariness didn’t stop hundreds of employees from coming to the Wang Center on Friday, March 4, to take part in the Stronger Together Employee Appreciation event. People who came, individuals who worked the information tables and event planners were all glad they did.

“It was a great opportunity to run into people that we haven’t seen in person in years. Thanks for organizing it!” said Lori Repetti, professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics.

Lauren Candela was one of the event planners. The senior communications manager for the Office of Administration and Finance agreed, “It was so refreshing, and really transformative, to be able to talk and engage with people, together, in a room, in person. It felt like the start of things really getting better and was a great opportunity to appreciate each other.” 

Healthier U Director Cathrine Duffy claimed the event provided an opportunity for employees to reconnect with Healthier U and to meet new Lead Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Coordinator Alexis Rodgers. “We were also grateful for the chance to all come together safely again. And it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces!”

Along with Healthier U/EAP, participants got to find out more about offerings, services and programming through the Ombuds Office, Human Resource Services, Athletics, Staller Center, Zuccaire Gallery and the Wang Center. 

“Our HR table was there to show employees that we appreciate them, as well as what training opportunities are available to them – free of charge,” said HR’s Jeanmarie Ricciardi, who staffed the table with her colleague Kristen Blandi. 


“It was an opportunity,” Ricciardi said, “to demonstrate that our department is really approachable; we are available to provide information and guidance, and help solve the issues that matter most to them. We’re here to listen and learn. On a more personal note, the event gave me the chance to meet so many of the individuals helping to shape our future; people who have inspired me so much over the past two years with their steadfastness, ingenuity and compassion.”

Last but certainly not least, attendees also got to pose for photos with Stony Brook’s illustrious Wolfie and enjoy cookies, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Giveaways and the opportunity to “shout out” favorite colleagues completed the scene (see below).

Vice President of Human Resource Services Lynn Johnson said the event achieved all she had hoped: “One of the truly wonderful things was to see people from different departments, divisions and positions coming together to celebrate the day and celebrate each other. It was a great kick-off for more events we hope to have in the future.”

— Ellen Cooke

“Star Player” Colleague Shout-Outs

See the individual and department names employees “shouted out” at the event:

Juan Alcantara (Grad Student, Chemistry)

Rene Andersen (Office of the Registrar) 

Ann Berrios (Humanities Institute)

Kristen Blandi (Human Resource Services – HRS)

Lauren Candela (Office of Administration and Finance) … “Smart, funny, ALWAYS willing to step up and lend a hand”)

Jackie Castaldo (Office of Administration and Finance)

Lynne Chin (Office of the Registrar) … “An awesome coworker and trainer. A STAR!”

Ellen Cooke (Marketing & Communication) “A tremendous asset to any team she is on, including the team that planned this event. Ellen is agile, eager to help, and continuously working hard to further Stony Brook’s mission and goals.”

Office of the Dean of Dental School“Lucky to have the best ‘work fam’!”

Alison Eassa (Visa and Immigration Services – VIS)

Kathleen Ferrell (Economic Development) … “When someone cares about SBU and the economy like she does, it’s like paying it forward times 20!”

Liz Frisenda (Faculty Student Association – FSA)

Janine Grega (Student Financial Services) … “She knows EVERYTHING!” 

‘Team IEC’ (Intensive English Center) (Christina Grillo, Efie Spentzos, Jennifer Schlitz, Lauren Concepcion, Margaret Sobel, Maurice Williams, Meghan Lyons, Pam Selzer, Stephany Bonura)

Lynn Johnson (Human Resource Services – HRS) … “Big fan!”

Melissa Hogarty (Office of Administration and Finance) … “Always professional, Always working hard, Always happy to help!”

Louann Hondropulos (Human Resource Services – HRS)


Jason Kanaris (Division of Information Technology – DoIT)

Nick Koridis (WCPP Building Maintenance)

Scott LaMarsh (University Special Events)

Kelly Luquer (Visa and Immigration Services – VIS) … “Saved our office!”

Dianne Marone (Office of the VP for Administration) 

“Marty and Walter”

Robin McCarthy (Office of the Registrar) … “ … is a star”

Kayla McPherson (Human Resource Services – HRS) 

Yoonmi Noh (International Academic Program)

Jessica Peterson (Human Resource Services – HRS)

Justine Quartuccio Office of the Registrar) … “ … is a rock star!!”

Rachael Redhead (Office of the VP for Administration) 

Jeanmarie Ricciardi (Human Resource Services – HRS)

Jean Schaal (Human Resource Services – HRS) … “Best Supervisor”

Emily Snyder (Student Community Development/Engagement) “You’re Amazing!”

Elizabeth Squire (Dean’s Office Arts and Science) … “The ‘know all’ of anything curriculum and responds immediately with a smile”

Jennifer Stancek (Office of the Registrar) … “She is new and wonderful!”

State Payroll

Laura Stevenson (Dean’s Office Arts and Science) … “Always welcoming and such an asset during the pandemic”

Gregory Tarquinio (Facilities Design and Construction)

Connie Thomas (Faculty Student Association – FSA)

Jaime Wicks (Office of the Registrar) “She is awesome”

Related Posts

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to News

Get the latest word on Stony Brook news, discoveries and people.


Get the latest word on Stony Brook news,
discoveries and people.