On December 9, 2019, Stony Brook was recognized for the fourth consecutive year as the number one college/university enrollment site in New York State for organ donor registration. LiveOnNY, an organ registry, presented the award Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services, and SBU student volunteers.
This award is in recognition of efforts resulting in over 1,400 donors enrolled with LiveOnNY and Stony Brook University. Every donor represents up to eight lives that can be forever changed, resulting in a total number of 11,200 potentially affected lives.
Many efforts went into making the campaign a success. LiveOnNY was excited to appoint graduate student Maryam Hassanein as its new student leader and present her with a scholarship award. This will be Hassanein’s second year volunteering with the outreach program. She is joined by the Chill peer group and other student volunteers hoping to impact those in need.
Antonio Dash, a student volunteer from SBU’s Recreation and Wellness Center, was also acknowledged for having recruited the most SBU students for enrollment. He has been through many pieces of training, and he voluntarily took on the responsibility of helping with LiveOnNY because he was impressed by the “donating organs to save lives” idea. When asked for advice on getting SBU students to sign, he said, “If you show confidence, are enthusiastic, and believe in what you are telling them — not just showing a brochure — they are much more likely to sign up.”
It was bittersweet for Kathleen Valerio, who has been managing this program and is now retiring. “I’m very happy and pleased with all of our efforts,” said Valerio. “I’ve had over 1,200 students, and I’m proud of all of them.” She is ending her career at Stony Brook on a very high note. Karen Commings, the LiveOnNY representative, said she looks forward to continuing this vital campaign with Stony Brook University.
— Tamara Gregorian, Community Relations