DSS NEWSLETTER - SPRING 2010
Farewell, Stony Brook Students
I will be retiring in June from my service at Stony Brook University.
It has been my pleasure to get to know so many students through the years and watch their growth. I have learned and grown from my relationships with all of you. I have seen amazing courage and stamina in so many who have been challenged with hills and mountains to climb. They have taught me that during rough times I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and just get through this day. They showed me that life is always beautiful if I’m willing to see it.
Pat Schneider wrote: "It is a kind of love, is it not? How the cup holds the tea…" We often take so much love and support in our lives for granted. I look around at the community that has held me through twenty-five years at Stony Brook and I can only be grateful. I am grateful for Dr. Peter Baigent who as my supervisor has encouraged my personal growth, even allowing me the space to make mistakes. I’m grateful for the DSS staff that I love and who have held me. Grateful for the many colleagues that work tirelessly to hold the students they serve in such loving ways.
I have loved working for this community through the years and I have often said that I could do this job for nothing, although I’m really glad that they paid me. My wish for all of you is that you find a job/profession that makes you glad to get up in the morning and smile when you arrive each day.
Thank you all.
Spring Student Awards
It is with pleasure that we announce that the Sylvia Fund has sponsored two $500.00 awards in memory of our own Sylvia Geoghegan. Sylvia was a Stony Brook Alumni, an employee and a talented artist. She was someone who utilized all her abilities to enrich her life and the lives of others. Sylvia’s art work can be seen hanging up at DSS and also on our website home page.
To qualify for the Sylvia Awards a student with a disability must be in good academic standing (2.0). Students who have completed at least two semesters at Stony Brook, sophomores through graduates may apply. One award, the Sylvia Artistic Award will be given for students with specific artistic interest or promise and a second Sylvia Award is offered for students with other interests. Please note Sylvia Award money is paid after 7/15.
The third award, the Michael Flynn Award, was established by the Flynn family in memory of their son. The $500.00 award is presented to a Senior Stony Brook Student with a disability, who has completed at least two semesters at Stony Brook and has a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The application for these awards is found on our online forms web page. Click on 'Student Awards.'
bar·ter [bahr-ter] –verb
To trade by exchange of commodities rather than by the use of money.
To exchange one talent for another.
To share what you are really good at in exchange for help in another area.
Dictionary.com Unabridged: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Barter
Every semester I meet students who have outstanding abilities in science, math, computers, history, languages or writing but they struggle in other areas like knowing how to navigate various social situations. They may have a high GPA but are clueless about the latest trends in their culture or how to organize and prioritize their day. I also meet students who have outstanding abilities in leadership, analyzing, problems solving, fashion, psychology, networking, and other important life skills but they are struggling with a science or technical course. Wouldn't it be great to have a venue to have these students meet and exchange their talents?
If you are interested in this concept, please email me (Peggy Perno) at Margaret.Perno@stonybrook.edu and I will send you a form to fill out.
When considering your talents and skills, start with academic subjects but expand
your thinking to other areas of your daily life that you feel very competent in and
areas in which you frequently receive compliments. For example, are you good at
planning events, staying in touch with friends, telling jokes, shopping, working out,
makeup, fashion, sports, dancing, drawing, decorating, problem solving….The list
is endless. You may take some of your talents and skills for granted
while someone else thinks you're awesome.
Members Wanted: Join STAC
Open to students with and without disabilities.
Meetings held every Wednesday 1:00-2:00pm in DSS Lounge
"The Buddie Experience" (Because U Don't Do It Every Day)
Have you ever said to yourself, "I wish I could speak to campus administrators and share my experience as a student with disability here at Stony Brook?" BUDDIE EXPERIENCE is your chance!
This activity has provided DSS students with an opportunity to teach and educate SBU administrators, faculty and staff about how students with disabilities experience life on campus. It's an opportunity to sensitize the campus community on issues surrounding disabilities.
You will meet briefly with BUDDIES (SBU Administrators) when it’s convenient for both of you any time during the spring semester.Have your voice heard. To participate contact Kathy Paterno at Disability Support Services (631) 632-6748. Click here for the form.
With a Little Help from Our Friends
DSS students often speak to their counselors about their interactions with TA and faculty members. Most students report many positive experiences. Professors who “understand”, made sure to deliver the exams, some that are flexible, some are strict but fair, great lecturers, brilliant minds- in short people who have made a difference to student success.
But there are also some friends of DSS students who have been quietly making their contribution to student academic success. These are the Volunteer Proctors who have been assisting DSS for final exams for the past 3 years.
Each semester when the request goes out to the campus community directors give permission for DSS to "borrow" their staff members to volunteer to spend 4 hours proctoring final exams. Last fall DSS had 21 volunteer proctors from both sides of campus equaling 84 hours of final exam proctoring. In spite of shrinking budgets Stony Brook supervisors and their volunteers have helped DSS provide disability accommodations for over 2400 final exams.
Volunteers truly have made a difference to our department and to your final exams. Having more proctors allows us to offer smaller groups of students per room. Last semester DSS students required 321 final exams with accommodations. So next time you are taking a final exam know that in addition to some great professors there are other people on campus who also support your accommodations.
Take a minute and very quietly thank a proctor!
Reserve your seats for Finals. Tuesday May 11– Tuesday May 18th
Please have all your requests in by May 1st so we can make the necessary arrangements for your accommodations.