SUNY Student Leadership Academy    

2020 SUNY Student Leadership Academy Update 

The SUNY SAIL Institute recognizes the severity of the global Coronavirus pandemic and is working closely with SUNY System Administration to ensure that we are protecting our entire SUNY community. Throughout this turbulent time, we remain committed to providing resources for our students, supporting them to successfully navigate an ever-changing landscape and become the next generation of civically engaged leaders. 

With that in mind, the 2020 SUNY Student Leadership Academy has shifted to be a series of virtual student leadership offerings over the Fall 2020 semester. Below are details about the Fall Student Leadership offerings designed to help provide the leadership skills that are needed in today’s workforce.

Program Description

By actively engaging in Student Leadership Academy, students will be able to:

  • Have a better understanding of their own culture and identities as they relate to their peers, community, and the world;
  • Expand their personal and professional network, both locally and globally;
  • Learn and flex skills of storytelling and be able articulate their story to future hiring managers.

The following student leadership offerings will be available Fall 2020 SUNY-wide (details are listed below):

  • Seminar series
  • Leader speaker series
  • Mentoring
  • Social media campaign
  • Alumni (and cohort) connection opportunities

Fall Seminar Series: Each campus can send up to two students at no cost. SUNY SAIL Student Leadership virtual programs will be held on various Fridays and Mondays from 12:00 -2:00 p.m. throughout the Fall semester. The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, September 18: Meet and Greet/Set Yourself Up for Success in College
  • Friday, September 25: Know Yourself to Lead Others
  • Friday, October 2: The Power of Mentoring
  • Monday, October 26: Mentoring check-in
  • Friday, November 13: Articulate your Story to Open the Door to Your Future
  • Friday, November 20: Working with Diverse Teams: Cultural Intelligence to Include Others
  • Friday, December 4: Program Reflections and Graduation

Please note: Eligible students will need to be available for at least 6 of the 7 offered sessions. In order to maintain an attendance record and ensure students are engaged in the sessions, a brief survey will be sent following each session.

Leader Speaker Series: In conjunction with the Fall webinar series, we will invite a leader to address the students for the first 30 minutes. We aim to align the program to the background of the speaker. We will kick off each webinar by hearing from an accomplished leader and students will have an opportunity to ask them their questions.

Participation Criteria 

With a campus liaison in place, campuses are allowed to send up to two students to attend the Fall 2020 student leadership programming at no cost. The Student Leadership offerings are open to any current SUNY student. Ideally, we strive to have a broad array of students representing the wonderfully rich diversity that defines our student body, with at least two students from every campus. These student leadership offerings will host a maximum of 120 students.

Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be enrolled full-time or part-time in an accredited higher education institution with SUNY (or have graduated within 6 months of May 2020)
  • Students will need to be available for 6 out of 7 sessions of the student leadership programming
  • Student applicant’s campus liaison will review all campus nominations and approve accepted students. 

 Role of SUNY Student Leadership Campus Liaison

 The success of the SUNY Student Leadership offerings depends on strong connections between SUNY SAIL Institute and each of the SUNY campuses. The role of the Student Leadership Campus Liaison is intended to:

  • Encourage and promote nominations of students from your campus. Nominations can be self-nomination, or you may nominate students
  • Review nominations for your campus’ student population

Application Process

Interested students will complete a self-nomination or have a faculty/staff member nominate them by August 20th for their campus liaison to review. Campus Liaisons will be selecting two students out of all the received applications from their campus. Liaisons will finalize decisions by August 31st. All student applicants will be notified of their application status by the first week of September.






Faculty or Staff Campus Liaison

If you are a faculty or staff member interested in being a campus liaison for this program, please complete the sign-up form. For more information, visit: You may contact for more information on ways to get involved.

Student Leadership Academy Design Team 

The design team is compromised of faculty and staff experts across the system who meet monthly to assist in curriculum and program creation of the academy. We thank them for their dedication in working toward creating a successful and high-impact experience for the 2020 Student Leadership Academy cohort. 

Joyce Akinmola, SUNY SAIL Graduate Assistant, SUNY System Administration

Meylin Andares, Director of Enrollment Management and Student Success, SUNY System Administration

Martha Asselin, Director of Leadership and Service, University at Albany

Mary Lou Forward, COIL Center Director, SUNY System Administration

Helen Gaudette, Assistant Dean for International Education, Fulbright Program Advisor, Fulbright Scholar Liaison, COIL Coordinator, Fashion Institute of Technology

Jason Lane, Executive Director, SUNY SAIL Institute 

Melissa Marietta, Career Development Center Director, SUNY Oneonta 

Carolyn Mattiske, SUNY SAIL Associate Director, SUNY System Administration

Merissa McKasty, Leadership Development Manager, SUNY System Administration 

Dr. Giacomo (Jack) Oliva, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Fashion Institute of Technology 

Maya Rudolph, SUNY SAIL Graduate Assistant, SUNY System Administration

Deirdre Sato, Dean for International Education, Fashion Institute of Technology


Campus Liaisons: SUNY Student Leadership Academy Information Session

Students: SUNY Student Leadership Academy Information Session

“Due to this program being very diverse and multicultural, I have been able to interact more with people of different ethnicities and backgrounds, preparing me for future interactions within this country and abroad.”


Farmingdale State College

“I am a shy person and talking to a group of people can be uncomfortable for me, but this program offered an opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds and forced me out of my comfort zone. I learned that I am capable of connecting with a lot of different people and I am glad I stuck with the program.”


University at Albany

“I loved it, wish it was longer actually! Had a great time and am grateful to have been a part of it. I hope there are future programs like this, that I can be a part of!!”


Binghamton University

“I feel that this program is essential for those entering professional field of work and I can determine that it helped me open up not only to others, but open up to myself as well.”


SUNY Maritime College