SUNY Student Leadership

       SUNY Student Leadership


2021 SUNY Student Leadership Academy 

The 2021 SUNY Student Leadership Academy has shifted to be a series of virtual student leadership offerings. 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. Below are details about the fall and future Student Leadership offerings designed to help provide the leadership skills that are needed in today’s workforce.

Program Details  

The SUNY SAIL Institute is pleased to offer the 2021 SUNY Student Leadership Academy. This Student Leadership Academy will be a semester-long virtual experience with seven virtual seminars throughout the Fall semester.


SUNY SAIL Student Leadership Seminars will be held on various Fridays from 1:00 -3:00 p.m. throughout the Fall semester. The schedule is as follows: 


  • Friday, October 1: Meet and Greet/Set Yourself Up for Success in College
  • Friday, October 15: Know Yourself to Lead Others
  • Friday, October 22: The Power of Mentoring
  • Friday, November 5: Communicating with Impact
  • Friday, November 12: Creating inclusive environments as a student leader
  • Friday, November 19: Managing People Responsibly: Creating Cultures of Accountability for Yourself and Others
  • Friday, December 3: Program Reflections and Graduation


Student Eligibility 
  • Eligible Students will need to be available for at least 6 of the 7 live 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.)
  • Must be enrolled full-time or part-time in an accredited higher education institution with SUNY (or have graduated in the past two terms, May or August 2021)
  • Student participants will need to connect with their campus liaison at least twice: once in the beginning and once toward the end of academy. 
Nominees must complete the application by August 30, 2021 for consideration. All applications will be reviewed by and approved by the applicant’s campus liaison. Nominees will be notified of their acceptance status on or before September 17th, 2021. The program will kick-off October 1st at 1pm.


Role of SUNY Student Leadership Campus Liaison (Faculty and Staff) 

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 and approve which two students will be participating in the academy 
  • Connect with the two students from your campus twice throughout the academy (once in the beginning and once toward the end of the academy.

View the current Campus Liaisons

Interested in being a faculty/staff campus liaison?


2020 Cohort Testimonials

“I think the biggest thing I got to walk away with was the realization that I was already a leader. This academy helped to plant my roots and through all of the wonderful speakers and meetings, we realized that WE make the mold. There are specific ways to communicate but we all have a unique way of doing it. Through our acceptance of diverse cultures and conversations spanning across several intersectionalities, we learned how to become flexible and how to appropriately approach many scenarios.”

Anthony Machuca

Stony Brook University

One take away I have from SUNY Sail is that leadership must be adaptable in all situations. COVID 19 is a perfect example of how “adaptable leadership” is necessary. Many leaders worldwide were tasked with leading amid a pandemic, and in ways that some thought was impossible. If someone can stay grounded by core principles and rise to the occasion in times like this, anything is possible, in my view. The speakers were phenomenal, and after listening to all of the speakers, I feel like “adaptable leadership” was a common thread I took away from everyone.”

Giovanni Harvey

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

“Leadership is taking on a new meaning to mean more connectedness vs. being above somebody, and our speakers consistently reinforced this!”

Robin Lynch

Fashion Institute of Technology

“I think one thing that resonated with me was something that was said: You’re not defined by the environment around you, but by the environment within you. That’s something that I will always keep in mind, not only in leadership positions but beyond that as well.”

Velisha Guillaume

SUNY Upstate Medical University

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