SUNY Student Leadership Academy

2020 Cohort Programming 

Fall Seminar Series:  SUNY SAIL Student Leadership virtual programs were 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

Leader Speaker Series: In conjunction with the Fall webinar series, we invited 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 were 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.

Meet and Greet/Set Yourself Up for Success in College

Friday, September 18

Guest Speakers:

Jason Lane, Dean, School of Education, University at Albany & Executive Director,
SUNY SAIL Institute

Tara Jabbaar Gyambrah, CEO of TMJ Consulting

Candi Griffin-Jenkins, Special Assistant to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and
University Life, SUNY System Administration

Seminar Summary:

A breakdown of the SLA program and expectations was discussed with the students. Guest speakers shared a list of steps that will set students up for success in their leadership path in academic and professional settings.


Know Yourself to Lead Others

Friday, September 25

Guest Speakers:

Kathy Sheehan, Mayor, City of Albany

Ben Conard, Founder & CEO, Five North Chocolate Company

Deanna Schneider, Director of Legislative Affairs, New York State Senate

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

Seminar Summary:

Guest speakers advised students to look inward, assess their strengths, always be open to development opportunities, and figure out their leadership style. 

The Power of Mentoring

Friday, October 2

Guest Speakers:

Kathleen Caggiano-Siino, Vice President, Human Resources, Research Foundation for SUNY

Ronnie Hector, Executive Director & CEO, Bronx Educational Opportunity Center

Geraldine Humbert, Assistant Director, NYS Legislative Women’s Caucus

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

Laurel McAdoo, Assistant Director, Human Resources, Research Foundation for SUNY

Camilo Medina, Effort Reporting Manager, Virginia Commonwealth University

Jeneeta O’Connor, Compliance Program Manager, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Seminar Summary:

Seven phenomenal panelists discussed the connection between leadership and mentoring, the positive impact it can have, and helpful resources in order to find a mentor for themselves. The students challenged themselves to identify a mentor by the end of October.

Mentoring check-in

Monday, October 26

Guest Speakers:

Ibrahim Diallo, SUNY Plattsburgh

Shirley Diaz, SUNY Maritime College

Dylan Marshall, University at Albany Alumni

Nyasia Peoples, University at Albany

Filipe Reis, SUNY Purchase Alumni

Emily Watson Ley, Binghamton University

Daiki Yoshioka, Binghamton University Alumni

Seminar Summary:

During this session, students checked in to discuss their progress in identifying a mentor. Students were also able to engage in activities such as speed networking that allowed them to connect more deeply with their cohort. We welcomed seven alumni from the 2019 Student Leadership Cohort to discuss their student leadership experiences and share thought-provoking advice about how to lead in this virtual environment.

Articulate your Story to Open the Door to Your Future

Friday, November 13

Guest Speakers: 

Stacey Hengsterman, President & CEO, Special Olympics New York (SUNY Cortland Alumni)
Jenna Wolfe, Host, First Things First, Fox Sports (Binghamton University Alumni)
Dr. Linda Krzykowski, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director for the First Year Experience, Clinical Professor of Business, University at Albany

Seminar Summary: 

In this session, students discussed the importance of articulating yourself effectively, having confidence when public speaking, and how to effectively communicate within a team. Students were then able to put those tips into practice when creating an elevator pitch during the session.

Working with Diverse Teams: Cultural Intelligence to Include Others

Friday, November 20

Guest Speakers: 

Jaime Casap, Former Education Evangelist, Google (SUNY Brockport Alum)

Pete Gioacchini, Director – Global Talent Pipelines, TA Solutions and University Relations, Human Resources, Regeneron

Hope Windle, Community Development Lead, SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning
Gale Lynch, Senior Director for Global Engagement and International Support Services, The New School, New York City

Seminar Summary: 

Guest Speakers discussed the value of having a global awareness when speaking with others, tips for creating e-portfolios and creating their own brand, and an overview of what is cultural intelligence and humility and how they can apply it to real-life situations they may encounter

Program Reflections and Graduation

Friday, December 4

Guest Speakers: 

Dr. Jim Malatras, Chancellor, SUNY System Administration

Dr. John Graham, SUNY Student Advocate, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, SUNY System Administration

Seminar Summary: 

Students had the opportunity to talk to SUNY’s Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras as well as SUNY Student Advocate and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. John Graham. Design team members, Campus Liaisons, and Seminar Speakers all had an opportunity to share their words of encouragement and congratulations with the cohort. At the end of the ceremony, the cohort reflected on their academy takeaways and awarded each other their certificate of completion.