Chancellor Zimpher Introduces SUNYCON Fellows “Class of 2015”

October 29, 2015

Selected Students & Faculty To Continue Discussions On Campuses Across NYS

New York City – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced the 2015 class of SUNYCON Fellows, a select group of students and faculty from throughout the university system who will participate in exclusive events throughout the two-day conference and continue the SUNYCON discussion as they return to their home campuses across New York State.

“As we spend the next two days reimagining a higher education sector that is not just sustainable, but thriving, it is critical that we provide a vehicle for our discussions, discoveries, and ideas to keep moving forward once SUNYCON has wrapped up,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “These SUNY students and faculty were chosen for their interest in innovation in higher education, and we have every confidence that their SUNYCON experience will be an enriching one for them, personally, and for their campuses, as they return home with new tools, clearer vision, and a broader network of connections in their fields.”

Throughout the two-day conference in New York City, SUNYCON fellows will have exclusive access to featured speakers and discussions as national thought leaders in higher education, business, and philanthropy considered the overall theme: Building a New Business Model for the Academy: Partnerships, Affiliations, Mergers & Acquisitions.

Their meetings will include a welcome breakfast with Chancellor Zimpher; a fireside chat with William McRaven, chancellor of the University of Texas System; a workshop with acclaimed actor, director, writer, and Stony Brook University Visiting Professor Alan Alda; a fireside chat with Nirvi Shah, POLITICO Pro deputy director for policy and Kathleen O’Connell, New York Times national education director; and a VIP breakfast session with Richard Socarides, SUNY trustee and head of Public Affairs, Gerson Lehrman Group; Tessa Edick, founder and executive director, FarmOn! Foundation; Adam Enbar, president, Flatiron School; and Doug Lederman, co-founder & editor, Inside Higher Ed.

The student fellows are:

  • Kenise K. Adams, SUNY Buffalo State College
  • Saysha Cabodevilla, Stony Brook University
  • Colin Delgado, Finger Lakes Community College
  • Yiota Dimitriou, Stony Brook University
  • Patrick Gareau, Hudson Valley Community College
  • Andrea Kim, SUNY College of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University
  • Jessica Mathieu, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Samantha Meadows, Binghamton University
  • Lori Mould, SUNY Empire State College
  • Jennifer Pettis, SUNY Empire State College
  • Thiago Veronez, Rockland Community College
  • Ashley Weselak, SUNY Buffalo State College
  • Kawai “Jana” Wong, SUNY College at Brockport

The faculty fellows are:

  • Evelyn A. Clark Benavides, SUNY Oswego
  • Tammy Brackett, SUNY College of Ceramics at Alfred University
  • Surinder Kahai, PhD, Binghamton University
  • Dr. Katie Lynch, Rockland Community College
  • Dr. Kyunghee Pyun, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Steven M. Schneider, SUNY Polytechnic Institute
  • David Usinski, Erie Community College


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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