Suffolk County Community College

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United States defense and intelligence leaders agree that climate change is a threat to U.S. national security and is affecting global stability, military readiness, humanitarian crises, and the risk of war.

Scott Mandia. Photo by Victoria Sinacori

As part of Suffolk County Community College’s Faculty Talks series, nationally recognized climate change authority and twice featured National Geographic documentary expert, Suffolk County Community College Professor of Physical Sciences Scott Mandia will speak about Climate Change & National Security Implications on Monday, September 18 at Suffolk County Community College, Kreiling Hall Room 203, 533 College Road, Selden at 11:15 a.m. (Parking lot by water tower)

Mandia, the founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team that matches journalists with scientists to enable the media to better explain climate change and meteorological phenomenon will cover a range of topics including:

  • Evidence of a warming planet
  • Scientific evidence of the human cause
  • Who’s emitting the most greenhouse gases?
  • Who’s impacted the most? The poorest among us.
  • Super Storm Sandy
  • The World’s regions most impacted by climate change and implications
  • Solutions and taking action

Mandia has been called upon by The White House to present research about the impact of large-scale climate change on severe thunderstorms and tornadoes after a EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011. The tornado killed 158, injured 1,150 and caused $2.8 billion in damages – the costliest single tornado in US history. In addition to climate change, Mandia has written about Long Island hurricanes including the New England Hurricane of 1938, known locally as the “Long Island Express” and the future vulnerability of Long Island to hurricanes. He co-authored a book with Hunt Janin titled: Rising Sea Levels that was released before Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island and warned about the devastating effects of such a storm on New York.


METRO photo

By Lisa Scott

Tucked away on the Ammerman Campus of Suffolk County Community College is a remarkable entity most residents are unaware of: The Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding, home of New York metropolitan region’s largest collection of Holocaust artifacts.

In a three-room museum, over one hundred original objects are displayed and viewed by hundreds of students every year since its inception in 2003. The collection of photographs, documents, uniforms, and historic newspapers tell the story of the Holocaust, beginning with Hitler’s rise to power and ending with the horrific images captured by liberators at the end of the war. The collection is both impressive and moving. The Center also maintains two smaller collections of artifacts- one dedicated to documenting the transatlantic slave trade and another dedicated to the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson. 

In support of their mission to educate the community on historical events, and to promote cultural understanding and respect for human dignity, the Center hosts academic programs for students at the College and the public. In the last academic year, programs were dedicated to a wide range of topics; one focused on human rights abuses exposed during the World Cup, another on the story of an enslaved woman on Long Island during the American Revolution. Ultimately, all of the work is anchored in the lessons of the Holocaust and the need to acknowledge all lives as valuable. 

This approach is also taken in the support the Center provides students at the College. Center staff is integral in the work of several task forces focused on the needs of students from marginalized communities. These include LGBTQ+, undocumented, and those facing basic needs insecurities. The Center serves as a landing place for these students often connecting them with the resources and assistance they need. 

The latest endeavor of the Center is By Design: The History of Oppression on Long Island, a documentary series focused on the untold stories of the region’s past and how they impact residents today. Episodes highlight stories such as the influence of the KKK in the development of Suffolk County’s landscape, the Nazi camp in Yaphank during the 1930s, and the existence of migrant labor camps on the East End among many others. The project is a collaboration of the Center and the Radio and Television Production Program at the College. Suffolk County Community College students help produce each of the episodes which are being shared with college faculty and the broader community in order to stimulate dialogue and create meaningful change in our communities. 

The Center aims to achieve those same goals with high school students. Annually, the Center hosts Unity Day, a gathering of several hundred students who come together for a day focused on empowerment and leadership. Students hear a keynote speaker, work together in breakout sessions, and meet with community organizations who can offer them valuable resources. This October, Unity Day will feature Kane Smego, an international spoken word poet and artist, who will energize and inspire students from schools across the island. In addition to Unity Day, middle school and high school students visit the center for field trips that include a presentation from a Holocaust survivor, guided tour of the collection, and workshops. 

The work of the Center is timely and necessary. In a world where division and extremism are growing exponentially, there is a need for organizations like this to foster greater inclusivity among residents of Suffolk County. We encourage seniors, parents, students and elected officials to visit the Center at the Huntington Library, Suffolk County Community College, 533 College Road, Selden. Slowly read and observe, engage with staff and let the collection move you to a deeper grasp of the evils in our shared past. Visit the Center’s website at and learn how the Center promotes themes of coexistence, tolerance, and respect for differences.

Lisa Scott is president of the League of Women Voters of Suffolk County a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, visit https//

Suffolk County Community College’s new, 26,000 square foot, two-story, state-of-the-art Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building opened on June 1 with a celebratory ribbon cutting featuring area high school students, elected officials, business leaders, scientific and robotics presentations, and the unveiling of The National Grid Center for Workforce and Energy Innovation. The building sits on the Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood. The high school students from Central Islip, Brentwood and Bay Shore participated in STEM related activities as well as informative panels about STEM careers.

“This beautiful new building will help Suffolk County Community College prepare a new generation of graduates for the demands of the STEM economy,” College President Dr. Edward Bonahue, said.  “We are grateful for the generosity of our County and State sponsors and National Grid for their significant support of our mission to prepare students for service in our regional energy workforce.  National Grid’s Project C program supports our mission and vision for Suffolk’s workforce future,” he said.

“This new state of the art building is a win-win for county residents looking to further their education in the STEM field at Suffolk County Community College,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “I would like to extend my thanks to College President Dr. Edward Bonahue for always doing what’s best for his students and to National Grid and New York State for partnering with us on this initiative. It is always a pleasure to put forth a collaborative effort in providing clean and energy efficient facilities that benefit our residents.”

“It is essential as leaders in the public and private sector, that we work together to create educational and workforce opportunities that keep our highly educated students on Long Island. We look forward to having this incredible STEM center here in Brentwood in the Town of Islip, home to one of Suffolk County Community College’s premier campuses,” said Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

Suffolk County Community College Board of Trustee’s Chairman E. Christopher Murray said, “The new STEM building is a symbol of our commitment to excellence in STEM education. We are excited to see what our students will accomplish in this state-of-the-art facility.”

“As I leave the college’s Board of Trustees following 12 years of past service, I am delighted that one of my last acts is participating in today’s ribbon cutting, an event that looks to a sustainable future for the students of Suffolk County Community College and, indeed, a sustainable future for all of Long Island’s citizens,” said Suffolk County Community College Board of Trustees Vice Chair Jim Morgo.

“I am excited to join with SCCC in celebrating the opening of the new, net-zero energy, STEM building, funded by New York State and Suffolk County.  This state-of-the-art facility will provide students with cutting-edge resources to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math.  It showcases renewable energy and offers training in renewable energy systems, while accommodating over 1,600 students in various STEM disciplines.  It represents our commitment to innovation, workforce development, and a sustainable future,” said Assemblyman Fred Thiele who was instrumental in garnering state funding for the building with now retired New York State Senator Kenneth LaValle.

“I am proud to have helped secure the state funding for this building, which will provide Suffolk County Community College students with the resources they need to succeed in the 21st century economy,” former New York State Senator and Chair of the State Senate Select Committee on Higher Education Kenneth P. LaValle said. “This building will help prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, and it will ensure that Suffolk County remains a leader in innovation and economic development.”

The $21.3 million building — funded by New York State and Suffolk County — provides students with a new facility to learn chemistry, physics, engineering, math and other workforce initiatives, provides a showcase for the merits of renewable energy, and a facility where the installation, repair and maintenance of renewable energy systems can be taught as well as house laboratories and classrooms. The building will also be used for renewable energy training and other STEM related courses and certificate programs.

“National Grid is proud to partner with Suffolk Community College on this beautiful building and we are honored it has our name on it,” said Melanie Littlejohn, Vice President for New York Customer and Community Management at National Grid. We are committed to higher education and creating the clean energy workforce of the future. We are excited to announce the ‘National Grid Scholarship for Excellence in Renewable Energy Workforce Development,’ and we believe this will propel students to help develop a clean, sustainable, and equitable energy future.”

The National Grid Center for Workforce and Energy Education is supported by a generous $250,000 gift from National Grid that includes a National Grid Workforce and Energy Innovation Endowed Scholarship, part of a series of donations from National Grid including a campus beautification mural near the new STEM building, and solar trees – solar powered recharging stations with tables and seating – on the college’s Ammerman and Grant campuses. Solar Trees provide students and faculty with opportunities to better understand energy innovation on our campuses and throughout our community, said Dr. Sylvia A. Diaz, executive director of the Suffolk Community College Foundation.

The net zero energy building – the energy required to illuminate, heat, cool and ventilate the building will be equal to or less than the energy produced from renewable sources – will potentially be home to more than 1,600 STEM students taking courses in subjects including Biology; Computer Science: Information Technology; Cybersecurity; Environmental Science; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration and Marine Biology among others.

The completely electric building’s high-tech green roof has a 468 solar panel array that can generate 208 kW of power and will generate as much power as it consumes over the course of a year – –  pulling power from the grid on high-energy consumption days and feeding power back to the grid on others. The building’s geothermal exchange system will reduce the energy needed to both heat and cool the building.

The building has new classrooms, meeting rooms and lab study space and includes:

– The National Grid Center for Workforce and Energy Education – an open symposium center with seating for 300 and computer and network accessibility.

– Biology lab and support lab

– Cybersecurity Lab

–  Multi-use lab for solar technology and other programs

– Computer Lab

– Two Multi-use Classroom/Labs

–  Conference Room

TVGC President Karin Ryon with Giovanna Maffetone, SCCC scholarship recipient on April 11. Photo courtesy of Three Village Garden Club

Representatives from Suffolk County Community College attended the Three Village Garden Club meeting at the Setauket Neighborhood House on April 11  to present the Three Village Garden Club Scholarship to Giovanna Maffetone. This scholarship is offered to Suffolk County Community College students enrolled in the Environmental Science/Forestry program, specifically targeting students planning to transfer to a four year SUNY ESF program.

Chris Williams from the Suffolk Community College Foundation presented a $5000 scholarship check to Giovanna. Also in attendance was Vladimir Jurukovski, Academic Chair of Biology at the SCCC Ammerman campus.

The Three Village Garden Club is happy to support young people who are pursuing careers in horticultural science, wildlife science, ecology, environmental science, landscaping, forestry, and plant science. Additional scholarships are awarded to students from Ward Melville High School and SUNY Farmingdale.

The cast of 'The Comedy of Errors' Photo by Julianne Mosher/TBR News Media

By Julianne Mosher

The theater department at Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman campus does not disappoint with their latest production of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.

A scene from ‘The Comedy of Errors’ Photo by Julianne Mosher/TBR News Media

This classic slapstick comedy follows two sets of identical twins who were separated as infants during a storm at sea. Set in the Greek city of Ephesus, we meet a merchant named Aegeon, played by SCCC student Stefan Pallotta, who’s monologue tells the audience of his arrest and the tale of the shipwreck that separated his family — his twin sons, both named Antipholus, his wife, Amelia, and two twin servant boys, both named Dromio. 

Eighteen years later, Aegeon allows his son and servant to travel to Ephesus to search for their long-lost twins but they too disappear. Now, Aegeon has come to the city to find them, but is arrested due to the animosity between the citizens of Ephesus and Syracuse (where the merchant is from). Pallotta’s early monologue is not an easy one to remember,but he does so impressively. 

Later on, we meet Antipholus (of Syracuse) played by Cara Macedonio along with servant Dromio played by Meredith Reed. When the two Syracuse-ians are off and about, we meet their long-lost brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus, played by Kayla Bruno, and his Dromio played by Jerry Ewald. 

A scene from ‘The Comedy of Errors’ Photo by Julianne Mosher/TBR News Media

The cast does a great job getting into their characters. Not only did they have to learn the rhymes of Shakespeare and ye-old language, but they also have to convince the audience of who they were — and they were funny! The performances of the two Dromio’s had the audience laughing during their performance last Saturday night. While Shakespeare might be hard to understand, the actors made the whole show completely coherent.

But we mustn’t forget the leading ladies of the show — Antipholus of Ephesus’s wife, Adriana, played by Madison Dodge, and her lovable sister Luciana, played by Kayla Pisano. While the two characters are completely different in personality, both Dodge and Pisano shine during their scenes. 

Adriana, the tougher of the two, proves herself with her wit and no-nonsense attitude when faced with her “husband” acting oddly (surprise, it was the wrong Antipholus she was inviting to dinner). Then Luciana, the beauty who unintendedly seduces her “brother-in-law” will have you roar when you see the interaction between her and Antipholus of Syracuse.

But that’s just the beginning. For an hour-and-a-half, you’ll see the two sets of twins unknowingly interact with each other on several occasions that will make your skin curl with embarrassment for what is going on, but also laugh out loud.

A scene from ‘The Comedy of Errors’ Photo by Julianne Mosher/TBR News Media

Other standout performances include Brooke Morabito as Luce, the greasy kitchen wench, the alcoholic officer played by Malachai Casanova, Duke Solinus portrayed by Krystyna Plesnik, Hailey Wenke’s Amelia/Courtesan and Gabriel Patrascu’s Pinch/Angelo.

However, the show would not have been complete without the fantastic set design and costumes which really set the tone of the show. 

Director Steve Marsh said that he wanted to bring a bit of an edge to the show, which has been known as a slapstick comedy for centuries. While it was filled with humor, it had the underlying, more somber, tone of what a trade war and immigration can do to a community which made it almost more real. 

“The program here at Suffolk and the students are so fantastic,” Marsh said. “I’ve been coming here for over 40 years — this is where I saw my first show and what got me interested in acting.”

Suffolk County Community College, 533 College Road, Selden presents The Comedy of Errors at the Shea Theatre inside the Islip Arts Building on April 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. General admission is $15. Veterans and students 16 years of age or younger is $10. Suffolk students with current ID receive two free tickets. To order, visit or call 631-451-4163.

The Selden campus of Suffolk County Community College. File photo

For the first time in nearly five years Suffolk County Community College is experiencing an enrollment increase, due in part to an increase in the number of students returning to the college from the fall 2022 to spring 2023 semesters, according to preliminary census data reported today to SUNY administration.

“Suffolk offers not only the lowest college tuition on Long Island but also an engaging and supportive on-campus environment that welcomes every student,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Edward Bonahue. “By focusing on what students need from their college experience — whether it’s transfer to a bachelor’s degree or career-facing opportunities — our faculty and staff are committed to helping students achieve their goals.”

“We also know that many of our students balance college courses with work and family obligations, and we want to do everything we can to offer flexible options that meet their needs,” Bonahue said. MicroMesters are a great way to earn credits in a compressed time frame, he said.

“There are two 7.5-week MicroMesters within a traditional 15-week semester. MicroMester classes are faster-paced, meet more often and may appeal to recent high school graduates who are accustomed to attending classes five days per week and completing daily assignments in a shorter time frame,” Bonahue explained.

“Community College state funding is tied to enrollment” said College Board of Trustees Chair E. Christopher Murray.  “Enrollment increases our revenue and fees as well as New York State’s contribution to our College,” he said. “Over the last 18 months, the college has made a focus on the students’ experience its highest priority, has expanded outreach to Hispanic students and families with bilingual marketing materials, and has raised the visibility of career-facing programs and short-term workforce certificates and the college is now seeing the benefits in terms of growth.”

“At Suffolk, there are signs of a promising enrollment recovery, particularly with the number of first-time students enrolling at the college and students who are continuing their studies at Suffolk,” said Suffolk’s Interim Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Kaliah Greene.  “This mid-semester snapshot shows enrollment increases at every campus and in nearly every student category, including new students, continuing students, and transfer students.”  The college also expects to report increases in the number of high school and non-credit workforce students being served.

According to institutional enrollment data, year-over-year spring enrollment grew by nearly three percent or 367 students, from 13,982 to 14,349 students. The college’s full-time equivalent, a measurement that converts all enrollment into a common standard, also increased one percent.

“The real story is the shift in persistence of students we’re seeing,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Patricia Munsch. “More students chose to continue their studies from the fall ’22 semester to the spring ’23 semester as compared to last year.”  Nationally, retention and persistence are indicators of whether students will progress and ultimately complete their college education. “The entire college is focused on engaging students in ways that encourage their persistence, and we are working hard to extend this enrollment momentum into the fall and next spring.”

 “The increase in enrollment we’re seeing right now is a credit to our employees,” added Bonahue. “Every single employee, every office in the college is committed to serving our students, and the enrollment increase we’re now seeing shows how we’re focused on that mission every day.”

From left, George Eli, Stefan Pallotta and Brooke Morabito star in 'Tape' at Suffolk County Community College in Selden through March 19. Photo by Julianne Mosher/TBR News Media

By Julianne Mosher

The stage at Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman Campus in Selden transforms this week into a basic motel room set in Lansing, Michigan. 

From the moment the lights dim, we are brought back to the glory days of three friends from high school who haven’t seen each other in a decade. But instead of a happy reunion, things turn dark, secrets are spilled, and the plot thickens with a conversation that is just as important now as it was nearly 25 years ago – sexual assault. 

Tape is a 1999 play written by Stephen Belber, first produced at the Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the 2000 Humana Festival of New American Plays. In 2001, it became a film, starring Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard and Uma Thurman. 

From left, George Eli, Brooke Morabito and Stefan Pallotta star in ‘Tape’ at Suffolk County Community College in Selden through March 19. Photo by Julianne Mosher/TBR News Media

Directed by Steven Lantz-Gefroh, the three-character ensemble piece is set within the confines of a tawdry motor lodge in Michigan. After 10 years apart, three former friends (and lovers) come together to play out the unresolved drama of their final days in high school. 

Intrigued, the audience watches through the one-act play as layers of denial are slowly peeled away. Suspense builds as each character is provoked into revealing his or her true nature and motivation — full of plot twists. Mesmerized, we are drawn into their lives as they choose which cards to play and which cards to hold.

Starring SCCC students Stefan Pallotta (as Vince, a drug dealing volunteer firefighter), George Eli (as Jon, a filmmaker who is the reason the former friends are in the same room), and Brooke Morabito (Amy, the girl in the middle and a local assistant district attorney), the three on stage together collaborate so well that watchers can see, and feel, the emotion in front of them. 

Pallotta’s quick witted responses (and stellar dance moves) show promise for his future — he’s graduating this upcoming semester to study acting. The audience deeply empathizes with Morabito, who plays a victim of assault, as she performs her tale of that night and how she overcame it so well that viewers are left speechless. As a graduating senior, as well, she too has a bright future ahead. 

Eli’s performance of antagonist of the story is so impressive, it’s hard to dislike his character. This performance of Tape is so good, you’ll forget that you’re sitting inside a college theater.

Lantz-Gefroh said that although the play was written almost three decades ago, the topic is still important today — and that is why people should come see it this weekend.

“We have come no distance with this subject matter in over 30 years,” he said. “[This show] helps people realize the mistakes they’ve made in their lives that they need to fix — if they can.”

Morabito said that playing Amy was a cathartic experience for herself.

“Amy is the character that speaks for all the victims of sexual assault who get to see this play and she enacts revenge,” she explained. “She gets to close the door on what happened that night and what happened in the motel room, and leave it all behind.”

Eli added he was grateful to perform alongside Pallotta and Morabito for an important cause.

Tape spreads a lot of awareness and shows us that anyone can be a victim or anyone can be an aggressor,” he said. 

Tape continues on March 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m., and March 19 at 2 p.m. at Theatre 119 in the Islip Arts Building at the Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman Campus, 533 College Road, Selden. Rated R for mature content. 

Theater continues at SCCC Selden with William Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors from April 13 to 23.

General admission is $14, veterans and students 16 years of age or younger is $10. Suffolk students with a current ID receive one free ticket. For tickets, call 631-451-4163.

Julianne Mosher is an adjunct professor at Suffolk County Community College and a 2013 graduate of the school.

Popular pet showcase features entertainment, education & shopping

The Long Island Pet Expo returns to Suffolk County Community College’s Suffolk Federal Credit Union Arena, 1001 Crooked Hill Road in Brentwood on March 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and March 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with fur flying entertainment, dog sporting competitions and educational programs designed for the whole family. The event will also feature many special attractions, pet adoptions and outstanding shopping for pet lovers and their pets and is expected to draw over 10,000 attendees over the weekend.

“The Long Island area is passionate about animals and pets of all kinds,” said show co-producer Karen Garetano of Family Pet Shows, which runs several similar events in the northeast.

The 100+ special exhibits always feature some of the hottest new products coming out often before they hit the retail shelves. Pets on leashes are always welcome, and several area rescue groups with adoptable pets will be on hand. Popular performers and presenters include Gail Mirabella and the Dynamo Dogs, Diana Frohman and her Beautiful Dancing Dogs, Schutzund Demonstration by Maximum KP Service, the Dog Lovers Days Lure Course, Rainforest Reptiles, TICA Championship Cat Shows, Rabbit Hopping, the Long Island Dog Derby and more.

About This Year’s Featured Performers/Presenters:

New for 2023: Gail Mirabella and The Dynamo Dogs Variety Act! You can teach your old dog new tricks – these veteran- performing dogs will knock the spectator’s socks off with their Trick Dog Show Routine, Frisbee Dog Acrobatics and dynamite performances. Gail and her canine friends will wow the crowd as they do all over the country.

Also New for 2023: The Long Island Dog Derby! Come down and enter your dog in the first ever Dog derby. Dogs of any breed, 25 pounds and under will race head to head to see who is the fastest on Long Island. Races will be held at 1 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Prizes will be awarded to the top three dogs on each day. There will be an entry fee per dog. Check the website for additional information or email [email protected]

Diana Frohman & Her Dancing Dogs: Diana Frohman and her beautiful golden retrievers will be dancing the weekend away with several performances on both days. “Dancing With Your Dogs” is one of the most popular returning features of the event. It’s a wonderful display of communication and relationship between dog and handler set to music.

Schutzhund Demonstration by Maximum K9 Service: Maximum K9 Service will be doing a Schutzhund demonstration which will include obedience, dumbbell retrieval, tracking, protection work and a detection demonstration.

Dog Lovers Days Lure Course: This popular event is back! Dogs will have a blast running through the lure course and testing out their agility while letting out some energy! Dogs love to zip through this course and it’s a blast to watch!

Rainforest Reptile Show: an exciting, fascinating adventure through the rare and endangered reptile world! Many exotic reptiles will be at the show for kids and adults alike to learn about.

Rabbit Hopping: Rabbit Hopping, it’s not the bunny hop you’re thinking of – but talented rabbits who love to jump! Allikatt’s Bunnies will present an agility demo of rabbits hopping all weekend – and there will be demonstrations and there is even a seminar so you can learn how to get involved in this sport with your own hare.

TICA Championship Cat Shows: for cat lovers who have never been to a cat show, this is a purrific way to see a wide variety of cat breeds up close. www.TICA.ORG

LI Dog Derby: Enter your dog in the Dog Derby. Dogs of any breed, 25 pounds or under will race head to head to see who is fht fastest on Long Island. There is an entry fee. additional information on the website

“We always have fun at these events, but we also are strong supporters of responsible pet ownership and humane values when it comes to all issues involving animals and pets,” said Garetano. “We partner with several community organizations, shelters, veterinarians and other animal lovers educate and inform when it comes to best practices for training, feeding and all aspects of pet care.”

Community and rescue organizations participating in the show include Almost Home Animal Rescue, Chippy’s Angels, Pawsitive Paws Rescue, Bark Animal Rescue, the LI Parrot Society and more to be announced before the event.

Adult admission at the door is $15, children ages 3-11 are $6, and those under three years old are always free. For additional information, call 631-423-0620 or visit


Please note: Free parking and attendees are welcome to bring their well-behaved pets to the expo. There are some regulations and restrictions. Visit for more information.



The Selden campus of Suffolk County Community College. File photo
Amazon’s Career Choice program provides pre-paid tuition to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere

Suffolk County Community College has been selected as Long Island’s first education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program to provide Amazon’s hourly employees access to Suffolk County Community College, the college and company announced.

“We are delighted to be the first on Long Island to partner with Amazon to offer this important opportunity. Amazon’s Career Choice program is in keeping with Suffolk’s core mission to provide outstanding and affordable educational opportunities for all county residents. Partnering with Amazon will allow us to connect a new audience of working students with either traditional college courses or career-oriented training for in-demand jobs, that will positively impact their lives and our communities,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Edward Bonahue.

“It is important that everyone, regardless of their financial situation is given the opportunity to earn a college degree,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “That is why I am so proud that Suffolk County Community College was selected as Long Island’s first education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice Program. This partnership showcases both the college and Amazon’s commitment to providing students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce.”

Bonahue said that although the new program has not yet been widely publicized, outreach from College representatives already brought new students from Amazon to the college for the spring 2023 semester.

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an education benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including full college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas, and GEDs. In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs.

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success.

“We’re proud of our growing footprint on Long Island and we’re even prouder to offer this program through our partnership with Suffolk County Community College,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s Head of Community Affairs in New York. “This adds to the many benefits available to our employees on Long Island and participants will join 110,000 Amazon employees around the world who have already participated in Career Choice.”

Suffolk County Community College is the State University of New York (SUNY) system’s largest community college, enrolling more than 20,000 for-credit students and over 7,500 non-credit students. The College offers more than 100 degree and certificate program options.

The College is comprised of three campuses and two downtown centers: The Ammerman Campus in Selden, ; Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood; Eastern Campus in Riverhead, and downtown centers in Riverhead and Sayville.

For more information on Amazon’s Career Choice, visit:

From left, Christian Arevalo, Beverly Johnson, Christopher Duran, Andrew Lopez, DeShawn Little, Suffolk County Community College Executive Dean Donna Ciampa, Luke Shank, Instructor Brian Karp (VP at SUNation), Demarcus Frazier, Suffolk County Community College Assistant Director of Sustainability Melanie Morris-Carsch, Jokubas Balciunas , Gabriel Gomez, Nicolas Gomez, Jon -Tyler Glennon, and Kwani Opharrow. Photo from SCCC

Suffolk County Community College’s Solar Installer Certificate Program recently graduated an inaugural class of 13 certified installers including a father and son team – Gabriel and Nicholas Gomez.

The 50-hour Solar Installer Certificate Program is hands-on, taught by industry experts, includes a paid externship with a local solar company and the opportunity to earn an OSHA 10 certificate, a Fall Prevention Safety Certificate and a Suffolk County Community College Completion Certificate.

“Career-connected workforce programs are essential to the success of our local economy and will spur a new generation of upwardly mobile Suffolk County residents,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Edward Bonahue. “Together with industry partners, we continue to innovate new ways to deliver short-term career-focused education that prepares students to be immediately ready to work,” Bonahue said.

The course of study covered topics such as fall prevention safety, basic construction, and electric and solar technologies.

The students built a mock roof and mounted solar panels utilizing assorted industry racking systems.

Several students secured jobs in the solar industry immediately after the program’s completion and several others are awaiting interviews.

The program is accepting applications for its March 2023 class. Visit:

For more information, contact Melanie Morris-Carsch, [email protected], 631-851-6414.