Suffolk County Community College

The Selden campus of Suffolk County Community College. File photo

State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Edward Bonahue as president for Suffolk County Community College. The appointment was announced by the SUNY Board of Trustees and SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.

“SUNY Suffolk is the largest community college in our system, serving more than 22,000 students with a high-quality and affordable education to jump start careers or provide the launching pad for further degrees, and we are pleased to have Dr. Bonahue join the SUNY family to lead this multi-campus College,” said Chancellor Malatras. “We thank Interim President Lou Petrizzo for making sure our students could succeed in their studies during this pandemic, and at the same time help the community as a vaccination site. Now with President Bonahue joining the team, we look forward to celebrating the end of this academic year and look forward to a fuller reopening this fall.”

SUNY Board Trustee Cary Staller said, “Dr. Bonahue has amassed a great breadth and depth of experience in higher education over the past two decades in areas such as developing academic programs, creating career pathways, and fostering student success. His background in community colleges makes him a great fit to lead Suffolk County Community College during this pivotal time where a degree is the gateway to professional success and personal growth. The Board congratulates President Bonahue on his appointment.”

Suffolk County Community College Chair E. Christopher Murray said, “The SUNY Suffolk trustees are excited that Dr. Bonahue will be our new president. With his background and abilities, he will make an outstanding leader who can assure the college’s continued success at serving the Suffolk County community. I would also like to give the Board’s heartfelt thanks to Interim President Lou Petrizzo for his great leadership during these challenging times.”

President Bonahue said, “It will be a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as the next president of Suffolk County Community College. SUNY Suffolk is an outstanding college that changes students’ lives every day, and I look forward to being part of the Suffolk community. I want to thank Chancellor Jim Malatras and the whole SUNY Board, as well as the Suffolk Board of Trustees for their confidence in me.”

About Dr. Edward Bonahue

Dr. Bonahue is a seasoned higher education executive with more than 20 years of experience in community college education, including service as a tenured faculty member and executive administrative leader. He currently serves as the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Santa Fe College in Florida, a position he has held since 2009. In that role, he provides leadership for planning, management, and assessment of all credit and non-credit instructional programming, and economic and workforce development initiatives.

In this capacity, he has implemented nine new baccalaureate programs and multiple associate of science degree and certificate programs, as well as established two deferred-admission partnerships with the University of Florida. He has provided leadership for major college-wide grant initiatives, including a $2.5 million Title III grant, a $1.7 million Department of Labor Trade Adjustments Assistance Community College and Career Training grant, a $1.5 million American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grant, as well as raised more than $300,000 for facility renovation to support related programming.

At Santa Fe College, Dr. Bonahue has served as the associate vice president for Academic Affairs; chair, Department of Humanities & Foreign Languages; co-chair, International Education Initiative; co-chair, SACS Reaccreditation Steering Committee; assistant chair and adjunct coordinator, Department of Creative Arts & Humanities; and assistant/associate professor of Humanities and Theatre. Additionally, he has also held positions of visiting assistant professor of humanities at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida and instructor of English at the University of North Carolina.

In addition to his academic experience, Dr. Bonahue was the managing editor for The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina; managing editor, Shakespeare Quarterly, Folger Shakespeare Library; and editor, U.S. General Services Administration. In 2009, Dr. Bonahue was a Fulbright Scholar with the U.S. International Administrators Program in Germany, and in 2016-2017, he was an Aspen Institute College Excellence Program Presidential Fellow.

A native of Long Island, Dr. Bonahue earned a Ph.D. in English literature at the University of North Carolina; M.A. in English literature at the University of North Carolina; and B.A. in English literature from Wake Forest University.


On Saturday, April 24th, forty-one SUNY schools collaborated to present a first-ever Virtual Concert Festival! SUNYFEST 2021 will be headlined by Kesha and AJR will be the opening act.


Prior to the headlining and opening act, the concert festival will feature student performers from a multitude of SUNY campuses, along with spotlight videos of each SUNY campus involved in the festival.

SUNY Suffolk County Community College will feature three performances, The Hims led by Ammerman’s Len Lopez, Jack Zuckerberg , and his band, Vicious Summer from the Michael J Grant Campus and Deanna DeMola also from Ammerman Campus.

Kesha, the global sensation, brings her two number one albums and four number one songs along with 40 million followers on social media to our virtual stage. AJR, the multiplatinum trio of brothers will open for Kesha.

Join them for this historic festival bringing the SUNY community together like never before.

To register for this free event click on this link.

The Selden campus of Suffolk County Community College. File photo

For the second consecutive year, Suffolk County Community College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to freeze tuition at the State University of New York’s largest community college, citing the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and strain it has put on students, their families, and finances. The announcement was made in a press release on April 15.

The Board adopted a $208 million College operating budget at its monthly meeting for the 2021-22 academic year that includes no tuition increase and represents a $5 million reduction in expenditures from 2020-21. Additionally, fees will also remain flat or in some cases be reduced.

“By freezing tuition and fees, we are not only prioritizing students, but working to ensure cost is not a barrier to receiving a quality and affordable education,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in reaction to the Board’s vote.

“Facing unprecedented pandemic-driven revenue losses we are committed to remain the affordable, high quality, accessible resource for Suffolk residents that we have always been,” said Suffolk County Community College Board of Trustees Chair E. Christopher Murray.  We know many are unexpectedly out of work and others are looking for convenient, close-to-home options to pursue their college education. Suffolk County Community College is and will continue to be here for them,” Murray said.

Murray said the College faced a more than $2.5 million budget hole resulting from an enrollment decline and the resulting loss of tuition, and pandemic driven costs and reductions in state aid.

College Board of Trustees Budget and Finance Chair Kevin M. O’Connor said sound fiscal management combined with belt-tightening initiatives, as well as staff reductions through attrition, not filling vacant lines, reconfiguring course sections to be more efficient and the College’s workers who voluntarily agreed to wage and benefit reductions helped ensure that Suffolk County Community College will continue to be an affordable, premier provider of higher education and workforce training.

“Freezing tuition and reducing fees are tangible manifestations of the trustees’ and our county partner’s commitment to our most important mission, the futures of our students,” said Jim Morgo, vice chair of the Board of Trustees.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Suffolk students particularly hard,” O’Connor said. “The Board of Trustees recognizes that we cannot ask our students and their families to shoulder a greater share of the burden during this tough time. Suffolk County Community College is the most affordable, accessible option to get a great education – and the Board intends to keep it that way.”

“Suffolk County Community College is a beacon of opportunity for many students who have few options when it comes to higher education” said Suffolk County Community College Interim President Louis Petrizzo. “By their actions today, our Board has ensured that a door to opportunity and advancement remains open and affordable for thousands of students.”

Suffolk County Community College tuition is $2,735 per semester for Suffolk County residents.

Suffolk County Community College students Jason Saravia, Gabrielle Flores, Kecia McKoy and Brian Higgins all received COVID-19 vaccinations at NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement at Suffolk’s Michael J. Grant Campus on April 12 that New York State is taking its battle to defeat COVID-19 to college campuses, offering vaccines for students with direct allocations to schools, colleges and universities.

The Governor greeted each of the students after they received their vaccinations.

“Vaccinations are safe and effective and the best way to ensure that students don’t bring the virus home to family and friends. Vaccinations will also open the door to a return to campus and the college life students have been missing.” said Suffolk County Community College Interim President Louis Petrizzo.

Suffolk County Community College students who would like to be vaccinated can schedule a vaccination appointment by email at: [email protected]. The email must include contact information (cell phone number and college email address). A college representative will call to schedule an appointment.

Photos courtesy of SCCC

Three outstanding Suffolk County Community College students will be awarded the prestigious State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at an April virtual ceremony.

The SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recognizes students for outstanding achievements and who best demonstrate the integration of SUNY excellence within many aspects of their lives, which must include three of the following areas: academics, leadership, campus involvement, community service, or the arts (creative performing).

“We are extremely proud and celebrate these exceptional students,” said Suffolk County Community College Interim President Louis Petrizzo. “Our students’ outstanding academic achievements, leadership and service, exemplify the very best our college has to offer.”

Suffolk County Community College’s SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recipients are:

Leeanna Rutigliano (pictured on left)
A Child Study Education major from Medford, Leeanna has a 4.0 grade point average and has earned Dean’s List recognition every semester for the last two years. Leeanna serves as President of Phi Theta Kappa’s Alpha Zeta Nu Chapter; is a Division 1 Finalist Oberndorf Scholar, and member of Suffolk’s College Choir.

Gabriella Hassildine (pictured in center)
A Liberal Arts General Studies major from Mattituck, Gabriella has a 4.0 grade point average and has earned Dean’s List recognition every semester for the last two years. Gabriella has served as president of the Music Club, president of the Honors Club, and as an Orientation Leader.

Amrita Deonanan (pictured on right)
A Business Administration major from Brentwood, Amrita has a 4.0 grade point average and has earned Dean’s List recognition every semester for the last two years. Amrita serves as a Peer Mentor, chief financial officer of the Student Government Association, and assistant editor of the Western Student Press.

The 2021 award ceremony will premiere live on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 2:00pm at

New York State’s new “Stay Awake! Stay Alive!” effort to combat drowsy driving kicked-off March 13 with a creative boost from Suffolk County Community College students who produced two of the three public service announcements for the campaign.

Jenna Capozzi

A “Stay Awake! Stay Alive!” message is being promoted on message signs on the New York State Thruway, other state roads, and on social media before and after the recent Daylight Saving Time change. In addition, there is targeted outreach to college students who are among the most at risk of driving drowsy.

As part of the education effort, college students were invited to create a public service announcement (PSA) highlighting the dangers of drowsy driving. Two of the three winning PSAs being aired on social media and at Department of Motor Vehicle offices throughout the state were created by Suffolk County Community College students who took home prizes for first and third place. The first-place winner received a $2,000 cash prize, the second-place received a $1,500 and third-place $500.

Suffolk liberal arts major Jenna Capozzi, 21, from Lake Grove teamed up with friends she graduated with from Centereach High School, Vincent Meyers and Matt Kopsachilis to produce the winning 25-second PSA.

Radio and Television Production major Samantha Fowler, 19, from Medford captured third place.

“I was inspired by a story one of the organizers told us about losing a sister due to drowsy driving,” Fowler said. “I have a sister as well, and really wanted to focus on that emotional aspect of it.”

Samantha Fowler

“I personally thought it was a good idea to produce the video,” Capozzi said, “even if we did not win the contest, the message was an important one to spread.”

“Drowsy driving is something we can all relate to. That struck me as something that I wanted to be a part of,” said Meyers.

“The chance to create something that’s really special and very, very unique was a great opportunity,” cameraman and editor Kopsachilis said.   

The team collaborated on writing and pulling together on creation of the video, with Meyers doing the acting and Kopsachilis handling the camera and editing the piece that ultimately won the competition.

“Hopefully this message reaches a wide audience and it helps open up people’s eyes to what we don’t want to admit that they drive drowsy. At the end of the day I don’t think any of us really thought we were going to win. But it was very nostalgic, in the sense that we kind of came back to our old roots, where we like first met each other through theater,” said Capozzi.

Capozzi said she expects to graduate in May, and pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. Fowler said she will graduate in December.

“I definitely want to get some experience underneath my belt,” Fowler said, “I might take a gap year just to see what jobs are available for me in my field.”

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 24 hours without sleep has similar effects on driving ability as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 percent. GHSA also estimates that drowsy driving is a contributing factor in 328,000 crashes nationwide, annually, and more than half of them involve drivers age 25 and younger.


Talise Geer

Suffolk County Community College student Talise Geer recntly was honored with the Vanguard Award.

The student recognition award that acknowledges outstanding students who are enrolled in career and technical education programs that prepare them for professions that are not traditional for their gender, the Vanguard Award is presented annually by the Nontraditional Employment & Training Project — an initiative administered by SUNY Albany’s Center for Women in Government & Civil Society in partnership with the New York State Education Department.

Geer was one of 15 state-wide finalists, and is one of eight state-wide award recipients for pursuing a new career in cybersecurity.

She was notified of her win  earlier this month.

 “I had been searching for a long time to find my fit, a passion —  and I found it in cybersecurity,” she said. “I feel honored to be have been recognized as one of the winners of the Vanguard Award. I look forward to what the future holds for me and holding the door open for other women seeking to enter this field.”

The Vanguard Award Ceremony will be held virtually at the Nontraditional Employment Training Conference in April.

Geer, a Wading River, married mom to a six-year-old daughter, was working successfully in sales after earning a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Old Westbury. But, she wanted more.

“I wanted to find a profession with job security,” Geer said, adding “and to do something I loved and with the opportunity for advancement.”

Geer researched emerging professions and settled on cybersecurity.

“I needed a school offering a cyber security major, a great faculty, affordability and convenience,” she said, “Suffolk County Community College had everything I needed.”

“Talise started with very little computer knowledge, but she fought through every challenging course, and she has continuously improved substantially with each class. Talise always comes prepared for class, hands in all assignments on time, and shows enthusiasm for every topic,” said Susan Frank, assistant professor of cybersecurity.

“Talise fully understands the significance of a nontraditional career,” Frank added, “and she is determined and prepared to succeed in the male dominated field of information technology. Cybersecurity offers her a world of opportunity with a higher salary, quick career advancement and job security. A traditional field could not provide all of these benefits.”

Frank said that Geer is the perfect person for the honor.

“I’m very thankful for the time I spent at Suffolk, the professors and for Professor Frank nominating me for this prestigious award,” Geer said. 

Geer’s next stop is the New York Institute of Technology Cybersecurity Master’s program.

“I hope more girls, more women transition to this field,” Geer said. “It’s possible! And I hope to inspire more girls and women to enter cybersecurity. I’m honored and hope that a girl or woman in a seemingly dead-end job considers cyber security as a future career.”

The Selden campus of Suffolk County Community College. File photo

Suffolk County Community College has been named a 2021-22 military friendlyschool by after a comprehensive evaluation using both public data and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. More than 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey with 747 earning the designation.

“Suffolk County Community College provides service members, veterans, and militaryfamilies with the flexibility and convenience needed to achieve their educational goals,” said Suffolk County Community College Director of Veterans Affairs Shannon O’Neill, and explained that the College is one of only 104 nationally to be designated as a VetSuccess on Campus program.

O’Neill explained that Suffolk County Community College offers robust services staffed with experts in military and veterans benefits and community resources through its Veterans Resource Centers located on all of the College’s campuses. The services are available in person and virtually for Active Duty, Guard, Reservists, Veterans and their dependents, according to O’Neill. The College, O’Neill said, alsowaives the application fee for all individuals currently serving as well as Veterans and their dependents.

Suffolk County Community College is dedicated to making the transition from the military to the classroom easier for our veterans and to make higher education more accessible for our nation’s service members and their families. We are proud to support those who have served this country as you work toward your academic and professional goals,” said Suffolk County Community College Interim President Louis Petrizzo.

Suffolk’s final ratings were determined by combining the college’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources within a logic-based scoring assessment. The institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans was measured.

The 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at


Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis, Stony Brook Medicine Vice President for Health System Clinical Programs and Strategy Dr. Margaret McGovern, 25,000 COVID-19 Vaccine recipient and Southampton resident Veronica Lang with her husband James, SBU mascot Wolfie, and Lisa Santeramo, assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs. Photo above from Stony Brook Medicine

By Rita J. Egan and Julianne Mosher

With last week’s announcement that Suffolk County Community College in Selden will be the county’s third mass-vaccination site, in addition to the SCCC campuses in Brentwood and Riverhead, more people are itching to get their shots.

Many, who over the last several months expressed discontent with the vaccination process, were finally able to get their appointments.

Mary McCarthy, a 98-year-old Sound Beach resident, was anticipating her shot. Earlier this week, she got her first injection. 

“It didn’t hurt a bit,” she said. “I feel fine. No aftershock or anything, and I hope after the shots we’ll get back to normal so I can go see my friends again.”

Mary McCarthy, of Sound Beach, received her vaccine at Walgreens in Medford. Photo from Kevin McCarthy

The senior said she is most excited to get back with her group, where in pre-COVID times, they’d play cards every week.

Her granddaughter helped McCarthy set up the appointment at Walgreens in Medford. Her second shot will be 28 days from the first round, closer to home in the Miller Place location.

She has advice for people who might be skeptical.

“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “It didn’t hurt a bit, and you’ll feel better knowing that you won’t get anything else.”

Three Village resident Stefanie Werner went to the vaccination site at Stony Brook University with her 81-year-old father. As a teacher, who also has an underlying heart condition, Werner was also able to get the vaccine.

“Even though booking our appointments was stressful and nerve-racking, the actual experience was anything but,” she said. “The site is extremely well organized, with all aspects, from check-in to our 15-minute post-observation, coordinated and easy to follow.”

Werner commended the individuals working at the SBU location “from the officer at the entrance, to the members of the National Guard guiding the outside check-in — out in the snow no less — to the RNs at the registration desk and the vaccinators who were friendly and comforting, all while plunging a needle swiftly and painlessly into our arms.”

“These people are the frontline to our return to normalcy,” she said. “They are deserving of recognition for their hard work and empathy as we continue our ascent out of this pandemic.”

Due to her health problems, Werner said she has been vigilant during the pandemic.

“I honestly don’t think I am going to change my ways much after the second dose, especially with all the new variants and the fact that my daughter is in school five days,” she said. “There are still too many unknowns, and I absolutely feel more people should be vaccinated before I return to some semblance of my old normal.  It’s my hope that people maintain COVID protocols until our safety and security is more certain.”  

Adam Fisher of Port Jefferson Station also headed to the university with his wife where they “deeply appreciate the perfect organization. Our thanks to the person or persons who organized this program and all the people who staffed the site. The people were helpful, cheerful and welcoming. The shot itself was painless.”

He said the entire process went well and was a smooth process.

“From start to finish we were guided through it,” he said. “The staff was helpful, cheerful, welcoming — they could not have been nicer. The vaccination itself was painless — the most pain-free injection I ever had.”

Fisher said he felt “absolutely fine,” with the exception of a mild headache that two Tylenol tablets fixed.

“I urge everyone to be vaccinated,” he said, adding that after their second shots, the couple are looking most forward to being together with their children and grandchildren again. 

On Feb. 18, the university announced it reached 25,000 people with vaccinations within one month since the first vaccines were shipped for the general public.

“The fight against COVID-19 has been a difficult and long one, but SUNY campuses have remained steady each step of the way as the target has moved in beating back the pandemic,” said State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras in a statement. “I thank Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis and her leadership team for making this effort a priority, and for ensuring that Long Islanders have the protection they need to end this pandemic.”

The new SCCC site will add about 8,000 more vaccines as of this week. 

Paul Guttenberg, of Commack, is about to turn 52. As an EMT/driver for the Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps, he was able to get the vaccine and has already received both doses at the Long Island Ducks stadium through the Northwell Health program.

“I had no side effects other than a sore arm and was tired for about one day,” he said, adding it was the same for both times.

Guttenberg, who is a sales rep in field sales, said he would like to return to a normal work schedule. He is also looking forward to traveling again and seeing his family, including his parents who live in Cincinnati, Ohio, “without fear of getting others sick with COVID.” 

“What would make me happy is to see 80% or more of this country get vaccinated and put an end to this pandemic,” he said.

Tara Shobin, 45, of Smithtown, was able to get the vaccine because she’s a teacher. She received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine Feb. 6.

“I was lucky enough to have my cousin let me know that appointments were available at Nassau Community College which was only available to teachers,” Shobin said. 

The Smithtown resident said when she showed up for her Feb. 6 appointment, she waited no more than five minutes.

“As I was waiting, I was holding back tears because I finally could see an end to this horrible virus,” she said.

After getting the shot, Shobin was told to go to the waiting room for 15 minutes so she could be monitored. She said she felt fine until the next day but her reaction was mild.

“I had a very sore arm and a slight headache,” she said.

Shobin said she’s looking forward to life returning to normal and doing things with her family, which includes her husband and two children, such as going on vacation, visiting museums and socializing.

“It crushes me to see my children’s life hindered so much,” she said. “I try to help people get appointments if I can. I can’t wait to see this horrible virus behind us. Let’s crush this virus!”

County Steve Bellone announced Suffolk County's third mass vaccination site. Photo by Andrew Zucker

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) joined other elected officials on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Suffolk County Community College’s Selden campus to announce its new vaccine site.

The campus will be home to Suffolk County’s third mass vaccination site, and will administer some of the nearly 8,000 vaccines that were delivered to the state earlier this week. 

“The college is uniquely situated for this effort,” Bellone said. “These campuses are strategically located throughout the county on the west end, east end, and now in the middle of the county with the Selden campus.”

He added the Selden campus will focus on vaccinating those with comorbidities, municipal employees and Northwell Health employees.