SBU presents 2nd annual Women’s Symposium

SBU presents 2nd annual Women’s Symposium

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Keynote speaker Tonjanita Johnson, above. Photo from SBU

By Karen Jillian

Last year’s Stony Brook University Women’s Symposium encouraged Stony Brook faculty to increase women’s empowerment, professional development and self-improvement. It was overwhelmingly popular, so much so that this vision of organizer Patricia Aceves is being held again on March 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The testimonials given after last year’s symposium were overwhelming:

“I learned the power of the campus network . . .”

“. . . as women leaders, we can be collaborative and competitive.”

“A very worthwhile investment of my time into my professional development. Probably the best conference/symposium that I have been to in the past 5 years.”

This year’s event has an advance 350 ticket holders from all walks of life and more are expected. “We expected Stony Brook faculty [to attend] but were literally begged by everyone in entry level positions to senior administration. Everyone from payroll clerks to nurses, researchers, have a common need to develop professionally and self-improve,” said Aceves in a recent interview.

Keynote speakers this year are Jessica Bacal, director of the Wurtele Center for Work & Life and author of ‘Mistakes I Made at Work” and Tonjanita Johnson, vice president for communications and marketing of the  University of Tennessee System. These two speakers will lead the symposium in a day filled with inspiration and conversation for women looking to further their professional careers. The empowering one-day fair will consist of over 24 workshops and leaders from our very own community.

One of those leaders is Kara Hahn, majority leader of the Democratic Caucus representing Suffolk County’s 5th District and The Village Times Herald’s 2009 Civic Woman of the Year, as well as a county legislator (D-Setauket).  Hahn will lead a discussion on Branding Yourself as a Leader: “While this segment will focus primarily on communications in the realm of politics and government, the skills highlighted during the forum are transferable to all aspects of public outreach.” 

“I am thrilled to speak to students at SBU. I have spoken there numerous times before and it is rewarding to help, motivate and encourage students,” said Hahn in a recent email.

Maria Frey, president and founder of Executive Consultants of New York, will present a workshop titled Networking Through LinkedIn. “You don’t have to spend money to advertise your goods or offerings. What you have to focus on today, more than ever, is on cultivating relationships,” stated Frey in an email.

Keynote speaker Jessica Bacal, above. Photo from SBU
Keynote speaker Jessica Bacal, above. Photo from SBU

Lisa Albinowski from the Suffolk County Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition will speak on helping yourself and others to succeed, Randi Busse from Workforce Development Group will present a workshop titled Rant and Rave in the Workplace, Rhonda Klch from Equity First will speak on how success is not always about money and Rosemarie Kluepful, the New York community liaison for the Fairway Foundation and motivational speaker/writer will speak about bullying in the workplace. An anti-bullying song, written by Kluepful, will be performed by Katie Zimmer.

Brian A. Cohen, who will introduce these women at the event from the Long Island Speakers Bureau, will also deliver a presentation on Making Networking Work for You.

With the financial assistance of The Brookhaven Science Associates, ACE  Women’s Network of NY, Scott Sanders Realty and Christine Geronimo, DDS, SBU is opening its arms and welcoming the community women with their goals and development.

The second annual Stony Brook University Women’s Symposium will be held in the Student Activities Center Ballrooms A & B. Admission is $25 for Stony Brook employees, $50 for community members and alumni and will include a continental breakfast, luncheon and door prizes, breakout sessions, networking opportunities and a book signing. For more information or to register, call 631-632-2780 or visit