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Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University’s head women’s basketball coach, Ashley Langford. Photo courtesy SBU

By Daniel Dunaief

Ashley Langford’s college basketball life is coming full circle.

This time, instead of dishing assists as a guard, she’ll be patrolling the sidelines as head coach.

After three successful years as head coach for Stony Brook University’s women’s basketball team, including the first ever postseason win in the WBIT, Langford is replacing the retiring Lisa Stockton, her former coach at Tulane University. Langford, who was a star guard from 2005 to 2009 at Tulane, will become the seventh head coach of the women’s team and the first African American to lead the team.

“I didn’t even think I’d be coaching,” said Langford in an interview from Tulane just hours after touching down in the Crescent City. Stockton “is the one during my senior year who thought I should start coaching. It’s ironic that I’m now taking over for her.”

In a wide ranging interview, Langford, who is Tulane’s career leader in assists, assists per game and minutes per game and was inducted into the school’s athletics Hall of Fame in 2018, reflected on the recent record-setting audiences for the women’s games in March Madness, her time at Stony Brook and her new opportunity as coach at Tulane.

March Madness

While Langford didn’t watch much of the tournament, as she prepared the Seawolves for their postseason games and was contemplating a move back to New Orleans, she did catch the Final Four.

At the end of a Final Four game watched by a record 14.2 million people between the University of Connecticut and Iowa, Connecticut was behind by one point with the ball and seconds left on the clock.

An official called a foul on a moving screen on Connecticut’s Aaliyah Edwards, who was blocking Iowa’s Gabbie Marshall. Numerous prominent basketball pundits thought the call was either incorrect or inappropriate.

“That call has been made all season long,” Langford said. “In my opinion, they call that a moving screen. It’s up to the ref making the best decision in that moment.”

Officials “aren’t supposed to make calls depending on the time of the game,” she added. “To me, they called that all season long.”

Langford thought a final between Iowa and South Carolina expected a more competitive game because she thought Iowa had a deeper team than Connecticut, a perennial powerhouse that had been dealing with injuries.

For the first time ever, the TV audience for the women’s final far outdid the men’s final, with a peak of 24 million viewers for the women’s game on Sunday compared to the 14.82 million for the men.

In the final, Langford was “looking for some good basketball” and thought it was exciting that South Carolina became only the 10th women’s team to finish the season without a loss.

Langford was rooting for the Gamecocks and their coach, Dawn Staley, who was also a standout player before joining the coaching ranks.

Staley has “been a great representative of black women,” Langford said.

Her SB legacy

As for her time at Stony Brook, Langford is pleased with how well the team came together and with the school’s winning culture, which she anticipates continuing.

“I told the team when I departed, ‘No one will be able to take that away from us. This team is etched in Stony Brook history,’” she said. “We have a great group of women who were great in the classroom and on the court. They were able to achieve a lot of success.”

Indeed, Stony Brook finished first in the Colonial Athletic Association, winning the conference with a record of 16-2 and an overall record of 28-5 in Langford’s final season as coach. The team went 13-1 on their home floor.

The Seawolves were one win away from entering March Madness, when they lost 68-60 in the conference championship game to Drexel.

“We played one of our worst games of the season on one of the most important days,” Langford recalled. “There’s shots that we normally make that we didn’t make and there’s shots that they made that they don’t normally make.”

Langford doesn’t want to take anything away from Drexel, as she recognized that they were “the better team that day.”

When she started at Stony Brook, she had several goals. She was thrilled that Gigi Gonzalez earned CAA Player of the Year honors for 2023-2024.

In guiding Stony Brook, Langford was voted 2023-2024 CAA Coach of the Year.

“The only thing that didn’t happen was that we didn’t go dancing” at March Madness, she added. She’s proud of everything the team accomplished.

Tulane approach

As for her start at Tulane, Langford plans to play an uptempo game, encouraging her players to score in the first seven seconds and average around 70 points per game, with about 15 to 20 points coming from transition baskets.

Langford believes games are won on the defensive end of the court.

In balancing between academics and athletics, Langford described her top job as helping the students on her team get a degree, which involves time management.

She encourages players to tap into the academic resources at the school and be proactive as student athletes.

As a head coach, she has learned to be patient.

“I realize I can’t get everything right away,” Langford said. “I’m going to need that patience again as I’m starting a new chapter.”

She needs to chip away each day until she’s helped build and shape the program into a conference champion. In the 2023-2024 season, the Tulane women’s team finished last in the conference, at 3-15, with a 12-20 overall record.

During each halftime, she focuses on statistics, encouraging her team to turn the ball over less or to focus on any rebounding disadvantage.

The game has changed since she played, with considerably more parity across teams. During her heyday as a guard, Tennessee and the University of Connecticut were the powerhouses.

Players are also more versatile, with post players who can shoot three pointers.

Settling back in at Tulane, she feels her most important role is getting to know her current players.

After recovering from a broken ankle earlier this year, she plans to get on the court and work with her players.

“I love getting on the court,” she said. “It’s fun for me.”

Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Stony Brook University men’s lacrosse team got back in the win column, picking up a decisive 13-8 victory over Drexel on April 6 at LaValle Stadium. Nick Dupuis (five assists) and Dylan Pallonetti (five goals) each tallied six points, while Jack Dougherty scored four times to propel the Seawolves to the win.

Will Danowski opened the scoring just over three minutes into the contest, scoring on an assist from Pallonetti. Drexel evened the score at 1-1 with a goal on the advantage. After the two sides traded another pair of goals back and forth, Stony Brook ripped off four straight tallies that spanned eight-plus minutes of second-quarter action.

The Dragons scored twice in the final 64 seconds of the first half, trimming the Seawolves lead to two goals, 6-4, heading into the half. Dougherty opened the second half on a heater, scoring three times to help Stony Brook jump out to a 9-6 lead. Pallonetti caught fire after Dougherty, scoring the final two goals of the third period to extend Stony Brook’s lead to 11-7. Pallonetti was responsible for the Seawolves’ two goals in the fourth quarter, helping Stony Brook close out a 13-8 victory over CAA foe Drexel.

“I’m pumped up for the guys. I thought the last two weeks, we’ve had our best weeks of practice,” head coach Anthony Gilardi said. “Opportunity to continue to compete and grind; we’ve got a long haul ahead of us here and we’re ready to keep getting better.”

Up next, the team returns to action on April 13 on the road at Delaware. The Seawolves and Blue Hens get going at noon on FloLive.

Views from the April 8 solar eclipse. Photo courtesy Andrew Young

By Samantha Rutt

The skies above treated Long Island residents to a mesmerizing display as a partial solar eclipse captivated onlookers on Monday, April 8. With eager eyes turned skyward at its peak around 3:30 p.m., many marveled at the four-minute celestial phenomenon, a sight last seen in 2017.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on our planet. On April 8, North Americans from Texas to Maine had the opportunity to witness the infrequent event, as the moon partially obscured the face of the sun, creating a spectacle for those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

For many, witnessing a solar eclipse serves as a reminder of the wonders of the universe and our place within it. 

Where were you during the eclipse? 

At TBR News Media’s East Setauket offices, staff gathered together in the parking lot to catch a glimpse of the moon in front of the sun. Some wore specialized solar viewing glasses — that met the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard — while others relied on alternative methods like pinhole projectors or indirect viewing methods used to observe the eclipse safely.

At Stony Brook University, students gathered in masses on the Staller steps and across campus equipped with eclipse glasses to view the event.

In Port Jefferson village, locals were seen having set picnic arrangements in Harborfront Park. In Three Village, people flocked to the shoreline, completely crowding West Meadow and Stony Brook beaches. 

While some gathered in droves outdoors, others keyed into the television streams as CBS News and NASA, among other platforms, live streamed the event. 

The last solar eclipse visible from Long Island occurred on Aug. 21, 2017, when a total solar eclipse swept across the United States.

While Monday’s eclipse was a partial one in our area and a total eclipse in other parts of the United States, it still captured the imagination of many and provided a unique opportunity for residents. Communities came together to share in the wonder of the celestial show — from backyard gatherings to organized viewing events like those offered at various Suffolk County parks — as residents of all ages savored the experience.

Looking ahead, Long Islanders can mark their calendars for the next solar eclipse visible from our region as New York is not expected to be in another path of totality until 2079. 

As this year’s eclipse drew to a close, the memories of the solar event will linger in the minds of our communities. Later, I wondered how the Native Americans who lived on Long Island centuries ago experienced a total eclipse.

New York Students for Mental Health Action Coalition head Vignesh Subramanian shaking hands with Robert Martinez, chief assistant to the Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine. Photo courtesy Vignesh Subramanian

By Aramis Khosronejad

Vignesh Subramanian, head of the New York Students for Mental Health Action Coalition, has been working determinedly toward his goal of implementing more diverse and improved suicide prevention acts in the state Legislature. 

Subramanian has been successful a few times already and has been following a certain plan: Rewriting and amending the Student Suicide Prevention Act that has already been implemented and established. Subramanian was hoping to follow this same course of action to augment suicide prevention laws to incorporate college students as well — currently, the SSPA of New York mainly focuses on K-12. 

This idea was well supported by many different colleges, several county officials and some state-level lawmakers. This fervent support was demonstrated through a rally that Subramanian was involved in organizing. At this event, student delegates from many Long Island universities such as Stony Brook, Hofstra, LIU and Adelphi were present to help push these changes to the SSPA to move forward.

A few lawmakers were also present, namely, Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) and state Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk). Subramanian also rallied the support of the SSPA’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Greenwich Village) as well as Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Morningside Heights). 

Despite all of this support, there was an unexpected obstacle that had to be resolved. 

Despite O’Donnell’s background in ardently and actively promoting such suicide prevention laws and their improvement, he and his office provided an unanticipated problem for Subramanian and the NYSMHA Coalition.

Since the Legislature is in session for a limited period, time is very precious. O’Donnell and his office have “been noncommittal about amending the SSPA and has not communicated with coalition leaders directly, frustrating student government leaders and partner advocates,” according to Subramanian.

In an interview, he admitted to being disappointed by O’Donnell’s inaction and explained that he believes O’Donnell “was concerned that amending the bill would lengthen the process the bill would have to take to reach passing.” Regardless, the whole conflict was “very unanticipated” and Subramanian and his colleagues scrambled for “alternative strategies.” 

Subramanian and his coalition were forced to adapt quickly to their new situation, so they had to take a new tactic. In contrast to the original plan, which was using the SSPA as a blueprint, Subramanian and his colleagues decided to create an entirely new bill called the College Student Suicide Prevention Act. 

The CSSPA would place emphasis on the importance of having a college-level suicide prevention law in place for students of higher education, maybe even more so than those from K-12. The bill has already been finalized and is being planned to be introduced in early April. 

The CSSPA is currently receiving support from Assembly Higher Education Chair Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) and state Sen. Lea Webb (D-Binghamton). 

Amid each obstacle, Subramanian said he “doesn’t plan to stop” his pursuit of suicide prevention legislation. He expressed his goal to continue his efforts to enact better suicide prevention laws for students of all fields and ages across a broader geographical scope. 

Stony Brook University: Fall on the Academic Mall. Photo by John Griffin/SBU

Stony Brook University has been named a “Tree Campus Higher Education Institution” for the eleventh consecutive year, recognizing the university’s efforts conducted during the 2023 calendar year, according to a press release on March 20. 

Tree Campus Higher Education, the national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities, and their leaders, for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

To obtain this distinction, Stony Brook University met the five core standards for effective campus forest management, including establishing a tree advisory committee, creating a campus tree care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for that campus tree program, observing Arbor Day, and sponsoring student-service learning projects. Last year, members of the Campus Operations & Maintenance team partnered with the Stony Brook Child Care Services Center to plant a seven-foot Ginkgo Biloba ‘The President’ tree.

Alaina Claeson, Horticulturist/Landscape Coordinator at Stony Brook University commented, “This recognition is owed to the support and hard work of our Campus Operations & Maintenance (COM) team and our student organizations across campus. Faculty, staff and students have all played an instrumental role in helping beautify many corners of our campuses this year. From the student-led vegetable garden behind the Student Activities Center to new plantings at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, our communal efforts towards sustainability and maintaining green spaces have provided our Seawolf community with spaces to relax, unwind and connect with nature.”

Since 2009, Stony Brook has planted hundreds of trees on campus — most of which were cultivated in the University’s own greenhouses — through a robust planting program designed to manage the University’s tree care and beautify the campus. In addition to planting trees each year, the horticultural team grows an average of 10,000-15,000 annual plants that help adorn the campus from commencement through the fall season. The COM staff also helps plant and maintain all landscapes across Stony Brook’s campuses throughout the year. 

Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

No. 14 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse scored the game’s first 16 goals en route to a dominating 21-3 victory over Campbell at LaValle Stadium on March 24.

 The Seawolves moved to 8-2 (3-0 CAA) in their first 10 games while Campbell dropped to 3-7 (0-3 CAA).

 Stony Brook was led Kailyn Hart with five goals, and the graduate student added two assists for seven points. Classmate Alex Finn set a career high with eight assists, while graduate student Jolie Creo added three. Classmates Morgan Mitchell and Charlotte Verhulst each had hat tricks while senior Jaden Hampel and sophomore Alexandra Fusco each scored twice.

 The defense was led by graduate student Kira Accettella and junior Avery Hines with two caused turnovers, while five others caused one. Stony Brook got two ground balls each from Hines, Verhulst and senior Clare Levy. Four different goalkeepers played on the afternoon, with senior Aaliyah Jones making four saves without a goal against in her first career start. Sophomore Francesca Viteritti also made four stops on the afternoon while freshman Hannah Hudson made two saves.

In the draw circle, Stony Brook was led by Levy with five draw controls, while Charlotte Verhulst added four and Hampel and freshman Isabella Caporuscio each added two.

Lexi Goff scored twice for the Camels while Mattie Riter added the other tally.

The Seawolves scored all 10 goals in the first quarter, with three coming from Mitchell and two each from Fusco and Verhulst. Finn dished out five assists in the first quarter alone. Hart scored four of Stony Brook’s five goals in the second quarter, extending the lead to 15-0 at halftime. Aaliyah Jones kept the game scoreless with two saves in each of the first and second quarters. Hampel and Millen each scored in the third, as Stony Brook carried a 17-2 lead into the fourth. Viteritti made four saves in the third period on a .667 save percentage.

Four different players scored in the fourth, with three goals coming from freshmen, as Stony Brook extended the lead as big as 21-2.

Up next, the team wraps up the month with a matchup at Monmouth on March 29, with first draw against the Hawks scheduled for 1 p.m. on FloLive. 

Catcher Chris Leone congratulates pitcher JT Raab after Sunday's game. Photo courtesy of Stony Brook Athletics

Junior Matt Miceli racked up four hits to help power the Stony Brook Seawolves baseball team over the William & Mary Tribe 12-3 on March 24, earning their first CAA victory of the season. 

Junior JT Raab (1-0) started on the mound and picked up the win for Stony Brook (10-12, 1-2 CAA). The right-hander went seven innings, giving up three runs, all of them earned, on seven hits, allowing one walk and striking out seven. Junior Colton Book also made an impact on the mound for the Seawolves, throwing two shutout innings while allowing no hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.

In addition to his four hits, Miceli had four RBI to lead the Seawolves. Senior Cam Santerre compiled a noteworthy performance at the plate as well, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and two RBI. Senior Matt Brown-Eiring also contributed for Stony Brook, putting together two hits in six trips to the plate while adding a double and an RBI.

The Seawolves got on the board immediately, starting their scoring in the top of the first inning. Stony Brook scored two runs in the frame, highlighted by a two-RBI double from Santerre. 

Stony Brook kept the pressure on by tallying two runs in the next inning. Senior Matt Brown-Eiring tallied an RBI double, while graduate Brett Paulsen had an RBI-knock.

After stranding two runners in the first inning, W&M scored two runs in the second inning off Raab to push the score to 4-2.

The squad scored two runs in the third and and one in the fourth, taking a 7-2 advantage. Freshman Eric Paulsen and Miceli knocked in the runs for the Seawolves. The Tribe answered back in the fifth inning by scoring a run on a sac-fly. 

After Miceli reached on a fielder’s-choice that brought home Nicholas Solorzano in the sixth, Raab sat down the Tribe in order for the sixth inning. 

The Seawovles tallied another run in the seventh and two in the ninth to secure the 12-3 victory. Brown-Eiring would score on an error in the seventh, while Carson and Miceli had RBI-knocks in the ninth inning. 

Book finished the final 2.0 innings of the game by striking out two batters and not allowing a hit. 

Up next, the team hosts College of St. Charleston on March 29 at Joe Nathan Field. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.

Stony Brook University Hospital launches meal-ordering app. Photo courtesy Stony Brook Medicine/Rob Tannenbaum

By Daniel Dunaief

From soup to nuts – along with pictures and descriptions – patients at Stony Brook University Hospital can use a new mobile app to order meals during their stays that are consistent with medical advice and that is sensitive to their diets.

With this app, patients can choose the times they want meals, within the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule, and the specific foods that suit their interests and restrictions.

The response among patients at the hospital, which serves more than 1,500 patient meals a day, has been “very positive,” said Nicole Rossol, Chief Patient Experience Officer at Stony Brook University Hospital. “It’s giving patients more day-to-day control in a hospital setting.”

That empowers patients who can otherwise be confined to their rooms or to the hospital as medical staff monitors their health and brings them for a variety of tests.

The cbord patient app, which allows patients to order food for the same or the next day, provides choices that are consistent with the approach the hospital takes as a part of a patient’s care. Additionally, the app can adjust for a range of allergies and patient dietary needs.

Once patients create a dietary profile, the app can filter food options that include halal, kosher, gluten-restricted, vegetarian, cardiac, carbohydrate-controlled and more.

The app “is not replacing anything,” said Kathleen Logsdon Carrozza, Assistant Director of Food and Retail Services and Registered Dietitian at the Faculty Student Association of Stony Brook University Hospital. “It gives patients another option.” Patients who are tech savvy can use their own mobile devices to order food or, on some floors, they can use a shared mobile device.

Those who prefer can still order food through a call center or by speaking with a dining service worker.

At this point, the hospital has about 45 patients who are using the app, said Alexandra Bush, Nutrition Software Systems Administrator at the Faculty Student Association of Stony Brook University.

App origin

About a year ago, members of SBU attended a conference where they learned about this way of ordering food as an option.

“We wanted to do something that was user friendly,” said Logsdon. “The administration was on board.”

Each food and drink option includes a photograph, which gives patients a chance to consider their choices the way they might at a restaurant.

Last summer, two Stony Brook University students took pictures of each item.

At this point, the app is only available in English, although the hospital has interpreters who can help with patient needs and answer questions.

The app is evolving on almost a daily basis. Bush, who receives daily post it notes with suggestions, recently received a request from a pediatric nurse to add pasta with butter, which is now on the menu.

While the hospital doesn’t have the equivalent of a Yelp review for each dish, volunteers solicit feedback from patients from survey data.

In putting together the menu and developing the app, Stony Brook received considerable guidance from a patient and family advisory council, who teamed up with Logsdon and Bush. The app can be accessed on any app store compatible with Apple and Andriod products.

The council “helped with the education that would be going out to patients,” said Rossol. “It’s really important that we have patients that partner with us to make some of these changes and decisions. They gave us great input and feedback.”

The ability to order meals at a particular time allows patients to dine with their visitors.

“This enables us to offer things to patients in a way we haven’t been able to do in the past,” said Rossol.

By ordering food that better suit patient tastes and interests, the hospital can also reduce the amount of food it discards at waste.

When patients order food at a time when they are out of the room for medical testing, the hospital staff can update the dining crew and revise the schedule.

The person delivering the meal can speak with the nursing staff, who can advise them to hold the food or to repeat the order at a later time, depending on the length of any schedule change.

“We’re looking at ways to enhance the patient experience using technology,” said Rossol. “We are really trying to make the experience the best it can be.”

Prepared by Samantha Rutt

Miracles happen. 

These words were often repeated during Brooke Ellison’s Celebration of Life on March 24.

Friends, family and loved ones came together to celebrate the remarkable life of Brooke Ellison, a woman whose resilience and determination inspired countless others. The room was filled with laughter, tears and fond memories during the three-hour celebration. 

Brooke’s journey, from a devastating childhood accident to becoming a beacon of hope and achievement, was the epitome of courage and determination. Despite being paralyzed from the neck down at the tender age of 11, Brooke refused to let her circumstances define her. Instead, she embarked on a journey that would see her break barriers and defy expectations at every turn.

The celebration, held at Stony Brook University’s student center, was a testament to the profound impact Brooke had on the lives of those around her. As attendees shared stories and memories, it became evident that Brooke’s spirit shone bright in every corner of the room.

“I personally do not have any memories of my life without my sister. She was born when I was 2 1/2 years old and she was the greatest gift that had been given to me by my parents,” Brooke’s sister, Kysten Ellison, said.

She exchanged fond memories of her sister growing up, sharing young Brooke’s aspirations to be a dancer and her love of dancing.

“Every single night, my dad would routinely sit between both of our beds and read us our favorite bedtime stories. After my dad finished his nightly reading and went to bed, Brooke and I would continue to chat,” she added. “We would talk about our future hopes and dreams and what we wanted to be when we grew up. And, ironically, my sister always wanted to be a dancer. She wanted to share her love of dancing with the entire world.”

Brooke’s brother, Reed Ellison, echoed this sentiment, recalling their deep bond and shared love for games and intellectual pursuits.

“Brooke was my best friend,” he said. “When other kids were out partying or at friends’ houses, Brooke and I stayed home and challenged each other to games of Scrabble or worked on logic problems, or crossword puzzles together. These are some of the best memories I have and I will cherish them forever.” 

Friends and family reminisced about Brooke’s vibrant personality, her love for themed parties and her infectious yet nearly silent laughter that could brighten even the darkest of days. Photos of Brooke, flashing her trademark smile, adorned the venue, serving as a poignant reminder of her enduring spirit.

Brooke’s legacy extended far beyond her personal achievements. As an advocate for stem cell research and disability rights, she paved the way for others to follow in her footsteps. Throughout her life Brooke pursued many things: She was a Harvard graduate twice over, an associate professor at Stony Brook, a researcher, a leader of various groups like the Inclusion in Innovation team in the Vertically Integrated Projects Program, a founder of SBU’s VENTure Think Tank, a selection for the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, once a state Senate candidate and so much more. 

Her friendship with actor Christopher Reeve, himself a quadriplegic, underscored her impact on a global scale. Her sister shared her experience, watching her son, Carter, grow close to Brooke through their common love for comics and superheroes, especially Superman.

“My sister meant the world to a special little boy. This sweet little boy idolized my sister like nobody else on this planet. He liked everything that Brooke liked,” Kysten expressed about her son’s relationship with “Aunt Brookie” who was “hands down and always will be Carter’s favorite person, and we will continue to brag about her as time goes by.”

“After learning that Brooke was friends with Christopher Reeve, Carter became obsessed with watching clips from the Superman movies. As a matter of fact, Reed had recently purchased Carter a Superman costume that he put on every day when he got home from school and pretend to fly around the house,” she said.

The celebration also featured Brooke’s father, Ed Ellison, nicknamed “Steady Eddy” for his unwavering support of the relationship of Brooke and his wife, Jean.

Behind each speaker a photo stood as a backdrop. As Brooke’s father spoke, a photo of him smiling wide was projected with him playing with his daughter’s braided hair as she laughed with vigor. 

“People often use the phrase 24/7 to describe efforts being made on something or time spent with someone. In most cases, it’s really hyperbole — but with Brooke, Jean and her relationship and dedication to Brooke — 24/7 was not an exaggeration,” he said. “They were inseparable. Almost one person. Jean would describe it as ‘Brooke is the brains, I’m the brawn.’”

The proud father described what dedication looked like for the Ellison family, more specifically, for his wife.

“Jean would get up at 3:45 every morning and go to work getting Brooke ready for the day. And when I tell you, she never complained, you need to know that to be the truth. I know, I was there,” he said.

“In 33 1/2 years [since the accident], Jean never took a sick day, never went on vacation, never put herself before Brooke. A dedication and love that was so beautiful to be a part of. And Brooke’s admiration and gratitude to her mother was palpable,” her father added.

Among all the heartfelt tributes, a short film made by a friend of Brooke’s father, Todd Leatherman, showcased Brooke’s remarkable journey. The film shared testimonials from Brooke herself, clips from her experiences speaking at various events and coveted moments from her life.

As the celebration drew to a close, there was a sense of both loss and gratitude in the air. In true Brooke fashion, the guests were asked to sing themselves out to “That’s What Friends Are For,” as a tribute to her love of sharing life with others. 

Event emcee and longtime friend, Justin Krebs, shared an excerpt from Brooke’s autobiography, “Look Both Ways.” “My life story is a love story. My life is a life of love and it is this love that makes me who I am,” Krebs read. As Brooke goes on to write, she describes her loves, “her love of laughter, her love of learning, her love of being an inspiration to others for loving her friends, and her love of family.” She also writes that “one of the biggest gifts I have been given is my ability to share my life with people.” 

Brooke Ellison passed away on Feb. 4, in the care of Stony Brook University Hospital. While Brooke may no longer be with us in body, her legacy of courage, determination and boundless optimism will forever remain etched in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing her.

In honor of Brooke’s impact and legacy, Stony Brook University has created a scholarship, the Brooke Ellison Legacy Scholarship. To contribute, send a gift to the Stony Brook Foundation at www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/foundation/types.

Stony Brook University: Entrance sign

Stony Brook University recently announced the launch of the Pre-College Summer Program, a new residential summer program for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The Pre-College Summer Program is a week-long program that offers high school students the opportunity to engage in the campus experience, take courses, participate in workshops, and access resources across campus, including bridging connections with Stony Brook faculty and industry experts. Throughout the program, students will connect with like-minded program participants, while learning to transition to college life.

“There is a rich history at Stony Brook of outstanding rigorous summer programming aimed at high school students,” said Peter Diplock, vice provost for Continuing, Professional, and Executive Education. “We are thrilled to be able to extend those opportunities and make them available to in-state and out-of-state high school students looking for a residential academic program experience.”

Participating students can take courses, led by Stony Brook faculty, in topics ranging from biomedical informatics to multimedia journalism to sustainability all while living on the Stony Brook campus. Students also have the opportunity to participate in recreational activities held on campus. In addition, the program is supplemented by participation in college readiness workshops.

“I am beyond excited to kick off the Pre-College Summer Program at Stony Brook University this year. Participants can expect to make memories that will last a lifetime. They’ll get first-hand experience in subjects that they’re passionate about with the support from SBU Faculty,” said Breanne Delligatti, director of the Pre-Summer College Program. “Beyond the classroom, they’ll make friendships and connections with peers who share their interests and ambitions. Plus, they’ll get a taste of college life on Stony Brook’s beautiful campus.”

Courses will be held across three sessions throughout the month of July, beginning on July 7.

Participants who register before April 1 will receive a cost savings of $100 and interested applicants can apply through May 15. The application process involves submitting the applicant’s high school transcript, a reference, a short essay, and a $45 application fee. A limited number of scholarships are also available for need-based applicants to offset the cost of the program.

Learn more about the Pre-College Summer Program at stonybrook.edu/precollege-summer.