Students Recognized at Career Center Awards Ceremony

The Stony Brook University Career Center hosted its annual Student Employee, Intern and Community Service Awards Ceremony on April 10. In Ballroom A of the Student Activities Center, students and supervisors who work on campus, participate in internships, and/or volunteer in the community gathered to be honored for their hard work and dedication.

Michelle Hassman, the Career Center’s student employment manager, and Sylvia Johnson, an area office manager for Campus Residences, delivered a warm welcome to the audience. After thanking everyone for attending the event, it was time to kick off the awards by giving the spotlight to the student award winners. 

The Undergraduate Student Employee Award for Community Service went to both Nicole Diaz (Faculty Student Association) and Elizabeth Argiro (Biomedical Engineering). 

“Do not hesitate to ask questions and share your opinions fearlessly,” attendees were urged by Diaz, a senior majoring in business management, who works as the executive administrative assistant with FSA. “Being a student doesn’t diminish the value of your ideas; in fact, it provides a new perspective within our group. Your contributions contribute to a broader and more inclusive dialogue.”

Kathryn McCombs was one of two graduate students awarded the Graduate Student Employee of the Year Award for demonstrating impeccable qualities, going above and beyond expectations. 

Career center awards 24 mccombs
Kathryn McCombs of New Student and Transition Programs was one of two winners of the Graduate Student Employee of the Year Award.

“My favorite memories in this office have to be seeing my students achieve their goals,” McCombs said, speaking on her time as the New Student and Transition Programs graduate coordinator. She expressed how she would always remember the impact she had on students, “watching them get their acceptance emails to graduate school, being accepted into other amazing programs and positions, and overall seeing them succeed.”

One of the final awards was presented to Sila Gecir for Excellence in Teamwork. Gecir is a graduate student intern for the Career Center, where she has worked on and completed numerous projects.

Gecir says she was supported the most by her supervisor, Senior Alumni Career Coach Marie Parziale, who Gecir considers “one of the most amazing, genuine, and compassionate souls that I have had the pleasure of meeting.” Gecir continued, “When I returned to the Career Center as a graduate intern after a two-year gap, I was nervous about starting back at the Career Center. But Marie? She saw something in me that I couldn’t see just yet in myself.” 

The full list of winners for the 2024 awards is as follows:

Excellence in Community Service Award
Nicole Diaz, FSA
Elizabeth Argiro, Biomedical Engineering

Critical Thinking Award
Prachi Swar, Career Center

Diversity and Inclusion
Hayden Lieb, Academic Success and Tutoring Center 

Technology and Innovation
Devin Zhang, Center for Prevention and Outreach

Karim Younus, Campus Life Centers

Graduate Student Employee of the Year Award
Kathryn McCombs, New Student & Transition Programs
Xander Barron, Campus Residences

Intern of the Year Award
Isabella Marino, Psychology

Excellence in Teamwork Award
Sila Gecir, Career Center

Excellence in Creativity & Innovation Award
Rebecca Chen, Career Center

Community Impact
Lacey Kaufer, Health Science

Supervisor of the Year Award
Marie Parziale, Career Center
Kelly Haller, Department of Sociology

— Melanie Karniewich ’25

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