Meet the 2014-2015 SSO Fellows!

Name: 
Denisse Antonio
Major: 
Respiratory Care
Hometown: 
Hempstead, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Take a chance! Try doing activities you never would have thought of doing, you just never know how much you might like it. Balance the academics and the social life. Make college the best experience and create memories. You can do this!
Hobbies/Interests: 
I am an EOP student. I am part of the EOP Student Association (EOPSA)
Name: 
Nadia Bahadur
Major: 
Marine Science
Hometown: 
Richmond Hill
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Stony Brook is a great campus to get involved in various activities. There are an unlimited amount of clubs, programs and sports that should gauge your interest. Make use of all the resources and be a part of things that resonate with you.
Hobbies/Interests: 
In addition to being a fellow I conduct research in the School of Marine Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) on marine protists. I look through the genome of these fascinating organisms to see what functions they have by identifying their proteins. I presented at the Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (URECA) poster session this past Spring. Feel free to talk to me about getting involved with research.
Name: 
Jenniffer Barco
Major: 
Health Science
Hometown: 
Corona, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
My main advice for incoming freshmen is to take classes seriously from the beginning. If you start to struggle with a class, be proactive and find a tutor. There are so many different resources on campus, therefore you should use them. Most importantly is that if things don’t work out the way you would want to, to just keep on working, 110% or even more. Even if it takes time, all the hard work will pay off and you will receive that A grade in the end.
Hobbies/Interests: 
I love Stony Brook because you can do everything. I am an RHA senator and also participate in hall council every week. Being in RHA has been an awesome experience because I get to hear the concerns as well as activities plan for the semester. My hobbies include singing and reading romantic novels. I love singing ever since I was a little girl so I can't wait to participate in Stony Brook Idol. I plan to join more clubs that I am passionate about as well. Hopefully next semester is even better!
Name: 
Stephanie Chan
Major: 
English
Hometown: 
Astoria, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Don't be afraid to attend office hours!
Hobbies/Interests: 
Reading, creative writing, blogging, eating
Name: 
H Choi
Major: 
Health Science
Hometown: 
Rockland
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Do not procrastinate.
Hobbies/Interests: 
Cooking/Baking, Tae Kwon Do
Name: 
Lyndsey Cooper
Major: 
Marine Science
Hometown: 
Staten Island, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Do things that your future self will thank you for. Do a little bit of work every day rather than waiting last minute and overloading yourself. Also, be friendly and talk to people! You never know who you'll run into and what interests you may share.
Hobbies/Interests: 
I am on the executive board of my building's Hall Council, an SSO fellow, and I volunteer at the greenhouse on campus.
Training Credentials: 
Public Speaking 101, Safe Space Foundations
Name: 
Josh Farber
Major: 
Atmospheric Science
Hometown: 
Warren, VT
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Get involved!! It's easy to make friends when you join a club or two that interests you. If you live on campus, definitely go to your building's hall council Tuesday nights at 10, and you'll meet some new faces that live right down the hall from you! It's easy to meet people, and all you have to do is get out of your room and meet them!
Hobbies/Interests: 
I'm a HUGE skier, so obviously winter is my favorite season. I founded the Stony Brook Ski & Snowboard Club this past semester, so be sure to join! Whether you're a first timer or can fly down a double diamond no sweat, you'll have a blast with us. Aside from that I'm super passionate about weather, and am extremely involved with the Meteorology Club with our weekly weather discussions and trips to regional events. In addition I'm on my Hall Council E-board, and love to help plan events to bring our residence hall community together.
Name: 
Magan Farraj
Major: 
Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Hometown: 
Yonkers, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Try your hardest to find the balance between your social and academic lives. Make sure you are studying hard and focussing on your classes. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help. And have fun.
Hobbies/Interests: 
Home Coming, Rec Center, Staller Steps
Name: 
Sarah Gebhard
Major: 
Biology
Hometown: 
Saratoga Springs, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Stony Brook University is an enormous institution and it is easy to get overwhelmed. I encourage you all to take advantage of hall council as well as quad council. It is an easy way to get to know the people you live with and build a strong residential life. Also, don't be afraid to introduce yourself to anyone you have yet to meet. You never know, that person may become your closest, most valuable friend. Lastly, find at least one club that you genuinely enjoy being part of and stick with it. Gradually branch out from there as you discover other interests! I look forward to meeting all of you and hope you enjoy your start at this prestigious university. Good luck!
Hobbies/Interests: 
I am very active so you can usually find me at the campus recreation center. In terms of hobbies, I play the violin, irish dance, and alpine ski. I enjoy being part of the SBU student blood drive committee on campus and look forward to volunteering at the university hospital very soon.
Training Credentials: 
Red Watchband Training
Name: 
Maddie Gunasekera
Major: 
Biology
Hometown: 
Iselin, NJ
Advice for First-Year Students: 
My advice for first-year students is to make sure to build up connections with everyone you meet and to get involved. This will help you feel like you are more connected with the school and everyone around you. Another piece of advice is to make sure to manage your time well. Every minute that passes is valuable and wasting it will cause negative consequences. Never miss out on any opportunity that comes by!
Hobbies/Interests: 
I attend hall council every week and I am also involved in Stony Brook's Pep Band. In my free time, I like to play piano, flute, guitar and sing. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and wasting time on Tumblr. Sometimes I like to catch up on my favorite television shows like Supernatural and The Fosters. When I have time, I also try and volunteer in my community. During rare occasions when I can watch movies, I enjoy watching horror movies and corny romance movies. Most of all, I love attending concerts.
Training Credentials: 
Red Watchband Training
Name: 
Yasmeen Hamami
Major: 
Biomedical Engineering
Minor: 
Writing and Rhetoric
Hometown: 
Brooklyn
Advice for First-Year Students: 
The most important piece of advice I would give to first-year students would be to make sure to stay on track with assignments and study for tests accordingly without procrastination, but after midterms or finals are over, there should be a day or two of much-needed relaxation.
Hobbies/Interests: 
I enjoy reading, drawing, producing music independently. I am part of BME Society, Neuroscience Club, Dumbledore's Army, and The Statesman. Additionally, I appreciate our Campus Recreation Center because there are a variety of intramural sports/activities and opportunities to get a great workout.
Name: 
Humza Jamil
Major: 
Biochemistry, Pre-Med Track
Minor: 
Political Science
Hometown: 
White Plains, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
My advice for incoming freshmen is to not be afraid to take risks. Many people, including myself, keep to themselves during the first year due to fearing that they might mess up, or to not risk their grades. I believe that if you make an effort to join clubs and find new people to socialize, Stony Brook will feel more like a home than a school to you. On that note, get to know your room/suitemates, talk to the other people in your classes more, and who knows, you might make some great friends.
Hobbies/Interests: 
My hobbies are video games, singing, anime and mystery novels. On campus, I enjoy finding new places to explore, and meeting new people through clubs and organizations.I often frequent Gamer's Guild and go to hall council as often as I can.
Name: 
Fiqry Kleib
Major: 
Biochemistry
Minor: 
Music (Jazz)
Hometown: 
Forest Hills
Advice for First-Year Students: 
My advice to First-Year Students is to become involved with campus but not too involved. Make sure that the moment you step through these doors, you are able to manage your time and classes and then attend programs or clubs that may correlate with your interest. Stony Brook University could either be very dull and the bane of your life or become your second home, so make sure to responsibly (don't overwork yourself) become involved with Stony Brook University. BE AMBITIOUS! but not too much...
Hobbies/Interests: 
I love playing the drums, playing sports, and the occasional dancing. I like to work out especially for leg day because the number 1 rule: Never skip leg day. I am the treasurer of the SSO Quad Council, I am the public relations officer of the Hendrix Hall Council, I am a member of the Phi Delta Epsilon international Medical Fraternity, a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of the Sigma Beta Honor Society. And hopefully, sometime in my college career, I'll be able to add break dancing and parkour to those list of hobbies.
Name: 
Cole Lee
Major: 
Political Science
Minor: 
Writing
Hometown: 
Staten Island
Advice for First-Year Students: 
My advice would be to get involved in the things that interest you. Stony Brook has tons of clubs and organizations that provide students the opportunity to pursue their interests. If you like to dance, go join one of the dance teams. If you like to talk and argue, join the Speech & Debate society. If you like writing, join one of the student run newspapers. Getting involved made me feel like Stony Brook was my home, and a place where I can take pride in. I encourage all first year students to do the same. Not only is it a way to have fun, you get to meet some awesome people along the way.
Hobbies/Interests: 
Some of my hobbies include eating, lifting things up and putting them down, singing badly in the shower, and of course ball is life.
Name: 
Joe Manzella
Major: 
Biology
Hometown: 
Holtsville, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Don't stress yourself out, though this isn't high school anymore, don't think of it as work, work, work. If you forget to have fun, especially in your freshmen year, your experience here will be lack luster. The key to happiness in college is finding your own personal balance of time between work and play. Get involved on campus, start looking for positions you'd want to apply to, visit your professors office hours, get your name out there, it'll make you feel much more comfortable and at home. Above all, DON'T be afraid to ask questions, there are no stupid questions. Leaving yourself in the dark will only hurt your chance of success in college. Make friends, branch out, and enjoy your time here .
Hobbies/Interests: 
Pre-Dental Society, RA in Gershwin starting this fall
Training Credentials: 
Red Watchband Training
Name: 
Kim Moonsammy
Major: 
Geology
Minor: 
Environmental Studies
Hometown: 
Hollis, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
The first semester for First-Year students might become incredibly stressful at times, but use the stress to your advantage! Stay positive about what you go through, because everything you do, now and beyond college, is a learning experience that will make you stronger.
Hobbies/Interests: 
On campus, I'm a member of Geology club and I love trying out classes at the Rec Center, like yoga and tai chi. I love to hike and bike casually, as well as knitting, cooking, and drawing in my free time.
Name: 
Joshua Seobarran
Major: 
Psychology and Applied Mathematics & Statistics
Minor: 
Chemistry
Hometown: 
Jamaica, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
I love to play video games, and I love to troll people. Playing sports and going to the gym are some of my favorite hobbies along with chilling at Staller. Currently, I am Vice President of the SSO Quad Council, Events Coordinator in Hendrix College, an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, and of course, a College Fellow ! I love to give advice to people so don't be shy to approach me !
Hobbies/Interests: 
My advice for First-Year Students is to be yourself. Follow the dream you have for yourself and do not be afraid of failure. Sure, we may hit bumps in our college career, but it's all a learning experience. Treat every fall as an opportunity to get back up and don't be shy to open up in college. There are lots of wonderful people and experiences ahead during your college career and don't let anyone stop you from pursuing what you really want. Try new experiences because college is a time of discovery; You will find yourself with time. And time, just goes by way too fast. Use it wisely and make every second count.
Training Credentials: 
Red Watchband Training, Safe Space Foundations, QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training, Sexual Violence on Campus
Name: 
Tom Stransky
Major: 
Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: 
Mastic Beach, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Find your correct balance of studying, occupying ALL of your time with just class work won't get you the grades you want but procrastinating won't either. Also, try to get involved in activities on campus or you might regret missing out on them. If you feel shy, get a friend to come with you to feel more comfortable
Hobbies/Interests: 
Humans vs Zombies, Video Games, Playing Saxophone, Gershwin College Hall Council
Name: 
Rena Thomas
Major: 
Journalism
Hometown: 
Syosset, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Get involved as early as possible and keep track of your where you have to be and when.
Hobbies/Interests: 
Residence Hall Association, Hall Council
Name: 
Irina Timofeyev
Major: 
Respiratory Care
Hometown: 
Brooklyn, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Hall Council, PUSO Ballroom, Stony Brook Ski and Snowboard Club
Hobbies/Interests: 
Stay focused, enjoy class, go explore, participate, and enjoy the next four years!
Training Credentials: 
Red Watchband Training
Name: 
Sally Yu
Major: 
Undeclared
Hometown: 
Brooklyn, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
It's easy to get distracted but don't get distracted! Try to be ahead on your assignments; that way, you can have extra time to yourself which you can use to relax or maybe even study more.
Hobbies/Interests: 
I like to play video games and I love reading. I especially love to write. I also like watching anime and reading manga. I love animals so I am involved in the Pre-Vet Society on campus. I like to go to campus events as well.
Name: 
Suzy Zhang
Major: 
Chemistry
Hometown: 
Cooperstown, NY
Advice for First-Year Students: 
Get Involved ASAP! There is always something going on on campus, you just have to look for it. Don't be afraid to speak up and talk to people and professors; you can make a lot of friends this way. Keep yourself busy, especially if you get homesick; from personal experience, I know that it takes your mind off of things. The workload and difficulty of exams is so much more than high school; pay attention in class (more importantly, go to class) and start studying (at least) a week before exams!
Hobbies/Interests: 
Drawing, Going to the Campus Recreation Center, Volleyball (on the court in Roth Quad), Long-boarding, Running, Badminton
Training Credentials: 
Red Watchband Training