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Annual Student Leadership Conference

-- Sunday, February 16th, 2014--

11:00am - 4:00pm

Seymour College Union

Meet the Alums...

Donald Bartalo, Class of 1964


Donald Bartalo is the founder and CEO of Unity - Instructional Leadership Development & Coaching with over 35 years of significant experience working with instructional leaders across the country. He is currently the instructional analyst and coach in a Rochester inner-city school for boys in grades 7-11. Mr. Bartalo received his B.S. in Education (1964) and his Masters in Educational Administration (1968) from the College at Brockport with advanced study from the University of Rochester. He has been a teacher, teacher leader, assistant principal, principal, superintendent of schools, and educational consultant specializing in literacy and instructional leadership. He is the author of Closing the Teaching Gap: Coaching for Instructional Leaders (2012, Corwin Press). Mr. Bartalo is very active as an actor in community theatre in Rochester.

Jay Berger, Class of 1978


After graduating with a degree in Communications, Jay fell into Technology Recruiting through a contact with a friend. Little did he know that he would stay in the field forever. He worked for a firm for 8 years and then in 1986 at the age of 31, opened his own search firm. He has been Founder, President, Manager, Trainer, Mentor as well as continuing to work with clients conducting searches, recruiting and counseling job seekers. Along the way, he has been on TV, radio, written articles, been an expert witness and spoken at conferences but has always been more of a doer, than a self promoter. When not working, Jay is a runner, with two half marathons on his schedule each year. He also loves his gardens, both in and outdoors.

Materials from Jay's Session

Lauren Burdett, Class of 2010

Lauren Burdett graduated from Brockport in 2010 with a bachelors degree cum laude double major in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. She was awarded the Women and Gender Studies Student Leadership award for her class. After Brockport she applied to Social Work Masters programs and was excepted to Case Western Reserve University's Master's of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) program. Lauren was born with spina bifida and has first had knowledge of what it is to be a person living with a disability in today's society. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career she has focused on issues that effect individuals with disabilities in our society. Lauren will be graduating this spring with her MSSA degree in direct practice with a concentration in health. As she embarks on her future career, Lauren looks forward to taking what she has learned in the classroom and applying it to real world practice and improve the lives of people with disabilities all over.

Bob Casullo, Class of 1973

Mr. Casullo was in the football coaching profession for 38 consecutive years. He has the unique distinction of coaching at all 3 levels of competition, high school, Division 1 college and NFL professional. Upon 1973 graduation from Brockport he coached for 12 years as an assistant and head coach at 2 Class AA Syracuse high schools, compiling a record of 105-15-2. -In 1985 he began his 17 year Division 1 coaching at 3 colleges, Syracuse University, Georgia Tech, and Michigan St. University. During this tenure he participated in 11 Major College Bowl games compiling a 9-1-1 record. In 2000 he began his NFL coaching career for the next 9 years with the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In this 9 year run he coached in 2 Super Bowls (37 and 40), 15 playoff games includin,g 2 AFC and 1 NFC championship games, 1 Pro Bowl and 1 Senior Bowl. Mr. Casullo is currently a motivational and leadership development speaker throughout the country.

Nick Catanzaro, Class of 2006


Nick is a 2006 Brockport alum and a member of the Brockport Alumni Association, Board of Directors. Nick currently serves as the Director of Federal Relations at The Washington Center (TWC) and has been with TWC for over five years.  Nick oversees the day-to-day operations of several federal partnerships and manages $17.1 million in federal contracts and grants.  Nick has works with federal agencies to develop strategic and specialized internship programs that help agencies recruitment efforts and develop hiring strategies to meet the needs of the government.

Jeff Crane, Class of 1974


Jeff Crane has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the West Irondequoit Central School District since November 1, 2003. Mr. Crane was appointed Superintendent from his position as Principal of Irondequoit High School (1997-2003). He also served as an administrator in the Victor District after a teaching and coaching career in the Brighton and Fairport Districts. Mr. Crane extends his support to student achievement as Governance Committee Chair of the Urban Suburban Interdistrict Transfer Program and Board of Directors Vice-Chair of the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Council.

Gary Crawford, Class of 1962

After graduating he taught and coached in Western New York. He completed a Masters and Certificate of Advanced Studies at Syracuse University in 1971. He retired from the Syracuse City School District in 1995 as the Administrator for H,PE and Athletics.Retirement experience includes: team building consultant to OCM BOCES and the State Ed. Dept.; Building Administration at 3 schools,Grant writer, Bd. Member of Syracuse Sports Corp. Currently, Master’s Throwing events (Discuss, Hammer) occupy much of his time as competitor and coach.

Chet Fery, Class of 1972


Chet Fery grew up in Buffalo NY, graduated from Bishop Ryan High School and continued his education in the SUNY College System. He worked as a teacher, counselor and school administrator for 33 years. He and his wife, Marina, reside in Brockport, NY. Bread Time Stories and More has become his passion and he devotes most of his time to this effort.

Jason Giaconia, Class of 2007

Jason Giaconia is a 2007 Brockport Alum. Jason currently serves as the Manager of Federal Contracts for the Federal Relations department since December 2011. Jason’s primary responsibilities include managing the logistics of Federal Contracts and administering the Federal Billing process. Furthermore, Jason also interacts with students on a daily basis and acts as the main point of contact for logistical concerns that students have. Jason manages the arrangements for student housing both in Washington and in regional locations. In addition, Jason is responsible for booking and coordinating student travel to their internship locations and acts as a point of contact for general student concerns.

Stephanie Fix, Class of 1989


Stephanie A. Fix, Staff Attorney at the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, is a graduate of the State University of New York at Brockport and Quinnipiac College School of Law in Connecticut. Prior to joining the Commission staff in 2006, she was in private practice focusing on civil litigation and professional liability in Manhattan and Rochester. She has served on the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA) Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee of the MCBA, and as a Trustee Liaison to the Environmental, Young Lawyers and Public Education Committees. Ms. Fix received the President’s Award for Professionalism from the Monroe County Bar Association in 2004 for her participation with the American Bar Association “Dialogue on Freedom” initiative. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Bishop Kearney High School. Ms. Fix is a member of the New York State Bar Association, MCBA, Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys (GRAWA) and Association of Disciplinary Counsel. Ms. Fix is a current member on the MCBA Professional Performance Committee, and a new board member of Stepping Stones, located in Irondequoit, New York. Ms. Fix is an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher College.

Amy McNulty, Class of 2002, 2004

Amy McNulty graduated from Brockport in 2002 with her Bachelor of Science and in 2004 with her Master of Science in Education. Amy currently is the Student Organization Coordinator at The College at Brockport. Through her role in Community Development, she seeks to provide resources, professional development and guidance to over 100 college affiliated student organizations, in addition to advising Fraternity & Sorority Life. She administers the myBROCKPORT Student Involvement Platform, which seeks to promote campus involvement in addition to recording students’ experiences and memberships through the new Co-Curricular Transcripts, myCCT.

Paul Nasri, Class of 2013

Paul was born in Brooklyn, NY. He attended The College at Brockport, SUNY and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. While at Brockport, Paul was involved in Residential Life as a Resident Assistant for 3 years. He took part in the Leadership Development program for 3 years and completed the Presidential Leadership Certificate program in his senior year. He currently attends the College of Staten Island, CUNY and is working on a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

Allen Plymale, Class of 1990

Allen Plymale is a 1990 Brockport graduate. He majored in International Studies and was commissioned as an Army Reserve officer through Brockport's ROTC program. Allen also served at Brockport as a Resident Assistant. Over the past 30 years Allen has served in a variety of positions with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Defense. Mr. Plymale has three children. He enjoys history, serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts, writing and the outdoors.

Ramon L. Rodriguez, Class of 2010


Ramon is a Financial Aid Specialist and Instructor of Transitional Studies at Monroe Community College. He previously served as Assistant Director of Financial Aid at the Connecticut State University System and the Connecticut Community College System. He received a B.S. degree in General Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey and a Master in Education in Educational Administration (2010) from The State University of New York College at Brockport. As a successful entrepreneur, he founded his real estate business, Strong Will Development, LLC. He has been actively involved in numerous community organizations, mostly in human services and Christian organization serving and leading on numerous boards and committees. He is also a well-respected inspirational speaker. His favorite topic is centered on his own life experiences and quote: “Palpate the opportunities to succeed on every situation and grab it!

Session Handbook Activities

Session Powerpoint

Andrew Russo, Class of 1993

Andrew graduated from Brockport in 1993 with a BS in political science. As a junior he studied at Brunel University in Uxbridge, England and as a senior he was elected President of BSG. He has worked for JPMorgan Chase since 1997, spent a year in their own Leadership Development Program, was once part of JPMorgan Capital Partners and currently holds a senior sales position in their mortgage business. His current role has enabled him to have hands on experience with the dramatic economic changes that have challenged the world since 2008. He forever remains grateful for his time at Brockport.

John Schrenker, Class of 1989, 1997

John Schrenker is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Healthcare Informatics Administration at Roberts Wesleyan College. He received a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Master of Public Administration from The State University of New York College at Brockport. He has been active in the area of information systems management for over twenty years, the past eight years focusing on the healthcare setting.  John is a Fellow of the Healthcare Information Management System Society (HIMSS), hold the CPHIMS certification and is currently serving as Chair of the HIMSS Distance Education Committee. He previously served as Chief Information Officer and HIPAA Privacy Officer at Lakeside Health System in Brockport, NY where he was responsible many successful clinical and business software implementations and process improvement projects.

Gerry Wenzke, Class of 1978

Upon graduating from SUNY Brockport in 1978, Gerry entered the insurance business, becoming a partner of Hatch Leonard in 1986 and becoming the CEO from 1996 to 2005. During this time the company grew 450% becoming a state wide organization. In 2005 Hatch Leonard was sold to First Niagara Bank and Gerry served for three years as the CEO of First Niagara Risk Management, one of the largest insurance brokerages in the country. In 2008, he retired from the insurance business to dedicate himself to community service and leadership development. He founded Distinctive Strategies LLC through which he consults on strategic leadership and leadership development. In 2012, he served as the interim CEO of Sigma Marketing Insights and currently serves as Chairman of the Board. He has been involved in numerous community areas, mostly in education and healthcare, serving on numerous boards and commissions.

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