2016 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS
RECEPTION AND DINNER
The culmination of the Alumni Leaders Conference was the presentation of the Alumni Association's Special Recognition Awards on the evening of Saturday, April 30 at the University Union's Mandela Room. At the ceremony, we celebrated outstanding alumni achievements and heard inspiring remarks from our award recipients about their pride in the University and how Binghamton propelled them to successful careers.
Vincent Daniel '94
Vincent is general partner of Seawolf Capital in Manhattan, a hedge fund he co-founded. He's the investment guru who foresaw the 2008 implosion of the financial industry. Vincent’s contrarian approach to investing is highlighted in the motion picture The Big Short. Considered one of the heroes in the movie, Vincent understood the shaky underpinnings of the real-estate bubble and invested millions on the assumption that the mortgage market would collapse. Read more about him in Binghamton University Magazine.
SIGNATURE AWARD RECIPIENTS
Deborah Tannen '66, LHD '93
Alumni Achievement Award
This award honors a highly distinguished alumnus or alumna who, over the course of a decade or more, has exemplified outstanding, significant professional achievement.
Deborah has been a member of the linguistics faculty at Georgetown University since 1979; she is one of six in the College of Arts and Sciences who hold the distinguished rank of University Professor. She has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University and has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. She has published 23 books and more than 100 articles. Her book You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation was on the New York Times best-seller list for nearly four years, including eight months as No. 1, and has been translated into 31 languages. This is the book that brought gender differences in communication style to the forefront of public awareness. Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work was a New York Times business best seller. Her two most recent books, You Were Always Mom's Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives and You're Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation were also New York Times best sellers. Deborah is a frequent guest on television and radio news and information shows, including The Colbert Report, 20/20, Good Morning America, TODAY, PBS NewsHour, Oprah, Hardball, Nightline, and many shows on CNN and NPR. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Binghamton University in 1993.
Barry A. Goodman '79
Glenn G. Bartle Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
The Bartle Award recognizes and honors graduates who have rendered outstanding voluntary service to the Binghamton University community, while also serving their communities, their careers and their country.
Barry is co-CEO and executive director of trading of Millburn Ridgefield Corporation and The Millburn Corporation. He is a member of Millburn’s Ridgefield Corporation’s Investment Committee. As executive vice president, he plays an integral role in business and product development, and in the strategic direction of the firm as a whole. Barry joined Millburn in 1982 as assistant director of trading. From 1980 through late 1982, prior to joining Millburn, he was a commodity trader for E. F. Hutton & Co., Inc. At Hutton, he designed and maintained various technical indicators and coordinated research projects pertaining to the futures markets. Barry graduated magna cum laude from Harpur College in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He has been a featured speaker at industry events in the United States, Europe and Asia. Barry generously provided the founding gift for the University's entrepreneurship program; he also chaired the program's board of advisors and served as a mentor and judge. In addition, he provided funding to create a program that assists School of Management students in developing professional and job search skills.
Amy J. Hyatt '78
Edward Weisband Distinguished Alumnus/a Award for Public Service or Contribution to Public Affairs
The Weisband Award recognizes one alumnus or alumna each year whose life, work, career and contributions exemplify the highest standards of service and deepest dedication to the sustenance of the common good.
Gregory B. Reynolds '08
Lois B. DeFleur Distinguished Young Alumnus/a Award
The DeFleur Award recognizes alumni who graduated within the last 10 years or are 35 years of age or under, and who are established or demonstrate potential to become future leaders. Criteria includes demonstrated leadership capability, substantial commitment to service of others, demonstration of potential for leadership in the long term, and substantial commitment to the University and Alumni Association.
Gregory, who grew up near Binghamton University in Endwell, was a very active student. He sang in the Binghamton Crosbys, competed on the varsity track and club crew teams, was president of Alpha Kappa Psi (a professional business fraternity) and served as an Admissions tour guide. In 2008, Gregory graduated with a bachelor's degree in management before taking his studies to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. After earning his master's in organizational behavior, Gregory began his career at Rolls-Royce, consulting with executive teams on change management and leadership strategies. That work led him back to New York to accept a role with Accenture as a change management consultant. Aligned to the top financial services companies, one of his clients was American Express which ultimately brought Gregory internal to the company. In about five years with Amex, he has held various roles including portfolio manager, senior product manager and senior customer experience strategy manager, and he now serves as director of strategy and planning for all small business products. Gregory remains very active with Binghamton University mentoring students, recruiting for Amex and serving as co-chair of the School of Management Young Alumni Board. He lives on the Upper West Side with his partner, Tom, and two dogs. Recently, Gregory completed his first New York City Marathon and looks forward to another go in 2016.
MEDALS OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
In recognition of alumni contributions to specific areas on campus (e.g., schools, Admissions, Fleishman Center), we are pleased to present Medals of Distinguished Service to the following alumni, who have been tireless volunteers to the University while excelling in their respective career endeavors.
Shareema Gadson-Shaw Abel '96 – Shareema was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as special counsel to the Commissioner
for Ethics, Risk and Compliance for Homes and Community Renewal. She served as litigation
attorney in the Teacher Performance Unit of the New York City Department of Education,
where she was lead counsel on disciplinary hearings of tenured pedagogues. Since 2012,
Shareema has served as a steering committee member of the Harpur Law Council. Shareema
is a volunteer at all levels of Council activities, including her participation as
a lecturer for the annual winter session course, Current Issues in Legal Practice.
Marc S. Dieli '89 – Marc is an Ernst & Young (EY) assurance partner based in Manhattan with extensive
experience serving clients in media and entertainment. In addition, Marc is the Northeast
Area coordinating partner in charge of campus recruiting for Binghamton University.
He hosts events at EY for current and admitted Binghamton students. Marc is a mentor
in EY's Diversity Mentoring Program, established to build the firm's ethnic minority
professionals' networks and personal excellence skills, provide leadership opportunities,
and strengthen the connection to the firm. Marc is treasurer of the board of United
Neighborhood Houses of New York, a non-profit organization that promotes and strengthens
the neighborhood-based, multi-service approach to improving the lives of New Yorkers
in need. He lives in West Islip, N.Y., with his wife, Missy and children, Emily and
Matthew C. DeSaro '09, MPA '11 – Matthew is an assistant district attorney at the Office of the Bronx District Attorney.
While a double-degree student, earning a B.S. in management and a B.A. in political
science, Matthew was highly involved in student life as a Resident Assistant in College-in-the-Woods,
University Tour Guide, executive director of the Escape Bus Company, member of the
University Judicial Board, and three-time chair of Casino-in-the-Woods. Matthew continued
his education at Binghamton, earning an master's degree in public administration.
He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School. Matthew is a founding
member of the Binghamton University Alumni Association's Metro New York Chapter and
is an active volunteer for Metro Connections Night and the Office of Undergraduate
Dr. Geoffrey C. Epstein '89 – Geoff, or Gerrry, as he is known within the University community, began volunteering
with the University and Foundation as a lead Phone-a-thon caller in the 1980s. In
the nearly 30 years since, he has maintained strong ties as a volunteer with the Alumni
Association and the Athletics department, working on the Alumni Leaders Conference
organizing committee and being a panelist discussing volunteering and alumni involvement.
Geoff is also involved with the TAU Alumni Society, which he has co-chaired for the
past eight years. He has led fundraisers for the University and the Athletics department
and brought back more than 250 alumni to Binghamton for TAU's 50th and 55th Anniversary
Reunions. He and his wife Rachel Lapsker Epstein '89, have 3 daughters; Stephanie
and Debbie are current students at Binghamton University, and Ashley is a junior in
Lynda M. Markoe '88 – Lynda has been the executive vice president, head of human resources and charitable
partnerships at J.Crew since 2007 and was previously senior vice president and then
vice president of human resources since 2003. Before joining J.Crew, Lynda worked
at The Gap, Inc., where she held a variety of positions over 15 years. She was a political
science major at Binghamton. She has been an advocate and mentor for our undergraduates
through the Liberal Arts to Careers Externship (LACE) program. This has afforded the
students firsthand experience and the opportunity to learn and understand the talent
components of driving a business.
Suzanne Meyer, MSW '07 – Suzanne is assistant director of social services for the Montefiore Medical Center,
Wakefield Campus in New York City. She supervises social workers, participates in
performance improvement initiatives, develops standards of excellence for care coordination,
and leads meetings on reducing patients’ length of stay. Suzanne has supervised several
Binghamton MSW students and is a member of the College of Community and Public Affairs
Board of Visitors. As a student at Binghamton, she was president of the MSW Student
Organization, helping develop the organization's first constitution and creating a
student mentoring program.
Robert W. Ostrow '76, MS '79 – Robert grew up in Queens and attended New York City public schools. He earned a
bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in computer science (CS) from
Binghamton. As an undergraduate student, he was a co-author of two papers in the Journal of Organic Chemistry but CS was more intriguing to him. Robert has worked for several firms in his 35+
year career and was involved in the manufacture and testing of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Most of his career has been at Bloomberg LP where he is still employed. At Bloomberg,
he has been instrumental in the design and coding of the system and application software
used worldwide by more than 325,000 financial professionals every day. He actively
serves as a liaison between Bloomberg and the Watson School. Robert met Susan, his
wife of 36 years while at Binghamton. They have two grown boys and make their home
in Westchester County and Martha's Vineyard.
Polly Taft Peterson, MAT '91 - For 23 years, Polly has been an educator at Union-Endicott Central School District,
teaching middle school life science. She has been a cooperating teacher for Binghamton
University student interns. This interaction has allowed her to "pay it forward" to
the next generation of educators. She has been a member of the Science Teachers' Association
of NYS (STANYS) since 1990 and has served in leadership roles for 17 years, and received
the organization's highest honor, STANYS Fellow. She has presented numerous workshops,
at times co-presenting with student interns.
Dr. Blenda Smith, MS, FNP '83 - Blenda is professor emeritus in the Decker School of Nursing. Though she is retired,
she is a Nurse Practitioner in STD clinics at the Broome County Health Department.
Blenda has served the Decker School in many capacities over the years, most recently leading a committee of former alumni and faculty to honor one of our own, Elizabeth (Lisa) Reese, through an endowed scholarship. In less than a year, the scholarship became a reality and, each year, supports a nursing student in her or his last year of the program.