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 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.




Deborah Tannen '66

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

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 '78Amy 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.

Amy is U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Palau. She is a career Foreign Service Officer of more than 30 years, with the personal rank of Minister Counselor. She has had eight previous overseas postings, serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Helsinki, Consul General in Melbourne, and Management Counselor in Cairo. Her other overseas postings were in Seoul, Bangkok, Manila, Prague and Oslo. She has served in Washington, D.C., in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, managing our Missions in Korea, Japan and the Philippines, and as a Political Analyst covering North Korea in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. She also served as Diplomat in Residence at Arizona State University. Prior to entering the Foreign Service, she was a litigation attorney in San Francisco. She has a bachelor's degree in political science and history from Binghamton University, a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, and an MSS from the National Defense University's National War College. She is the proud mother of three wonderful children.



Gregory B. Reynolds '08Gregory 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.




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 '96Shareema 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.  

Felipe AyalaFelipe Ayala, Jr. '97 – Felipe has more than 16 years of experience in coaching and college guidance in an urban setting. He is college access assistant manager for the Children’s Aid Society Adolescence Division in New York City. He was college coordinator for the organization (2000-15). As a student, Felipe was a peer counselor and staff assistant for the EOP Summer Program. In his role with the Children’s Aid Society, he has tirelessly recruited students to apply to EOP. He is an elder at Life Changers Church and Ministries International, Inc.; he recruits Binghamton University alumni to be involved with the church’s community service projects. As a student, Felipe was involved in Black Student Union and Latin American Student Union. He is chairman of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization The College Access Consortium of New York, Inc.

Marc S. Dieli '89Marc 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 Jake.

Matthew C. DeSaro '09, MPA '11Matthew 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 Admissions.

Dr. Geoffrey C. Epstein '89Dr. 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 high school.

Lynda M. Markoe '88Lynda 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 '07Suzanne 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 '79Robert 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 Peterson, MAT '91Polly 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.

Blenda Smith PhD, MS, FNP '84Dr. 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.


Last Updated: 5/1/16