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SUNY Will Go Faster, Higher, Stronger at the Olympic Games



Rio de Janeiro aerial picture with 2016 Olympics logo

In just a few weeks, the eyes all over the world will turn their attention to South America to watch the best athletes from across the globe compete in the 31st Olympiad, from August 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 2016 Summer Olympics will be the largest yet, as more than 10,000 athletes from 206 participating countries will be competing in 28 sports. And with that many participating athletes, NBC Universal will need a record number of broadcasters to bring the events into the millions of viewers’ homes.

So with all these participants making their way to Rio, there are good odds that some of those have a connection to SUNY. After all, with our 460,000 students, 90,00 faculty/staff, and nearly 3 million alumni, SUNY does have reach across the globe.

The following are members of the SUNY family who will be competing and participating in this summer’s Olympic Games.


Grace Claxton, University at Albany

Grace Claxton running on the track.Grace Claxton is a rising track & field star at the University at Albany who has become the first female Olympian from the school. The senior will be representing her native Puerto Rico at the 2016 summer games in Rio. Her strength in the 400m hurdles earned her a trip to the Olympics to represent Puerto Rico when she ran a 55.90 in the May 27 NCAA East Preliminary Championships held in Jacksonville, Fla.

Claxton had shown strength in the 400m run when she was recruited in 2012. That skill transitioned to the 400m hurdles rather quickly, an event that has become her new calling on the track.

Lucy (Van Dalen) Oliver, Stony Brook University

Lucy Oliver, Stony Brook University alum and olympian for New ZealandStony Brook track & field alumna Lucy (Van Dalen) Oliver has been named to New Zealand’s Olympic team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Lucy will participate in the 5000m race.

It will be the second Olympics for Oliver, who ran in the 1500m in London in 2012. Oliver was the NCAA national champion in the mile in 2012 and qualified for the NCAA Championships in a total of eight events during her time at Stony Brook.

The Wanganui, New Zealand, native was a six-time All-American with the Stony Brook University Seawolves and named America East Woman of the Year in 2012.

Maria Michta-Coffey, Suffolk County Community College

Maria Michta-CoffeyMaria Michta-Coffey, an adjunct professor of biology at SUNY Suffolk and an instructor at the Stony Brook campus recreation center, will be race walking in Rio. This is her second time competing in the Olympic games as she was also a member of the 2012 London Olympic team for race walking, where she finished 29th overall.

Maria is the holder of five American road race records, including one for the Olympic distance of 20k.

Scott Roop, Buffalo State College

Scott Roop, Buffalo State alum in rowingScott Roop rowed varsity crew for the Buffalo State Bengals from 1973-1975 and will coach the U.S. men’s double sculls in Rio. Double skull rowing is a two person event in which the competitors propel the boat by sculling with two oars, one in each hand. In addition to his success at Buffalo State, Scott was awarded the 1981 Vesper Cup as outstanding person or crew in USA Rowing.

Gary Jobson, Maritime College

Gary Jobson, SUNY Maritime alumA SUNY Maritime College class of 1973 alum, Gary Jobson will be announcing Olympic sailing for the NBC family of networks in Rio de Janeiro. The games will feature 10 events to take place on Guanabara Bay. As President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Jobson has a lot of experience in covering sailing for television. He has covered the 34th America’s Cup for NBC, won an ACE (Award for Cable Excellence) for the 1987 America’s Cup on ESPN, won an Emmy in 1988 for his production of sailing at the Olympic Games in South Korea, and won an Emmy for the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race on PBS.

Taras Kufel

Written by Taras Kufel

Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.

July 19, 2016




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Mascot Madness Champion, Hugo the Hawk, Speaks on His Victory and Getting Back to Work




SUNY Mascot Madness winner - Hugo Hawk from New PaltzThe first ever SUNY Mascot Madness came to a close yesterday with over 300,000 votes cast over the entire competition.  In a race that was too close to call initially, Hugo the Hawk from New Paltz was declared the winner of the first SUNY Mascot Madness over Wolfie the Seawolf from Stony Brook.  In a race to the finish, he met the library dean, cleaned the campus, and hung out with many students on campus.

We were able to catch up with Hugo and get his thoughts on the final round of the competition.

What responsibilities do you carry as SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion?  What’s next for you?

As the SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion, it is my duty to represent all that this title stands for. I will continue being the best mascot I can possibly be and keep getting better at it each day.

What will you do with all of your free time once SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 is complete?

With this free time I will get back to the basics. I will work on my cheers and dances and keep myself in tip-top shape for all the teams I root for. I will work hard to earn my place in next year’s tournament and make sure I do my best to defend my crown.


And we look forward to next year’s competition with you Hugo!

Hugo Hawk with Mascot Madness championship trophy

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

April 5, 2013

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Bobby Hurley Named University at Buffalo Men’s Basketball Head Coach




Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island, where he has been serving as associate head coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010, and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men’s basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season – its best record in school history – before joining Rhode Island.

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke. Hurley helped lead the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

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SUNY Oneonta Senior Sets Off on 4,200-Mile Cross-Country Bike Adventure




Jayme Haynes biking in Central Bridge on her cross country adventure

Jami Haynes sets off from her home in Central Bridge, NY, on Tuesday, May 28.

SUNY Oneonta senior Jami Haynes set off on a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike adventure today with the goal of raising awareness about the Harvest of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides emergency assistance to migrant workers and their families. Haynes, 21, accompanied by her boyfriend and sister, left early Tuesday morning from her home in Central Bridge, N.Y.

An avid runner and hiker, Haynes got the idea for the “Miles for Migrants” bike tour after Harvest of Hope founder and President Phil Kellerman visited one of her education classes, taught by Madeline Berry, this past semester. Her 20-year-old sister, Jena, signed on for the adventure, and then her boyfriend, Caleb Grippin, 23, joined the team.

Jena Haynes, Caleb Grippin, Jami Haynes with bikes

SUNY Oneonta student Jami Haynes (right) with her sister, Jena, and boyfriend, Caleb Grippin.

“I wasn’t very familiar with what a migrant farm worker was and how they contributed to American society, and I was especially touched as a future educator by the support that Harvest of Hope gives to these families and the scholarships that the foundation provides,” Haynes said.

The class did a service-learning project to benefit Harvest of Hope, and Haynes kept the momentum going. She and her sister organized a spaghetti supper, several bake sales and a raffle, as well as giving presentations about Harvest of Hope on campus and in the community. “Spreading awareness of the foundation and how it helps migrant farm workers has been extremely rewarding,” Haynes said. “The community definitely knows a lot more about the contributions of migrant workers because of this project.”

Haynes hopes to continue raising awareness by meeting with media outlets during her journey. The trio plans to ride about 60 to 80 miles per day, camping and staying with friends and family members en route to San Francisco. They have been training for the trip for about three months, logging several hundred miles of short and long rides.

The Harvest of Hope Foundation was established in 1997, when Kellerman worked at ESCORT, a migrant education resource center based at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to its affiliation with ESCORT, SUNY Oneonta has operated a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) since 2001. Created in 1972, CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families pursue higher education.

ESCORT senior programmer analyst Bob Thomas, a friend of Kellerman’s, loaned Haynes and her crew three touring bikes and trailers. Thomas, who completed a cross-country bicycling trip himself back in 1976, was on hand for the send-off Tuesday, offering last-minute tips and advice.

An elementary education major with a concentration in social studies, Haynes will share experiences from her trip this fall as a student teacher at Cobleskill Elementary School.

She will also chronicle her adventures throughout the 11-week journey on the blog:


SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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