The goal of the Buskin Committee is to foster excellence in journalism at Stony Brook University. The committee has conducted seminars, conferences and workshops on issues of importance to student journalists, including access to information on campus, covering sports, using technology, landing a job or an internship. Among the committee’s priorities is to offer meaningful information in settings that can best assist Stony Brook’s student journalists.
It also sponsors the annual Buskin Awards for Outstanding Campus Journalism.
SAUNDRA BUSKIN, ex-officio member, has been part of the committee since it was founded in 1976 in memory of her late husband, Martin Buskin, who was education editor at Newsday and the driving force behind the creation of the journalism program at Stony Brook. Mrs. Buskin is a Registered Nurse. The Buskins have two children, Linda Tuccio-Koonz, an editor at the Danbury News-Times, and Randi Baker, who has a managerial position in the garment industry.
LINDA TUCCIO-KOONZ is the daughter of the late Martin Buskin. Inspired by her father’s love of journalism, she started her career as a reporter on Long Island and now is Features Editor at The News-Times in Danbury, Conn. A graduate of Syracuse University, she has written for Newsday, The New York Times and The Boston Globe. At The Kennebec Journal in Maine, she helped lead the FBI to the body of a murdered student after interviewing a suspect in the case. The story won a first place award from the New England Associated Press, an honor among many she has earned over the years. Her writing has also appeared in “Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul” and in Connecticut Home & Garden magazine.
ISOBEL BREHENY-SCHAFER is the Assistant Director of Student Media Services in the Department of Student Activities and General Manager of WUSB 90.1 FM radio at Stony Brook University, N.Y. She advises all the recognized Student Campus Media, Print, Television, Online News and Radio organizations at Stony Brook University. Mrs. Schafer teaches the WUSB radio training class that prepares students and community members to become radio station on air and behind the scenes staff . She is a member of the College Media Advisors Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Broadcast Education Association.
JOE CAPONI (class of 1987) is managing editor, operations for Channelweb, the leading news and community destination for technology solution providers. Prior to that, he held a number of Internet and print publication positions at CMP Media properties, including at VARBusiness, Network Computing and InformationWeek magazines. He’s produced publications at locations from San Diego to Germany, but most fondly remembers his years in the basement of Old Bio (then Central Hall, now the Student Activities Center), putting out The Stony Brook Press. He was executive editor from 1983 to 1985, launching the paper’s summer edition, as well as publishing (he believes) the largest number of Press issues in one school year.
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CARL CORRY (class of 1996; chairman, Buskin Committee) is a journalism instructor at Suffolk County Community College and executive editor of GreaterMoriches.com. Previously, he was the online local news editor at Newsday and served as executive producer of News 12 Interactive. He also was editor of Long Island Business News, where he had earlier been a reporter covering a variety of beats. A former president of the Press Club of Long Island and national board member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Corry has won PCLI Media Awards for blogging, deadline writing, business journalism and editorial writing. In 2017, he was inducted into PCLI Contributor’s Wing of the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame.
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ZACHARY R. DOWDY (class of 1989; Buskin Award winner, 1988) is a criminal justice reporter atNewsday who also covers legal issues and international affairs from the United Nations and abroad. He was editor-in-chief of Blackworld for two years and decided to become a journalist after his first internship, at The Syracuse Newspapers. He also worked as a researcher at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center. He holds master’s degrees in English and journalism from Harvard and Columbia universities, respectively. Dowdy has worked as a reporter at The Boston Herald and The Boston Globe, where he served as a general assignment reporter covering local issues including urban affairs and corrections. Dowdy is currently vice president-print for the New York Association of Black Journalists and a former president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists.
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GEORGE GIOKAS is chairman and executive editor of custom projects for HealthDay, the largest consumer health news service in the country. Giokas, one of the founders of HealthDay, is also President/CEO and founder of StaffWriters Plus Inc. a specialized marketing company servicing the media industry. Before launching StaffWriters Plus Inc., in 1995, Giokas had a long career as a journalist, mostly with Newsday, serving as one of its top executive editors. He also wrote a weekly business column for Newsday, BusinessWeek and the Neighbor chain of newspapers. A graduate of Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus, Giokas is also a screenwriter and a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television advanced professional program. He is also an adjunct professor in the journalism department at SUNY Stony Brook, teaching beat reporting, news literacy, news judgment and ethics and participated in workshops for scientists in the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.
JAMIE HERZLICH is a former Newsday staff reporter and presently a freelance journalist who still writes Newsday’s weekly small business tips column that appears each Monday in the business section, providing insight and tips on topics that matter most to local entrepreneurs. She is also a regular contributor to Newsday’s business section providing profiles on company’s that face unique challenges. She’s been a business writer for close to 20 years, covering a vast array of topics from incubators to economic development at both Newsday and Long Island Business News. Over the years, Herzlich has penned several columns for Newsday, including its Advertising and Inside Stories columns. For the past several years, she has been freelancing for various publications including Newsday, Salute and Family Magazines. She’s a lifelong Long Islander and a graduate of Stony Brook University.
LAURA (LO) DELANY (class of 1998) spent three years as a reporter and editor at the Stony Brook Statesman and is a former Newsday copy-editing intern. She was an assistant news editor at Newsday for 5 years and a copy editor at The Boston Globe. She lives in Massachusetts, where she freelances.
NORM PRUSSLIN (class of 1969) is director of the Media Minor/Living Learning Center for Media Programs at Stony Brook University. He serves as assistant director, Student Union and Activities at SBU where he manages WUSB 90.1FM and advises the Student Media Council. He serves as president of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, the nation’s oldest and largest college radio station membership organization. Norm is also an active member of many other media industry associations including the Society of Professional Journalists (board member, Press Club of Long Island chapter), College Media Advisers, Broadcast Education Association and the Radio/TV News Directors Association.
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PAUL SCHREIBER is the School of Journalism’s founding undergraduate director. Before that, he was a reporter, editor and business columnist at Newsday for 33 years. He graduated from the University of Miami and started his career as a reporter at The Miami Herald. Between 1987 and 2000, Schreiber taught Feature Writing and Magazine Writing at Stony Brook and was director of the journalism minor. In 2002, he was named “Outstanding Long Island Journalist” by Press Club of Long Island. He returned to Stony Brook in 2004 and again is teaching, advising students and helping develop the journalism program.
IRENE VIRAG, the School of Journalim’s undergraduate director, won a Pulitzer Prize as a member of the team that chronicled the story of Baby Jane Doe, an infant with spina bifida, and the political struggle over her treatment. Virag, the former Home and Garden Editor of Newsday, has interviewed murderers and movies stars and traveled to Vietnam to bring a handicapped Amerasian street kid back to the land of the father who abandoned him. She’s written about women fighting breast cancer–and about her own breast cancer. She has been a Pulitzer finalist in feature writing and explanatory journalism, and is a 10-time winner of the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Award. She received a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She studied at the University of London and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. She’s the author of two books, “We’re All in This Together–Families Facing Breast Cancer,” and “Gardening on Long Island with Irene Virag.”