The goal of the Buskin Committee is to foster excellence in journalism at Stony Brook University, mainly through its sponsorship of the annual Buskin Awards for Outstanding Campus Journalism. The committee has also conducted seminars, conferences and workshops on issues of importance to student journalists, including access to information on campus, covering sports, using technology, and landing a job or an internship.
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, a longtime Connecticut journalist, and Randi Baker, who has a managerial position in the cosmetics display industry.
LINDA TUCCIO-KOONZ is the daughter of the late Martin Buskin. Inspired by her father’s love of journalism, she’s a graduate of Syracuse University and was formerly a senior features writer at Hearst Connecticut Media Group. She’s written for Newsday and The New York Times. At The Kennebec Journal in Maine, she helped lead the FBI to a murder victim after interviewing a suspect in the case. The story won a first-place award from the New England Associated Press. She was part of a 2012 team that won a national award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a narrative on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Her writing has also appeared in “Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul” and Connecticut Magazine.
ISOBEL BREHENY-SCHAFER is the Assistant Director of Student Media Services in the Department of Student Community Development and General Manager of WUSB 90.1 FM radio at Stony Brook University. She advises all the recognized student campus media, including print, television, online news and radio organizations at Stony Brook University. Isobel is a member of the College Media Advisors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2021, she was honored with governmental citations for broadcast public service announcements during Covid-19 by Suffolk County. In 2017, she was awarded broadcast adviser of the year by the College Media Association and in 2012 she was recognized by the Town of Brookhaven as the Woman of the Year in Communications.
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. He founded and ran GreaterMoriches.com from 2019-2021 and previously was the online local news editor at Newsday. Before that, he served as executive producer of News 12 Interactive. He also was editor of Long Island Business News, where he was a reporter earlier in his career 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. A member of the College Media Association communications committee, he was the program coordinator of the 2022 Spring National College Media Convention.
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ZACHARY R. DOWDY (class of 1989; Buskin Award winner, 1988) is a criminal justice reporter at Newsday 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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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 companies 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.
MICHELLE KARIM (class of 2017; Buskin Award winner, 2017) is a reporter with CBS News 60 Minutes. She is part of the team of producers working with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley, one of the most experienced and awarded correspondents in broadcast journalism. She started her career interning for Ark Media on PBS documentaries, working as a production assistant on independent movie sets and as a CBS page at the National Desk and CBS This Morning Saturday. She previously worked at CBS Newspath. where she helped run the overnight news desk and the international news desk. Like Joe Caponi, her fondest memories of college were carved in the halls of the Union office of the Stony Brook Press, where she served as managing editor and news editor. She won a 2022 national Emmy award for Outstanding Recorded News Special for her contributions to the 60 Minutes piece “9/11: FDNY” and an Edward R. Murrow award for Investigative Reporting for her work on the 60 Minutes piece “Prince V Spy.” She is a third-culture kid, can speak four languages and likes old movies and poetry.
FRANK POSILLICO is an award-winning documentary producer, cinematographer, and journalist based in New York City. Currently, he works as a senior producer at Cheddar News, where he oversees production on a 30-minute documentary series. Previously he has worked for Spectrum News (NY1) and the New York Daily News. Frank’s work has won several regional Emmy Awards, a Deadline Club Award, a New York Press Club Award, a Florida News Award, a National Edward R. Murrow Award as well as several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. He graduated from Stony Brook University in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He is a winner of both the Martin Buskin Award for Campus Journalism (2012) and the Martin Buskin Cub Journalist of the Year Award (2010). While at Stony Brook, Frank was editor-in-chief of The Statesman from 2010-2013. Frank also volunteers at the Robert H. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. He has been a mentor for more than 10 years with the institute, helping to teach journalism skills and news literacy to high school students.
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, co-founder of the School of Journalism and its News Literacy program, was the School of Journalism’s longtime Undergraduate Director, teaching, advising students and helping develop the SOJ into a nationally accredited program. Before that, Schreiber 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 reporting and writing at Stony Brook and was director of the journalism minor. In 2002, the year he took a buyout from Newsday, Schreiber was named “Outstanding Long Island Journalist” by the Press Club of Long Island. He returned to Stony Brook in 2004. In 2014, he was inducted into the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame. He retired in 2017. He is especially proud of creating and teaching the tough upper-division Journalistic Judgment and Ethics, which introduced the Accuracy F.
IRENE VIRAG, the School of Communication and Journalism’s associate dean and 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.”