Gao, Maini, and Vasadi Receive $1,000 DoIT Awards

DoIT awarded three undergraduate students $1,000 prizes from the Richard W. Reeder Endowment Student Excellence Fund on April 8, 2016.

By: Kerrin Perniciaro
Last Updated: March 22, 2017

Junior psychology major Yi Gao, senior psychology major Rohan Maini, and senior biomedical engineering major Lukas Vasadi were selected winners of the 2016 Richard W. Reeder Endowed Scholarship prize awarded by the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) on Friday, April 8, 2016 in the Wang Center's Zodiac Lobby. Each student received a $1,000 award from the University's Richard W. Reeder Endowment Student Excellence Fund

The Richard W. Reeder Endowed Student Excellence Fund is named for Stony Brook University's former Chief Information Officer who worked at the University for more than 40 years. Rich was a trusted colleague, mentor, and friend. He passed away too soon and in celebration of his life and legacy, an endowed scholarship was created in his memory by his family and friends.

As part of the application process, students had to meet the following criteria:

- Be a full or part-time student, in good standing, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Be enrolled for the Spring 2016 semester
- Submit a 250-500 word essay outlining how they exemplify performance, promise, excellence, citizenship and integrity
- Receive a letter of support from a faculty member

Here are excerpts from each of the award winners essays:

Yi Gao, junior psychology major

"As a first-generation college student, I have aspired to not only pursue higher education in healthcare, but also to provide services to care for the vulnerable. This latter goal was achieved in spring 2014 when I founded Music and Medicine, a performance club at Stony Brook that is dedicated to bringing music to people unable to attend concerts. We started in the fall of 2014 with concerts for children at Stony Brook Child Care Services and veterans at the Long Island State Veterans Home. Through our performances, we were able to bring smiles and having lasting impacts on many of our audiences who were struggling in life. Music and Medicine's success encouraged me to expand the program to weekly bedside performances for patients at the Stony Brook Hospital in spring 2015. Our efforts were recognized as the "Best New Organization" at the Student Life Award Ceremony in 2015. Through building Music and Medicine, I've overcome obstacles leading groups of diverse undergraduate musicians through performances and persevered to bringing musical performances to more people in my community. Its success has inspired me to continue using music to provide positive changes to people throughout Long Island and beyond."

Rohan Maini, senior psychology major

"Citizenship is one of the primary goals of my life, since I believe in living for other people. Currently, I am Vice President of Watsi, a medical fundraising club in which we fund surgeries online for patients in third world countries. I am responsible for promotion of the club, including making flyers, running social media, and collaborating with other clubs and businesses. Leading this organization has been difficult at times, like when an exam impedes me from expending all my effort on a fundraiser. In the last year, we have funded nearly 30 patients and donated almost $3,000, so that is what keeps me going. As a psychology major wiht technical skills and a desire to foster science education, I share many of these qualities with Mr. Richard Reeder. This scholarship will help me continue and expand upon his great legacy."

Lukas Vasadi, senior biomedical engineering major

"Excellence as an undergraduate researcher in the biomechanics lab made it possible for me to intern at the NASA Johnson Space Center. There, I worked on research to help quantify the degenerative effects of long-duration spaceflight on bone health. In addition, the interns were invited to attend lectures from NASA faculty and tour different sites on campus, including the robotics facility and the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, where astronauts train for space walks. This experience reaffirmed my confidence in pursuing a career as a Flight Engineer. If given the opportunity to follow this dream, I promise to represent my family, soon-to-be alma mater, and country on bold missions to explore the unknown. In this way, I will continue Richard W. Reeder's legacy of performance, promise, excellence, citizenship, and integrity, beyond the borders of Stony Brook University."

To Make a Donation to the Fund

If you would like to make a future contribution to the Richard W. Reeder fund to help keep awarding financial assistance to deserving Stony Brook University students, please visit:

The Campaign for Stony Brook Web page  (Search for the Richard W. Reeder Endowed Student Excellence Fund)

Thank you for your continued support!





For More Information Contact

Richard W. Reeder Scholarship