How do we recognize our best and brightest graduates in a way that’s engaging, creative, and incredibly classy? Stony Brook University’s award-winning “40 Under Forty” program does just that. In this episode of Advancement Live, Kim Brown chats with the Stony Brook team behind “40 Under Forty” for a look at how it went from idea to implementation and how collaboration was crucial to the program’s success. A must-watch episode for universities considering new ways to recognize young alumni in meaningful ways!


Episode Host

Kim Brown

Kim Brown

Kim Brown enjoys being a connector and finding new ways to foster relationships using social media. She is the Director of Strategic Communications and Digital Engagement in Syracuse University’s Office of Alumni Engagement. Prior to joining the alumni office, Kim oversaw alumni programs in Syracuse University’s Career Services office. One of her proudest accomplishments during that time was creating the @WorkingOrange Twitter handle, a concept that many peer institutions have since modeled.


Lynn Zawie

Lynn is the web content coordinator at Stony Brook University. She implemented the award-winning 40 Under Forty website to showcase distinguished Stony Brook Alumni. Led direction of web-app functionality and UI design. Features include mobile-first design, HTML5 History API, HTML5 video, data tagging and social media integration.


Jessie McHeffey

Jessie is advancement communications project manager at Stony Brook University. She is committed to building high impact communications strategies for dynamic non-profit organizations and universities. She’s a communicator with the goal of advancing higher education. 


Matthew Colson

Matt is an accomplished, energetic, ambitious, organized and dedicated professional with diverse experiences in higher education and non-profit programming. He skillfully leads and collaborates with professional staff, volunteers, student workers and organizations.

As executive director of alumni relations at Stony Brook University, Matt is responsible for leading a highly talented staff with the mission of providing superior programs and services for Stony Brook’s more than 150,000 alumni worldwide. He works closely with the Stony Brook Alumni Association’s Executive Committee and with University Advancement to develop student and alumni services that will create and sustain lifelong relationships between alumni and the university.