Meet the Mentors

Meet the Mentors…

Mentor with student
The mentors in the SUNY Ulster Mentor Success (SUMS) program have completed degrees at SUNY Ulster and are working in their chosen field.  Each semester alumni are paired with students with similar majors and career goals.  The goal of the mentoring relationship is to help students make the transition from college to career as seamless as possible.

If you are a SUNY Ulster graduate and would like to become a mentor please fill out the one page application and return it so that we can start looking for a student that best matches your education and career experience.

If you are a SUNY Ulster student and would like to have a mentor please fill out the one page application and return it so that we can start looking for a mentor that best matches your career goal.  If you see a name below with a description of someone you would like to work with, please note it on your application.

The Mentors

Gulnar Babayeva majored in both Fine Arts and Graphic Design at SUNY Ulster.  While at SUNY Ulster she was the Art Director, Designer and Contributor for SUNY Ulster’s Art & Literature Magazine SLATE.  She was also a member of the Student Admissions Ambassadors (SAA), President of the Visual Arts Club, SUNY Ulster blogger, and 2012 recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence!  In 2009, she graduated from the Azerbaijan University of Languages with a BA in Regional Studies. She plans to continue her education at Cooper Union, SUNY New Paltz, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) or the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Her career goal is to become a Professional Graphic Designer and Artist.  Gulnar is proficient with graphic design projects and critiques, and Adobe software ( Ai, InD, Ps, DrW).


William F. Berardi, CPA: “Bill” has been in the practice of Public Accounting since 1979.  He was licensed as a CPA in 1982 and has been a principal in his own firm, Berardi, Gottstine & Miller, CPA’s, P.C., since 1983.  After graduating from SUNY Ulster, he continued his education at Marist receiving a Bachelor of Science and an MBA.  Bill is also a Series 65 Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) certification from the AICPA. For the past thirty years, he has exceeded the Continuing Professional Education requirements of forty hours per year. He is experienced in tax compliance, planning, return preparation, reporting and representation for examination by Federal and State authorities, representation at conciliation conferences, appeals and division of U.S. Tax Court.


Paul G. Casciaro, CIC, CSRM, CPIA
Chairman of the Board/Chief Executive Officer Sales and Management
23 years experience
Specializes in: School Districts, Healthcare, Municipalities, Alternative Risk Funding, Workers Compensation

With over 23 years in the insurance industry, Paul brings a wealth of professional experience to The Reis Group. He started his insurance career in 1989, and holds several professional designations, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Professional Insurance Agents Association (PIA), serving as Chairman of the Glenmont National Alliance Committee (GNAC) for Education, and membership of the Government Affairs Sub-Committee. Paul is also currently a member of the New York Central Mutual Agents council and Ulster Regional Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee, as well as the Utica National Customer Council, and is one of two representatives from the insurance industry chosen to the Ulster County Arson Task Force. In addition, he has worked on the Benedictine Hospital Campaign for Cancer, the Ulster County Vietnam Veteran's Scholarship Fund and the annual WDST Christmas Party.


Jack Spyker Oles received an AS in Advertising Design and Graphic Technology and continued his studies in Visual Arts and Graphic Design at SUNY New Paltz.  Jack worked for IBM for more than 36 years before deciding to change careers to graphic design.


Linda Still: Linda is an English teacher at Kingston High School.  She continued her education in Secondary Education/English at SUNY New Paltz.
Linda is available to help out SUMS students with proofreading your writing projects.






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