Achievers will bring expertise from such areas as leadership, innovation, research and development, finance and charitable accomplishments in addressing SUNY Oswego’s graduating Class of 2022 at three May Commencement ceremonies to be held on campus on Saturday, May 14.

  • Joseph Lauko –- executive vice president/chief operating officer for SRC Inc. and chairperson of SRC International Inc. –- will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony for graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

  • Jason T. Serrano –- a 1997 SUNY Oswego graduate and chief executive officer and president of New York Mortgage Trust Inc. –- will address the graduates of the School of Business at the 12:30 p.m. ceremony.

  • Susannah Schaefer –- a 1990 SUNY Oswego graduate who is president and chief executive officer for Smile Train –- will deliver the Commencement address at the 4 p.m. ceremony for the School of Communication, Media and the Arts and the School of Education. She will also receive an honorary doctorate for her accomplishments toward the greater good.

R&D leadership

Lauko is the chief operating officer of SRC Inc., an international research and development (R&D) company that solves grand challenge problems in the areas of defense, environment and intelligence. Together, SRC and its subsidiaries make “redefining possible” their mission by delivering unique, next-generation solutions of national significance to keep America and its allies safe and strong.

He manages the day-to-day operations of SRC’s highly diversified R&D organization, which includes offices across the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Lauko is focused on executing SRC’s strategic plan, monitoring the financial performance of the enterprise, evaluating new initiatives and developing key industry relationships.

With more than 20 years of experience in software project management, software engineering and test engineering, Lauko is an expert in electronic warfare (EW) reprogramming, data simulation, bistatic radar and big data analysis. Over his career, he has held the positions of program manager, program technical lead, systems engineer, software project manager, software engineer and test engineer for numerous projects and development efforts, involving radar systems, radar modeling and simulation and EW development and testing programs.

Lauko holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University.

Finance and feeding need

Serrano has served as president of New York Mortgage Trust, Inc. (NYMT) since January 2019, and as chief executive officer since Jan. 1, 2022. He has been a member of NYMT's Board of Directors since March 2019. 

Prior to joining NYMT, Serrano was a partner at Oak Hill Advisors, L.P. (OHA), an alternative investment management firm, from January 2014 to December 2018, and a managing director from April 2008 to December 2013. While at OHA, Serrano ran the mortgage investment business. Serrano previously served as a principal at The Blackstone Group, where he led the structured finance investment team. He earned a bachelor of science degree from SUNY Oswego in 1997.

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in fall 2012, he saw an opportunity to help others in the way that he had been helped. He and his wife Aleta helped fund a new start-up feeding program in New York City named Feed New York, which provided local agencies such as churches and homeless shelters adequate food supplies. For seven years, the couple purchased and distributed approximately $1.8 million of food.

In 2020, the Serranos partnered with the Midwest Food Bank, the second-largest independent food bank in the United States, to significantly grow the feeding program with funding and opened a new division in Harrisburg. In the first full year of operation, the Midwest Food Bank of Pennsylvania recovered over $8 million of food from farms and food producers and distributed it to neighboring feeding programs. In 2022, the food bank is expected to double its giving.

Supporting smiles

Susannah (“Susie”) Schaefer is executive vice chair, president and chief executive officer of Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization with a sustainable and local model of supporting surgery and other forms of comprehensive cleft care.

Schaefer joined Smile Train in February 2013, after serving as a member of its board for over 10 years. As president and CEO, she oversees Smile Train’s vision to expand access to healthcare and increase local cleft care capacity in countries where Smile Train has active programs. Schaefer has led an organizational rebrand, seeded funding for hundreds of thousands of new smiles, grown and improved Smile Train’s digital medical records database and global cleft surgical training and education programs, and greatly expanded Smile Train’s non-surgical comprehensive cleft care programs, including in areas of nutritional support, speech therapy, oral health and psychosocial counseling.

She came to Smile Train after almost 20 years in the private sector, bringing a vast network and past experiences. Previously, Schaefer worked directly for Smile Train’s Founder, the late Charles B. Wang, first as the special assistant to the chairman and CEO at Computer Associates (now CA Technologies), and following his retirement, as his chief of staff for his business and philanthropic interests including the New York Islanders Hockey Club and NeuLion Inc.

Earning her bachelor’s in communications from Oswego in 1990, Schaefer is a member of NonProfit PRO’s Advisory Board, a Trustee of Smile Train UK, and serves on numerous boards, as a director, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; Lifebox, a global nonprofit organization that makes surgery safer in low-resource settings; and the Oswego College Foundation.

More about Commencement 

Around 1,600 students are eligible to graduate from the ceremonies taking place in the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall in Marano Campus Center. For more information, visit