“Toby is a true copy scholar. When she became a regular volunteer copyeditor of the patient-oriented newsletter for the IPPF (International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation), she first tasked herself with developing a style guide that has brought much-needed consistency to the publication. Most writers love words and can sometimes struggle to find the right words and messages. Beyond copyediting or mere proofreading, Toby encourages good writing by quickly learning or inquiring about the intentions of another’s words. And, she does it in a way that is unobtrusive and aesthetically beautiful. She is also extremely pleasant to work with and she gives her time selflessly on fluid or strict deadlines. It is a pleasure to work with her.”
– Mirella Bucci, PhD, Editor of the Quarterly, a publication of the International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation

“My writing has benefited hugely from Toby’s excellent editing. Her comments are insightful, constructive and concise. Toby is sincere, a straight talker, and always encourages. I’m delighted to have found her as an editor. ”
– Author of a collection of fables for children, London


“I am pleased to write on behalf of Toby Speed. I recently retired from Stony Brook University as Assistant Vice President for Communications. Shortly after my appointment, I hired Toby as a writer, and it was one of the best decisions I made in my 18-year tenure at Stony Brook — for me and for the University.

“Toby came to the position with incredible instincts and experience as a writer, reporter, and interviewer. She quickly assumed the position as Senior Writer and has been instrumental in shaping the tone and character of our most important publications and web stories—being true to our brand as we recruit students, raise funds, and create community among our constituents.

“Toby is exceptional at preparing for and conducting interviews — from high school students to internationally renowned faculty members — and creates profiles and stories that capture the heart as well as the mind. She is respected by her peers and she has at times served as both inspiration and mentor to her colleagues. One quick brainstorming session with her could lead to a breakthrough of an idea or direction for someone else. And designers value Toby’s suggestions as they create the visual messaging to accompany her work. Toby is the consummate team player and takes joy in the success of all.

“As a bonus, I quickly learned of Toby’s incredible organizational and administrative skills and soon trusted her with sensitive human relations and other high level, confidential administrative assignments. She became the go-to person for my 35-member staff when issues surrounding their employment needed to be handled. I could always count on her tact, discretion, and excellent recommendations on handling sometimes delicate situations. She was always a valued advisor to me.”
– Yvette St. Jacques, AVP for Communications, Stony Brook University (retired)

“Kudos to everyone involved in creating the video profiles. They are beautiful and really get at the heart of all we hope to communicate to students.

“We have been able to continuously evolve and improve our publications at every level because of Toby’s ability to understand and communicate our core values while capturing the flavor and personality of the changing culture at our university. Her respect for us as clients and her open approach to each new assignment makes collaboration a very smooth and enjoyable process. Toby is a discerning listener and a talented writer.”
– Judith Berhannan, Dean of Admissions, Stony Brook University

“Since 1999, I’ve had the pleasure of forging a collegial professional relationship with Toby Speed. As the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Stony Brook University, no matter what initiative my office is seeking to showcase — from our Commuter Assistant program to our students’ Alternative Spring Break Outreach — we have always been able to rely on Toby to tell our story clearly, accurately and with style.

“Toby’s writing ability, coupled with her collaborative demeanor and determined work ethic, make her a key component of our communications strategy. I wholeheartedly endorse Toby for writing and editing projects focused on clear communication of our mission.”
– Jerrold L. Stein, EdD, MBA, AVP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Stony Brook University (retired)

“Over the course of my 25 plus years as a copywriter and marketing communications professional, I’ve met and worked with dozens of writers.

“Some are endowed with strategic marketing minds. Some are great at distilling a story down to its vital essence with an engaging, reader-friendly style. Some are reliably diligent about meeting deadlines and checking their grammar, punctuation and facts. Some are easy to work with, open to feedback and enjoy collaboration. It’s rare; in fact incredibly rare to have the opportunity to work with a writer who offers all of the above, such as Toby Speed.

“In my role as Stony Brook University’s Advancement Communications Director, I’m responsible for unearthing stories of donor impact, alumni achievements, and success stories that encourage prospects to invest in our students, faculty and the important work they do here every day. Whenever a story was assigned to Toby, I knew it was in good hands.

“First, it’s evident that Toby has a true passion, a calling for writing and for telling stories that trigger an emotional reaction. This comes through in her work; stories that grab attention with compelling leads, telling details, and a fluent writing style that keeps us, her grateful readers, thoroughly engaged.

“Plus, she’s smart, fun, and a joy to be around. Hire her!”
– Elizabeth J. Craz, Advancement Communications Director, Stony Brook University

“It is a pleasure to recommend Toby Speed, whom I have known and worked with periodically since 1999. Toby has made a significant and lasting contribution to the overall branding and image of Stony Brook University.

“Among the many pieces Toby has written for and with the Career Center:
• Profiles of students and their accomplishments
• Articles highlighting internships and community service programs coordinated by the Career Center
• Key pieces for the website that showcase the Career Center’s services for students, including career exploration support, experiential education and internships, and professional development activities
• Interviews with select Career Center staff for general publications such as the Welcome Paper, Admissions’ Viewbook, and Alumni newsletters.

“Our interactions with Toby have always been positive — she’s worked with several members of the Career Center team to develop story ideas and gather background on career services. Years ago I asked Toby for advice as I created a communications-type of entry level position in my office. Toby willingly offered time to meet with my staff and me to discuss our goals for the position and offer suggestions of how we could attain them. Several years later, I have been able to expand this role in the office by elevating the position and creating an undergraduate internship to support this important work for the department.

“It has been a true pleasure working with Toby Speed and I am delighted to recommend her!”
– Marianna Savoca, Director, Career Center, Stony Brook University

“The story is AWESOME! I cannot thank you enough for highlighting these two fine student leaders and the mission and accomplishments of the Stony Brook SAAB [Student African American Brotherhood] chapter. It was a pleasure working with you to bring this story to life so that it could be shared with our campus community.

“I appreciate all that you have done to make Stony Brook special — both in our communications and in the media. I will certainly miss your presence on campus.”
– Cheryl Chambers, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs

“I wanted to express my deep gratitude for writing the website feature. It was beautifully done and I appreciate that you were able to capture my authentic self. You gave me a wonderful first-hand experience with the media, I can only wish/pray that any future ones create such a welcoming environment. I had tons of fun and felt honored to be selected as featured student.”
– Alexandra Santiago, student, Stony Brook University

“Thank you so much for writing my story and putting it on Stony Brook’s homepage! You did a remarkable job and I am so incredibly happy. Thank you for taking the time to interview me and for posting this. It is a wonderful story and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. I cannot thank you enough!”
– Colette Eustace, student, Stony Brook University

“Story came out fantastic! Thanks for interviewing me! I greatly appreciate the exposure!”
– Connor Beierle, student, Stony Brook University