When imagining a lawyer, the common conception is of the trial lawyer and prosecutor, people who get up and make dramatic arguments before a judge and jury. But that is only a tiny segment of the large spectrum of law practice. There's bankruptcy, securities, non-profit, in-house, regulatory enforcement, anti-trust and a myriad more.
Over winter break, nine Binghamton University alumni, all practicing attorneys representing this wide array, gave 25 students considering law school a rare insider's view to the diversity of practices. Usually, undergrads don't get that kind of perspective so early, says Jeff Tanenbaum '73, whose law office -- Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP -- hosted the three-evening class, Current Issues in Legal Practice.
"There are so many options for the students to consider and think about," he says. "This is a wonderful opportunity for them to get a really good feel for what opportunities are out there before they embark on the time-consuming and expensive endeavor of going to law school."
Taylor Arluck, a double major in financial economics and philosophy, politics and law, signed up because he recognized Tanenbaum's name as an expert in financial law and wanted to learn from him. Arluck was already leaning toward financial law, but the class helped crystallize his thinking, especially when he learned about the life-and-death decisions criminal and family lawyers face everyday.
"Some of the things that criminal litigators face are too much for me," he says. "I don't have the stomach for it."
Over the three days, Arluck got to know some of the alumni and intends to ask their advice on strategies to give him an even further head start on law school, like how much time to spend studying for the LSAT, which topics to understand before entering law school, which books to read and what kinds of internships to pursue.
Jessica Lorden '83, vice president and general counsel for IBM North America, says she'd be happy to help students guide their careers. After her discussion about practicing law in-house for a large corporation, Lorden gave students her contact info and exchanged e-mail addresses.
"This program is a great example of connecting current students to alumni to help mentor and to help network," she says. "I hope they get a sense that alumni really care and that they can reach out to us."
SOM maintains AACSB accreditation
By Steve Seepersaud
The Association to Advance Collegiate Business Schools (AACSB) International has reaffirmed its accreditation of the School of Management.
A peer review team visited SOM in the fall and commended the school for its continuous improvement environment and best practices including active student engagement through service-learning projects and development of leadership skills through case competitions. The team also noted the school's unique initiatives, including the Center for Leadership Studies and the PricewaterhouseCoopers Scholars Program, which help enhance the school's international reputation.
"The school's reaccreditation is further affirmation that the School of Management is one of the elite business programs in the nation," says Upinder Dhillon, Dean and Koffman Scholar.
AACSB accreditation standards are used as the basis to evaluate a business school's mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas. Accreditation ensures that the business school is providing a top-quality education and represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.
Placing emphasis on global relationships
By Ashley Smith
Binghamton University's international relationships are robust and building these partnerships is by no means a new objective, says Krishnaswami (Hari) Srihari, dean of the Watson School. It is a continuing effort that is essential to offering faculty and students the global exposure that is crucial in our ever-shrinking world.
"Binghamton's international experience and opportunities are already extensive," Srihari said. "We offer more than 520 study-abroad opportunities in more than 50 countries, and the student population includes nearly 2,200 international students from more than 90 countries, with many others identifying as first- or second-generation Americans.
"Our focus now is on how we can grow and enhance the breadth and depth of what we already have to give the University a greater footprint around the globe," he said.
Over the past six months, the University has shown remarkable growth in global exposure, signing four memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with top international universities in Korea and India.
The partnerships cultivated are about more than just academic degrees. They bring enormous opportunity for academic and research collaborations through student and faculty exchanges, as well as valuable experience for those involved.
"We're offering the chance to experience a different culture first-hand and gain knowledge and skills that are critical to success in our increasingly multicultural world," Srihari said.
Many Watson School faculty already work with students at partner universities on research. Professors such as Daryl Santos of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering have spent time on teaching exchanges – his in Kaist, Korea. Also, students from Renmin and Hebei Universities in China are on campus as part of 2+2 programs this year. Bilateral exchanges such as these are a win-win for all involved – the type of partnership that Srihari says holds long-term promise.
Srihari signed an MOU on behalf of Binghamton with the Vishwakarma Institute of Technology (VIT) located in Pune, India, on Jan. 19. And, prior to winter break, he traveled with Interim President C. Peter Magrath, Interim Vice President of Research Bahgat Sammakia and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Seungbae "SB" Park to four of the top universities in Korea, where they signed three MOUs and reaffirmed a fourth (existing) agreement.
But this is not a push to partner with as many universities as possible, Srihari says. Rather, it's an effort to align Binghamton University with countries and universities that best match the needs and interests of our faculty, students and programs.
"There are hundreds of universities in India and Korea, but we're looking at who are the right partners for us," Srihari says. Kaist University in Korea is touted as the second-leading university in the country - the equivalent of a school such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. "It's truly a world-class institution that will give our faculty an unbelievable opportunity to work with top researchers in their fields."
With nearly 15 pins in the map across South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Srihari says, "We're focusing on 10-15 partnerships that we can make work very well," including three or four universities in India, two in Jordan, two in China, four in Korea and one in Vietnam.
And that's just one corner of the globe.
From staff reports
Binghamton University's Decker School of Nursing is home to the Innovative Practice Center (IPC). The laboratory space and equipment that comprise the Center significantly expanded because of a generous gift from the Dr. G. Clifford and Florence B. Decker Foundation.
The IPC houses a family of human patient simulators including five Vital Sims, three Sim Men and one Sim Baby. These high-fidelity computerized mannequins are technologically advanced teaching tools capable of being programmed to represent typical clinical patient conditions and clinical situations.
See more about simulation education in a video on the University's YouTube site.
Social work alumna perspective
By Sophia Resciniti '00, MSW '06
During the last four years, I have experienced exactly what you would expect in the field of social work. Never a dull moment! Truly, this is a degree like no other, allowing us to work in different settings and serve a diverse clientele with a broad range of needs.
I was in the first part-time cohort to graduate with a master's degree from Binghamton University in December 2006. Since then, I have been working part time at the Family & Children's Society, where I have been given the opportunity to see clients both in the domestic violence program and the general counseling program. I work with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence by conducting assessments, creating treatment plans, seeing clients for individual counseling and co-facilitating victims and batterers groups. The clients I see in the general counseling program come with an array of mental health problems, emotional disturbances and intimate relationship issues.
In addition to my work at Family & Children's Society, I have been working per-diem at Lourdes Hospice, where I assess families' emotional needs and offer support to the dying and their families.
With the desire to serve my clients to the best of my ability, I have taken every opportunity to grow as a professional. In 2009, after extensive training based on the Instinctual Trauma Response model, I became a certified trauma therapist specializing in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dissociation. I also completed training in Disaster Response and Deployment through the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology, and my most recent endeavor, in the fall of 2010, was to become an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association (EMDRIA)-approved therapist.
My degree in social work allowed me the privilege to be part of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team, where I assisted our community during times of crisis, such as the shooting at the American Civic Association in Binghamton.
I am more excited then ever about my career. I work with some of the most amazing individuals who have experienced painful, life-altering situations. I feel privileged to be allowed to play a part in their journey to healing. Seeing my clients respond to the different approaches I employ gives me motivation and an increased sense of responsibility to continue growing personally and professionally.
I particularly enjoy the Trauma/Dissociation work and my plan for the near future is to eventually become certified in EMDR and to add more holistic mind/body approaches to my repertoire of approaches
Getting youth the help they need
From the Binghamton University Foundation Annual Report
"Years ago it wasn't expected that all youths would graduate from high school," Laura Bronstein says. "Now that is the goal."
In recent decades, though, social problems have been intensifying while families and children's needs have become more complex, creating challenges for financially strapped public schools to keep youths focused on their education.
To identify where children and their families need help, Bronstein, chair of the Department of Social Work in the College of Community and Public Affairs, has collaborated with Elizabeth Anderson, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education, to look across the disciplines of education, nursing and social work.
The two used their findings from a needs assessment funded with grants from the Binghamton University Research Foundation and the United Way to land a $52,000 Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation grant, which launched the Building Accessible Interdisciplinary Services for Binghamton Families and Children program in fall 2008.
Operating through last spring, the program placed a social-work graduate student and a nurse-practitioner student in each of two Binghamton city schools to work closely with staff, students and families in identifying issues that disrupt education.
"A referral from someone in the school would lead to a comprehensive health screening because there might be underlying health issues impeding education," Anderson says. "Based on that, a psychosocial history might be done by the social work intern. The team would then pull together to look at the child holistically."
"Our goal was to look at the whole child, the whole family, the whole school — to look at the context and see what the issues are that are impeding children's success and to address them, whether they're academic, physical health, mental health, psychosocial or a combination thereof," Bronstein says.
The success of the program helped lead to a $5.6 million federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant awarded to Broome-Tioga BOCES, which includes subcontracts to Lourdes Hospital Youth Services and to the Center for Best Practices in Full-Service Community Schools at the Institute for Intergenerational Studies at Binghamton University. The institute was developed in 2009 to further the work begun by Bronstein and Anderson. The Safe Schools grant, called S.H.A.R.E. (Safe, Healthy Attitudes Require Education), serves 28,000 children in 53 schools throughout 10 Broome County school districts.