Building stronger Binghamton alumni communities
By Steve Seepersaud
If I can do it, you can do it. That was the spirit behind "Success Stories: Alumni Programs that Engage, Motivate and Inspire," during which longtime volunteers shared why they've remained involved with their alma mater and how they have helped to build the University community. The session was part of the Alumni Leaders Conference and held April 27 on campus.
Heidi Goldstein '81, Alumni Association vice president, served as the moderator, saying that she initially became involved because she wanted to help strengthen Binghamton University's alumni relations. She said she has a living reminder of her Binghamton experience — her husband, David Kepke '81.
As co-leader of the D.C. Metro Alumni Chapter, Christina Ritter '99 has planned a variety of events and programs such as networking receptions, baseball games, picnics and basketball game-watching parties.
"The people I've met and connections I've made so far make it rewarding," Ritter said. "Watching the connections alumni make with each other has been really fun for me. Living in the D.C. Metro area is challenging because it's so large. We have people living in the district, close to it and further out in Maryland and Virginia. To reach everyone, our programs have to be diverse in content and location."
Anthony Mascolo '77 has been telling the Binghamton story as an Alumni Admissions Volunteer, meeting with students at college fairs on Staten Island, where he lives and works. He says he enjoys helping to provide the University with future alumni.
"I was waitlisted when I was looking to come to this college," Mascolo said. "A guidance counselor of mine picked up a phone and he told me, 'Tony, you're good, they're going to take you.' A week later, I was admitted to Binghamton, and I was forever grateful for that."
TAU alumnus Dr. Geoff "Gerrry" Epstein '89 (left in photo with Christina Ritter) has been a driving force in bringing his fraternity brothers together; each year, the group has a golf tournament, ski trip and networking mixer.
"We've been able to maintain a spirit, brotherhood and camaraderie, and we do this in an organized fashion. The University actually gave us all our start with careers, friends and, for many of us, with our wives and families. TAU makes it much more enjoyable to give back to the University."
Marcel Bucsescu '03 is active in one of the newest volunteer programs, the Liberal Arts to Careers Externship (LACE), which is a one-to-one job-shadowing program for Harpur College sophomores.
"I got involved because I thought it was important," Bucsescu said (at right of photo with Anthony Mascolo). "When you start working, you don't know what it's like — how you get involved in the workplace and succeed. You get skills in the classroom, but that's half the equation. The other half is how you interact with people, how you deal with conflict, how you work in diverse environments. I want students to come in and see what it's like in the workplace and be exposed to these things."
BE ENGAGED - MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Learn more about how you can make an impact as an alumni volunteer. We have a number of ways you can be involved; we are certain you will find at least one that matches your talents and interests.