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Do you know of a Binghamton University graduate who is truly exceptional, and whose achievements bring pride to the University community? Nominate him or her for an Alumni Association Award. Learn more, and be sure to make your nomination by Nov. 30.

Submit a nomination by Dec. 31 for the Alumni Association board. We're looking for graduates who are eager to give back to the University and promote alumni volunteerism. Board members work with alumni relations staff on key projects, directly participating in committee work, events, and activities.

Take home a piece of Newing College. The Alumni Association and Uncommon Goods (founded by David Bolotsky '85) offer alumni the opportunity to purchase banks made from mailboxes salvaged from the Newing Dining Hall. A Newing bank can be a great keepsake to remind you of your time as a student at Binghamton.  Banks also make great gifts! Find out more and purchase a bank today.

We invite you to support our Fall 2012 graduates by volunteering at Fall Commencement, Sunday, Dec. 16. As a volunteer, you can welcome graduates' friends and families to the happy occasion, reconnect with former professors and friends, listen to Harpur Chorale's winter medley, and hear the majestic sounds of the Edward P. Maloney Memorial Pipe Band and inspiring speeches. To register, please visit the Commencement website.

Binghamton University is on iTunes! If you're on campus, you can access the iTunes site using your PODS ID and password. If you are off campus, you can access our video and audio files through Apple's iTunes store. Search for "Binghamton University" and you'll find academic lectures, videos from Alumni Association events and more!

 

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Are you looking for ways to save money on your dental bills this year? AlumniDent® provides affordable group dental insurance to alumni and their families, with immediate coverage for preventive, diagnostic and restorative services. AlumniDent also offers budget-friendly payment options to help keep costs low. And best of all, there is no network – so you can keep your family dentist! For online enrollment, or to learn more about this exclusive plan available through the Alumni Insurance Program, visit the AlumniDent website.

 

Volunteer spotlight: Cool Connections, Hot Alumni


By Steve Seepersaud


Cool Connections, Hot AlumniA Binghamton University graduate has played a key role in creating one of the most popular toys on the market, and he recently shared some of his experiences with current students. 

David Wong '95, director of engineering for Fisher-Price, the maker of Tickle Me Elmo, talked to about 40 students via videoconference on Oct. 17, as part of the Alumni Association's "Cool Connections, Hot Alumni" virtual career speaker series.

Wong, who majored in electrical engineering in the Watson School, oversees all aspects of electrical components in the company's toys. He says that he's most proud of his work on the 10th anniversary TMX Tickle Me Elmo, which was released in 2006. The production team had a lot at stake, trying to complete the project and ship Elmos to the United States in time for the holiday shopping season.

"We pulled it off under tremendous time pressure and it involved me flying over to Asia and living there for about a month, and working with the factory and developers," Wong said. "We were in jeopardy of having to air-ship it and, in the toy industry, you never want to air-ship it because that eats into all your profit. Typically things are shipped by boat, which is much cheaper but takes a lot longer."

Wong also talked about some of the complex circuitry involved in getting Elmo to come to life, and said the coursework in the Watson School had prepared him well.

"These Elmos were semi-robotic," Wong said. "The TMX laughed so hard that he fell onto the floor, beat the floor with his hands, rolled onto his back, laughed some more and then got back up."

Wong's career path has taken a few twists and turns over the years as he started in medical electronics then designed elevator controllers. He wound up in toys serendipitously; he wanted a shorter commute because his then-employer moved to New Jersey.

He told students it may take some time to land the job that best suits them, and they shouldn't feel troubled because of that. "I think figuring out what you don't want to do is just as important as figuring out what you do want to do."

 

 

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.

 

 

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Last Updated: 11/12/13