Spring 2013

The next chapter of your life



The next chapter of your life
Jonathan Cohen
Christina Ritter '99 and Rachel Siditsky '04, left to right in front, are joined by Dan Polhamus '00 and Tonya Parris '92 at a reception for President Harvey Stenger in Arlington, Va., last year.

Christina Ritter ’99 and Rachel Siditsky ’04 met while working for Binghamton’s Orientation program more than 10 years ago. Now the friends are working together again as co-leaders of the Alumni Association’s D.C. Metro Chapter, part of an effort to increase the presence of the University around the world.

“There are a lot of schools represented [here in Washington], and they have their own alumni chapters,” Ritter says. “We are newer, but we have a lot of alumni, and it’s great to have the opportunity to bring them together.” There are about 2,800 alumni living in and around Washington, D.C.

D.C. Metro is one of seven regional chapters launched in the past year, with locales ranging from the University’s hometown all the way to Hong Kong. Chapter leaders — among the 626 alumni volunteers who provided nearly 5,600 hours of service from July 2011 to June 2012 — actively plan events and programs.

Ritter, who works for the Fairfax County, Va., government, and Siditsky, a learning and development analyst, provide a mix of programs such as networking happy hours and cultural and sporting events.

In the past year, D.C. Metro alumni have gathered to attend a Washington Nationals baseball game and reception (an annual tradition), watch Binghamton Bearcats basketball, meet President Harvey Stenger and sit down with Professor Alvin Vos, faculty master of Hinman College, at a faculty tea. And more ways to connect are in the works

“Alumni always tell us they’re interested in providing students with internships, so that will be something we’ll focus on,” Ritter says. “And when this area had a chapter in the past, there was a great picnic every year, so we’ll try to bring it back and make it a larger tradition.”

“It has been great to meet alumni from the various decades — from the ’60s to those who graduated last year,” Siditsky says. “I enjoy talking to them about what’s going on at the University, for those who aren’t aware. In a sense, we’re the face of Binghamton University here.”

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