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Tour guide at ease leading others

Jerry Granata chose Binghamton because he liked the variety of majors the University offered and he had no idea what he wanted to do.

These days, he’s a resident assistant and tour guide who helps underclassmen and high school students in similar straits. And, although he’s now a senior majoring in English and history with plans to go to law school, the campus remains one of his favorite elements of life at Binghamton.

“I love that we’re a campus separate from everything else and you can go for a walk at 2 a.m. by yourself or with a friend and feel safe,” he said.

Granata, 21, of Staten Island, is a first-generation college student from a family of electricians.

He recalls visiting Binghamton in the rain with a few friends, taking a tour and then stopping in the University Union to talk to students. His mind was made up by the time he left town, he said.

Granata, who belongs to the Alpha Phi Omega community service fraternity, is in his second year as a Hinman College RA. He was recently named to the National Residence Hall Honorary, which restricts its membership to the top 1 percent of residence hall leaders.

Granata said he has enjoyed getting to know and understand the University in a different way through his work as a tour guide and RA. “I like the behind-the-scenes part of it,” he said. “It’s made me think that I wouldn’t get in now if I applied.”

Jeffery Gates, associate director of undergraduate admissions, relies on students like Granata to help convey the value of a Binghamton education to other young people.

“He’s honest. He loves his experience at Binghamton,” Gates said. “Coming from a first-generation family, he wants to help others. Helping someone in their quest to go to college, he’ll go out of his way to make the tour the best it can be.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08