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Student's passion is talking to donors

Senior Jess Kantor has been a teaching assistant, worked with the Art Mission and in-terned with the Events Center, but her real passion lies in the basement of the University Union at the Telefund center.

Kantor, 22, a marketing, consulting and leadership major from Gloucester, Mass., has worked for the Binghamton University Foundation Telefund program for the past three years, two of them as a student manager.

Telefund, a student caller program, contacts Binghamton University parents and alumni for donations. Kantor loves the work — and getting paid to talk on the phone.

“It’s not just about asking them for money,” she said. “You are selling some-thing that you believe in.”

And what Kantor believes in is her school. She applied here late, got accept-ed, took a campus tour and knew this was the place for her. She knew it had a great reputation academically and she loved the campus’ modern layout.

“My mom said, ‘If you go to school with New Yorkers, you’re either going to sink or swim,’” Kantor recalled.

Kantor has raised more than $106,000 for the University. Her work earned her the Council for Advance-ment and Support of Education District I & II Student Scholarship, which brought her to a New York City conference in February.

BethAnn Lubert, Telefund’s assistant director, sees Kantor in action. “She has such an easygoing way about her that she is able to put parents and alumni at ease when speaking with them on the phone,” Lubert said.

After graduation, Kantor wants to get an institutional advancement job in New York, perhaps at a University. “You aren’t little and thinking you want to be a professional fundraiser when you grow up, but that’s my success,” she said. “I love to listen as much as I love to talk.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08