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Transfer student finds success as RA, intern

What most resident assistants might avoid in a living-working experience, Barbara Smith revels in.

“I like the fact that my floor is so chaotic,” she said. “There are a lot of different energies.”

The senior human development major, a first-year RA, has cultivated a sense of purpose for herself during the last year in Newing’s Bingham Hall.

Smith transferred to Binghamton last year from Nassau Community College near her home on the South Shore of Long Island, and seems to have embraced all that Binghamton can offer.

She interns at the University Counseling Center, where she develops and organizes sexual assault prevention programs, is a member of the Dickinson Community players and has been a teaching assistant in an HDEV course called Multicultural Playback Theater.

“I’m forming a lot of relationships,” Smith says. “I have a lot of plans.”

Smith is weighing those plans, taking civil service exams, considering a doctorate in psychology and looking into graduate programs in clinical forensics and social work.

She describes her involvement in the Counseling Center as challenging in its own right.

“It was a lot of responsibilities you wouldn’t normally expect,” she said. “I’m really into it.”

“She has a knowledge of social issues,” says Beth Riley, coordinator of sexual assault programs at the Counseling Center. “She has really creative ideas on how to work with people.”

Both Riley and Sarah Courtney, Bingham’s resident director, attest to Smith’s leadership role and the respect she garners among her peers. “People seek her out,” Courtney says. “I know I’ve learned a lot from her.”

Between her investment in the social welfare of this campus and the dialogue she is able to foster within it, it would seem Smith’s career choice is clear. Still, she says, her plans are multifaceted.

“I enjoy actually being out there, gaining experience and communicating with people,” she said. “I’m keeping my options open.”­­­­

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Last Updated: 10/14/08