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Binghamton native ‘wanted to give something back’

By : Eric Coker

Kristina Krise’s homecoming will culminate this weekend with a master’s degree in public administration.

Krise grew up in Binghamton, graduated from Chenango Valley High School and received her bachelor’s in political science and policy studies in 2007 from Syracuse University. When Krise’s professors at Syracuse suggested continuing her education with public administration, it became a matter of finding the right school.
Krise looked to home.

“Growing up here, I wanted to give something back,” she said. “(Binghamton) was a great deal and I knew they were building the Downtown Center, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to come here.”

Krise, 24, has become a leader in the College of Community and Public Affairs’ Department of Public Administration. She received the department’s Distinguished Service Award and served as president of the Graduate Student Organization’s MPA division.

“The best part of that was getting to know more people, more students and more faculty,” she said. “You learn how to build connections and learn the importance of relationships.”

Being a part of the Philanthropy Incubator also was a learning experience for Krise. The University was one of 10 in the country to be picked for the philanthropy project. She and other public administration and social work students awarded funds to local nonprofit agencies after designing and implementing a grant-making process. Krise helped review applications and choose the winners.

“The Philanthropy Incubator capped my MPA career,” she said. “It was a lot of decision-making that many of us weren’t used to.”

David Campbell, assistant professor of public administration and director of the Philanthrophy Incubator, said Krise is community service-minded, positive and possibility-oriented.

“She sees opportunity for community service everywhere and goes for it,” he said. “That’s what makes her exceptional. When people have that gift, they definitely go far.”

Krise, who worked full time while attending the University full time, said she is proud to be part of a program that has helped her gain friends of all ages and provides a link to the community.

“This is a community-oriented college,” she said. “Being downtown has actually led us to fulfill the mission of the college. Every day it’s growing. The community outreach is growing.”

She also believes that a downtown law school will help to integrate the University and the community.

Krise is excited that her grandmother will attend Commencement and looks forward to seeing CCPA students graduate.

“Everyone is at a different place in their lives,” she said. “It will be interesting to see where people go.”

The next step for Krise is Broome-Tioga Workforce New York, where she has worked in youth programming and has helped youth find summer jobs. She plans to stay on as a training and employment coordinator. Krise said she would like to remain in the area and buy a house.

“I thought I would have a ho-hum attitude (now) and just want to graduate,” she said. “It’s getting sad. … With the faculty, friends and other people I met here, I’ve learned so much about Binghamton that I didn’t know.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08