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Scholar ‘passionate’ about extracurricular activities

By : Greg Norman

After spending four years as an undergraduate at Binghamton University, Joe Bansgopaul can say he made the most of his opportunities to become involved in student life.

The 21-year-old information systems and finance major has participated in a dozen clubs and activities, ranging from serving as a representative on the Student Association to being the president of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi.

And when it comes to balancing extracurricular involvement and schoolwork, the White Plains native has a positive outlook.

“A lot of it is time management, but if you find those things on campus that you’re passionate about and make yourself involved, then it takes care of itself,” Bansgopaul said. “I don’t think of it as a challenge as much as an opportunity.”

On the academic side, Bansgopaul has served as a peer advisor for fellow undergraduates in the School of Management.

“He’s responsible for handling student questions and needs, petitions and questions regarding major and course selections,” said Brian Perry, undergraduate advisor for SOM.

Bansgopaul’s volunteer mentoring work is indispensable to the department, Perry added.

“There are 1,400 students (in the school), so it’s not possible for one person to handle that many people,” he said.

Bansgopaul is also a member of several multicultural organizations, including the Black Student Union, Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (JUMP), Caribbean Student Association and the Bert Mitchell Minority Management Organization.

His interest in multiculturalism on campus also led him to run for the executive vice president position of the Student Association in 2008, a position he did not earn. He still thought the campaign experience was valuable.

“I went from scratch to learning all the in and outs of our student government. I learned about the bureaucracy of our school,” Bansgopaul  said. “I went into these positions … because I wanted to promote diversity.”

As president of Kappa Alpha Psi and the National Pan Hellenic Council, a collaboration of Greek organizations, Bansgopaul brought to campus the first annual “Step Up or Shut Up” step show during 2009’s Homecoming weekend, which attracted students from SUNY schools to compete in the Osterhout Theater.

Other positions Bansgopaul  has held include being a resident assistant and a front desk and building supervisor in the East Gym.

He chose Binghamton University over several other top Northeast business schools, based on its affordability and experiences he heard from his sister, Natasha Bansgopaul  ’08.

After graduation, Bansgopaul plans to earn real estate and stockbroker licenses, and eventually return to graduate school.

On the side, he hopes to create several Internet-based companies, an interest he developed from taking Web design and e-commerce classes at Binghamton.

“I want to touch on the technology side of business, because I know that having that information with the way that the world is working now, that understanding technology is going to put you ahead of the curve,” Bansgopaul said.

“I want to use the skills from those classes to start a few businesses,” he added, referring to one idea: a dining services website catering to college students.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08