Hinman's Current Faculty Master
Hinman College’s Faculty Master is Professor Al Vos, universally known simply as “Al,” and every afternoon you’ll find him in his colorful, welcoming Hinman office—almost always chatting with students who drop by in large numbers. One of Hinman’s most warm and accessible people, and one of BU’s most experienced faculty members, Al has become, as a profile by a former student says, “a mentor to a sizable portion of the campus population. He's what you could call the ‘Mr. Feeny’ of Binghamton. He doesn't just teach students. He nurtures them and helps them discover who they are and what they're capable of.”
Some of Al’s favorite words to describe his role as Hinman’s Faculty Master are “bridge-builder,” “talent scout,” and “nurturer,” to which must be added “community developer.” As he says in another profile in BU’s INSIDE, “Hinman has an amazing sense of community … it always has and still does. There’s the Hinman community, which I sometimes call the Hinman family. Secondly, there’s a Hinman spirit, and if you talk to students they will tell you it’s real. You can’t define it, but you can feel it. And thirdly, there’s Hinman pride, in the best sense of that word. As Faculty Master, my job is to help renew and perpetuate those three trademarks of the Hinman community.”
As Hinman’s Faculty Master Al plays a key role in the residential experience, bringing together living and learning, helping students connect academic life with life outside the classroom. Al is a role model, an advisor, and a leader. He is dedicated to community service – every year he teaches service-learning courses and is one of the driving forces behind Hinman’s ALIVE program. For Hinman students he’s a go-to person when there are questions about academic issues and non-academic concerns. You can find him on Facebook, one of his favorite ways to keep in touch with all the Hinman alumni who have come to know and love him over the years.
Educated at the University of Chicago, Al Vos has taught Shakespeare at SUNY Binghamton since 1970. After serving as Undergraduate Director of the English Department for many years, he sought the Faculty Master position as a way to have even more satisfying interactions with students outside the classroom. His tenure as Master has seen the establishment of “The Hinman Hub” (a reorganized Hinman Library and Hinman Commons for students to have a more centralized access to resources), the creation of the Discovery Program, the Hinman Alumni Network, and the ALIVE program (Active Leaders In Volunteer Experiences). He was also responsible for the creation of area-based courses (“ABC Courses”) atBinghamton University, and each fall he teaches one specifically for first-year Hinman students. Numerous future HCC officers, RA’s, DA’s, and other Hinman leaders have emerged from that course. He was also present when Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” became the unofficial Hinman community anthem. He is a tireless champion of Hinman traditions, and speaks often of “the Hinman spirit.” His respect for Hinman traditions is surpassed only by his devotion to seeing the students of Hinman succeed and grow as future leaders.