25 Notable Binghamton Alumni You Probably Didn’t Know About

Posted by Binghamton University on July 15, 2015

After receiving so much enthusiasm from our first list, we've decided to add more of our talented alumni -- because 14 simply wasn't enough!

Binghamton University’s Alumni Association represents over 120,000 graduates and gives special recognition awards to alumni every year. Binghamton graduates are out in the real world -- working at the nation’s top companies, winning awards, publishing novels, launching startups, conducting important research and making their mark as alumni.

You probably already know about our most visible alumni, like actor Billy Baldwin, singer Ingrid Michaelson and Progressive's "Flo," but there are many lesser-known yet equally impressive Binghamton graduates. Here are just a few.

1. Scott Krug, BS, Accounting, 1996

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Krug is chief financial officer of the New York Yankees and was also a key player in the project to build the new Yankee Stadium. As CFO, he oversees the team's finances and works to bring non-baseball events to the stadium. 

2. Hakeem Jeffries, BA, Afro-American and African Studies, 1992

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In 2012, Jeffries was elected as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives and was sworn in on Jan. 3, 2013. His district represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens. He is the first Binghamton graduate elected to the U.S. Congress. 

3. Bob Swan, MBA, 1985

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Swan is the senior vice president and CFO for eBay. In this position, which he has held since 2006, Swan assumes responsibility and accountability for the financial activities and performance of the company.  

4. Camille Paglia, BA, English, 1968

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Paglia is a self-described dissident feminist, author and professor. She is well-known as a critic of American feminism and post-structuralist theory, as well as a commentator on U.S. social culture, visual arts, music and film history. 

5. Marc Lawrence, BA, English, 1981

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Lawrence is a writer, director and producer of movies such as Music and Lyrics (2007) and The Rewrite (2014), a romantic comedy set in Binghamton. He also wrote both Miss Congeniality (2000) and its sequel, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005).

6. Jay Walder, BA, Economics, 1980

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Walder is CEO of Motivate, a global bike sharing company that operates systems in ten cities around the globe. Previously, he was CEO of Hong Kong's MTR Corporation, and chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in NYC, the largest transit agency in the U.S.

7. Maureen Kelly, BA, English, 1992

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Ever hear of tarte cosmetics? Well, Kelly founded the natural-ingredient cosmetic line out of her New York City apartment in 1999. She was also named Woman of the Year by Entrepreneur magazine in 2007.

8. Joseph Eron, BS, Biochemistry, 1980

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After he graduated from Binghamton, Eron went to medical school at Harvard. He has since conducted groundbreaking clinical research on AIDS and other infectious diseases, including co-authoring the original paper describing the AIDS drug cocktail.

9. Arel Moodie, BA, Philosophy, Politics and Law, 2005

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Founder of Arel Moodie International and The College Success Program, Moodie has become a best-selling author and highly sought-after motivational speaker, talking to students about how to succeed in college through leadership.  

10. Paul Reiser, BA, Music, 1977

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Reiser is best known for his role in the 1990s TV sitcom Mad About You and is ranked 77th on Comedy Central's 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time." He is also founder of the on-campus community theater organization we now called Hinman Production Company. He received his honorary Doctor in Humane Letters from the University in 2000.

11. Rocco Passionino, BS, Computer Science, 1991

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Passionino, a visual effects supervisor, sunk the Titanic using digital effects in the movie’s production and has also worked on high-profile movies such as Spy Kids, Spiderman 2, The Day After Tomorrow, Step Brothers, Pineapple Express, The Twilight Saga-Breaking Dawn Pt.2 and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Televison Series.

12. Sunny Hostin, BA, English, 1990

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Hostin, who was previously an assistant United States attorney in Washington, D.C., specializing in child sex crimes, began her television career appearing regularly as a legal expert on Court TV and The O’Reilly Factor. Today, she writes her own news column, "Sunny's Law," on CNN.

13. Geraldine Knoll MacDonald, BA, Psychology, 1968; MS, Advanced Technology, 1973

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MacDonald is a successful independent consultant who specializes in Internet startups and wireless applications. She also served as vice president for America Online Inc., where she operated the world's largest dial-up network, which supported more than 3 million users. 

14. Scott Diamond, BS, Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2011

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Diamond became the University's first Major League Baseball player when he took the mound for the Minnesota Twins in 2011.

15. Donna Lupardo, MA, Philosophy, 1983

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The first assemblywoman to represent Broome County in the New York State Legislature, Lupardo has secured capital funding for many projects on the Binghamton University campus, including the New York State Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging (S3IP), the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Division I athletic facilities including tennis courts and softball fields.

16. Tony Kornheiser, BA, English, 1970

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Kornheiser is an American sportswriter and former columnist for The Washington Post, as well as a radio and television talk host. He has hosted The Tony Kornheiser Show on radio in various forms since 1992, co-hosts Pardon the Interruption on ESPN, and served as an analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football from 2006-08.

17. Deborah Tannen, BA, English Literature, 1966

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Tannen is an American academic and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, following a term in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.

18. Steven Fulop, BA, Political Science, 1999

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Fulop is the 49th mayor of Jersey City, N.J., backed by President Obama and fighting what he calls "a corrupt political machine." After seeing first-hand the effects of the 9/11 attacks, he decided to put his career at Goldman Sachs on hold and join the U.S. Marine Corps. He assumed the office of mayor in July 2013 and has since been ranked by NJ Biz and PolitickerNJ as one of the most influential officeholders in New Jersey. 

19. Jenna Wolfe, BA, French and English, 1996

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Wolfe is a Jamaican-American journalist. From 2007-14, she was a correspondent for NBC's Today, Sunday co-anchor from 2007-12, and news anchor for Weekend Today from 2012-14. In September 2014, she was promoted to Today lifestyle and fitness correpondent and NBC News national correspondent. 

20. Madeleine Smithberg, BA, Art History, 1981

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Smithberg is co-creater of The Daily Show, as well as its former executive producer. She was also executive producer of Steve Harvey's Big Time and a talent coordinator for Late Night with David Lettterman. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the University and established a scholarship to honor the memory of her cousin to benefit students wishing to study abroad. 

21. Ruben Santiago-Hudson, BA, Theatre, 1978

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Santiago-Hudson is an American actor and playwright who has won national awards in both areas. From 2009-11, he played Captain Roy Montgomery on ABC's Castle, and in November 2011 he appeared on Broadway in the play Stick Fly. In 2013, he starred in the TV series, Low Winter Sun, a police drama set in Detroit. Hudson encourages students to "choose a career that you want to get up every day and be happy and proud to do."  

22. Anita Diamant, MA, English, 1975

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Diamant is an American author of fiction and non-fiction books. She is best known for her novel, The Red Tent, a New York Times bestseller. She has also written several guides for Jewish people, including The New Jewish Wedding and Living a Jewish Life. “I’m very proud to be an alumna of Binghamton,” she said during a campus visit. 

23. Eric P. Schwartz, BA, Political Science, 1979

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Schwartz received an honorary Doctor of Laws in 2014. He was nominated by President Obama and served as U.S. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration from 2009-2012. He also previously worked for the United Nations and The Connect U.S. Fund. In October 2011, he took a job as the dean of the Hubert H. Humprey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

24. Peter Guttman, BA, Geography, 1976

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Guttman is an award-winning travel journalist, as well as an author, photographer, lecturer and adventurer, who has travelled on assignment to all seven continents and more than 220 countries. He is the creator of two book series, has seven hardcovers about his global adventures and has created apps for the iPhone and iPad. His travel app, "Beautiful Planet HD," is the number one best-selling app for the iPad and was named by NBC as one of the "8 Outstanding Educational Apps."

25. Faisal Farooqui, BS, Management, 1999

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Farooqui is the founder and CEO of Mouthshut.com, a product and service review and discovery platform. Mouthshut.com is in its 14th year of business and was created four years before the creaton of the review site Yelp.com. He was an elected member of the Student Assembly and wrote a technology column for Pipe Dream.

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