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Posted by Carolyn Heefner on February 25, 2019
Thank-A-Giver Day is an opportunity for Binghamton students, faculty and staff to recognize donors for their generous gifts and scholarships. Whether it's a place, program or student opportunity, everyone is impacted by our donors. Read about these six students who have been able to accomplish their goals, and live their dreams thanks to donor support.
Donors make alumni-student connections, like the one I experienced, possible. Through the Harpur Edge Distance Mentoring Program, I was able to quickly build rapport with my mentor over the phone, gaining insights about leadership, organization and how to navigate as a woman in a corporate environment. I’m currently majoring in PPL and Political Science, and I was seriously impressed by my mentor's expertise and passion for the mentorship program, and genuine concern for my success. This was more than I expected on our first appointment. This distance-mentoring program wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for our donors.
Last year I was part of a team (selected as one of only eight) entering a national business analytics case competition in Pittsburgh. Gifts from donors enabled my team and I to put everything we learned about the case competition and data analytics on the line. Even though we didn't win the overall challenge, we were the team closest to determining the actual sales numbers from the case. Donors made this possible for me and for students across campus to test themselves in real-world situations... I can take everything I've learned in the classroom and apply it in a practical way. It's a great way to learn.
As the chief of Harpur’s Ferry, I’ve come to understand that hands-on learning experiences for students can mean the difference between life and death. Binghamton Fund donors helped expand the Heartsafe Campus Initiative that educates the University community on CPR and the automated external defibrillator (AED) we use. We think alumni, parents, faculty/staff and students making it possible for students to learn to save lives is pretty incredible. Donors make programs like this possible.
I earned my bachelor's degree in industrial and systems engineering in May and I'm working on my master's in the same field. Donors have made it possible for me to develop my passion for engineering and compete nationally as a student-athlete. In athletics, this means providing essential resources for the Student-Athlete Success Center, facility and equipment upgrades, travel opportunities and more. It feels great to know donors care. I hope to follow their example one day by giving back to Binghamton, too.
Because of donor support I was able to participate in Binghamton University’s Metro Connections Night 2018 in New York City, an event where students meet and network with alumni in their fields. Then last summer I got involved with the Harpur Edge LACE program, where students are matched with alumni in a profession of their interest. Coincidentally, I was matched with an alumna I met at Metro Connections, strengthening our relationship, maybe even making way for a potential job opportunity after I graduate. Gifts to Binghamton make these opportunities available for students throughout their college career.
I spent the summer working to find criminals as an intern at the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor through the Harpur Law Council Public Interest Law Internship Program. Helping the government regulatory agency fight organized crime and unfair hiring practices was a dream come true for me. I’ve known that I wanted to be a lawyer since middle school, so this experience was life-changing. But I wouldn’t have been able to participate in this internship if it weren’t for Binghamton’s donors. As someone who lives too far from New York City to commute, and can’t afford expensive NYC housing, donors generosity made it possible for me to complete my dream internship in the city this past summer.
Carolyn Heefner is the advancement communications manager at Binghamton University. As a Binghamton native, she is passionate about the area and about the University.
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There's always something new and interesting going on at Binghamton University, and this blog is our way of sharing in that excitement with you. Stay up to date on the latest happenings, learn something new, have a laugh (or two), and join us as we celebrate this energetic and outstanding community! This is your story, Binghamton.
Karen Auster ‘88: Founder and CEO of Auster Agency
Nicole Sirju-Johnson MPA ‘99, PhD ‘11: Campus Diversity, associate chief diversity officer
Adam Fox ‘92: Section Chief of Trauma at Rutgers NJ Medical School
Jacki Jing ‘08: Host/Producer for IGN Entertainment
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