Career Champions Breakfast Awards Deserving Recipients
The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development recognizes that in order for students to be best prepared for lifelong success, they need a network of experts to mentor them and help guide them to career readiness. The “Culture of Career” initiative was launched in 2015 to celebrate the campus-wide effort to help our 17,000 students achieve career success. As part of this initiative, the Fleishman Center launched a program to recognize Career Champions across campus.
A Career Champion is someone who empowers students to find their purpose, identify and reach their goals, prepare for and solidify future professional plans or gain full-time employment.
The Career Champions Recognition Breakfast, which took place Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, celebrated 74 faculty and staff members who were nominated by students and colleagues.
Vice President for Student Affairs, Brian Rose, and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Donald Nieman, both began the program by applauding the contributions of the faculty and staff awardees.
Provost Nieman praised the work of the Fleishman Center staff with students but also for developing this program as a way to celebrate the work others are doing, too.
“Our faculty are terrific at engaging with our students and play an important role in helping students learn who they are and who they can become,” Nieman said. “A great many of our students will go to the world of work after graduation and it is these contributions that will help them understand all the possibilities.”
Brian Rose reiterated that what our faculty and staff are doing is very important to student success and he is grateful for the time they dedicate to their students. He said that parents want security in knowing their sons and daughters will have employment after they make their investment, and the Career Champions provide support that security.
“Our students don’t have the luxury of an economy absorbing our graduates so easily, so to get them to gainful employment, we have to help advise and support them,” Rose said. “The Fleishman Center provides the context, but if we’re not working with faculty and professional staff in all disciplines, then we won’t have the success we need to drive our students to those outcomes.”
Two Champions were chosen to receive their recognition letter from the students who nominated them.
Deborah Bundy, an administrative assistant in the School of Management, was presented her award by Nathan Oliver, a junior majoring in accounting, who said that though her job description requires no career guidance expertise, she is an expert nonetheless.
“Her passion and genuine caring attitude on life and all the students who meet her propels and motivates students to be as successful as possible,” Oliver said. “Over the course of just the first four weeks of the fall semester, Debbie has taught me more professional skills than in my first two years at Binghamton.”
Gisela Brinker-Gabler, graduate director in the comparative literature department was also awarded for her patience, encouragement and passion. “Gisela’s teaching style is strongly student-centered: she has a way of locating strengths in a student and steers her in the right direction so she can recognize them herself and find her own way,” says Angela Runciman, a PhD candidate for comparative literature.
Runciman met Brinker-Gabler her first semester of her master's program and she has worked with her since.
Brinker-Gabler said that in her 20 years of teaching at Binghamton University, teaching her “wonderful students” is a gift she receives every day.
-Written by Stacey Schimmel '18, BA in English rhetoric and political science