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Leadership Weekend

Harpur alumni return to campus to network
   with students

By Meghan Stratton, Jake Becker, Leah Ferentinos,
Kristin Letsch and Samson Widerman

Click to view a slideshow. . . . . . . . . . . .
View photos of the Alumni/Student Meet and Greet event. . . . . . . . . . . . .

More than 30 Harpur College alumni returned to mentor and network with students at the Harpur College Alumni/Student Meet and Greet.

The event was jointly hosted by the Career Development Center and the Harpur Dean's Office during the university's Alumni Leadership Conference on April 26.

"It's important for students to hear what Harpur alumni have done with their liberal arts degrees," said Wendy Neuberger '81, MBA '84, who serves as the Liberal Arts to Careers Externship (LACE) coordinator and is also a Binghamton University alumna.

Merrit Hartblay '76, who attended the event and participates in the LACE program, agreed that this interaction is beneficial for students.

"Bridging the gap between students and alumni is crucial," Hartblay said. "We've all been exactly where they're standing right now so we know how to help when they need it."

Alumna Geraldine Toussaint '08 said she could feel her college experience coming full circle as she talked to students about working for Teach for America: "Here I am coming back five years later with all the experiences I've had. I'm really happy to be a resource for young students."

Terry Kwan '67 received her bachelor's in science and mathematics from Harpur College and has been on the Alumni Board of Directors for the past six years. She traveled from her home in Boston to talk to students about applying their degrees to careers.

Kwan hoped to impart to students how powerful and versatile a Harpur College education can be. With her math and science degree, Kwan went into developing affordable housing, teaching and volunteering.

"You really learn how to learn here," she said. "You can do anything if you keep an open mind."

Only six years since graduating from Harpur College, L.J. Spaet '07 has demonstrated this by rising through the ranks to become a producer at NY1 News, a 24-hour cable news station in New York City. He began working at NY1 as a staff writer only a few months after receiving a bachelor's degree in communication and media studies, a major he designed through Harpur College's Individualized Major Program.

Spaet said his personalized course track and extracurricular commitments prepared him for the around-the-clock job as a newsroom producer.

Scott Feuer '90, who often represents Binghamton University at college fairs in Long Island, also talked to students about the benefit of studying at Binghamton University.

"When I see Binghamton on a résumé, it's as impressive as an Ivy League school to me," he said. "I know what it takes to get in here. I experienced it."

Coming back to campus, Spaet said he can see that the University is growing.

"I loved going to school here," he said, "and it's even more impressive now."

According to Frank Nemia '54, former Binghamton University Alumni Association and Binghamton University Foundation leader and associate professor emeritus, some things do not change.

"The caliber of students has continued through all of the years that I have been involved with this university," he said. "Talking to students today just reinforces that."

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Last Updated: 3/1/17