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Harpur Edge Office

Take charge with Harpur Edge

Program helps students create a road map for success

By Eric Coker

A new Harpur College program is providing students with the resources necessary to enrich their academic experience and prepare them for careers and lifelong learning.

Harpur Edge will promote college programs such as Liberal Arts to Careers Externship (LACE), Harpur Fellows, physician mentorship and pre-law internships while linking students to campuswide programs, other students and alumni.

"Harpur Edge is a program that works like a power cord to connect our energetic students to the resources that can help them take advantage of their education," Dean Anne McCall says. "This power cord connects our students to each other academically across our college to the programs we run for them and to the alumni who will help them get a jump-start on their careers once they leave us.

"Thanks to Harpur Edge, our students are going to take charge of their education in the liberal arts and sciences."

The program is housed in a central location on the first floor of the Library Tower next to Jazzman's Library Tower Café. The office features a conference room and collaboration area for Harpur College students.

"We wanted readily accessible, visible space for our students," McCall says. "We have a great location: an easy, one-stop place for our students to come. You enter the Library Tower and find everything you need at the Harpur Edge office."

Student associates and program interns will work with Harpur Edge Director Lee Nesslage and LACE Coordinator Wendy Neuberger '81, MBA '84, to guide students in the appropriate direction, whether it is Harpur Advising, the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development or other University programs.

The student associates are "an integral part of the planning and execution of the programs offered by Harpur Edge," Nesslage said.

"Who knows better how to communicate and relate to our students than students themselves?" she says. "We want Harpur students to see the Harpur Edge office as their place to search for information, explore options and collaborate on projects and topics that pique their interest. Having student associates as the 'face' of Harpur Edge in a professional and collegiate setting sends the message that Harpur Edge is for Harpur students."

Students have been incorporated in Harpur Edge planning since the program's inception, Neuberger says. "We had a focus group over the summer with students to talk about their needs and what they thought would be important for us to consider," she says. "We will continue to involve students in Harpur Edge."

The program, which is supported by alumni gifts, will also sponsor and present events such as small seminars, mentoring sessions and alumni "office hours" and roundtable discussions. "As the Harpur Edge programming rolls out over its first year, some programs will be geared to juniors/seniors and freshmen/sophomores," Nesslage says. "Some offerings will explore different careers, while others may be major specific. We hope to offer a wide range of programs that will be of interest to the broadest spectrum of Harpur students."

Harpur College began spreading the word about the program in late August, as the rollout included a video created by a senior member of the Binghamton Film Initiative, a reception for the New Student Mentoring Program and a walk in the Nature Preserve designed to have students "explore the edge of campus." A Harpur Edge website also provides a calendar of activities and various links to a variety of other student services.

For Nesslage, the first-year goal is to have every Harpur student know about Harpur Edge and stop by the office or attend an event presented by Harpur Edge.

"Harpur Edge is a dynamic and organic program that will evolve to meet the needs of today's liberal arts and sciences students and will support their creativity and curiosity," she says. "We are planning a variety of programs featuring alumni and our campus partners that will encourage students to take the information they are learning in the classroom and broaden their application of this knowledge through experiential learning, special lectures, collaborating across disciplines and creating their own personal 'road map' to success."

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Last Updated: 9/26/17