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Junior finds his calling in political science

By Carly Dawkins

Austin Blumenfeld has taken advantage of the opportunities available not only on the Binghamton University campus, but also in the surrounding area — even going as far as Capitol Hill.

"Binghamton offers a lot of different opportunities," Blumenfeld said. "There are a lot of places to explore and experiences to be had as a college student here."

A political science major, Blumenfeld was drawn to the University for its reputation as a "public Ivy."

"I'm from Westchester (County)," he said, "so the value Binghamton presented was unmatched."

Blumenfeld, a junior, had always been interested in social studies and politics, but began his Harpur College career undecided on what to major in.

"I took a variety of classes my freshman year — philosophy, history, geography — but political science was by far my favorite course area," he said.

Blumenfeld declared his major after taking Introduction to American Politics with Associate Professor Wendy Martinek. He was further inspired to pursue a political science degree after taking Congress and American Politics, a class taught by associate professors Jonathan Krasno and Gregory Robinson.

"Half of the class was a normal lecture on Congress," Blumenfeld said. "The other half was a simulation of Congress, where each student was assigned a legislator to portray."

He described the course as "unquestionably the best class I've ever taken," and said learning about the legislative process helped him during his time spent in Washington, D.C., where he interned for U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado.

"Being able to see some of things that were going on in D.C. was a great experience," he said. "I was able to attend committee hearings and briefings on various subjects and hear great speakers, including Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve."

Blumenfeld brought this legislative experience back to Binghamton, where he currently serves as president of Student United Way, a campus organization that seeks to improve the areas of education, income and healthcare for the Binghamton community.

"We aim to help the children in the community, and show them that there is a place to go once they graduate from high school," Blumenfeld said. The group recently volunteered at the Salvation Army, and hosted a Halloween party on the North Side of Binghamton. Blumenfeld also hosts a radio show for the Center for Civic Engagement on WHRW.

"The show seeks to provide awareness for students to get involved in the community," he said. Blumenfeld has interviewed former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, and the director of the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW).

"I ask all of my guests what they think is the best-kept secret of Binghamton," Blumenfeld said. One of his personal favorite spots is the access road between the campus Nature Preserve and the Mountainview residence halls.

"It's a really beautiful side of campus," he said, "especially in the fall. It has a totally different feeling than the rest of the campus."

Blumenfeld's most memorable moment on the show was interviewing President Harvey Stenger. "It was the president's first time on WHRW," he said. Blumenfeld had previously worked with Stenger as a member of a Road Map team.

"I heard about the Road Map team my freshman year, and I was interested in hearing what President Stenger thought was the future of the University," he said. "I appreciated the opportunity to serve on the Student Engagement Committee, and to try and set forth a vision for Binghamton."

Blumenfeld urges students to take advantage of the opportunities available on the Binghamton campus, as well as in the surrounding areas of Broome County.

"Get involved in the community, and explore what Binghamton has to offer," Blumenfeld said. "There are a lot of students who spend the majority of their time on campus, but there are a lot of hidden secrets in Binghamton to be discovered."

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Students learn to make positive first impressions

By Steve Seepersaud

Humor can be a great instructor, especially when it's combined with a series of strong visual elements. Members of Delta Sigma Pi used a fashion show to reinforce the do's and don'ts of choosing appropriate clothing items for the corporate world.

The business fraternity held its annual Dress for Success event on Feb. 3 at the University Union, attracting about 50 students. The evening began with a fashion show in which alumni representing several corporate recruiters and students dressed in outfits that would make positive (and, in some cases, negative) impressions on colleagues in settings such as interviews, golf outings and summer cocktail parties.

The use of humor carried into the next portion of the evening, which was a series of skits showing what to to — and what to avoid — when meeting recruiters at their offices or at job fairs held on campus. Dress for Success also included time for students to network with recruiters — hopefully demonstrating the good skills modeled earlier in the evening.

"First impressions are key for students in the recruitment process for leadership programs, internships and full-time positions," said Alexander Weinrauch, senior accounting major and vice president of professional activities for the fraternity. "As an annual tradition, we hope Dress for Success provides students with a foundation of professional etiquette and clarifies the confusion of appropriate corporate attire for a variety of settings. It is always a great opportunity for students to jumpstart their networking with recruiters and professionals from top accounting firms."

Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, McGladrey and PwC sponsored the event. Delta Sigma Pi is the largest national professional business fraternity with more than 220 collegiate chapters nationally. The organization stimulates collegiate study of business, promotes closer affiliation between students and the commercial world, and advocates for a higher standard of commercial ethics.

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Continuing education to be offered for professional engineers

From staff reports

The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University will host "Critical Thinking for Engineers," a short course for professional engineers, at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 25, in the Engineering and Science Building at the Innovative Technologies Complex, 85 Murray Hill Road, Vestal.

Engineers not only deal with facts and figures, but must also take into account societal issues relating to their decisions. This means that engineers encounter greater uncertainty in their decision-making and an even greater need for critical thinking and reflective judgment when they make decisions. This training module introduces participants to the concept of thinking critically utilizing engineering scenarios.

Participants will learn a variety of critical-thinking and analytical decision methods via experiential learning techniques. Each learning objective will be demonstrated with a practical example of an engineering problem, such as where to locate a new facility, how to choose among competing suppliers, whether to add additional capacity, what is the proper sequencing of work orders and resource allocation.

Michael D. Ford, principal of TQM Management Works, will lead the course. Ford has conducted on-site corporate training for all of the major manufacturers in the greater Binghamton area. He has also taught at Penn State University, Binghamton University and Elmira College and is a qualified master instructor for the Association for Operations Management (APICS) programs in Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional and Instructor Development.

This training complies with the New York State Office of Professions for continuing education requirements for six professional development hours (PDHs). There is a discount for members of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE). The training includes a certificate of completion.

See more information and register for the course.

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Nurse Practitioner certification exam review course planned for May
From staff reports

The Decker School is hosting the Margaret Fitzgerald Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Certification Review Course. In an effort to support the growing population of NPs who will be caring for the increased numbers of patients that will be entering the primary care setting, the school is offering this course to the community and surrounding schools of nursing. Registration for the review course is available online.

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CCPA to hold grief management seminars

From staff reports

As part of a Spring Seminar Series, Binghamton University's College of Community and Public Affairs will host two grief management seminars with Kira Lallas, Wednesday, March 19, in room DC-223 at the University Downtown Center, 67 Washington St., Binghamton.

The first seminar titled, "Understanding and Supporting Grieving Children," from 9 a.m.-noon and tailored for practitioners, will explore the fundamental principle of supporting children ages 5-12 who are grieving the death of a significant person. The presentation will include discussion about developmental stages, how feelings are expressed in normal and complicated grief, and steps to follow as practitioners to best facilitate integration and build emotional skills. Lallas will offer a framework by which to approach this process and suggestions for language to use and will coach caregivers with fun and creative activities.

The second seminar, "Understanding and Supporting Grieving Teens," from 1-4 p.m., will address the challenges and opportunities specific to teens aged 13-17 who are grieving the death of a significant person. While teenagers' understanding of death is developmentally closer to that of an adult, they are managing other natural stages of emotional and social growth that can make these years a difficult time to process death. Lallas will offer a framework by which to approach supporting grieving teens, information about developmental stages and structuring support groups for teens. Case examples will also be provided.

Lallas is a pediatric palliative care case manager for CompassionNet, supporting kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Previously, Lallas was the hospice and community bereavement counselor for five years at Hospicare and Palliative Care Services in Tompkins County. She provides individual counseling for children, teens and families after all types of death and facilitates the Good Grief Program of creative, fun and therapeutic programming for grieving children, provides training for professionals who support young people and provides crisis intervention after a death at schools and community agencies.

The cost to attend either seminar is $65 per person or $90 to attend both sessions. Light refreshments will be provided. Lunch is on your own. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/pvmemsu. For questions, contact Joann Lindstrom at 607-777-9178.

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Brown bag seminar honors the life and work of Jean Anyon
From staff reports

On Feb. 7, the Graduate School of Education held a seminar to discuss the work of Jean M. Anyon. She was an educational researcher, professor at City University of New York, and lifelong social activist who died Sept. 7, 2013.

Her work focused on issues involving the confluence of social class, race, education and community. She authored Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform, Radical Possibilities: Public Policy, Urban Education, and a New Social Movement, and Theory and Educational Research: Toward Critical Social Explanation. She also authored the seminal 1980 article "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work."

Anyon had been scheduled to present the Graduate School of Education's 21st annual Couper Lecture, "What Causes Poverty? And What Can Be Done About It?" last April.

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Last Updated: 9/26/16