Alumni admissions volunteer spotlight
Scott Eckers '02, MsEd '04 (at right with Alumni Association Board President Anthony S. Kendall '83, MBA '85) tells why he serves Binghamton University as an alumni admissions volunteer, and why fellow alumni should consider doing the same.
At Homecoming 2010, the Alumni Association presented Eckers with the Alumni Admissions Volunteer Recognition Award for his outreach to prospective students on Long Island.
Hometown: East Meadow, N.Y. (with significant time spent in Swan Lake, N.Y.) - graduate of East Meadow High School
Campus residence: Cleveland Hall in Hinman
Major: history with a management adjunct (undergraduate); literacy education (graduate)
Campus involvements: member and business manager of the Binghamton Crosbys, president of Hinman Production Company, technical director of D.C. Players, Chabad House, Hillel, Johnson City Mentor Program, Harpur Chorale, Theater 101 Rep Company, admissions tour guide
Why did you choose Binghamton University?
I fell in love with it immediately and didn't apply anywhere else after being admitted early decision.
What were your most memorable experiences at Binghamton?
My fondest classroom memories center around Yiddish classes (32 credits) with Jack Weinstein. I also loved being a part of the Theater 101 Rep Company with Sue Peters. Outside of the classroom, touring to dozens of schools each year with the Binghamton Crosbys made me feel like a rock star for four years :-)
What is your current occupation?
Social studies teacher, Syosset Central School District
I also teach Yiddish for the Arbeter Ring/Workmen's Circle in East Meadow.
I am a professional stage lighting designer with my own consulting and sales company on the side.
Why do you volunteer to recruit future Binghamton students?
I had such a wonderful educational and extracurricular experience, both on campus and off. Having been an enthusiastic tour guide, I developed a love for talking about Binghamton several times a week. (I also developed a proficiency for walking backwards and wearing green!) I am eager to share my positive experiences with future students and their families.
Why do you feel other alumni should step up and volunteer to help recruit new students?
An affordable public education is a basic human right. Binghamton is a prime example of a public school that works. Alumni who are proud of their alma mater should help support the institution that helped them achieve success and personal growth. In addition, we have a shared responsibility to attract high quality students to carry on the torch to the next generation.
What rewards do you get from these volunteer experiences?
Last month, the mother of a student at a college fair on Long Island told me, "At these college fairs, there's usually one person who made it worthwhile to come. I just wanted to tell you, that's you... thanks!" I also enjoy talking to students from traditionally disadvantaged high schools because their drive to succeed is genuine and personal.
What advice would you give a student today heading off to college?
Find time to unplug and connect with many new people. Your friends at college help shape your identity for the rest of your life. Talk to them!