"These scholarships have allowed me to take advantage of these four years."
Connor D'Andria '13 knew he was meant to enroll in Binghamton University. All the signs pointed to Binghamton: His grandfather, Joseph Cornacchio, is a Binghamton professor emeritus of computer science. His mother and father met as students on campus — mom, Karen D'Andria '84, MBA '87, studied management science; dad, Frank D'Andria '85, majored in math. And, he grew up in Vestal, N.Y., where the University is located. "I looked at a bunch of different schools — Penn State, Buffalo — but the biggest reason I chose Binghamton is it's a medium-sized school with a small- school feel," D'Andria says. "I wanted to be able to make a difference and have an impact. I didn't want to be trapped in a big school where I couldn't make my mark."
D'Andria, now a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering, has made great use of his time at the University. He credits hard work, good time- management skills and the financial support he's received — for instance, he's a recipient of the Floyd H. Lawson Engineering Scholarship — as factors contributing to his success as a student and leader:
He has an almost perfect cumulative grade-point average: 3.99, just shy of a 4.0 because
of one A– he received in an engineering course his sophomore year.
He helps other students through his work as a peer advisor, resident assistant and undergraduate course assistant.
He's president of the Binghamton chapter of Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society and an active member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.
"College is not cheap," D'Andria says. "It would have been very easy for me to live at home and save $11,000 a year. But with scholarships, as well as the RA position ... I don't have to worry about getting an off-campus job or sacrificing on school in order to work.
"I'm not going to have these four years ever again in my life. These scholarships have allowed me to take advantage of these four years."
What he will cherish most about Binghamton? The close friendships he's made and the people he's met from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, he says.
"College really is the only time in your life to try so many new things and meet so many new people," D'Andria says. "That has motivated me to do all the things I'm doing — to learn not only in the classroom, but learn who I am as a person and grow as an individual."
Off campus, he spent the past summer as an engineering intern at InnoSeat/Innovative Seating Solutions, a customized ergonomic chair design company in Buffalo, N.Y. D'Andria notes the company was co- founded by his uncle, Kevin Cornacchio, MA '90.
D'Andria says he wants to continue to study engineering in graduate school and later become an engineering manager.
"There's never a time where I'm not working hard, but I still make time to have fun," he says.