Donor news

Passionate about students obtaining real-world experience

Gift from alumni couple to help students pursue unpaid internships

Vincent Carretta '68, MA '71, and Patricia Carretta '68, MA '74.
Vincent Carretta ’68, MA ’71, and Patricia Carretta ’68, MA ’74. Photography: Jonathan Cohen.

Patricia Carretta ’68, MA ’74, and Vincent Carretta ’68, MA ’71, believe students are most likely to be successful and feel positively about their college experience when they’ve had a meaningful learning experience. The Carrettas don’t want to see students forced to choose between following their dreams and paying bills.

Their recent gift to support Binghamton University will establish the Patricia Carretta ’68, MA ’74, and Vincent Carretta ’68, MA ’71, Internship for English Majors. This endowed fund is a collaboration between the English Department – the Carrettas majored in English at Binghamton – and the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. The internship will be awarded to one English major each year, with demonstrated financial need, to help offset the costs associated with completing unpaid summer internships.

“We’re very aware that some students are disadvantaged because they can’t give up a paying summer job or a part-time job during the school year,” Pat said. “Today’s students have a lot more financial, parental and societal pressure to be successful. I’m all about people following their dreams, and that takes a lot of courage.”

The Carrettas have always had a passion for helping students, in no small part because they endured some academic struggles at Harpur College and had faculty who made an extra effort to reach out.

After earning her undergraduate degree at Binghamton, Pat was a resident director
in Hinman College with additional responsibility for academic advising. At George Mason University in Virginia, she was director of university career services and retired as assistant vice president of university life. Vincent is professor emeritus in the English department at the University of Maryland.

“I’m interested in helping students who were like me – first-generation students who
have doubts about whether they should be at a university, bright students who just need to catch the right break,” said Vin.

“Caring faculty and real-world experiences are so critical,” Pat said. “We think bringing
together the curricular and the co-curricular, and having guidance from the career center staff and English faculty, will be the best way to help the students. To have an opportunity to explore is so critical and can be so transformational. It leads to students completing their degrees so they can become successful alumni who can give back to the institution."