Binghamton University Receives Three SUNY Outstanding Student Affairs Program Awards

Three Binghamton University offices received awards from the State University of New York Directors of Student Affairs and the Office of University Life for their commitment to improving student life during of the 2020-2021 school year.

Binghamton has received three Outstanding Student Affairs Program Awards for the University’s success in managing different aspects of student life and well-being, from crisis prevention to career planning. Recognized Binghamton programs were the Career Clusters: Using Technology to Support Student Career Success, the Residential Life Master of Social Work (MSW) Internship Program, and the Abuse Center, d Abuse and Rape (VARCC).

During the awards ceremony, Gemma Rinefierd, SUNY Director of Student Affairs for University Life, congratulated the 10 recipients from the various SUNY schools.

“I can’t remember a time when working in higher education was presented with as many challenges as we have had over the past year and a half,” Rinefierd said. “We have all been personally and professionally affected by these challenges. We have all fundamentally changed in our work and this impact will be lasting in our field. We are resilient, and this group in particular has been able to make this change and positively impact the student experience.

Fleishman Center Career Hubs

One of three awards was presented in the category of “Careers, Academic Counseling and Support, Service Learning, Community Service and Others” for the Career Cluster Program at the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, and awarded to Denise Lorenzetti, director of the center.

The program aggregates career paths, allowing students to connect to information related to their interests, rather than seeking information specific to their individual specialties. Since implementing the program, the center has seen an increase in the number of students implementing and using their online resources.

Erica Kryst, Senior Associate Director of Career Experiences and Education, said this model better helps students connect with their career goals because the program is based on the backgrounds and interests most commonly pursued by students. the other students.

“The Fleishman Center is dedicated to ensuring career success for all Binghamton students,” said Kryst. “We looked closely at student achievement data and wanted to find a way to address the gaps in students’ professional knowledge and success after graduation. We wanted to find a way to bring individualized professional knowledge to students so they could develop and pursue their career goals. »

Master of Social Work (MSW) Internship Program of Residential Life

Binghamton also received an award in the category of “Housing, Residence Life, Contractual, Court and Related Services”. The award was presented to Paola Mignone, Assistant Vice President for Residential Experiences, and Jessica Treadwell, Crisis Response Manager for the Office of Residential Life, for their work in creating the MSW internship program at the residential life.

A collaboration between residential life students from the university and MSW students from the Department of Social Work, the program allows MSW students to complete required field experiences and gain work experience in a residential setting. higher education, while allowing residential life staff to focus on community building rather than crisis management.

The program also provides early intervention and additional benefits to students who live on campus by helping them with various issues, including transitioning to college life, food insecurity, and interpersonal conflict. MSW interns help students in a unique way because typically residential life staff do not have the same type of specialized training as interns.

Mignone believes this collaboration is mutually beneficial for everyone involved and has helped students get needed help that Residential Life staff may not be able to provide. Particularly over the past year, MSW interns have been used by students who have struggled due to COVID-19 related issues.

“Students struggle to connect to resources and each other due to being constantly online,” Mignone said. “There were a lot of transition issues, like students finishing high school at home or struggling with online classes. The students also struggled with mental health issues as it is a sustained stress in their lives. Our services have been heavily used during COVID.

The Violence, Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (VARCC)

The third award Binghamton received was in the category of “Violence Education and Prevention, Crisis Management, Campus Safety and Others” for establishing the Violence, Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (VARCC).

According to award recipient Beth Riley, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Case Management Services, VARCC is a new safe space where students can receive the help and support they need after incidents of sexual violence. The VARCC helps students coordinate with various resources on and off campus and helps build confidence in university services and a safer community.

“Students who come to VARCC have access to many different services in one place,” Riley said. “In the past, anyone involved in a sexual violence incident had to go to different offices in different buildings on campus. Now they can file a report here, where they have some familiarity and some comfort. We are seeing an increase in the number of incident reports, and when people report, they get access to services. Even people who want to know how to support someone who has been victimized can receive services at VARCC.


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