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MSW student focuses on helping the disadvantaged

Kristine Anderson, a graduate originally from Brooklyn, visited New Orleans with other MSW students during spring break 2008. The group stayed for a week, assisting parents, seniors and others still recovering from the hurricane.

Anderson worked the phones and helped coordinate the arrival of needed goods, such as blankets and sheets.

“You learn the skills everyday in textbooks, but when you have to work through a system you’re not familiar with, it’s totally different,” she says. “The people there were great and it was a wonderful learning experience.”

Anderson continued her generosity a few months later by interning on campus with Upward Bound, which helps low-income high school students ages 14-17 prepare for college life. Anderson was even able to utilize her undergraduate minor at Buffalo State College by teaching a dance class to the students. Like New Orleans, the experience was rewarding.

“I found that I want to work with adolescents,” she says. “I felt like a big sister or mentor to them.”
Anderson will graduate in December and hopes to work in New York City or Albany, helping the disadvantaged get to college and excel.

Brian Flynn, director of student services in the Department of Social Work, sees a bright future for Anderson, who accepted a position with Upward Bound following her December 2008 graduation from Binghamton.

“Kristine is going to make an excellent social worker,” he says. “She’s resourceful, easy to work with, smart and dependable. She’s a terrific representative of what this department believes in.”

For Anderson, Binghamton was a “perfect fit” as a graduate school. “It’s nice to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life,” she says. “That’s why I liked Binghamton. It’s beautiful. If I was having a stressful day, I could walk by the river near the Downtown Center. It was like a dream.

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Last Updated: 2/16/10