Binghamton University continues to receive high rankings
U.S. News and World Report ranks Binghamton among the top 100 "Best Colleges," praising its high first-year retention rate, commitment to sustainability and wide range of student activities. The magazine also singles out several graduate programs for their excellent national reputation.
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Similarly, in a joint announcement with the Huffington Post, the website Unigo.com named Binghamton among the top 10 "Best Bang for the Buck" colleges and universities.
Best Bang For Your Buck, Unigo.com
Best Bang For Your Buck: Unigo List, The Huffington Post -- 10/3/11
University News and Accomplishments
Binghamton University hires new director of athletics
President C. Peter Magrath has named Patrick Elliott the new director of athletics for Binghamton University.
Elliott comes to Binghamton following a three-year stint as director of athletics at St. Peter's College, which participates in the NCAA Division I Metro Atlantic Conference.
Magrath praised Elliott for his success in leading the St. Peter's teams to both academic and athletic success.
Last year, St. Peter's athletic teams received NCAA recognition for increasing their Academic Program Rate (APR) while simultaneously producing four conference champions, including the men's basketball team which won 20 games and received a 14-seed in the NCAA national tournament.
Elliott has also worked with athletics programs at St. John's University and his alma mater, Seton Hall.
Elliott succeeds current director of athletics Jim Norris, who retires following a 21-year career at Binghamton.
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Binghamton University plays crucial role in flood recovery efforts
Faculty, staff and students from Binghamton University continue to assist with local recovery efforts following the record-breaking floods that devastated New York state's Southern Tier communities in early September.
The flooding displaced more than 20,000 people throughout the region. About 1,700 evacuees were given shelter at the University's Events Center, while the West Gym housed more than 100 people with special health needs.
Members of the University community were quick to react to the disaster and turned out in droves to provide assistance and support for those at the shelters. Faculty and students from the Decker School of Nursing, in particular, played a key role assessing and caring for those with special needs. Student groups also responded in large numbers, ranging from Harpur's Ferry, which provided coverage for shelter facilities, to the Harpur Jazz Project, which entertained the evacuees.
The University's food service provider, Sodexo, contributed and distributed thousands of meals, while Events Center staff and many other campus departments, including the University Police Department, assisted the evacuees. Many alumni have also stepped up by collecting donations and participating in area recovery efforts.
Since the flooding, the University's new Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) has been very active in connecting campus members with local organizations looking for volunteers for community cleanups. The CCE has also taken the lead as a drop zone for donations and as a clearinghouse for information about how to get involved in relief efforts.
About 350 students were among those affected by the flooding. Staff in both the Residential Life and Off Campus College offices were called upon to find alternative living arrangements, both on and off campus, for these students.
Binghamton's main campus suffered only minor affects from the flooding, but the University Downtown Center (UDC) sustained significant damage. Much of the electrical infrastructure of the facility has been impacted and the building is currently closed for repairs. It's expected that the UDC will be off-line for the academic year. More than 80 classes, mostly conducted by the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA), have been reassigned to the main campus, and the CCPA dean and faculty offices have moved to the Engineering Building.
In the aftermath of the flood, several Binghamton faculty are working to help students and community members learn from the experience. A two-credit service-learning internship course, "Community in Recovery: Southern Tier NY After the Flood of September 2011," offers undergraduates the opportunity to volunteer in the local community as well as participate in a broad-based series of seminars. Led by faculty and community members, the seminars address the impact of the flood from a variety of perspectives, including psychology, geography, geology, environmental studies, public administration and leadership studies.
Student response to the course has been so strong that additional seats were added, and the seminars have been opened to the general public.
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New educational partnerships with Chinese Universities
Binghamton University President C. Peter Magrath, Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Krishnaswami "Hari" Srihari, and Associate Professor of Systems Science & Industrial Engineering Mohammad Khasawneh recently returned from a trip to Hebei University of Technology (HUT) in Tianjin, China. One of China's oldest universities, HUT enrolls 31,000 students with a focus on technical fields.
Magrath said the visit will strengthen ties between the universities by providing opportunities for research partnerships; developing new and strengthening existing 2+2 and 2+3 exchange programs in electrical, systems, and bioengineering; as well as providing opportunities for Chinese graduate students to study at Binghamton. The universities are also exploring ways to develop faculty, staff and administrative exchanges to learn and develop "best practices". Administrators from Binghamton and HUT are also discussing ways to develop a "web of academic institutions" that would help broaden each campus's international activities.
History professor: Civil War death toll has been underestimated
Associate Professor of History J. David Hacker has been examining the death toll of the American Civil War. Using census data and statistical methods, Hacker suggests that as many as 750,000 Union and Confederate soldiers - 20 percent more than previous estimates - died during the United States' bloodiest war. This, Hacker says, tells us that the war's impact on society was even greater than generally assumed.
Opinionator: Recounting the Dead, The New York Times -- 9/20/11
Distinguished Professor uses evolution to improve his city, one block at a time
Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences David Sloan Wilson's newest book, The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time, was recently reviewed in the Sunday Book Review of The New York Times. Sloan's research examines how the principles of social evolution influence daily life in a city's urban core. Sloan and his students have been studying and working with community organizations in the City of Binghamton to discover how "prosocial" attitudes can improve community life.
Book of the Times: The Evolution of Binghamton, Block by Block, The New York Times -- 8/31/11
Research points towards increased number of philanthropies since 9/11
Associate Professor of Public Administration David Campbell's research on the increasing numbers of philanthropies dedicated to helping survivors of disasters has been highlighted in Emergency Management and SmartMoney. Campbell says that hundreds of new charitable organizations have been established in the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to assist individuals affected by disasters, and that often these organizations are considered "more legitimate" than already-existing organizations.
Choosing Your 9/11 Charity, Smart Money -- 9/13/11.
Diane H. Greiwe
Advocacy Communications Specialist
University Communications and Marketing
PO Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902
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