Christopher Painter spent the first year of college away from home – at Penn State. It wasn’t a good fit and he returned home, enrolling in a few classes at SUNY Broome to fill the time.
He ended up staying and is now completing his degree in Computer Science.
“Penn definitely looks prettier, but I like this place more,” he said, explaining at he finds SUNY Broome a more welcoming place. “A smaller campus is nice – all your classes are close together. It’s not hard to find people that you know.”
He also landed an opportunity he didn’t expect: his first job, as a tutor in chemistry, math and computer science.
“It’s been really fun. I love seeing the lightbulb go off in people’s head when they finally get something,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of interesting people with different backgrounds.”
Students sometimes approach STEM subjects – short for science, technology, engineering and math – with a certain degree of fear. Chris makes sure to explain concepts in common language rather than specialized terminology, and show them multiple ways to arrive at the solution.
“I teach them the shortcuts for different things, and also the way the professor wants it done. Whenever they have difficulty with something, there are multiple ways to solve a problem,” he said.
His favorite professors at SUNY Broome include Dr. Joseph Biegen in chemistry, who recommended him for the tutoring job, and Computer Science Chair Julie Cooley. He’s enjoying his French class as well, even though he doesn’t technically need it for his major.
Outside of class and tutoring, he connects with his friends – some at SUNY Broome, and others at Binghamton University, where he plans to transfer next semester.
Long-term, he is looking forward to a digital career – although he’s not yet sure what form it will take.
“I’ve always had a dream to make video games, at least one. I’d love to work for one of those big Internet companies – Google or Amazon,” he said.