Paula Russell, senior director of the Center for Learning and Teaching, received her B.S. in applied social sciences in 1995 and MPA in 2008 at Binghamton University.

1. What was one of your most valuable experiences that you gained from your time at BU?

“One of my most valuable experiences gained from my time at [BU] is adaptability. Change is a constant, and our ability to adapt helps our personal and professional growth. The [COVID-19] pandemic has created a major shift in all of our lives, and being able to pivot and adapt to our new norm has been critical to our educational/business continuity.”

2. How do you feel that BU prepared you for your current position as an employee of the University?

“[BU] prepared me for my current position as an employee of the University by stressing the importance of lifelong learning.”

3. How has BU changed since your time here as a student? Is there anything that you wish would come back or wish current students could experience?

“The physical structure and landscape of the campus have changed dramatically since I was a student, it’s always been a beautiful campus! I wish current students could experience registering for classes in person in the West Gym — you literally would queue up in front of department tables to sign up for your classes on a paper form. At the end of the process, you felt a great deal of satisfaction (assuming you were able to register for the classes you wanted).”

4. Why did you choose to return to BU after being a student here, and what is it like to now be an employee?

“I loved my time as a student at [BU] and still enjoy my time as an employee. I also have the opportunity to teach as an adjunct and truly relish my interactions with the students and the enthusiasm they bring to the classroom. Coming across the [Route] 201 Bridge and seeing the campus rising toward you is a homecoming.”

5. What is one thing that you think current BU students and future BU alumni should know?

“[BU] is a great place to study, work and live. The more I travel, not much lately, the more I appreciate our community and all the benefits the University contributes toward our quality of life.”