College no laughing matter for Kimmel’s production assistant

At 26 and living in California, Joey Bina is not, by any means, a traditional UW-Green Bay student. By day he works on the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live! — ABC’s late-night talk show — as Kimmel’s personal production assistant, by night he is a hard-working honors student, ready to graduate this Saturday (Dec. 16, 2017) with a 4.0 gpa.

Bina has earned his bachelor’s degree in Integrative Leadership Studies — a fully online program designed to meet the needs of adult students who have work, family or other obligations. Balancing his exciting career, a social life, and going back to school has been a bit of a challenge, he says, but overall what he believes to be the best decision for his future.

“It was a difficult change to get back into schoolwork while balancing work and other responsibilities,” Bina said. “I just had to get into a routine and it became a lot easier.”

Bina left college in 2013 to pursue the professional opportunity with Kimmel’s show. (His contract prevents him from discussing much detail about his day-to-day experiences on the set). He wanted to complete his degree, and after some influence from his parents, UW-Green Bay Lecturers Michael and Danielle Bina, Joey made the decision to finish at UW-Green Bay.

“I knew that if I wanted to do anything else in my career, I would eventually need to have a degree,” he said. “Going back to school was a big investment in my future.”FullSizeRender

The most rewarding part about going back to school was doing so well even when there were many factors working against him, he said, like living far away and working full time.

“I would not have been able to do it without the UW-Green Bay Adult Degree (now Continuing Education and Community Engagement) program, professors that were empathetic regarding my hectic lifestyle, and the encouragement of others every step of the way.

“My time here has been extremely eye-opening,” Bina said. “I can’t thank everyone enough for being so helpful throughout my process of moving to California and finishing my degree.”

Story by Amanda Rice, Marketing and University Communication intern