Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Beth-Ann Krimsky
Occupation: Attorney – Commercial Civil Litigation and Trial Attorney
Education (UR and additional): BA Political Science and Economics with a Certificate in International Relation– UR 1986; JD – Harvard Law School 1989
Current city/state of residence: Plantation, Florida.
Community activities: I Care I Cure Childhood Cancer Foundation, President; Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, Teacher of Meet the Masters Art Program at Public elementary level (2001- to current); Young at Art Museum Auxiliary; Florida Bar Foundation Fellow.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?
My sister went to UR, I did not get into Cornell’s Industrial Labor Relations Program and I did not want to go to SUNY Binghamton as 40 members of my high school class were going to Binghamton. Cornell offered me a guaranteed transfer to Cornell in my sophomore year if I took certain courses elsewhere and got certain grades so I figured I would try UR and transfer in my second year. It turns out I loved UR so much that I turned Cornell down in my sophomore year and then again when it came time for law school. I was fortunate to make immediate, and now life-long, friends my freshman year, mostly from my Gates 5 co-ed hall and from study groups. I also had great professors who encouraged me to learn even more than I thought I could learn.
What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?
I was one of the leaders of WCPB (Wilson Commons Programming Board), a D’Lion, a member of the Meridian Society and a Kaidean. I may have done other things such as hang exhibits in the Hartnett Art Gallery but that is what I remember right now. My role in WCPB helped me learn about event planning, fund raising and meeting the needs of the various constituents of the University. Those skills continue to help me today as I volunteer as the President of a not-for-profit (www.icareicure.org) to raise money and awareness about the need for better and less toxic treatments for children with cancer.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
I went on to the Harvard Law School directly upon graduating from UR. I am forever grateful for my UR professors for writing my recommendations and helping me both define and pursue my goals. I am also forever grateful for the study and lifelong learning skills I learned at the UR. I can’t say I loved the hard work at all times but the excellence required by my professors certainly prepared me for my future and provided the solid foundation I needed for law school and life.
What do you do now and why did you choose this career?
I am blessed to have known I wanted to become attorney long before I got to UR. However, UR helped me confirm that belief and helped me learn about other areas of interest that still help me in my career and my personal life.
How do you balance your work and professional life?
Finding balance in school is good preparation for balance in life so I wish you good luck in this area. In school however, it only involves one person in most cases – you making choices about your priorities. In life it involves working in conjunction with your family (in my case 5 of us.) That is a bit more difficult given that each person has needs and priorities. I wish I could say I succeed in this area but I really can’t say that yet as my professional life can be all consuming at times and I do spend a great deal of volunteer time so I will say I keep trying. I use a master calendar that includes work deadlines and my children’s and husband’s activities and I try to give advance notice to others of my schedule. I also try to include my family in my volunteer activities so we can align our priorities and spend quality family time working toward a common goal.
How are you still connected with the University?
I consider my biggest connection to UR to be my relationship with the friends I made at UR. Over the past 25 years, we have been to many many weddings, had many visits to newborn children, many long weekends together all over the place (Maine, Vermont, Lake Champlain, Boston, Utica, Florida, New York City, Utah, Albany, and Seattle, just to name a few) and a few surprise travel visits when it coincides with work or family trips. Those are treasured moments and connections to the UR through a common bond. I am serving on the Reunion committee and meet with administration representatives at times but my real connection is with the alumni. I would say, besides helping me get into law school, one of the biggest gifts the UR has given me are the lifelong connections with my UR friends.