Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Crystal Cusimano

cuismanoName: Crystal Cusimano

UR Major: Economics

Other UR Majors/Minors: Psychology Minor and Business Management Certificate

Additional Education: M.S, Marketing and M.S. Education Media Design and Technology
Current City, State of Residence: Rochester, NY

Job Title: Director, Office of Summer Programs and Part-Time Studies

Employer: University of Rochester – Arts, Sciences and Engineering Deans’ Office

Community activities: Volunteer- Artist Row Committee (Rochester Public Market), Photographer for various not-for profit events (March of Dimes), Volunteer – Habitat for Humanity


What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

As a student I served as a resident advisor, a member Senior Class Council and volunteered tutoring young children at a battered women’s shelter. All three of these experiences taught me how to be a leader, how to build community, and how to appreciate and better understand the differences among people.

Who were your mentors while you were on campus? Have you continued those relationships?

My mentors on campus were many of those working in the student services administrative offices. They provided a supportive environment enabling me to be confident and always encouraging me to follow my passions.

What did you wish you had known before graduating? What would you have done differently?

I would have taken advantage of all the opportunities that the U of R has to offer. This is such a diverse school and the options are limitless. If I could go back I would have created my own multi-disciplinary major in entrepreneurship.

What is your opinion regarding graduate school vs. working right after graduation?

I took a much different path in regards to this and went to graduate school and worked full-time simultaneously. I believe this provided me with a unique experience allowing me to build professional relationships while also increasing my skill set and knowledge. In terms of deciding what to do right after graduation I recommend students should do what feels right for them.

What early career advice can you give to current UR students studying economics?

Studying economics gives you such a large skill set that lets you go just about anywhere. Don’t feel limited and don’t be afraid to go after a position that you think may not fit. Economics teaches you to look at things critically and problem solve. Those skills are valuable and important to have for any position you choose.