Alumni Corner

To our alumni:

This alumni corner is set up so that current undergraduate students at Binghamton can find out more about varied careers and paths toward those careers that you have taken. If you are willing to share your experience, please contact


Interim Director of Federal Relations and Public Affairs, State University of New York at Binghamton

When first arriving at Binghamton University, Mary Beth Curtin would never have imagined that she would end up where she is today. She started her education thinking that she might pursue Women's Studies, become a Forest Ranger, or do something that had to do with the environment. All this slowly changed throughout her four years and Mary Beth graduated from Binghamton University in the early 1980s with an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She completed a Masters' Degree in Biology at BU and throughout her graduate studies conducted research on the electron microscopy of an Antarctican alga, under the supervision of Dr. George Schumacher and Dr. Curt Pueschel. After completing her graduate studies at Binghamton University, Curtin worked at Colgate University for a semester, teaching undergraduate biology laboratory sections in the Biology Department. From there, she decided to get a Masters in Teaching (MAT) in Biology from the Graduate School of Education at BU. The reason she decided change from a PhD track was because she decided that she wanted to have a career where she would have the opportunity to work with a lot of people, and thought that secondary education would be the right fit for her. In 1988, Mary Beth accepted the position as a Grants and Contract Administrator in the office of Research Development Services at Binghamton University. The job involved working for faculty at the university and aiding them in preparing and receiving grants for their research. Mary Beth's undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology and her research experience came in handy. She found the opportunity to combine her love of science and teaching, with her interest in a job with a lot of people contact. The position also allowed Mary Beth to learn about national research policy. This job allowed her time to raise her family. Once she had three children, it was not easy to juggle both a career and home life and therefore, her supervisor allowed her to job share for over five years. The idea of job-sharing is that two employees are hired to do the same job part-time, but both know everything that is going on in all aspects of the job. In October of 2003, Curtin was promoted to Interim Director of Federal Relations and Public Affairs, after 15 years in research administration. In this position, Mary Beth advocates, often in Washington D.C., on behalf of Binghamton University. Again, she appreciates her degree in biology and her research background because it gives her an extra edge to help her talk about research issues. Mary Beth is very satisfied with her life and decisions up to this point because her career has allowed her to combine her love of science and teaching with her family responsibilities. The smile on Mary Beth's face when speaking about her job and her life just doesn't seem to go away and her enthusiasm for being of service to Binghamton University is contagious. Although, she seems to be always busy, it doesn't seem that Mary Beth Curtin wants to give up this job any time soon!

Last Updated: 6/14/16