10 Questions for Beth Paul

Getting to know Beth Paul, our College’s new president.

Now you’ll see hidden messages in whatever she’s wearing.


What about you would surprise people most?

I hand write a letter to each of my daughters, Martha and Sophie, once a week. It is a special time to share observations and stories with a little wisdom tucked here and there.


What phone app do you use the most?

NY Times Crossword app. I got my love of words from my father.


What books are currently on your nightstand?

To feed my interest in learning more about the significance of Rochester in social justice movements, I just finished reading David Blight’s biography of Frederick Douglass. Now I am reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi; her first book, Homegoing, was a powerful read.


What is your happy place?

I started going to the beach when I was 10 days old. All summer long, rain or shine, my mother would pack up her brood with breakfast, lunch and dinner in tow. I have warm beach sand in my soul!


What’s your favorite place to hang out?

I love to walk around campus, greeting each passerby. Noise-cancelling earbuds has created a challenging hurdle, but I delight in engaging in meaningful conversation with students, faculty, and staff on a regular basis.


What is your most-used emoji?

The panda bear emoji, because it represents my favorite stress-relieving pastime: watching the Panda Cam at the National Zoo – especially when panda momma Mei Xiang is nurturing a new cub like she is now.


What is your favorite snack?

Life really is like a box of chocolates.


Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old-self?

The strengths and answers you seek are inside you and will unfold in due time.


What object best represents your perspective on life?

I love kaleidoscopes – come visit me in my office and you’ll find my kaleidoscope collection. It is so important to look at things from different perspectives – it is the best way to discover the beauty of our world!


What is one of your hidden talents?

I have an embarrassment of earrings, and especially delight in whimsical and arty finds. Sometimes I wear earrings that contain hidden messages for my day – for example, I might wear my Ouija board “yes” and “no” earrings during decision-making, or question mark earrings for a day full of critical dialogue.