Karen (Lottick) Perry ’91 majored in economics and math at Union College before earning a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She also holds a teaching certificate in mathematics (grades 7-12), issued by the State of Connecticut Department of Education and earned through its Alternative Route to Education Program. Now an attorney, she helps clients with real estate transactions, estate planning and environmental and land use issues. Additionally, Karen teaches math intervention part-time at the Coginchaug High School in Durham, Conn. Her first novel, an environmental thriller called The Green Beach File, was published in July 2020. In between writing, teaching and practicing law, Karen serves as an alternate on the Zoning Board of Appeals in the Town of Killingworth. She has also served and chaired the Board of Education for the Regional School District 17, as well as served on the Inland Wetlands Commission and the Board of Assessment Appeals. She enjoys coaching some of the various sports her four sons play, including baseball and soccer.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your career or volunteer activities?
The most rewarding is writing the novel and having my book published. I guess because it takes a tremendous amount of work to write a novel. I also find teaching very rewarding, particularly because I teach the students who struggle at mathematics.
Who inspired/inspires you, both professionally and personally?
My second grade teacher was a graduate of Union College, apparently part of one of Union’s very early classes of women graduates. My mom always said it was fitting that I ended up at Union since she was my favorite childhood teacher.
What advice would you offer today’s women students, not just at Union, but across the country?
I don’t know that I have any answers for that question. I guess I was surprised to realize how much more sexism there is in the world than I imagined. My parents were both pretty open minded, so sexism and gender stereotypes weren’t present in my childhood home. So I would offer the advice of not letting gender stereotypes define you in any manner. You create your own future in life and write your own story.
What was your most formative experience at Union?
My term abroad in France. Living with a French family and spending months in Europe was both fascinating and a grand adventure. Professor William Thomas made the experience wonderful and we all learned from him.