Susan believes that public speaking can be the most powerful way we have to communicate our thoughts, ideas and insights and that everyone has the potential to develop the skills of a dynamic speaker.
A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the Drama Studio London, Susan uses her professional theatre background to help students, faculty and staff become more relaxed, focused and engaged speakers. Through in-class workshops, individual appointments, and trainings for speaking events, Susan helps build skills, encourages practice, and celebrates the power of public speaking at Amherst College.
Susan enjoys the variety of her work at Amherst, from teaching students in a Classics course to expressively read a text out loud for meaning, to working with a student to speak persuasively, to coaching a faculty or staff member on a conference presentation. She helps students and faculty learn how to evaluate a speaker for performance, rather than just content. Thesis students work with Susan to learn how to talk about their thesis to anyone—from their faculty committee to a family member. Susan seeks to help amplify marginalized voices, and she enjoys teaching ways to reduce speaking anxiety and to speak authentically.
Before coming to Amherst, Susan worked as a presentation coach and leadership trainer for senior executives in educational and corporate settings. She served as public speaking faculty at the Weissman Center for Leadership and as the chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at Mount Holyoke College. The Princeton Review has featured her as one of the “300 Best Professors in the United States.”