Our #newtoACC series welcomes new faculty to our Austin Community College Riverbat family.

Katharine SusmanMeet Katharine Susman, ACC’s new Computer Science and Information Technology faculty member!

What inspired you to apply to teach at Austin Community College?

Desire to: (a) teach, (b) continue to learn,(c) be in a community that valued treating all its members with dignity and respect, (d) be closer to my family (e) live in a warmer climate.

What are you currently teaching?

BCIS 1305: Business Computing Applications / Office 365

Three words that best describe you?

Resilient, curious, empathetic.

What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

The oddest job I ever had (but memorable) was when I worked as a carhop at Dog and Suds drive-in in Medina, Ohio when I was in high school. That particular Dog and Suds location has disappeared but I have since learned the franchise still exists in some places in the midwest. My one son in California found a Dog and Suds root beer mug to give to me as collectible memorabilia. I earned $1 per hour and a 10 cent tip was a big deal.

How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?

I define success by doing the best I am able to do in terms of being consistent, available, and innovative in the work that I do and with the students and coworkers with whom I interact.

What do you see as your greatest strength?

Resilience and the ability to bounce back. The reason I see it as my greatest personal strength is that life throws curve balls to all of us. In the end, the events that occur can be devastating and we may never exactly “get over” the things that occurred, but we find a way “to bounce back” and to become strong regardless of the adversity that we faced. Typically, none of us do this alone. We do this thanks to the wonderful support of friends and family.

How do you create a classroom culture that intentionally welcomes and supports students from different racial/ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds?

I bring with me to the classroom many personal experiences of building relationships with people from varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds and raising young children of my own that had developmental disabilities. One of my sons met his wife while he was in China and I learned different customs and traditions from them. My daughter has lived and worked in Central America and has exposed me to many wonderful people in her work with non-profit groups in these countries. My most profound experience was raising my daughter Sarah who lived to the age of 6 and had cerebral palsy and was blind. She taught me and my other children about enjoying every day and imagining what it would be like to be able to hear and touch things, but not see. She learned to laugh and be joyful, and in return, she gave back to all of us great joy and a greater ability to think outside of our own perspective.

Welcome Katharine to ACC!

Post a comment below or email Katharine Susman at katharine.susman@austincc.edu.