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Alumnae Employees

CushmanSusan Flanders Cushman '98
Assistant Professor of Biology

Major: Biology

Favorite Faces: Jim Ryan and Cliff Hood.

Extracurricular Activities: William Smith swimming and diving team, William Smith Congress, Women in Science club, Admissions tour guide and senior intern, Alumni House Phone-a-thon caller, Day of Service Volunteer.

How did the coordinate system have an impact on your education?
I learned a lot about how men and women interact (in an educational way), as well as how each gender manages different situations. I learned that "history" was so much more about men's history than women's. Although I never took a women's studies course during my years at WS, I felt more educated about women's struggles, empowerment and leadership than I would have by attending a non-coordinate college. I also felt that the Hobart students encouraged and respected women's leadership roles and abilities which empowered me to have a voice and take a stand in environments I might not otherwise feel comfortable doing. The opportunities to live with only women on the hill was a wonderfully comfortable growing experience as well, which allowed me to be myself outside of the classroom as well.

How did William Smith shape your idea of leadership?
I felt that leadership roles were so much more gender balanced providing equal representation in many venues of our student bodies (student trustees, governments, sports). These opportunities promoted to actually join student government organizations and get involved. I also surrounded myself with natural leaders - my best WS friends.

Why have you returned to William Smith College as an employee?
I moved to the area in June 2006 with my family after completing my PhD and having my first child; my husband (Jeremy Cushman '96) who had just completed his masters and fellowship in Emergency Medical Services, was offered a job at the University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital. I was notified by professors I kept in touch with that there was an opening in the Biology Department.

What are your current extracurricular activities?
I'm very active with the WS Alumnae Council, serving as the Vice President and as the Centennial Chair. I'm still active with the Office of Admissions as a volunteer, and I'm involved with the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network. I also have a two year old son, Riley, who I try to spend as much time with as possible. Our summer quest is to sample all of the playgrounds in the southeastern corner of Rochester and determine the best!

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