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I am AACC: Susan Cohen
Years at AACC: 15
Hometown: Montauk, NY
Position: English professor
If you asked Susan Cohen how long she has been a teacher, she would most likely respond with the kindest of smiles and say that she is celebrating her fifteenth year at AACC and nearly 30 years of her entire career. However, if you would have had the opportunity to ask her late mother the same question, her answer would probably trace back to Susan’s formative years where stuffed animals like Mitsy the Bear sat politely in assigned chairs around a carefully positioned table in their backyard, acquiring the finest education a second grader could give.
“I think I was one of those weird little kids who lived in her imagination,” Susan describes. “I liked to write as a kid and tell stories.”
Originally from New York, Susan’s pursuit of writing began in high school. For her undergrad, she stayed relatively local and acquired an English degree at University at Albany, State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.). “It was a state school that didn’t focus on any of the creative arts back then,” she explains. “It was known for its business programs and math and science, so to be an English major was like being an odd duck.”
With some indecision, she found herself in a creative writing class under a professor she credits as one of her many influential teachers. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a creative writing class,” she says. “He was able to give me an audience, a more professional eye, and solid feedback. He was also a teacher who said, ‘I know you can do this.’”
After graduating, Susan lived in northern Idaho and then moved to Maryland in 1981 where she enrolled in University of Maryland, College Park’s masters program in creative writing. In 1994, she started her career at AACC as a full-time English professor, brimming with boundless optimism.
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