I’ve barely known Susan for a year and I have to say she is one of the kindest, most forward-looking and most humble medical professionals I’ve ever met.
In case you don’t know, Susan entered the administrative side of the job first as interim director and eventually as the permanent director of the center, following the retirement of Diane Burkhardt.
“I was hooked on public health, working to develop the immunization and TB screening requirements and stimulated by the excitement of developing and expanding programs to meet students’ changing needs, including mental health issues in the increasingly diverse campus population,” she said.
Jamie Shutter, Executive Director of Student Health & Well-Being, has known Susan for several years through shared professional organizations and eventually as a colleague. I asked her what she thought of Susan.
“As a leader, Dr. Even cultivated a strong culture of respect among her staff and a culture of putting the students first in the provision of health care,” she said. “She will be missed — both as a leader and as a friend.”
Megan Huddleston, a nursing supervisor at the Student Health Center, has worked with Susan for six years. She described her as passionate, caring and down to earth.
“Dr. Even cares immensely about the students and the staff,” she said. “I’ve always said that Dr. Even cares for her patients just like I would want my family cared for. She is thorough and really listens to her patients.”
During Susan’s career with the Student Health Center, she has been an advocate for all students who rely on the center for health care services. Cheryl Gardner, a family nurse practitioner with the Student Health Center, said Susan has also been an advocate for LGBTQ students and has “paved the way for students desiring transition.”
Susan said that some of her favorite memories have come from interacting with students.
“I do recall a particularly proud moment, walking through campus in a Pride Parade, surrounded by so many exhilarated students, faculty and staff and a particularly colorful transwoman guest speaker,” she said.
“I loved seeing students comfortable being themselves, receiving so much support from their campus community and knowing that our health center was a welcoming place for all to receive medical care, including transition therapy,” she said.
Susan said she plans to spend some much-deserved time relaxing with her family — including a 20-month-old grandson — cooking, reading and, when it’s safe to do, traveling.
“Truth be told, I’m not ruling out anything!,” she said.
Susan, thank you for your decades of dedicated service to our students and staff. Your leadership has been integral in the advancement of the Student Health Center, providing critical resources to our campus and beyond. You will be greatly missed.