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    Interview With Susan Morison

    Brian Lombardo
    Susan Morison came to CT State Manchester in 2014. Here she is holding an award for Excellence in Teaching from the college presented to her in January 2024.

    Susan Morison, Radiography Program Director, has been at CT State Manchester for 10 years.

    Q: How long have you been at CT State Manchester?

    A: Well, it’s been my pleasure to be here at Manchester for a decade. I came in the Fall of 2014 and I’ll be leaving August 1, 2024.

    Q: What has been your favorite part of the Manchester campus and community?

    A: I would have to say that the campus overall, everyone, administrators, students, and other faculty members, have just been very welcoming to be a part of the Manchester campus. We do a lot of community outreach, which is wonderful, not just for Manchester but for other local communities as well. The facility is beautiful, facilities keeps the facility looking nice, and it’s very welcoming to outsiders. So, it just has been an overall good experience to be in this environment.

    Q: How has the college changed?

    A:The college has changed in two ways. The first change really came during COVID when we were at home offering online courses. But as I’m the director of the radiology program we have a small group of students 12-15 students every year, so as soon as the Fall of 2020 came along we were able to get back on campus. In that period of time, we lacked the community that made up Manchester Community College, but all the students in our program were very happy to get back to some normalcy following that event. The bigger change is obviously the change to CT State, and it really is like building a whole new college. So, it’s been a process that we’ve had to work through, that process is still ongoing.

    Q: Do you have any plans once you are retired?

    A: Well, I do. Actually, my husband retired recently and we just found out over the holidays that our daughter is pregnant. We are expecting our first grandchild in June, so that will be very exciting. They do live a little distance from us, they live out towards the Cape, so we won’t be able to just drop in whenever we want but we are looking forward to having that opportunity. We are travelers ourselves as well, so we are already planning on spending a couple of months in the Fall on the Cape. We’ll be closer to our daughter and our grandchild and hopefully be able to babysit and get to know the baby a little bit better. We like to travel, so potentially in the Spring, we’ll be traveling to visit friends that live down south. Although it’s been a mild winter in Manchester you never know when we’ll get a big snowstorm, so we’re hoping to avoid some snow. Those are short-term plans, and we’ll see where that takes us.

    Q: How are you feeling emotionally?

    A: You know it’s difficult for me. I just turned 70 years old, so I’ve been working for 50 years, and I love my family, but my students become like my family. So, it’s a little bittersweet.

    Q: What will you miss about Manchester?

    A: I will miss the faculty. I will definitely miss my students. The radiography program is a two-year program and we’ve grown the program so at its current size there are 20 students in each class. When we started the program there were only 10 students in each class, so we’ve doubled the size of the program. I teach the students every semester, including the summers, so we get to know each other pretty well, so I’m going to miss that whole family nature that develops for the students to be in the program. In health careers, we also have a dynamic group of faculty that are the program coordinators for other programs such as radiation therapy, occupational therapy assistant, respiratory care, health and exercise science, and surgical technology. They’re just a dynamic group of people, they’re involved in their professional organizations and they along with myself try to keep the programs at a high functioning level for the students so I will miss that as well.

    Q: What will you not miss?

    A: I probably will not miss having to get up at 5:30 in the morning and looking at my emails over the weekend!

    Q: Any notable student stories you’ll take with you?

    A: They’re almost too numerable to mention. But I will say that we have had a variety of students that are transitioning either in their careers, or they’re going from a career that they worked at for 10 or 20 years and now want to be more involved with people in general. Radiology provides a great opportunity for that, so we’ve had a number of students that have changed their careers and have been very successful. Other notable student stories are we have a variety of both male and female students who have been primary caretakers for their children, and once their children get to be of school age they no longer have that responsibility, and they have the time now to focus on themselves. So again, they come into the program and are very successful. I do have to say our students are highly

    successful, they do have to pass a national certification exam once they graduate from the program and our students have been very successful with that as well.

    Q: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started?

    A: How much administrative work and committee work there is involved in this position. I guess I knew that coming in, but when I first came to this position, I was semi-retired at the time. I always say the best part of my day, and I tell the students this as well, is when I’m in the classroom. But when you look at my office, which is not the neatest place in the world, you know there are just many administrative things.

    Q: What do you want people to remember about you?

    A: Well, you know this is a hard one for me, but I want people to remember that I gave my best to the students, to Manchester Community College, to Connecticut State, because I want the students that I’m working with to become the best professionals that they can be. And I know that the students as a whole appreciate that, but I just want people to understand that this just wasn’t a job for me, that I want again, people to work to their best potential. Because out in the community when students go for interviews, I want people to say, “Oh you’re a Manchester graduate, I know that you’re well prepared for what you’re going to face in this job.” So, I’m certainly not saying I’m perfect, I am far from perfect. But I want people to remember that we set up the program, myself and the other faculty members and all their clinical instructors, so that the students, when they take advantage of what we have to offer them can be as successful as they want to be.

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    Nico Arroyo
    Nico Arroyo, Staff Writer
    Name: Nico Arroyo Major: Liberal Arts & Sciences Pronouns: She/Her Club: ICE News What do you want to be when you grow up?: I want to be a Business Data Analyst!

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