Susan became a Wilderness Quest guide after working in rural Africa and Latin America for over a decade and seeing the profoundly empowering effects of living intimately with land and nature. Her undergraduate training in Anthropology and subsequent work in International Development gave her a deep appreciation for what it means to be human, across cultures. She is passionate about confronting the challenges of disconnection brought on by modern Western life and helping restore traditions which promote a greater sense of balance and harmony. Susan currently works as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in Idyllwild, CA. Prior to completing the Rites of Passage guide training program, she was a wilderness therapy guide helping teenagers and young adults navigate their way toward adulthood. Susan loves working intimately with people, connecting to personal story and meaning, and building community.
In her previous career, Susan was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) specializing in the Environment Sector. She also contributed to global health efforts as a Public Health Advisor with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Susan holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Sonoma State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from UCLA. As a guide, she manifests “heart and empathy,” as one participant wrote, and is cherished for the “genuine respect and honor” she brings to the group.