Meet a USAC Member: Susan Walker
What department do you work in and what is your job title?
I am the assistant to the chair in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.
How long have you been a Vanderbilt employee?
I have been at Vanderbilt since 2010.
What has been your career journey to lead you to where you are today?
Long, story —too much for this space!
What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt?
The campus. Walking the arboretum, architecture, the history, and future, it is all here in our 330 acres.
What is one important skill every person should have?
Patience, I am perfecting this one and it is a lifetime journey for sure!
What do you enjoy doing to relieve stress?
During COVID I started a daily yoga practice, and this has been super useful for my mental and emotional health. The daily practice is something that I want to do and am super aware when I miss a day on the mat.
What is the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor gave you?
An architect client once suggested: don’t draw more in the morning than you can erase in the afternoon. This advice has been useful as I have transitioned back to campus.
Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance?
I do feel that I have a good work life balance, it is important for me, and I serve on the Staff Life committee for this reason. Balance looks different each day and I do work hard for the balance I enjoy.
Are you more productive at night or in the morning?
Morning, I laughingly say if it does not get done by 11 am, it may not get done. I do get a surge around three or four in the afternoon but cannot take that to the bank. Yes, certainly change is possible, it may take time, the journey may not play out as anticipated, but I believe we are resilient by nature.
If you could visit any country with no budget, where would you visit?
Switzerland, having time to really explore this country would be an adventure!
What has been your favorite vacation you have ever been on?
We went on a seven-day Alaskan cruise with family and then flew to Hawaii for ten days, just my husband and myself. We called this the fire and ice tour! Someday we will get to Iceland for fire and ice on the same continent.
Name two things you consider yourself good at?
Optimism and resourcefulness.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Hiking, preferably to somewhere with an amazing panoramic view!
What is something on your bucket list?
Traveling around in a RV for a year exploring with my husband and our two Papillion’s BeeBe and Harold!
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
Connecting with friends or family IRL, like on the phone, or in person. Meaning outside of social media!