Susan Treadwell is an independent college counselor and writing instructor with extensive experience guiding students on their college and career pathways in private sessions, schools and educational programs. Most recently, she conducted classes with Education Unlimited during their summer programs at Yale University, UCLA and online. As a Los Angeles based teaching artist, her work incorporates creative writing and public performance. An advocate for youth employment in under-resourced communities, she leads seminars focused on developing essential communication skills. Susan received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Skidmore College, and a Professional Certificate in College Admissions Counseling from the University of California, Riverside.
I've always been interested in stories.
When I first studied drama, I learned that characters inhabit a specific world and it was my job to live in it, imaginatively. Fast forward to today – I counsel students from a similar perspective.
I’m truly interested in who you are and what you care about. I want to know what you love doing, and how you spend your time. I want to learn about your challenges and how you envision your future. Whether you’re choosing colleges, exploring a career path or writing essays, I will encourage you to think deeply. Details, it’s all about the details.
Everyone has a backstory – experiences from their past that provide context for who they are today. Here’s mine:
I was an English major who fell in love with theater. My idea of pure joy is to be in a space with a group of people developing a project. I cherish my collaboration with innovative practitioners who value the creative process and the discipline required to sustain it. Working with others to create something meaningful is a thru-line in my journey. And it explains why I enjoy leading college bootcamps for sleepy seniors on a Saturday morning.
As a counselor, I encourage students to reflect on their backstory, too. I ask them to share experiences leading to the present moment. We take nothing for granted! Insights are shared and anchored with words – in conversation and on the page. These precious words are gold, and will help you respond to the question that will follow you in college, career and life: Who are you?
Who am I? Just like you, I play many roles. Counselor, educator, performance coach, parent … to name a few. I embrace a holistic perspective of Self, recognizing that many parts create the strength of the whole. For example, my role as a parent informs the work I do with students and families. The day-to-day routines of growing up, going to school and transitioning to adulthood are imprinted in my consciousness. I know what it means to stress about – um, I mean, focus on – a child’s future. One day they’re reading Dr. Seuss, the next day they’re graduating.
A holistic perspective of Self encourages you to honor your complexities. In these challenging times, students are adapting to new roles and responsibilities, and every area of life is affected. I encourage you to embrace the strengths, traits and values that connect to each role. Going forward, your story will evolve, right along with you.