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Faculty Profile: Susan Healy

Fall 2012 | Archives

Susan HealyAcademic program: Languages and Visual Arts (art history)

Anything art related—quilting, working with glass art, travelling to museums and reading

Little-known fact:
Each summer for one week, Healy travels to Oklahoma where she works with children at a group home. She spends the entire trip glued to a sewing machine making jingle dresses so the girls can dance at a powwow. She is always recruiting people to join her—no sewing experience required!

Unplanned Opportunity Provides Lifetime of Joy

You know when you don’t think you will like something and then you end up loving it? That was the case with Susan Healy and teaching. She didn’t want to start teaching directly after grad school at the University of Notre Dame, but that was the opportunity presented to her, so she took it.

“My first quarter teaching was a disaster, until I learned how to teach,” said Healy. “Then I absolutely loved it and decided I’m right where I belong.”

Healy went on to work as an adjunct art instructor at Iowa Western Community College, Bellevue University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, plus she taught at the Illinois Institute of Art at Schaumburg in Chicago for seven years before moving back to Omaha in 2007 and landing at MCC.

“I love teaching at MCC because it’s more than just nonprofit; it’s community-centered. Our main goal is education and community service first,” said Healy. “I think we’ve got the smartest students in the area. They get the same education, often with the same faculty, as the four-year institutions, but they’re paying half or even one quarter of the tuition!”

Along with teaching the smartest students in the area, Healy is also involved with unique College projects. One of those, the Buffalo Robe Project, recently kicked off with a smudging ceremony—an experience Healy would label as her most memorable teaching experience to date.

“Seeing a group of MCC faculty, staff, students and community members come together to acknowledge the importance of the ritual and the Buffalo Robe Project was very exciting,” she said. “Students loved it, and I love to see students enjoy learning and doing so by experience rather than hearing second-hand.”

Buffalo Robe Project Timeline

6/12/12 - Smudging ceremony
7/3/12 - Visit to Fontenelle Forest Nebraska Phase Indian sites
7/9/12 - Presentation to NWU students
7/11/12 - Public lectures at MCC
7/15/12 - Hide painting at KANEKO
7/17/12- Hide painting at KANEKO
7/18/12 - Public workshop
7/20/12 - Hide painting at KANEKO
7/24/12 - Hide painting at KANEKO
7/25/12 - Class visit to Winnebago reservation
7/29/12 - Public workshop
8/1/12 - Trip to Genoa, Neb., to see Indian school and museum
8/22/12 - Hide unveiling at Fort Omaha
9/22/12 - Intertribal Powwow

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