Susan M. Opp, PhD, is currently a Professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Opp is known as a pracademic that focuses on questions of sustainability, economic development, and urban affairs in her research, teaching, and community service activities. She focuses on problem-solving, engaging with public officials, and making an impact on the community and her students. She had the distinct pleasure of being one of the inaugural APSA “Pracademic Fellows” at the Environmental Protection Agency working in the Office of Policy in 2016. During her time at the EPA she was able to assist with a number of policy projects and also observe the pre-election transition process. Alongside her public sector work, Dr. Opp has served as the director of a NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration program, graduate programs coordinator, internship director, and a variety of other public service related work directed at engaging with students and the public sector.
Dr. Opp’s favorite part of her job is getting to work with students. As the recipient of multiple teaching awards, she takes teaching very seriously and works hard to inspire students to achieve their dreams. Alongside her typical teaching activities, she has also developed and led a study abroad group to London to explore policy and law in the UK. In her free time, Dr. Opp is the proud mother of two daughters, an eyeless basset hound, a very energetic miniature dachshund, 3 backyard chickens, a rabbit, and two cats. Dr. Opp grew up in a single parent household with her mother and spent her childhood in a rural impoverished community in Southern Georgia (almost Florida it is so far south!). In middle school (such an awkward time to move!), her family moved to Colorado where she then spent her high school and undergraduate years (in Boulder) – and saw snow for the first time! This contradictory background has allowed her to develop a unique perspective and appreciation for the diversity of human experiences in the U.S. This perspective helps her connect with students from almost any background and drives her desire to be someone that offers a hand to any student seeking opportunity and learning.
In her free time, Dr. Opp and her family enjoy hiking and exploring new places. She is excited to get to know the Spring 2020 Semester at Sea students and making lifelong connections while learning and growing together.