What does Susan do?

Susan Christy, Ph.D., articulates the differences in faculty and staff mindsets, priorities, work styles, and reward systems. In her trainings and consulting, she shows staff and managers how to recognize these differences, understand what is in play beneath the surface, and interpret situations in new ways. “Working Effectively with Faculty“ unpacks real-world scenarios with observations about the unseen driving factors and suggests specific tactics that can be implemented in your department within the first hour back at your desk.

Through her research, hundreds of interviews, and trainings in dozens of universities, Susan has gathered insights and collected best practices on better ways for staff to approach faculty and establish more cooperative working relationships. Susan draws on her experience as a tenured psychology professor and as a designer of corporate communications trainings in higher education to elucidate the first-person perspective of each role to shed light on what it takes for staff-faculty collaboration to thrive. “Working Effectively with Faculty” is a toolkit/guidebook to shift the day-to-day experience of staff jobs, as well as boost staff careers in higher education.


11 Interesting Things About Susan

1 – Christy Consulting, Inc. was named one of the fifteen Best Management Consulting firms in the East Bay by the East Bay Business Times in 2004.

2 – Susan is as comfortable driving a tractor, ballroom dancing, or playing ‘fairies’ in the redwood forest with her young granddaughter, as she is presenting to large audiences or consulting to help universities improve campus climate.

3 – Susan hosted a weekly television show called REACHing the Disabled designed to help viewers understand people with disabilities and learn how to be friendly and supportive of them.

4 – Susan met the love-of-her-life, Marlin, while kayaking on the San Francisco Delta. Marlin, an inventor, says Susan has boundless enthusiasm and energy.

5 – In the 1970s, as a tenured Psychology Professor, Susan designed and taught some of the first college classes in the country on Psychology of Women, Psychology of the Family, and Human Sexuality.

6 – During her tsunami relief work in India in 2005, Susan worked closely with two fishing villages to feed hungry people, go house-to-house to offer grief counseling, to build ten houses, and to provide fishing nets for one of the villages. Generous friends and their friends in America sent $21,000 in response to her nightly local internet café email updates from the field.

7 – During the last twenty years, Susan has helped Fran O’Neil, Ph.D., in many projects to help the Mojave, Navajo and Zuni Indians preserve their native cultures.

8 – Susan’s two daughters, both doctors – Imber, an Osteopathic Physician, and Cate, a Psychotherapist – are a centerpiece of her life.

9 – Susan created two trips to Bali as Adolescent Rites of Passage, the first for her two daughters in 1989, and another for two of her grandchildren in 2013.

10 – When Susan was a child, her parents (father an Ophthalmologist and mother a Psychiatric Social Worker) bought a Christmas tree and maple syrup farm in Amish country in rural Ohio. Her parents, Susan, and two brothers worked and played hard together at ‘the farm’ on week-ends and vacations.

11 – Susan loves to sleep outdoors under the stars – in her backyard, the forest, high-granite country in the Sierra Mountains, or on the beach. She goes out in her yard early every morning in her bathrobe to welcome the day, tend to her gardens, and walk the labyrinth to orient her day.