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Staff Profile: Susan Van Duren


Susan Van Duren is one of the academic master’s advisers in the Academic Affairs unit. She has worked at UC San Diego since 2003, first with Biological Sciences and then began at the Graduate Division in 2006. Susan says that “working as a Graduate Academic Adviser is my favorite and [the] most satisfying job I have ever held!”

I love painting with water colors, working on my patio décor, lots of DIY projects.  I love walking, swimming, day hikes, bike rides, antiquing and reading Philippa Gregory books. The Lady of the River is my favorite.  The characters and scenes come to life so vividly; you would think you were there in the scene.

I have been married for 34 years to Mark, my knight in shining armor. We have 2 adult children: Holly is a hair stylist in San Diego, and Erik is a brewer for Central Coast Brewing in San Luis Obispo. We also have an 11 year old sweet mutt named Marty.

The person I would most like to meet is John Muir. I am so grateful to him for his preservation efforts of the Yosemite Valley and the Sierras.  I would like to hear him tell of his adventures in the wilderness.  Better yet, take a walk and listen to him describe the beauty of Yosemite in person!

I most admire ordinary people who unselfishly give of their time, efforts, and love to help those in need.  There are those people out there that are so very giving. I admire all the volunteers to the needy and foster parents, etc.

The talent I would most like to have is to be able to play a musical instrument.  I play the piano by ear but when I retire I hope to take lessons and really learn how to play the piano and read music. Oh and I want to play the Ukulele too! You can’t listen to the Ukulele and stay sad; it is such a happy sounding instrument.

A fun fact about me is that I have a tendency to want to dance when I hear music. I contain myself here [at work] but at home I dance when I can.


Graduate Division