Meet Susan Zarnowski

Susan Zarnowski, ΘΣ, is the recruitment leader for District 2. She is an alumna of Southern Connecticut State University and has been a volunteer for Alpha Sigma Alpha since 2013.

“I met Sue at LDI in Kansas City when we were paired as co-facilitators. She was an amazing partner,” said Elissa Hadley Ternes, EE, District 9 communications liaison. “She is such a hardworking and inspirational person.”

[Related: Volunteer openings: February 2016]

Her passion

I am passionate about relationships. To make sure I “live each day to its ultimate good” I ensure I incorporate good friends, sisters, colleagues and family into my day with a warm and thoughtful conversation. I feel most satisfied when I make personal connections with people and continue those relationships moving forward.

It is a boring day when you don’t have a fulfilling life conversation or check in to see how a friend is doing.

[Related: Meet Nancy Cerwin]

Her role model

I can’t recognize my mom without recognizing my dad. My parents have served as two very significant role models throughout my life. My mom has taught me how to utilize my voice and to speak up for myself. Through her I have learned how to be a better advocate not just for myself but for my students! From my dad I have learned work/life balance. As a business owner, my dad has never brought home any work problems. I have learned how much he valued family, and when he came home, he was a full-time dad, not a full-time business owner.

These lessons have lead me to live a healthier life.

[Related: Meet Julia Sammur]

Her proudest moment

Recently I received an award for “Outstanding New Professional of the Year” at NASPA for the state of Rhode Island. It was really cool to receive the award and my boss surprised me with students writing an article that went on the top fold of the student newspaper.

[Related: Thirty under 30 I Part 4]

Her favorite quote

One of my favorite quotes is from an inspirational author, Brene Brown “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

Brene Brown is my hero. Her books “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly” have really transformed the way I think, act and speak. Brown challenges women to “step into the ring” and have a voice, but also the risk and reward of vulnerability.

We joke around at work as we describe what it is like to feel your strengths at play. I always describe this happiness as a glow – my eyes are very wide with passion, my laugh is contagious, and I am very present with those around me. This is my authentic-self. I used to be afraid to show my vulnerability, my humor, my sass, for it could be perceived as being weak or bossy.

Over time, you became more aware of yourself and develop an appreciation for yourself. You learn the gifts you have and how to share it with other people. My hope is that women learn to love themselves. It doesn’t matter what’s in or trending, what matters is personal happiness above everything else. My advice would be to really observe when you feel a “glow” – why do you feel it? What is going on?

Realizing what you bring the world and how you share it is one of life’s best gifts.

Her last word

In 2016 I will be going back to school for a masters degree in women’s studies. I will still work full-time, but I am happy to pursue a passion of mine through this study and become a stronger advocate for women outside my current community.


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