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Success Profiles

Catherine Zusy '04 MAT

Inciting Awe, Wonder, and Curiosity

Zusy is eager to contribute to the making of whole, confident, and knowledgeable children who ultimately will make this world a better place.

When Catherine Zusy was seven years old and living in Kensington, MD, she organized a neighborhood fair to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. With prizes donated from a nearby general store and a "staff" of four siblings to supervise, she proudly collected $23.70 and appeared on her local television station. "I've always had an interest in organizing things," says Zusy, with a smile.

That interest led her to a 20-year career as a curator for various community, history, and art museums throughout New England, and in Florida and Oklahoma. "A good curator is a good teacher," explains Zusy. "Whether I'm designing an exhibition, leading a tour, lecturing, or writing, I master a subject and then focus on presenting the material in an engaging way."

Before becoming a curator, Zusy dabbled in teaching. She taught arts and crafts and French at a children's camp in Maine; English on a Navajo reservation in Tuba City, AZ; aviation history and space exploration to visitors at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; and gave house tours about early American life in Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts. "Back then, I felt too young to be a teacher. I felt as though I didn't have enough life experience to be standing at the front of the classroom. Having been around for a while now, though, and having traveled and studied and lived, I feel far more equipped to be leading students."

Now at 45, this wife and mother is on her way to becoming a professional teacher at last. "After September 11th, I decided that I wanted to be doing something that I felt might possibly have more of an impact on society. As a teacher, I can nurture students; challenge them; incite awe, wonder, and curiosity; teach courtesy, thoughtfulness, and discipline; encourage a sense of responsibility; and impart knowledge. I am eager to contribute to the making of whole, confident, and knowledgeable children who are eager to use their talents to make this world a better place."

Zusy says she chose Simmons for a number of reasons. "Simmons's education program has an excellent reputation and it is flexible enough to complement my schedule as a mother. Simmons also has an established relationship with the Brookline public schools, one of the best school systems in the Boston area. I'm currently doing my year practicum at the Lincoln School in Brookline."

Also appealing was Simmons's good track record of placing students. "Graduates of the program get jobs and the department provides tremendous support. Since I started the program, I've been very impressed with the high caliber of teaching, the curriculum, and with my fellow classmates. The program has exceeded my expectations."