About Susan

Eric and I getting ready for our convalidation.

In my "regalia" for my PhD party.

Right now, I live, love, teach, and write in Tacoma, WA, and I am married to another Altered Focus writer, Eric Nelson.

I was born in New Jersey, however, and spent 22 years in California, so I am actually from all over this country.  I come from a large family–six children, four surviving–and I am the youngest of the bunch. There are benefits to being the “baby sister.”

Taking a stroll in Vico Equense, Italy, in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius.

I attended Pacific Lutheran University, where I now teach, and where I received my BA in Philosophy and Classics. I went on from there to receive my Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Warwick, Coventry, England.

Piloting our boat in Commencement Bay.

This progression, along with our love of travel, has led Eric and me to England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Northern Ireland, and Italy. Since I specialize in ancient philosophy, my next goal is to make it to Greece, which I have never seen.

I have taught at Pacific Lutheran University since 2000, and teach a wide variety of classes in multiple disciplines (from writing to history to classics to philosophy).

At the Papal Easter Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.

Exploring the archaic Greek temples at Paestum, Italy.

I have published one scholarly book, An Aristotelian Approach to Ethical Theory: The Norms of Virtue, and one popular book (co-authored with Eric, the other Dr. Nelson), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ancient Greece. I have also published other academic work, short fiction, and poetry.

I write for Altered Focus not to change minds (okay, maybe sometimes), but to tell stories that I love and discuss subjects about which I am passionate.  Sometimes they involve my past and sometimes my present, including my family–which includes one daughter, one step-daughter, one step-son, five grandchildren, three living sisters, and a host of nephews, nieces, and grandnephews/nieces.  My family is deeply important to me and, I believe, all that may matter in the end.

I hope that you will come along for the ride!