The daughter of immigrants from Japan, Susie Ikeda arrived at HGSE with more than 20 years of experience in information technology management within the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Her father is an electrical engineer; her mother, a hospital administrator; and two of her three siblings, like her, have engineering degrees. An electrical engineering graduate with a computer science focus, she began her career at one of the world’s best-known consulting firms. She’s also a violinist with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. (“For a while, I actually tried to make a career as a freelance violinist!”)
Why education? Why now? Why HGSE? “I like to think of it as a mid-course correction, rather than a crisis,” chuckles Susie. “The company I was working for got bought by another firm. I was financially secure for a while. And I’d just turned 40. I did a little bit of thinking, and decided I wanted the rest of my life to really mean something — to me, to the world. I wanted to feel far more fulfilled. And, even as an undergraduate, I was passionate about education; only then I couldn’t afford to make a career of it.
“For me, what makes HGSE’s TEP unique is the ability to learn from some of the world’s best minds in the fields of educational practice, theory, and research. Studying with professors like Richard Elmore and Kay Merseth have been inspiring, life-changing experiences — they radiate absolute commitment to learners, teachers, and researchers collaborating together to improve instruction and learning. They have taught me that learning occurs best when learners find the assistance and opportunities to be truly fearless. I’ve just finished an amazing one-year internship at the East Boston High School! It’s been more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done. And, while I’m completely committed to teaching, this program also opens up incredible possibilities if I ever decide to move into education-related leadership roles.”