‘The right place on the river’ – Dr. Susan Burns' journey to being president of the College of Mount Saint Vincent
News 12's Dan Serafin chatted with Dr. Susan Burns, the president of the College of Mount Saint Vincent, about what made her fall in love with the Bronx.
Burns, originally from Iowa, says she loved being a teacher and doing research.
“My background is psychology and I really thought I'd be a faculty member for my entire career,” she said.
But when a job opening came for president of Mount Saint Vincent, she jumped at the chance. The interview process began during the early stages of the pandemic.
She accepted the position months later before ever stepping foot on the Riverdale campus.
“We stopped at the security gate, asked if we could drive though,” she said. “…and I just fell in love with it.”
By Jan. 2021, Burns was the school's president.
“It really wasn’t about me making a mark – it was about how do we raise the profile of this institution so people can know the great work we're doing,” she said. “During the interview process, people kept saying we're such a hidden gem. My first presentation at the Mount, I said we need to stop being a hidden gem on the Hudson and start being the right place on the river.”
Just recently, the college launched the Bronx's first physician assistant’s program. Burns says it’s “highly competitive.” She says more programs and initiatives are in the works.
Several college employees told News 12 that Burns can be found often on campus, cheering on sports teams and interacting with students – which she says is the best part of her job.