Susan McGowan

Tower Bridge

The College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies lost a dear friend on November 1, 2001. Associate Dean Susan McGowan passed away following a courageous, two-year battle with cancer.

Dr. McGowan was the College's first Associate Dean, joining the staff in January, 1997. She largely shaped the position both in terms of its content and its relationship to other staff members and program heads. Her influence will be apparent for years to come.

Susan McGowan was born and reared in San Diego. She attended San Diego State University and then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley where she received the Bachelor's degree in Economics. Continuing her studies in that field, she earned the Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis, and joined the Sac State Department of Economics in 1974. She loved applied economics, insisting that her students use the tools of their major subject to frame social issues. She was passionate about environmental policy, especially its economic implications. These themes came together for her during a number of years of employment and research as a consultant and energy specialist with the California Energy Commission. They also formed the basis of the lectures she presented while a Visiting Senior Lecturer in Economics at Staffordshire Polytechnic, Stoke-on-Trent, England (1990-91).

Dr. McGowan developed exceptional leadership and management skills as an administrator with the California Energy Commission (1985-87), as the Director of the Executive Fellows Program in Sac State's Center for California Studies (1988-90), and as Chair of Sac State's Department of Economics (1991-94).

In recent years, Dr. McGowan had become a leader in SSIS's efforts to develop WEB-based courses. She was a team player, understood the big picture, communicated well with others, and was expert at mediating conflicts. Students especially appreciated her willingness to listen. The SSIS staff will focus always upon on her good-natured approach to life and her work.

At the time of her death, Susan McGowan was married to George Waugh whom she called her friend as well as her spouse.


"In the end, it's about the students, always about them. A world of opportunities awaits them. We need to make sure they are ready to take advantage of them."


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