Susan Navarro was born on the Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico. Her family moved to South Phoenix when she was six years old, where Susan attended Roosevelt Elementary School. She credits her father, “who was always pushing us to get our education” for motivating her to finish her high school degree.
Susan Navarro has been at South Mountain Community College since 1983, where she is currently a Librarian Specialist at the award-winning public/campus library. She remembers two instructors who helped her to obtain this position in the library.
Throughout her 35 years at SMCC, Susan has received a couple awards, including the Woman of Distinction Award in 2014, which she won for her longevity of service and her mentoring of young professionals. Her favorite, however, was the South Mountain Heart of Campus, was presented to the entire library staff for successfully migrating all materials to the new library in 2011 for public use.
In her time at South Mountain Community College, Susan has seen a lot of growth. She remembers, before the campus, when the community was mostly rural and agricultural. “Where we’re sitting at used to be a cotton field”.
Susan is also a local activist. A mother of three, Susan is passionate about many issues, including bringing awareness to domestic violence. One of Susan’s twin daughters was a victim of domestic violence, “We lost her nine years ago.” She’s passionate about the rich diversity of South Phoenix, which is home to many different cultures. SMCC, which she considers “home,” has the potential to help Mexican American students. “I’m being political now”, she says with a smile, as she continues to express her feelings towards Mexican American students and the struggles they face in the current sociopolitical environment.
Ultimately, Susan believes South Phoenix and SMCC have bright futures. “It’s going to continue to grow.”
Student Researchers: Fabian Cortez & Jesus Galindo, Fall 2018
Faculty Co-Author: Summer Cherland