Sue Trace Lawrence
Over the course of my life, I have worn many different hats, but the common threads have been my early experiences with loss. As a surviving sibling, I found myself driven to find answers. To that end, I was especially drawn to science, especially medicine and biology. Eventually I made my way into the field of psychology, earning a B.S. in the field, then going on to complete a M.Ed. in school counseling. I worked in community counseling agencies. then moved into the educational field, where I have been for over 25 years. I have worked as a preschool teacher, a reading assistant, a tutor, a vocational and educational counselor, and test administrator and scorer. For the past 14 years I have taught a wide range of psychology courses at four different colleges, serving as a senior adjunct at my local community college as well as an instructor at my bachelor’s level alma mater. Teaching has become my passion, and I am always searching for new ideas to expand my classroom repertoire. Not only do I teach college-level psychology, I am also certified by the state of Pennsylvania to conduct trainings to early childhood educators, which I frequently do through my part-time work as the assistant director of a local child care facility. Although I love all topics in my field, I am especially interested in developmental psychology, more specifically the effects of early trauma on children and adolescents. Loss and grief can be traumatic, especially to young people, and my current area of research relates to this topic. To further my knowledge, I am currently pursuing a graduate certificate in neuropsychology from Ball State University; my coursework is in pediatric and developmental neuropsychology. I am also completing a training program run by the United Way-sponsored Institute for Family Professionals in Philadelphia, which will result in my certification in trauma awareness and competence in dealing with children. I am also working towards certification in thanatology from the Association of Death Education and Counseling. These endeavors have provided me the foundation for completing a book on the topic of sibling loss, for which I am in the publication process. I have published a book of fiction in a collaboration with my (late) brother; this work, too, is a variation on sibling loss as it compares and contrasts our personalities and connection. On a personal note, I am a mother of three grown children, all of whom are in either the education or psychology fields. They, along with my two “lost” brothers, are my inspiration and main sources of motivation. Looking back at my life so far, I can see how the losses I suffered as both a child and an adult have molded and guided me, and I want nothing more than to help others who are on the same path of self-discovery. I hope and plan to continue teaching, researching, and writing on these ideas in both the near future and for the long-term.
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