Susan Molnar is a working artist and educator with 15 years experience who is dedicated to empowering others to understand and execute their ideas. Susan has a background in multi-media and cross-disciplinary arts. With a BFA from Tufts University, a diploma from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as Media Studies graduate work from The New School she is currently pursuing a M.S.ed in Learning Design and Technology through Purdue University. Her diverse educational background continues to inform her processes and her life.
By investigating the possibilities of new technologies while trying to understand their personal and cultural impacts, Susan strives to create opportunities for growth and experience for others that they may not have previously considered. She continues with this passion in developing effective processes for human performance improvement. In this vein, after relocating to South Carolina following a stem cell transplant for Leukemia, Susan became one of the founding members of iT2Pi, Introduction to Technology To Programming Inventors. The program is now in its third year, and has served several hundred kids in the upstate South Carolina region exposing them to technology and equipping them to be makers not just users. Susan has been an integral part of planning the iT2Pi expo each year, she as also written several grants and has been awarded 23,000 for the organization. Susan was also part of the initial planning stages of the iMAGINE Upstate festival and continues to serve on the iMPACT board. Through grant funding she was able to bring in the Chattanooga maker group ART 120 art bikes, which are student built using welding and metalworking skills to the inaugural event. She also organized several local events to try to spark the interest in starting a similar program in Upstate SC.
In addition, she has written a 40,000 grant awarded to Project Hub Spartanburg for their pursuit of opening a Maker Space in downtown Spartanburg. Recently she has spoken about Technology and Arts and their relationship culture and our future at Atlanta Maker Faire 2015, Charlotte Maker Faire 2015 and ECPI Manufacturing Day 2015. Susan also serves on the ECPI curriculum advisory board for mechatronics.
Most recently she has been named the 2016 Google Policy Fellow for the American Association of People with Disabilities. Currently, she works out of her studio SuMo Design Workshop in Travelers Rest, South Carolina and is looking forward to making an impact with AAPD over the summer.
Photo Credit: Bessy Adut