Susan Noyes has been an occupational therapist since 1984. She earned her undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University, a master's degree in Adult Education from USM, and a doctorate in Adult Learning from Lesley University, where she studied the teaching practice of adult education teachers.
While she chose a career in occupational therapy to work in adult rehabilitation, Susan had such an amazing level II fieldwork experience in mental health that she has practiced for 30 years as an occupational therapist in mental health settings! She has worked with clients on in-patient units, and in out-patient clinics, day treatment programs, and community residential facilities, as well as numerous grant-funded projects.
Susan has taught in the USM MOT program for nine years, first as an adjunct instructor and then as full-time faculty starting in 2012. She teaches the mental health practice course as well as courses in research and evidence-based practice, OT theory, the reflective OT practitioner, group process, cognition and perception, and level I and II fieldwork seminars.
Susan’s scholarly interests include improving quality of life for adults with serious, persistent mental illness; developing occupational therapy assessment and intervention with adults who have hoarding disorder; and facilitating occupational therapy students to engage in reflective practice and use adult learning principles to develop critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. She is currently conducting a qualitative research study on a volunteer program for people with hoarding disorder. Susan has published and presented on this topic and is a member of the Portland Maine Hoarding Task Force. At the national level, Susan is Chair of the Mental Health Special Interest Section (MHSIS) of the American Occupational Therapy Association; she is also Chair of the Communities of Practice Committee of the Maine Occupational Therapy Association.
When not teaching, Susan enjoys baking, every form of dancing, spending time with her three young adult children and extended family, and crossing various items off her middle-aged bucket list!