Get to Know Suzanne Shivnen of Political Science and Economics!


Suzanne Shivnen with Professor Albert Price, CAS Interim Dean and longtime Political Science faculty member

Name: Suzanne Shivnen
Title: Administrative Assistant Intermediate
Department(s): Economics and Political Science

Degree(s), Education, or Certification(s):
Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University, 1986
Major: Marketing
Minor: General Business and Communications

Professional or Personal Volunteer Activities:
Staff Council member from 2012-2014

Awards or Recognitions Received (UM-Flint or Community):
• Margaret Rogers Award
• Staff Recognition Award Winner 2015
• CAS Academic Advising certification
• Sterling Staff Award recipient

Ways in which I support or interact with UM-Flint students:
I assist students on a daily basis. I am the first person they see when they come into our office. I answer questions they have, facilitate them meeting with their advisors or professors. I also work with our Pi Sigma Alpha students (Political Science Honors Society). Many times, students have questions on how a process works. The department is usually their first stop to help guide them through the University.

Ways in which I support or interact with UM-Flint faculty:
Our faculty are busy teaching courses, working on research, serving on committees and community engagement, as their administrative support, I assist them by keeping the office running smoothly. I administer the financial work for the department and help them with various projects.

Ways in which I support or interact with UM-Flint staff:
As a departmental administrative assistant, our office suite consists of a variety of departments. Our success depends on working well together while communicating the goals and visions of the College of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty works very hard to ensure student success. Our department encourages students to visit with their faculty, get advised on their progress, and participate in student engagement. A lot of questions students have are related to how a process works or where to go to initiate the process, I assist them by explaining procedures or processes.

Ways in which I am involved with my department or program’s community engagement:
We consistently invite guest speakers to our campus to discuss a wide variety of topics. Last fall, we offered a three-part lecture series on ‘The Future of Michigan Cities” as well as a performance by Bob Weick, “Marx in Soho”.

What I feel my department or program does best for students:
The Political Science faculty want to deepen the understanding and knowledge of the function of governments, politics, public policy and public affairs in the USA and around the world. The Political Science faculty strive to teach students about the world, their political systems, and talk about relevant issues involving our government and political system. We also offer a Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society opportunity to our Political Science majors. PSA is involved in many different areas on campus.

The Economics faculty shares their knowledge with student by introducing economic tools and methods to study a variety of subjects. Economic students learn to recognize the costs and benefits with alternative choices. They also examine “cause and effect” relationships. Students can apply the concepts they learn in Economics to every day decisions and the impact one choice or decision makes over another, different choice.

The Economics Club meets on a monthly basis and is involved in a variety of areas on campus.

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint:
Since I began at UM Flint 10 years ago, I strive to treat our students as I’d want my own children treated at their university. The reason I am here is to help our students succeed in their academic success. I hope to contribute to the educational experience by making processes or procedures run smoother for them to attain their educational goals.

What I hope for students from my department or program:
I hope students gain knowledge to help them attain their academic and educational goals. I hope they look back on their time at University of Michigan – Flint with fond memories of supportive faculty and staff.

Three things you should know about me:
1. I’ve been married for 27 years to my husband, Keith. We moved to Grand Blanc, Michigan twenty-one years ago.

2. We have two great children. Our daughter, Jennifer, is 23 years old and a MSU graduate who is applying to graduate school to become a Physician Assistant. Our son, Steven, will be 21 this month and is a Lance Corporal in the United State Marine Corps. He will be deploying on a Marine Expedition Unit in January 2016. He’s currently stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA.

3. Seven years ago, we adopted two rescue pups named Sammi and Sadie. They were litter mates and we couldn’t separate them! It was their lucky day. They are great dogs, good travelers, and are a fun addition to our family.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 12.58.04 PM

Pictured: Chancellor Susan E. Borrego, Suzanne Shivnen, and Political Science’s Dr. Peggy Kahn. Photo taken at the 2015 Staff Recognition Awards Ceremony and featured on Chancellor Borrego’s Twitter.