Susan Howard Named New Osher Director
Susan Howard got two job offers on a single day in 1996: a position with Johns Hopkins University and a position with Montgomery County government.
She accepted both.
For years, she worked both jobs: full time as an administrative assistant for the JHU School of Professional Studies in Business and Education and part time as a library desk associate for the county library system. She left the library job in 2009, but continued with JHU.
Now, 22 years after starting with the university, Howard has been named director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at JHU. She replaces Mary Kay Shartle Galotto, who retired in January.
“I am delighted for Susan and for the program,” Shartle Galotto said. “She is without doubt the best possible choice.”
“Susan has been an integral part of the Osher program at Johns Hopkins for many years,” said John Caron, associate dean of Advanced Academic Programs. “She cares deeply for the program and understands the needs of the members. I look forward to working with Susan as the new director of Osher.”
Osher is a non-credit academic program for retired and semi-retired adults. Courses include literature, opera, science, history, politics, religion and more. Of the nearly 1,300 senior citizens who are Osher at JHU members, approximately 1,000 of them take classes in Montgomery County. Howard oversees the whole program.
A Montgomery County native, Howard received her associate’s degree in hospitality management from Montgomery College and her bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Washington Adventist University.
After working in other industries, she landed at JHU. While at the university, she became aware of the Evergreen Society. Evergreen was the precursor to Osher: a lifelong learning program for recent and soon-to-be retirees. She was intrigued, and when she heard of an opening, she applied and received the position.
“I decided I loved the program,” Howard said. “I have a very deep respect and love for older people. I’ve always had an interest in learning more about the aging process, and I loved the idea that intellectual stimulation might actually be helping people.
“I’ve loved it from the very beginning, and my love for it has grown ever since,” Howard continued.
In addition to her role leading Osher, Howard is taking courses for a Master’s of Liberal Arts degree at JHU. She started in spring 2015. Part of her motivation for pursuing the degree was seeing Osher members thrive while continuing their educations.
“I just really enjoy learning about new and different subjects, and that’s why the MLA is perfect for me,” Howard said. “Whatever I do in the MLA is really for me. It stimulates my intellectual ability.”
Howard expects to graduate in December 2018 – just as she plans to wrap up her first year as Osher director.