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Suzanne Liff’s professional world is inspired by the profound impact of emotions on learning, respect for the abilities of every student, and passion for the ongoing professional growth of educators. These tenets find their way into her classes, seminars, and writing.


Professor Emertitus at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, Suzanne served in the Department of Critical Reading and Academic Advancement for over twenty years. She continues teaching within the Freshman Experiene Program, welcoming students to campus and readying them for college life. A past chairperson of secondary special education, Suzanne holds advanced degrees in Special Education, specializing in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, and in Educational Administration and Supervision. She speaks at regional and national professional conferences to address best practices in developmental studies and higher education, pedagogy and program design that advance the scholarship of teaching and learning across disciplines, and the her groundbreaking work on the integration of social and emotional intellectual competencies for effective, inspirational teaching and the academic success of students.


Suzanne is celebrating the launch of her latest book, Smarter Than You Think:  Accessing Your Personal Powers to Triumph in College, (Outskirts Press, 2020). She takes readers on a unique,  engaging, student-friendly journey through the world of social and emotional intelligence (SEI) and  depicts its deep and pervasive impact on every aspect of college life.




Weaving campus stories, scenarios, and unique insight, this work reveals the many ways to be intelligent and how SEI capacities are the hidden, powerful drivers of college success.  See how they enable students to excel in coursework, manage and cope with the many challenges of college life, establish relationships, forge optimism and leadership, persist in the face of adviersity, and simply thrive in college. 


Unlike traditional IQ, social and emotional capacities can be nurtured, strengthened and grow. They support students every day, clearing a path right up to the graduation stage! This book is the perfect companion for college-bound and non-traditional students and for undergraduates striving for college success. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Revue in Huntington, NY and at Outskirts Press. Learn more at and see the book's video on YouTube here:


Professor Liff is co-author of the developmental textbook series, Experience Reading (2012), and Contexts: Reading in the Disciplines, (2016) both for McGraw-Hill Publishers. These works uniquely infuse best pedagogical practices throughout their pages. Contextualization is the cornerstone. Students learn and apply active, critical reading skills and strategies while reading about college life or content gleaned from a variety of college disciplines of study. Apparatus is scaffolded, moving students from guided, to self-monitored, to “independent” reading applications. Students develop and strengthen comprehensive literary skills, and acquire authentic, meaningful background knowledge across a range of areas of college study along the way.

Suzanne has published several juried journal articles, including, Social and Emotional Intelligence: Applications for Developmental Education, in the Journal of Developmental Education, and Teaching Readers to Be THIEVES, for the International Reading Association, The Reading Teacher Journal. The latter explicates the pre-reading strategy she created for managing meaning making of expository text. It has been cited and adopted by educators throughout the country…and the world! She has been filmed for the Reading is Fundamental Series, “Reading to Learn” on PBS.

“My writing and seminars about the personal side of learning emerge from my experiences and vision as an educator over a lifetime. True, my skills as a special educator  enable me to assess and recognize the cognitive profile of students; to identify where intellectual capacities are strong or where they may be challenged. It is exciting to design instruction that embraces and differentiates the unique learning paradigm of every student.

However, I have always been deeply aware that students bring “their whole selves in” to their learning and life experience. This “self” goes beyond traditional measures of ability or cognitive strength. Learning is very personal. It emerges and flourishes when we are in our comfort zones, feeling safe and valued, both internally and in the context of our environments. Learning is a function of both intellectual potential and the intra and interpersonal competencies that make up our social and emotional selves. This accounts so much for the academic success or failure of students, from the kindergarten classroom through the university hallways.”


Suzanne created, and proudly coodinated the NCC IDEAS Initiative (Integrated Disciplinary Instruction for Academic Scholarship) for twelve years, to infuse the practice of basic academic skills within all academic disciplines of college study. The program included annual symposia and a collaborative Faculty Learning Community each spring. The National Education Association Journal, Advocate, featured her cover article explicating the benefits and application of IDEAS.


For a decade she chaired the Faculty Development Committee of the Academic Senate at NCC, establishing many long standing programs and multiple ongoing events for professional development.   

“Educators are life-long learners. The nature of a scholar is to be both student and colleague; ever pursing theory and practice; to be innovative, effective, and  exciting. We both validate and enrich ourselves through collegiality.”

An honorary life member of SEPTA, Suzanne is the recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for outstanding scholarly and professional accomplishment and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2007.