"I enjoy working in an academic environment," says Susan Roche Cogan, the administrative coordinator for the Romance Languages and Literatures Department.
"I enjoy working in an academic environment," says Susan Roche Cogan, the administrative coordinator for the Romance Languages and Literatures Department. This fact may seem obvious since she has been a UC employee for 30 years.
Originally from Pennsylvania, her family lived in Kansas and moved to Cincinnati when she was 10 because her father was transferred by P&G. She graduated from Wyoming High School and attended UC, where she majored in art history. Her first university job was in the Medical Center. She transferred to the main campus in 1983.
In the Romance Languages and Literatures Department Cogan’s responsibilities include supporting graduate students and faculty, assisting with scheduling, and troubleshooting. “Working for 60 teachers keeps me on my toes!” she exclaims.
A visit to her office demonstrates that gardening is clearly one of her hobbies. An assortment of plants lines the window sill, and she explains with a smile, “I love to garden anything you can water. At home I grow a few herbs, some flowers and shrubs, and the trees take care of themselves.”
Music has been an even more constant presence in her life. “I took piano lessons as a child, and there was always music at home. My father liked show tunes and light jazz, and my mother liked classical music,” says Cogan. She enjoys those, as well as rock ‘n roll, and her interest in music has led to her participation in her church choir and the May Festival Chorus.
The latter involves weekly rehearsals from September through May. Each singer volunteers over 300 hours of community service a year. She notes that she “loves working with different conductors and soloists.” Cogan sings in nine languages and says, “I don’t always know exactly what I’m singing, although I do know how to pronounce it properly!” The May Festival Chorus’ main performances include the May Festival concerts, Riverbend in the summer, and the Carolfest concerts in December. The chorus performs with the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops Orchestras.
Cogan has traveled in Europe from Scandinavia to Italy. “It’s wonderful to see castles, cathedrals, and museums in countries different from my own. I would love some time to visit South America, Asia, and Africa as well. Traveling makes you think differently.” She also visits her family in Pennsylvania for annual family reunions and has traveled to every state west of the Mississippi River, as well as much of the Midwest, the Carolinas, Florida, and Hawaii.
Family is, of course, her "favorite." Her husband is a photographer, teacher, and audio designer. They have a 20-year-old son they “adore.”
Cogan theorizes that her love of languages and cultures is key to her fondness for both travel and working in her department. “Romance Languages and Literatures is a delight because the faculty and students are very bright and positive people and are enthusiastic about languages, literature, history, and culture.”
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