Dr. Susan Brillhart fondly remembers September 2002; that was when she both became a full-time faculty member at The City University of New York (CUNY) and also began her life-changing service to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). This fall, Dr. Brillhart was happy to begin at the College of Staten Island (CSI) where she teaches pediatric nursing, bringing decades of field experience and knowledge to the classroom.
“As my teaching at CUNY is in pediatrics, I bring real-life hospital, as well as family and court experience, to my courses. Students see hospital stuff in clinicals but not things like medically fragile foster children and other sensitive real scenarios.”
With more than 30 years as a pediatric nurse, as well as significant disaster training under her belt, the Hoboken, NJ resident likens her work with CASA’s vulnerable population to her work with students at CUNY.
“CASA advocates for and helps individuals who need it, just as CUNY and CSI do. CSI has a huge population of talented underprivileged and low-income students. I try to serve under-represented and underserved individuals, and whether I’m teaching or advocating, it’s never a hand out; it’s a hand up so they can blossom,” noted Dr. Brillhart, adding excitedly that, “CUNY makes outstanding students! If you empower them, they absolutely fly and you proudly sit back and watch.”
Dr. Brillhart’s work with CASA was recently highlighted in an article in New Jersey Monthly.
Dr. Arlene Farren, Chair of the Department of Nursing, commented, “We are very pleased to have Susan join the Nursing Department faculty. Her work at CUNY, as well as in the community at large, is truly commendable, and she is an absolute asset to the Department, School of Health Sciences, and College.”