Residential Treatment for Adolescent Girls; Qualitative Research; Outcomes Research
Ph.D., Harvard University
M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music
A.B., Mount Holyoke College
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Susan Thomson is currently the Director of Research at Germaine Lawrence, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls in Arlington, MA. Germaine Lawrence offers long-term programs for girls with histories of behaviors such as physical aggression, self-injury, eating restriction, fire-setting, and sexual aggression. Susan’s research analyzes outcomes after discharge by incorporating both quantitative and qualitative approaches, including participant-observation. Overall, she is committed to making the research process of benefit to all concerned: clinical and milieu staff, administrators, families/guardians and the girls themselves.
Prior to working at Germaine Lawrence, Susan taught cultural anthropology at Middlesex Community College and was an associate at the Center for Women and Work at UMass Lowell. In addition to teaching, she was a member of the Lowell Civic Collaborative and an active participant in Middlesex’s extensive community service program. While working in Lowell, she did ethnographic research with the Southeast Asian community and with elderly women at an assisted living facility. Susan’s earlier doctoral research focused on ethnographic fieldwork in rural Bihar, India, studying the politics and artistic development of Seraikela Chhau dance. She continues to keep in touch with this area by visiting regularly with her two children.
On leave for the 2012-2013 Academic Year.
Thomson, S., Hirshberg, D., Corbett, A., Valila, N., Howley, D. “Residential Treatment for Sexually Exploited Adolescent Girls: Acknowledge, Commit, Transform (ACT).” Children and Youth Care Forum, 33:11, 2290-2296, 2011.
Thomson, Susan. “Along the Path to Nibbana: Civic Engagement, Community Partnerships and Lowell’s Southeast Asian Buddhist Temples.” In Southeast Asian Refugees and Immigrants in the Mill City: Changing Families, Communities, Institutions – Thirty Years Afterward, edited by S. Cowan, J. Gerson and L. Pho, 112-130. Hanover, NH: Univ. Press of New England, 2007.