Suzanne Richman

Faculty, Undergraduate Studies
Residency Site: Plainfield VT



Suzanne Richman is the founder and former long-time director of Goddard’s Health Arts and Sciences Program; an innovative, interdisciplinary program focused on creating new models of community health for personal, social, and ecological healing.  Her current studies focus on transformational leadership and visionary activism.

As a current faculty member, Suzanne teaches ethnobotany, botanical medicine, community health systems, nutrition, women’s health, cross-cultural health, and the hand-made world.

Prior to teaching at Goddard, Suzanne taught community health at the Institute for Social Ecology; consulted for the “Alternative Medicine Task Force” with then U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders; and co-created and toured with a performance called, “Turtle Island Visions and Soundscape.” She volunteered with the People’s Health and Wellness Clinic in Barre, Vermont, the Fort Totten Reservation in North Dakota, and the Renz Women’s Prison in Missouri. In Missouri, Suzanne founded a Community Garden with low-income groups and immigrants; helped co-organize the bioregional movement; and cooked in or owned a number of restaurants.


MSPH in Public Health with emphasis on Native American, Prison, and Women’s Health; School of Medicine, University of Missouri
BA in Environmental Studies and Community Health (Interdisciplinary Studies); University of Missouri

Areas of Expertise

  • Ethnobotany
  • Botanical Medicine
  • Community Health Systems
  • International Health
  • Women’s Health
  • Cross-Cultural and Ecological Perspectives on Health
  • Social Medicine
  • Nutrition and Food Sovereignty
  • Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies
  • Garden Design
  • Transformational Leadership and Facilitation
  • Trauma Studies

Personal Statement

I am interested in sacred ways of knowing to facilitate sanctuary and wisdom for learners conjoined with critical inquiry. Learners are approached with a curiosity about, and appreciation for, their unique intellectual gifts and creative expression. I encourage them to weave personal, practical, and academic study so their scholarship is well grounded in reflection, hands-on experience, deep thinking, and community. Whether exploring comparative health philosophies, hot topics such as the health effects of global warming, or the social determinants of health, I support students moving outside their comfort zone. I challenge them to grow their vision inside themselves so they might bring this to the world along side their social and ecological awareness. They are invited to follow a path with heart, and to transform communities by helping to create cultures of well being and regenerative social fields.

My professional engagement outside of Goddard includes educational design and consulting, such as helping to launch the EcoVersity program for sustainable living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, co-creating the first local Bioneers conference in Montpelier, Vermont, and creative consulting for documentary film design.

Creating and co-facilitating three of Goddard’s travel intensives–China, the Healer in Beijing, Wisdom of the Elders in Southern Mexico and the Big Island, Little Planet in Polynesia–constituted some of the most delightful work I experienced in my 30 plus years at Goddard. I am excited to assist with Goddard create The Learning Alliance initiative, a grand scheme of partnership-based learning opportunities with radical learning centers around the States and the world.

The Green Mountain forests in central Vermont have been my home since 1984. Here I dwell on a small-scale homestead crowded with organic fruit trees, berries, vegetable gardens, medicinal herbs, flowers, a small vineyard, and a shiitake mushroom farm. The newest installation is a stone and thyme meditation garden involving river stones collected throughout Vermont’s watersheds. I’ve written federal grants to replant the indigenous flora throughout my 18-acre piece woodland home. I consider it an honor to have tended this place for over three decades.

Ongoing personal interests include place-based ways of knowing and inhabitation; how we, as a culture, work with dying and grief; how we tend our elders; and contemplative arts and practices.