People
MFA Students

Susan Peterson

Nonfiction

SUSAN SCOTT PETERSON writes intimate essays and memoir about culture and race; poverty and privilege; environmental degradation; and women, families, and parenthood. Her essays have appeared in The Rumpus and Cleaver Magazineand her reporting in the Texas Observer.

Before beginning the creative nonfiction MFA program at Pitt, Susan worked in the energy/environment field for ten years in Austin, Texas. Most recently, she served as the sustainability director for an affordable housing nonprofit, where she helped the organization achieve a megawatt of installed rooftop solar capacity. She has been an invited speaker on the intersection of sustainability and multifamily affordable housing at a number of national events including the Department of Energy Better Buildings Summit, the National Home Performance Conference, NeighborWorks America Training Institute, and the Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute conference. The City of Austin Office of Sustainability named her a Net Zero Heroin 2018. 

Susan was a Ben Barnes Fellow at The University of Texas’ LBJ School, where she earned her Master of Public Affairs degree, and a Justice Scholar at Brandeis University, where she earned her B.A. in English Literature. While at Pitt, she aims to cultivate skills in reporting and audio narrative with the goal of crafting research-driven stories that retain a vulnerable, credible first-person point-of-view.

Susan loves permaculture, public baths across cultures, spreadsheets, musical theater, and a good commencement address. Ask her to help you read your electric bill, then settle in: It’s complicated. 

Revised 11/04/2019
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