Susan Kurian joined the Adelphi team in 2005 as a programmer analyst and has since been promoted to business intelligence analyst. However, Kurian’s journey began some 6,000 miles away from Adelphi University, in Salmiya, Kuwait.
Born to Indian parents, she was educated in Kuwait until the ninth grade when her parents moved her and her brother back to India to finish their studies. They relocated to Kerala, a southern province in India.
After completing the 10th and 11th grade in India, Kurian went to Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, India and received an undergraduate degree in chemistry. She originally wanted to study microbiology and genetics. However, she felt the job market was small and only a handful of the well-educated get jobs in the field of genetics.
She then focused her attention on receiving a master’s degree in computer science, as it was a growing industry. However, her master’s program would be her first computer science class. “It was the first time I even touched a computer. It wasn’t as popular as it is now.”
It turned out Kurian was a natural and ended up really enjoying her program. “I’m pretty organized and logical, so I think that helped me a lot.”
In 1997, Kurian had completed her master’s program with high marks and had been offered a position at a company in India. However, she never started the job as she got married to her husband, who was living in America.
After moving to America, Kurian began her first job at Profile MMS. While she was excited for the work, she soon realized that data collection wasn’t where she wanted to be and took another job at Fala Direct Marketing. At Fala, she got to move into programming and working with code more which she enjoyed. Not long after that, she took another job at Eastern Collection Corporation. At ECC, she was able to move more into business intelligence.
In 2005, Kurian came to Adelphi and was hired as a programmer analyst. Originally, she applied to the position in order to be closer to home, “but I find I like working in education. I love the environment and I like the people I’m working with.”
Soon after Kurian began, she had a seizure. Doctors found an Arteriovenous Malformation, a congenital condition in the brain that can have permanent side effects. In 2011 she went through surgery at Winthrop Hospital. “It was a miracle,” she said. After receiving excellent care and recovering, she wanted to learn more about the medical community that had provided her with such great care.
This led her to complete her second master’s degree. In 2016, Kurian received an M.S. in healthcare informatics. “I wanted to be able to give back to the community.” Unfortunately, HIPAA rules don’t allow her to volunteer.
Currently, Kurian spends most of her time working in business intelligence as the university expands its Business Intelligence capabilities. She helps as Adelphi launches its new software for faculty and administration: Data 360. It provides a comprehensive overview of students and their performance in all of their coursework in order to put each student’s academic performance in one place.
She also has been working on Tableau, which launched at Adelphi in October. Tableau, which is being used for admissions currently, takes data and creates visual representations so users can read data more easily. Adelphi plans to expand this software to other departments in the future.
These days, Kurian has no complaints. “Let’s just say, I’m a happy camper.” Kurian credits her first boss, Frances Marino Berman, for being such a great mentor and her current boss, Michael Dicrescio, for being helpful and supportive.
What lies ahead for this avid learner is more classes. In the fall, Kurian begins classes in management at Adelphi and hopes to apply to the M.B.A program in the future. “Everyday you learn something new here. The thing about computer science is that you have to constantly keep learning.”