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helping HANDS

Business SENSE Helping Mothers Earn Degrees Is The ANSWER

Dr. Susan Harper with participants at the ANSWER Scholarship annual pancake breakfast fundraiser.


ornelius resident Dr. Susan Harper has achieved many accomplishments throughout her career as a business psychologist and human resource consultant specializing in professional development for Fortune 100, mid-market, government and healthcare organizations. After spending most of her life in Chicago where she lived with her husband, Dennis Lynch, they chose Cornelius to retire in 2014 for its great climate and quality of life. It was when she moved to Cornelius she joined the North Mecklenburg Women’s Club. There, she heard Susan Andersen, the founder of a unique nonprofit, ANSWER Scholarship, talk about the mission of the organization that provides college scholarships, mentoring and professional development programs to Charlotte-area mothers of school age children. “When I retired, I began exploring a volunteer opportunity,” says Harper. “It was important that it be something I could be passionate about. As a business psychologist in my former working life, I knew I wanted to utilize those same skills as a volunteer to help an organization grow and change. Fortunately, I found ANSWER Scholarship six years ago and have been actively engaged with them in a variety of areas.”

Mentors for Mom

“I loved the organization’s mission because I am a firm 20 | November 2020

BY: » Jean Spangler PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF : » Dr. Susan Harper

believer that education changes lives,” says Harper, who will assume the role of Governing Board Chair in January 2021. A graduate of Tulane University, she received a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Chicago. She has also been an associate professor, teaching business students leadership and organizational behavior. Founded in 2006 with just four scholarship recipients, ANSWER Dr. Susan Harper now has 19 scholars and vastly expanded programming. The organization has also grown to include 60 volunteers who donate their time in areas including mentoring, professional development, public relations and communications, legal assistance, fundraising and marketing. According to Harper, the organization’s Mentors For Mom program is one of the strongest aspects of helping mothers who postponed their