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Professor known for love of students

Susie Antcliff

Susie Antcliff is a graphic communications professor at LCC.  Courtesy photo

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Associate Editor

With all the discrimination in the world, it seems no one has time to address the prejudice held against introverts. Often, we hear the word and want to hold these people at a distance, because quiet means boring.

LCC Graphic Communications Professor Susie Antcliff proves nothing could be further from the truth; making it clear that some people aren’t afraid of living undiscovered, no matter how amazing they may be.

“I think it’s just a natural characteristic of my personality to be a quiet observer,” Antcliff said. “It’s more comfortable for me.”

Though she prefers to keep to herself, the world knows Antcliff very well, and by many different names. She is a daughter, professor, mother and friend, always looking for a way to share her loving spirit with the world as a guide to all.

“We are people,” she said. “We are all in this together. My way of trying to do good is trying to help people get to the next step in their lives. Even if it’s just to have a person who is their cheerleader, supporting them in taking the next step, whatever that next step is. It’s just who I am.”

Antcliff said she just reached “25 years of service” to LCC. And though it took her a few tries to get to where she wanted to be, she couldn’t be happier about where she ended up.

She was born in Livonia but moved to Brighton at 2 years old. She lived there, in the same house her parents built from the ground up, until she graduated from Brighton High School in 1990.

After that, she set off to Western Michigan University. She graduated with a bachelor of arts in elementary education in 1995, eager to get back to a classroom setting that she had always loved so much.

Antcliff now had the degree, but held on to her summer job at Kensington Metropark. She decided she would continue working there to fulfill her love for nature, and substitute teach on the side until she could land a full-time gig.

“So, I was mowing grass and substitute teaching twice a week,” she said. “And what I found while I was mowing grass was that I did not look forward to substitute teaching. I was much happier mowing grass.”

She said she just felt too young to be responsible for a room of 30 or so small children. She said she didn’t have as much experience as she liked, and it just wasn’t what she felt ready for at the time. So somehow, she was back to square one.

Antcliff compiled a list of her likes and dove into researching every possible avenue when she stumbled across LCC’s graphic design program. She remembered she had taken drafting (engineer drawing) in high school and had done well, so she signed up for the program hoping for the best.

“I started taking classes in January of 1996 and went through the program,” she said. “It was fantastic. The classes were small, the teachers were awesome. Same story I think LCC has today. I loved it; I loved it so much. … I loved the idea of design, but I also loved LCC.”

She graduated with her associate of applied arts degree from LCC in 1998 and continued into a new profession as an employee at Michigan State University.

“Right after I finished,” she said, “I got a job as a graphic designer and, there (are) a whole lot of twists and turns in there, but I ended up back at LCC when the art program asked me to teach a class and I did.

“The fact that I went through everything I did and ended up teaching graphic design to college students was fantastic. I stepped into that classroom and loved it. It was just like ‘Oh, I’m teaching design. I don’t have to teach math, science, social studies’ … You know, all the stuff you have to teach in elementary school. It just all fell into place for me.”

Since then, Antcliff has continued her education. She received her masters in graphic information technology from Arizona State University in 2017, in between getting married in 2003, raising her four children, and keeping up with her full-time job.

Her husband, Rob, describes her mothering as excellent, her sense of humor as silly, and her heart as one of a kind.

“My favorite thing about her is that she is really a very caring individual,” Rob said. “At work, at home, interacting with friends. She cares about her students; she wants them to learn and wants to do whatever she can to help them. My second favorite thing is her laugh.

“The classroom is her stage. She feels very comfortable because she loves her students. It allows her the freedom to be herself.”

Antcliff collects crystals, is currently reading “Bittersweet” by Susan Cain and confessed the last concert she went to was “Barenaked Ladies” somewhere between 1999 and 2000.

Looking back, she said she just wanted to be like one of the teachers she loved so much and influence the journey of young people.

“I wanted to get back to LCC and I wanted to give back to the next group of students,” she said. “I wanted them to have the same experience that I had and I wanted to be a part of that.”

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