Eli Susman graduated from Middlebury College in 2018 with a BA in Psychology. His interest in clinical psychology developed over the course of more than twelve years working with high-risk youth in Chicago and Utah. At age nineteen, Eli became the youngest person to ever work as a field instructor in wilderness therapy. He functioned as a paraprofessional psychologist for Evoke Therapy Programs, serving adolescents and young adults with severe psychopathology, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and addiction. Over 3000 hours of clinical experience provided Eli with a unique perspective from which to draw inspiration for his research.
At Middlebury College, Eli worked on several studies with Dr. Kim Cronise examining the psychophysiological impacts of mindfulness on stress. He is co-authoring publications with Dr. Robert Moeller on the first-ever campus-wide and multi-university study of mental health in US college students. The study explores how social experiences relate to stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness. While studying abroad in Madagascar, Eli conducted independent research on lemur models of human behavior. Drawing inspiration from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he investigated the relationships between social grooming, play behavior and anxiety.
As an aspiring clinical psychologist, Eli hopes to apply our understanding of how stressful life events affect changes in the brain to the development of more targeted and effective interventions for depression and anxiety. He is driven by work that contributes to the alleviation of human suffering and the cultivation of our most compassionate, resilient and actualized selves within our communities. Eli is also committed to supporting diversity and integration in the lab and in the broader scientific community.
Eli is a licensed Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, Yoga Teacher, Laughter Yoga Leader and Eagle Scout. When not in the lab, he enjoys meditation, yoga, skiing, hiking, trail running, contact improvisation and spending time with his friends and family.