Susan Navarre

Executive Director of the Fitchburg Historical Society

I belonged to the Women's Alliance which was a feminist group that I wanted to see what that was like.  So we would end up talking about what we were studying a lot and that always—I learned about myself.  That was always beneficial for me because I learned about myself. Even in my current jobs I still see this.  It’s sort of the abstract ideas that give me energy again.  Like what I do in my job to a great extent is supervise a whole bunch of volunteers and supervise employees and write grants and do budgets and write fundraising letters and all these things. But when I want to sort of get energized again about doing it, and I love doing all that stuff, and I'm not really a scholar, but if I go and I read in the field, like if I go and do some research to present a talk, if I do some historical research, or when I was working running an art center, I would go to the college art association and just hear art history [laughs].  That gave me a bunch of energy and so for me that was a big part of the mentoring groups there. 

Current Employer: 

Susan Navarre was born in Wyandotte, Michigan in 1959 and recently moved to Worcester County in 2013. She grew up in a small town where she was able to walk to school and enjoyed playing with her neighborhood friends. She stood out academically as she was a bright student and spoke out in class when women were not expected to do so. She is very career driven and has lived all over the country as well as traveling to Europe several times. Susan attended Bryn Mawr College and also went to college in Germany at Goethe Institute and then went on to pursue her graduate degree in art history at Boston University. She is married to her husband, Tim Olevsky, with whom she explores the city of Worcester and discovers what the city has to offer. She finds enjoyment in attending various art museums and events involving the arts. When asked to give advice to women today she stated, “I think it’s important, there are things you have to push yourself on. You know, working around your weaknesses, but in a lot of ways ‘to thine own self be true.’  Figure out what gives you—what inspires you, what's interesting so that you can keep going back to that well of the inspiration.” In this interview, Susan discusses growing up as a woman in America, her different life experiences, and various jobs she held including her current position as executive director of the Fitchburg Historical Society.

Interview Date: 
October 14, 2016
Interview Language: 
Interview Focus: