Susan Mossman Riva is a mediator and social scientist. She studied International Affairs in Boulder, Colorado and Mediation at the Kurt Bösch University Institute (IUKB), now the University of Geneva’s Valais Campus. She created a mediation service for political asylum seekers for the social services in Valais between 2001-2005. Her interest in ethnopsychiatry and narrative therapy inspired her to be a Swiss Anthropology/Ethnology Fellow between 20025-2007. She defended her doctoral thesis at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands inn 2009. Her doctoral thesis, Conflict Narratives: Mediation Case Studies in an Intercultural Context, analyzes her mediation practices.
After completing her doctoral work, she worked with Raymond Massé from the University of Laval, Canada, heading the research for Valais’ hospital. She did needs assessment for public health concerning mental health, immigrant health, and LGBT health. Later, while working at the University of Applied Sciences and Art in Western Switzerland, La Source, she coordinated interdisciplinary research within the Senior Living Lab. She made a documentary film for the Senior Living Lab on hopeful, healthy aging. You can find her thesis and articles, and watch her film on her website: https://susieriva.wixsite.com/mypage
She currently teaches at Creighton University in the Department of Cultural and Social Studies within the medical anthropology program. She also teaches mediation at the University of Geneva’s Valais Campus and social psychology at the Valais College of Alternative Medicine. Here recent book, Homing In: An Adopted Child’s Story Mandala of Connecting, Reunion, and Belonging is autoethnographic. Her book’s website has a blog with articles, pictures, and documentary films that correspond with each chapter, making it a teaching story: http://www.susanmossmanrivawrites.com
She understands research as a form of accompaniment, working for social transformation by using traditional Needs Assessment, Appreciative Inquiry, Participatory Action Research, and Auto/duoethnography as research methods.
Living in the Swiss Alps, she is committed to engendering resilient Alpine communities and a ‘Culture of Care’. As a scholar practitioner she uses narrative conflict resolution and mediation to create new flyways. She is lifescaping a hopeful healthy future in the context of the Green New Deal and would like to collaborate and co-create with other passionate social scientists and worldlings.