Sue Sloop
  1. What have you valued most about your association with CUWFA?
    Being a member of CUWFA has allowed me to travel to many universities across the country and to develop relationships with colleagues in various types of higher education institutions. The annual CUWFA conference has provided me with the opportunity to meet with and to learn from leaders in the industry of work life. Learning best practices through networking with other work life specialists has helped me to develop a solid base for the program that I have developed here at Grand Valley State University. I have truly valued this network of professionals who are a wealth of knowledge, support, and wisdom.

  2. As you look back on your career, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
    My career has been comprised of a variety of experiences. Being a social worker has afforded me the opportunity to explore many areas. When I worked as a medical social worker for one of our major hospital systems, I was very proud of the fact that somehow I survived every day. As a work life consultant at GVSU I am most proud of the fact that I was able to start this program from nothing and sustain it for 12 years. Fortunately, they plan to replace me and that means that the work life program will continue! Forming sound relationships with faculty and staff across our campus is something that I am proud of accomplishing. There was a great deal of skepticism when I first came on-board. Why do we need a work life consultant? I hope that I proved that faculty and staff really do need someone to support them throughout their work and throughout their life during their career at GVSU and I hoped that I served GVSU well.

  3. Describe a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
    Fully integrating our EAP into the culture here at GVSU has been a significant accomplishment. Our usage rate for our EAP surpasses the national average and I hope that means that faculty and staff are becoming aware that their emotional health is as important as their physical health. I have worked hard to raise awareness of the need for good emotional health and well-being and I think that our EAP usage rates reflect this heightened awareness.

  4. What are you looking forward to in retirement?
    As many of you know, I love spending time with my four granddaughters and was fortunate enough through a flexible work arrangement to have “Grandma Fridays” for the past 4 years. I look forward to continuing to spend time with them. I plan to enjoy the summer traveling and being on Lake Michigan on our pontoon boat. We recently moved and now live only 3 miles from this great lake! However, by fall I will be ready for part time and very flexible volunteer or job opportunities. Getting back to some type of social work is something that is on my radar. I also hope to focus on my health and well-being in order to age as well as possible. Stress has certainly taken its toll in some ways, so now it is time to be the best that I can be as I start this new chapter.

  5. What advice do you have for those continuing to work in the field?
    Relationships are key to the sustainability of the work life program. By networking both within and outside of your university you will form relationships that will lend support to the work that you do. By knowing your campus well through the relationships that you foster, you are better able to understand the needs of your faculty and staff and can tailor your work life program to meet those needs. Since starting here at GVSU, this program has morphed into several other areas in order to meet the needs of the campus. Take advantage of becoming involved through committees, task forces, and new initiatives to help promote the services that you offer and to understand the pulse of the campus.

Sue SloopSue Sloop retired from Grand Valley State University in 2017, where she founded the worklife program and served as a human resources worklife consultant for the past 12 years. Before coming to GVSU, Sue had a long-time career as a licensed medical social worker.  She received her Bachelor’s in human services from Ferris State University and a teaching certificate from Grand Valley.