Episode 17 – Susie Andrews: Building Others Up


This conversation with Susie Andrews (Mount Allison University) highlights how she uses creative and hands-on approaches to teaching Asian religions. Susie talks about the importance of building a culture of support and shared success in her teaching—and in academia more broadly. An inspired teacher who has her students build models of ancient Chinese burials using cardboard boxes and who regularly brings homemade playdough to her University classes, she will expand your thinking about the possibilities of embodied and creative practice in all stages of learning. This interview was recorded in the summer of 2021 and released in the Fall of 2021. 


“Some types of doing invite themselves (into) reflection on the significance of doing as a way to know.” Susie Andrews

“One of the joys of this project is not only the ability to become experts in the material, to really understand that, but also to be together and, maybe for a moment, giggle and find some of that creativity that is so welcome.” Susie Andrews

“How am I going to facilitate this learning opportunity for the students in my class, both locally and then around the globe? It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of effort, it takes a lot of creativity, and it’s so valuable.” Susie Andrews

“I think that learning in the COVID-19 pandemic has been important for me because it asked me to be the person I want to be, the person whose foremost concern walking into a classroom is to let people know they matter, even if they feel lonely, even if in that moment our inevitable suffering individually and as a group, even if that is very present for them.” Susie Andrews

“We tell our stories through the objects around us, and those objects also shape how we can imagine ourselves.” Susie Andrews

Links and References

Susie Andrews’ profile page at Mount Allison University, Department of Religious Studies 

Nathan Hesselink, scholar of South Korean Drumming and Dance, profile at UBC 

Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh’s book, The Path

Sharon Suh’s book, Occupy This Body

Ken Bain’s book, What the Best College Teachers Do

Joan Halifax’s book, Being with Dying 

Jessica Zitter, MD personal website

Katheryne Mannix’s book, With the End in Mind

Wheel of Sources webpage and game

Simran Jeet Singh, on the Sikh Coalition website 

Natasha Heller’s profile at the University of Virginia, Department of Religious Studies

Barbara Clayton’s profile at Mount Allison University

Ann Gleig’s profile at the University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture


Recorded on June 23, 2021

Transcript: Sam Keravica

Producer: Betsy Moss

Interviewer: Sarah Richardson

Audio editing: Betsy Moss and Jesse Whitty

How to cite in Chicago Style with notes and bibliography format:

  1. Sarah Richardson, “Susie Andrews: Building Others Up,” November 26, 2021, in The Circled Square: Teaching Buddhist Studies in Higher Education, produced by Betsy Moss, podcast, MP3 audio, 1:01:42, https://teachingbuddhism.net/susie-andrews/.

Richardson, Sarah. “Susie Andrews: Building Others Up.” Produced by Betsy Moss. The Circled Square: Teaching Buddhist Studies in Higher Education. June 23, 2021. Podcast, MP3 audio, 1:01:42 https://teachingbuddhism.net/susie-andrews/.

How to cite in MLA:

Richardson, Sarah, host. “Susie Andrews: Building Others Up.” The Circled Square: Teaching Buddhist Studies in Higher Education, episode 17, June 23, 2021. https://teachingbuddhism.net/susie-andrews/.