Suzanne Couture
Bilingual professional combining talent in
translation and instructional design

Member since July, 2013
Currently an ATD Power Member

This month, we are pleased to feature
Suzanne Couture

So tell us a little about yourself.
I am bilingual in Spanish and English. During my junior year in college, I switched majors from Art to Spanish and transferred from UW-Oshkosh to UW-Stevens Point, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature and certification to teach grades 9-12. Spanish came easily to me and I wanted to learn as much as I could about the language and its many cultures. I studied abroad twice in Mexico, and taught English as a Second Language near the border in Texas after graduation, before returning to Wisconsin. I'm always learning and love variety. Some of my favorite subjects are anthropology, language, art, and music. Working with ceramics is one of my hobbies.

How did you get started in the Talent Development field?
Originally, I got certified to teach high school Spanish as a back-up plan. However, the skills I learned also provided a great foundation to teach medical interpreting and translation, and that's how I got started in Instructional Design. I found that I enjoyed adult education and wanted to see what else I could do with my skills, so in 2012, I went back to school, taking online courses through the University of Massachusetts Boston, where I earned a Master's of Education in Instructional Design, with a focus on eLearning.

While in grad school, I worked for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and was mentored by the VP of Organizational and Leadership Development, which gave me a good feel for the department’s role in the organization. I eventually made a career transition to become part of the team, where I worked with SMEs to develop clinical and non-clinical eLearning modules in Articulate Storyline 2, and designed a curriculum and course outlines for a forty-hour training on Lean methodology for leaders. I later transitioned into a similar role at ProHealth Care as a Learning and Development Specialist, with a focus on instructor-led training for leaders, where I designed courses, facilitated and co-facilitated, and helped convert classes to VILT using Adobe Connect.

What do you wish people knew about your role or the field you are in?
One thing I wish more people knew is how important it is to conduct a needs analysis before designing and implementing training, to make sure you are focusing on the right outcome. It can also be a challenge to find opportunities that accurately describe instructional design and enable you to apply the skills it encompasses to their fullest extent. I enjoy all aspects of ID: analyzing to find out what the problem is to meet the needs of client, designing and developing a solution, training and facilitating, and evaluating to see if it’s making an impact. My favorite parts are analysis and design.

What do you get out of being an SEWI-ATD member?
I've always valued networking, and ATD has definitely helped me make new contacts! I'm impressed with the quality of the sessions and the enthusiasm of the people on the board, as well as the people who attend the events.

Can you recommend to our members, a resource that you love?
Because I enjoy the visual arts so much, one book I really like is Visual Design Solutions by Connie Malamed (available through ATD Press). It's great to look through for ideas!

Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired by being outdoors, making things, observing and being aware of the world around me.

Finally, if Hollywood made a movie of your life, what would it be called, and who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
I’m not sure what it would be called but I’d like it to be a dramedy with smart writing by Tina Fey.

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Member Spotlight - May 2017: Suzanne Couture

Each month, SEWI-ATD turns the spotlight on an active member who has been visible in the chapter by attending events and participating in other ATD functions. We are proud to acknowledge the important work of our members, provide additional career exposure within the Talent Development community, and help you to get to know a colleague just a little bit better! If you are interested in nominating another member for the spotlight, contact Lovina Akowuah at  or Meica Hatters at 

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