Dr. Susan Thompson

Meet Dr. Susan Thompson, Brain and Cognitive Science Expert

Dr. Susan ThompsonSusan’s topics of expertise

  1. The Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator (ISPI)
    – Industry’s newest tool for sparking innovation
  2. “Revealing your hidden brain”
    – A fascinating tour of brain research related to the ISPI, innovation and human diversity
  3. Happiness is the ultimate currency
    – A talk on cutting-edge research on improving mood, sharpening performance, and flourishing in all areas of work and play
  4. Change
    -Meaningful, sustained change is often difficult to bring about, but it is possible. This talk explores the science of change and reveals the key factors that unlock to the door to lasting change in both people and organizations.


Dr. Susan Thompson graduated summa cum laude from U.C. Berkeley, earned her Master’s and Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester, and completed two years of Post-Doctoral training at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. She has taught at colleges and universities all over the world, and is an engaging and well-loved speaker and lecturer. With more than ten years’ business consulting experience, she seamlessly weaves together the hottest brain research and the latest scientific findings on innovation, happiness, and flourishing to illuminate a path of personal and professional breakthrough.


Susan Thompson was born and raised in San Francisco. She attended the University of California at Berkeley where she was the student keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony in 1997, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Theta Kappa with a BA in Cognitive Science. Enamored with the cognitive sciences, she decided to pursue a Ph.D. and received full scholarships for graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, The University of California at San Diego, and the University of Rochester. She chose the University of Rochester, and earned her Master’s and Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2001 and 2003, respectively.

In the 1990s, while at the University of Rochester, she made ties with the business world, and started consulting with both Fortune 500 companies and small boutique firms on topics ranging from product development to the design of psychological instruments to measure specific human capacities.

After completing her Ph.D., Dr. Thompson moved to Sydney, Australia and completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Research and Teaching Fellowship at the University of New South Wales. Her post-doctoral research focused on human reasoning. She taught psychology and cognitive development to classes ranging in size from 100 to 700, and quickly became one of the most popular lecturers on campus.

In 2005, she moved back to western New York and took a position as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hobart and William Smith, a small liberal arts college in the Finger Lakes region.  After two years, she transitioned to Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, NY, one of the top ten community colleges in the country, where she remains as a professor in the Psychology Department to the present day.

In 2009, Dr. Thompson attended the University of Pennsylvania to receive training in Positive Psychology.  She then created a permanent Positive Psychology course at MCC which runs each semester, educating students on the science of happiness and flourishing in all areas of life. She frequently speaks on Positive Psychology in industry, community, and educational settings.

In 2011, she earned the prestigious NISOD award, an excellence award issued by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development to recognize the nation’s most outstanding teachers and leaders in institutions of higher education. She was tenured in 2012.

To invite Susan to speak to your organization or group, please fill out the Speaker Inquiry Request Form.