Cohen joined the School of Nursing as a faculty member in 2002 and was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015. In addition to being a strong research advocate among students and faculty, Cohen also was the School of Nursing’s research liaison and consultant for the nursing staff at UPMC Passavant Hospital and mentored several nurses.
According to a remembrance sent to colleagues by department chair Denise Charron-Prochownik, Cohen “exemplified the characteristics of an outstanding teacher and a great thinker; and had taught at all three levels from the undergraduates to the doctoral students. She always encouraged students to be critical thinkers and used discussion to engage the class.
“Susan was a role model for her leadership” at the school, added Charron-Prochownik, noting that Cohen “was nationally and internationally known for her impact and legacy in women’s health and improving the lives and outcomes of cancer survivors (most notably in meditation for menopausal breast cancer survivors).”
Born in West Palm Beach, Fla., Cohen received her B.S.N. in 1972 from the University of Pennsylvania, going on to earn an M.S.N. from the Catholic University of America in 1975 in maternal-infant nursing and her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in 1983 in maternal-child nursing.
She began her teaching at Radford College, continuing through the years as a faculty member at the University of Alabama, Southern Illinois University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas-Houston, Duquesne University and Yale before joining Pitt. Her research findings were widely published, and she presented them at many national, regional and local conferences.
She is survived by siblings Joel Cohen and Dianne Reeves, Judith (Cohen) and David Kolko and Sharon Cohen and Elliot Rosen, as well as many nieces and nephews.