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Most classes on North Campus will be held remotely through the end of the semester on December 12.

Viking Spotlight: Lisa Sugarman '91

Sugarman is an author, columnist, parenting expert, and radio show host

Lisa Sugarman, class of 1991, is an Author, Columnist, Parenting Expert, and Radio Show Host. Students may recognize Lisa from SSU’s Fall 2019 “Careers in Writing” panel.

What does your job involve?

I write the nationally syndicated opinion column “It Is What It Is” and am the author of three parenting books. I’m also the co-host of the Boston-area radio talk show “LIFE UNfiltered” on Northshore 104.9FM where I talk about the perfectly imperfectness of parenting, marriage, raising kids, being a working mom, and everything in between.

How have you applied your experiences at SSU to your career?

As an English major, I use the writing skills I acquired as an undergrad at SSU in all the content that I generate.

What do you find most enjoyable about your job?

I love being able to reach a huge audience, via the radio, my books and newspapers, and the various online lifestyle platforms I contribute to talk parenting with millions of readers/listeners every day.

What personal qualities or abilities are important to being successful in your career?

Having a strong side-hustle is huge in doing what I do. I’m a content creator, a PR and marketing engine, and a promoter all in one.

How do you adapt and stay current on developments in your field?

I read everything I can get my hands on in the parenting space. I’m connected to all of the major online parenting outlets and publications and I do my best to keep what they’re doing and covering and featuring on my radar. And I’m constantly engaging with my local parenting community, as well as the bigger, broader parenting world around me.

Have you had other jobs you'd like to tell us about?

The other jobs I’ve had that are worth mentioning were marketing roles at a healthcare publishing company during the early 90s and the 13 years I spent working in the school system in Marblehead as a classroom teacher and reading tutor and in the office when my daughters were young.

What were your favorite classes at SSU?

I loved my English Lit classes with Richard Elia. He was a personal favorite of mine and a great mentor to me during my undergrad years. He always encouraged me to find my voice and stick with it. Needless to say, I did.

What was your favorite thing about SSU?

I loved my time writing for and editing The Log. What started as a single contribution to the school paper my sophomore year, turned into term as news editor and eventually landed me in the editor’s chair my senior year. It totally ignited my love of journalism and led me to my first post-college job as a reporter for a community newspaper chain south of Boston.

Why did you want to major in English?

I knew I loved to write, and I was intrigued by the idea of being a journalist. Back in the early 90s, though, Salem State didn’t have a formal journalism program, so English was as close as I could get to that major.

Where can we find your works?

Visit my Amazon Author Page that links you directly to my books. As for my column “It Is What It Is,” you can find my archives on my website at

Anything else you'd like to share?

Remember that whatever it is that lights your fire lights other peoples too, so be willing to put in the extra time and work to stand out. Share your passion and reach out and connect with as many people as possible in the space you want to be in because it’s through those relationships that you’ll be able to network and flesh out opportunities. Be innovative and stay true to YOUR voice. And never, EVER stop putting yourself out there and knocking on doors. Because most opportunities come more often from WHO we know and less from WHAT we can offer. Start by finding and connecting with me on LinkedIn. Then do the same with everyone else doing what you want to do. Good luck, friends!

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