Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
She decided on her career of choice at the young age of eight, after watching a child psychologist in action in a Florida court where her father worked.
Today, 30 years old, Dr Susaye Rattigan is a clinical child and family psychologist and the associate vice-president of the International University of the Caribbean (IUC) north middlesex region.
At IUC her role entails coordinating the functions of the university at the regional level and ensuring that the institution is functioning academically at the required standard.
"I am more a democratic-style manager - a cross between a consultative leader and a participative leader," she told Flair in a recent interview, "I encourage my staff's feedback and consider their opinions and feelings although the final say rests with me.
"My goal is staff development, so they are each asked to own their areas (of responsibility) as their own businesses and are expected to perform, and I steer away from being too hands-on because I trust their skills and expect excellent work.
"We laugh and talk with each other."
Her formative years were spent between the United States and her hometown, Mango Valley in St Mary, where she was raised by her grandmother Esmie 'Ez Ez' Geddes,who she describes as her heartbeat.
"My mother had to seek employment in bars after getting pregnant at 16 and dropping out of school, and that was a huge sacrifice, but I learned all the values of life from Ez Ez, how to be a giver, how to love others."
Despite her travels, nothing could affect her grades and she maintained a high standard throughout her time at Oracabessa Primary in St Mary, and Mount Alvernia and Ruseas High schools in western Jamaica.
At school, she was a track athlete running the 100, 200 and 1500 metres up to Girls' Champs level.
"I think I am pretty resilient, and was always a top student," she says. "Academics is always first; no matter what happens my academics never suffers.
"I am on a quest for knowledge, so I am always reading, I am constantly trying to find out about the evolution of things, about life, about human behaviour and how the brain works."
After high school, Rattigan attended Hiram College in Ohio, where she made the Dean's List every semester and was almost always the African American student with the highest grade-point average. She then went on to Kent State University where she maintained a high standard and now holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and business management, a master's degree in clinical psychology and a doctorate in clinical, child and family psychology.
Returning to Jamaica, she sees herself on a mission to reduce the incidence of child abuse and maltreatment in Jamaica.
"I have had some experience of child abuse myself and that has determined how I think about relations and people in general," she shared.
"It might have been the journey I was sent to take here on Earth so I could help others, I know the effect it can have on people and I know how empowering it can be when you are able to overcome it."
"Child abuse and child maltreatment hits at the core of human pathology, but this is not something people in Jamaica talk about; it is such a legacy, it is embedded so much in our society," she added.
Eventually, she would like to become involved in conducting policy research and designing interventions to ameliorate the negative effects of maltreatment.
She works out and swims every day and loves to salsa. She is an ardent follower of the arts and plans to travel the world, exploring the cultures of other peoples.
"Music is also very important to me because I feel that there is a natural rhythm to life and you feel it in the music."
In fact, she describes her experience at the Craven A booth during this year's Reggae Sumfest as one of the high points of her life.
The low point? Being milked of all her life's savings by the man she was engaged to years ago.
Rattigan is single, and despite her past experiences, targets the next five years to be a wife and mother with two children, either biological or adopted.
"I also want to own my own business to train mental-health providers, conduct research and provide special services to children, women and families in general," she explained.
"It's about helping people, fulfilling my purpose, doing something worthwhile because I love Jamaica; this is where my heart is."