Dr. C. Suzanne Wrye
A native of Tyrone, C. Suzanne Wrye attended Logan and Adams Elementary Schools and graduated from the Tyrone Area High School in 1968. During her high school years, Suzanne enjoyed playing in the band, singing in the Concert Choir, participating in the Science and Future Nurses of America clubs, and serving as the editor of the 1968 TAHS yearbook.
After graduation, Suzanne attended Presbyterian University Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, where she earned a nursing diploma. She worked as a staff nurse at the Tyrone Hospital from 1971 to 1974 while continuing her education at Penn State. There she completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1973. In 1974, she and her husband Alan moved to Tucson, AZ, where she earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Arizona in 1975.
After completion of her degree, Dr. Wrye returned to State College, Pennsylvania, to assume a faculty position as an Instructor in Nursing at Penn State, beginning a 30-year career in the education arena. During her eight years on the nursing faculty, she taught both theory and clinical courses to undergraduate nursing students. In 1983, she took a new position as an Instructor in Health Education, the field in which she was pursuing further graduate studies. There she had the opportunity to work with adult students, teaching continuing education courses to teachers and health care professionals throughout the state and developing training materials for use in health care facilities.
In 1986, Suzanne received a Ph.D. in Health Education from Penn State. In order to pursue her growing interest in providing education for adult students, she took a position in 1987 as an Assistant Professor of Health Education in Penn State’s Office of Health Care Program Development. There she continued to create programs for health care professionals, becoming the Interim Director of the office in 1990 and the Director in 1993. In 1994 she received a regional award of excellence for non-credit program development from the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) for the program Emergency Department Violence: Combating an Alarming Problem, and in 1995 she received the same award for the conference Eating Disorders on Campus.
In 1996, building on her commitment to the area of lifelong learning, Dr. Wrye became the Director of Program Development for Penn State Conferences & Institutes, where she successfully led program development activities to expand academic conferences and workshops for Penn State’s new conference center hotel. In 1997, she received the Penn State Continuing and Distance Education Vice President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership, as well as a UCEA Division of Conferences and Professional Programs Creative Programming Award for Playground Safety - An International Conference.
In 2004, she became the Director of Conferences, overseeing an average of 375 annual events and 30 staff members. In addition to her Conferences’ responsibilities, she has been actively involved in Outreach-wide strategic planning for 15 years. She has also focused on enhancing Penn State’s academic programs for young people, promoting environmental outreach initiatives, and facilitating programs in the arts and sciences. During her time as Director, her unit has received six regional and seven national awards for programming excellence. In 2008, she was recognized for 30 years of service to the University.
Throughout her career, Dr. Wrye has been actively involved in contributing to her professional fields of nursing and continuing education. She served as a member and chair of the Pennsylvania Nurses’ Association Continuing Education committee and approver unit for many years. She also served as the newsletter editor and an awards committee member for UCEA’s Division of Continuing Education for the Professions. More recently, she has been a member of the Executive Committee for UCEA’s Conferences and Professional Programs Community of Practice. She has also published professional articles and presented papers nationally.
Suzanne enjoys many hobbies, including reading, hiking, birding, geocaching, genealogy,
music, and attending Penn State sporting events. She has been involved in various community activities, including planning for Penn State’s United Way campaign, serving as a Boy Scout merit badge counselor, reading for the blind, participating in an elementary school literacy project, and volunteering for four years as a surveyor with the 2nd Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas survey.Suzanne is the daughter of Betty and the late Vaughn Woomer and is married to Alan Wrye, also of Tyrone. They reside in State College, PA and have two children – Nathan (production planner, W.L. Gore, Elkton, MD) and Luke (technology education teacher, Luray, VA). She has three siblings, Barbara Williams (Port) of Huntingdon, Mary Lou White (Greg) of Tyrone, and the Rev. Mark Woomer (Sharon) of Monongehela.