Tracey DeBlase Huston appointed vice president for outreach

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Tracey DeBlase Huston has been named Penn State’s vice president for outreach, bringing with her more than 30 years of experience in higher education and over two decades of service to Penn State.

Having served as the interim vice president for outreach since January 2017, Huston officially became the permanent leader of Penn State Outreach on July 1 — a role in which she will continue to work to engage learners, organizations and communities across the Commonwealth, nation and world through outreach programming, furthering the University’s commitment to its 21st-century land-grant mission.

“For more than three decades, Tracey has been at the forefront of innovations and improvements in higher education,” said President Eric Barron. “As vice president for outreach, Tracey will continue to drive Penn State’s essential growth in that area, enabling the University to serve its diverse learners, clients, participants, viewers and listeners optimally. Her commitment to excellence remains vital to our success.”

Penn State Outreach helps to connect the University to Pennsylvanians and beyond by offering credible and compelling content and resources to businesses, communities and learners in a variety of delivery formats. Initiatives that fall under the Outreach umbrella include WPSU-FM, WPSU-TV, WPSU Digital (NPR, PBS affiliates), Professional and Community Education and Engagement (Conference and Institutes, Justice and Safety Institute, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Community Engagement, Penn State Urban Centers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Programs, and the Small Business Development Center), and the Nittany AI Alliance.

"I am honored, humbled and grateful to serve as the vice president for outreach at this extraordinary University with its land-grant mission and rich history of successful outreach and engagement programming in higher education. During my 18-month interim appointment, our leadership team has been building a strategy for Outreach that is aligned with societal needs, University priorities, and faculty expertise,” Huston said.

Prior to her appointment as vice president for outreach, Huston was the associate vice president for marketing and enrollment services for outreach and online education. She also previously served as the executive director for outreach marketing and communications, and as director of outreach communications. Prior to her arrival at Penn State in 1994, she was the assistant director of college communications at Juniata College.

In 2017, Huston was appointed treasurer of the executive board of the National Engaged Scholarship Consortium. She previously served on the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, Marketing and Communications Task Force from 2006 to 2012; and as vice chair for communications for the University Professional and Continuing Education Association Engagement and Outreach Community of Practice in 2008. Her work has been recognized nationally with awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the University Professional Continuing Education Association, and the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America.

“As we move forward, we will continue to focus on ways to engage students, create meaningful experiences for broad and diverse audiences, and translate faculty research into compelling content through our traditional Outreach channels and emerging distribution channels," Huston said.

She succeeds Craig Weidemann, who previously served as both vice president for outreach and the vice provost for online education and oversaw tremendous growth of the Penn State World Campus during his tenure. His positions were split into dual roles, held by Huston and interim vice provost for online education Renata Engel, in recognition of the growing importance of both outreach and online education to the University’s land-grant mission.

Last Updated July 12, 2018