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Harrisburg, PA – Central Penn Business Journal has selected Greta Ferkel, EdD, Managing Director of HU Online at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU), as a 2024 Women of Influence Honoree.

Women of Influence honors high-achieving women based on their professional experience, community involvement, and commitment to mentoring. The Honorees were selected by a panel of judges comprised of previous years’ Circle of Excellence recipients and by the editors of Central Penn Business Journal.

Central Penn Business Journal will honor the 2024 Women of Influence awardees at a celebratory dinner on June 27 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg.

“The 2024 Women of Influence are creating change, breaking barriers, and leading organizations. They are the leaders others want to emulate,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, managing director of BridgeTower Media/Central Penn Business Journal. “This year’s Women of Influence are professionally successful and share a relentless commitment to making Central Pennsylvania the best place to live and work.”

This is an auspicious moment for Greta. She received notice about her Women of Influence award just a few days after successfully defending her dissertation and being named a Doctor of Education. Her dissertation (Describing Faculty Creation of Inclusivity in Online Asynchronous Classrooms) explores perceptions of inclusivity in the classroom, the role of educators in achieving equity in learning environments, and how conscious and unconscious bias affects marginalized populations – especially in digital spaces.

Greta Ferkel has served Harrisburg University since 2019, first as Executive Director and now as Managing Director of HU Online. The fact that Harrisburg University has such a strong catalog of online STEM degree programs is due in large part to Greta’s influence. HU Online lets students earn a world-class STEM degree from anywhere, and each student receives the one-on-one attention they deserve, from a personal admissions counselor and advisor, throughout their academic career. As Greta is fond of saying, students can “Have it your way!” when it comes to HU’s higher ed programming.

“I’ve been involved with getting universities online – some of the first attempts anywhere, really – since 2003, and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon,” Greta said. “I’m very proud of the work I’ve done over the last few years with HU Online. There wasn’t a Harrisburg University 25 years ago, and now we have multiple campuses and one of the strongest online learning programs I’ve seen.”

Greta has spent 20 years working with the logistics and curricula of online degree programs. “I’ve made it my life’s work to make a push into this country’s most challenged areas where higher learning doesn’t have a foothold.”

“The intent from the beginning,” she says, “was to create a place of higher learning focused on science and technology that’s not just affordable and accessible, but actually plugged into the region’s most critical market clusters. As we kept adding degree programs at HU, we had a chance to build a place that comes close to flattening the talent pipeline between academia and industry.”

Inside or outside the classroom, the city of Harrisburg can increasingly be considered a capital of STEM career development. HU is known for excellence in this space because of the commitment and changemaking attitude of people like Greta Ferkel. She’s quick to credit her colleagues for her success, though. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with such a strong team of professors, academic leads, and of course students, on bringing real-world STEM instruction to the digital setting. I think we’ve built something here that will be emulated for years to come.”

If you get a chance to speak with Greta, thank her for her years of service to our university and congratulate her on these two very well-deserved accomplishments. If you’re lucky, she might regale you with tales of her short-lived career as a professional racecar driver, or maybe the epic cross-country road trips she’s taken on the back of her Harley-Davidson – including the famous and formidable “Tail of the Dragon” route in Tennessee. You might even learn about her stint in an improv troupe in Chicago, or her role in creating safe rehearsal spaces for LGBTQIA+ members of the stagecraft community.

For all of this, and for your years of faithfully supporting the in-person and online students at Harrisburg University, we applaud you.


Harrisburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a private, nonprofit university offering bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in the fields of science, technology, and mathematics. For additional information about the University’s affordable, demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, please call 717-901-5146 or email Stay updated by following Harrisburg University on XLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.