Dr. Susan Ryan


Department of Business, Economics and Enterprise Sciences


Dr. Ryan has been at Cal U since 2002. She oversees the Bachelor of Arts in geography: tourism studies program. She is also the director of the Cal U Tourism Research Center, which is a state-of-the-art facility housed with the University's Department of Earth Science and is equipped to provide custom tourism research for tourism planning and development initiatives. Dr. Ryan has directed a variety of research projects throughout Canada and the United States with an emphasis on sustainable tourism development in Pennsylvania.


  • First Year Seminar
  • Map Principles (online and in the traditional classroom)
  • Introduction to Tourism Studies
  • Marketing Geography
  • World Cities/Geography of Tourism
  • Geography of United States and Pennsylvania
  • Geography of Latin America
  • Systems Applications for the Travel Industry
  • Research Methods for Travel and Tourism
  • Comprehensive Tourism Planning
  • Corporate Travel Operations
  • Impacts and Sustainability of Tourism
  • Geography Internship
  • Master's Thesis
  • Methods in Research (online)
  • Conditions of Tourism (online)
  • Statistical Applications for Tourism Analysis (online)
  • Tourism Impacts, Sustainability and Ethics (online)
  • Tourism Planning (online)
  • Destination Development and Management (online)
  • Tourism Marketing (online)
  • Tourism Research Process and Methods (online)
  • Tourism Field Experience (online)
  • Destination Development and Management (online)
  • Action Research for Tourism Planning and Development (online)

Research Interests

Dr. Ryan's main interest is how tourism can be used responsibly to enhance environments, societies and economies. The tourism studies program is a Bachelor of Arts in geography with a tourism studies concentration. This gives her a unique way to study tourism as the world's largest industry.

Student Research Projects

Graduating with experience is an essential part of the curriculum in the tourism studies program at Cal U. Dr. Ryan does not conduct research unless it involves students. The tourism studies program is accredited by the World Tourism Organization, which emphasizes and monitors students' transitions into the tourism industry post-graduation. Hands-on experience is a critical component to a successful transition. To help Cal U maintain this elite status as a TedQual (Tourism Education Quality) certified school, Dr. Ryan ensures that students work on projects with real-world implications.

Service-learning Projects

Dr. Ryan provides data, information and expertise to the destination management industry in Pennsylvania and beyond. She and her students in the Cal U Tourism Research Center provide destination managers with information to make informed strategic decisions. Current partners include the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau; Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency; Pennsylvania Trolley Museum; and Ohiopyle Master Planning Project. Noteworthy past partners have been the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

  • B.A.: English Literature/Political Science, University of Western Ontario
  • M.A.: Tourism Management, Bournemouth University, England
  • Ph.D.: Environmental Design, specialization in Tourism Planning, University of Calgary

Email: ryan@calu.edu

Phone: 724-938-4531

Office: Eberly Hall Room 205