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Dr. Susan Snider Osterberg
Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award

Photo credit: Barfield Photography

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Ballroom at Bayou Place

Dr. Susan Snider Osterberg has devoted her professional career to the field of communication. She received her bachelor’s degree in communication from Northwestern University and graduate degrees in the same field from Southern Illinois University and the University of Houston.  She has been associated with the Nina Vance Alley Theatre as well as the Elementary School for Creative and Performing Arts where she authored and directed plays, taught, and coached performers for television and film. During her residency with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in Washington, Dr. Osterberg researched, analyzed, and evaluated national arts education funding and developed an extensive report used by the NEA and the U.S. Office of Education for the planning and development of arts education funding policy in America. 

Dr. Osterberg was one of three American women selected to represent the United States in an international cultural exchange program in Sierra Leone, West Africa that included the exchange of information on arts education curriculum and administration and the introduction of the arts of Texas to the people of West Africa.  As a consultant to the Houston Independent School District, Dr. Osterberg advised the Houston Superintendent of Schools on various policy decisions and the implementation of an arts education curriculum. Currently, Dr. Osterberg is an educator in the University of Houston System, Arts and Communication Department, where she is concluding an extensive research study on the physical and emotional components pre- and post-performance, and she is revising a mystery she authored entitled “A Test for Those Who Quest the Best Bequest.”

In addition to her scholarly endeavors, Dr. Osterberg blends her love of the arts and communication with business acumen. For many years she has produced and marketed oranges and grapefruit as owner of a citrus grove in Florida. She is married to Edward C. Osterberg, Jr., and they have one son, Charles, who is Chief of Urology at the Dell Seton Medical Center and is an assistant professor of Surgery, Dell Medical School, University of Texas Austin.  

Dr. Osterberg has relished experiencing outdoor challenges as varied as gathering underwater research data with Cousteau off Mosquito Island, tracking the elusive Woolly monkey in the Amazon, searching for mountain gorilla families in the Volcans and hiking the Shikoku 88.

In service to the community, Dr. Osterberg has provided cornerstone support and leadership for numerous organizations internationally, nationally, and in Houston.  As a respected community leader and advocate for the arts, Dr. Osterberg has worked tirelessly on the boards of the Houston Symphony League, the Houston Ballet Guild and Young Audiences of Houston. Other leadership and philanthropic roles have included Regent, Council of One Hundred and National Advisory Council for Northwestern University; member of the Executive Board of American Leadership Forum; Class Ambassador, Center for Houston’s Future Leadership Forum; member of Leadership Texas; President of the River Oaks Women’s Breakfast Club and member of the boards of the State of Texas College Opportunity Act, Houston Bar Association Auxiliary, Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

In appreciation of her service, Dr. Osterberg has received numerous honors from various organizations. These include the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary Public Service Award, Northwestern University Alumna Service Medal, Roycemore School Distinguished Alumna Award, a Nina Vance Alley Theatre Scholarship named in her honor, and being named the University of Houston Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.  Dr. Osterberg has also been named one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women, and in 2015 she was honored as a Woman of Distinction.

Dr. Osterberg believes that Houston is a world-class city that enthusiastically supports the arts.  Her donation of her time, talent, and support in furthering the arts in Houston reflects her conviction in, and is underscored by, her commitment to giving back to the community and her dedication to keeping Houston a truly vibrant and most livable city. 

Her devoted work in arts education has made a meaningful difference in the lives of all who have benefited from it. Due to her love of the arts and her sincere commitment to community service, Dr. Osterberg has contributed to all cultural aspects of Houston life. Her fearless enthusiasm for outdoor adventures in her personal life is reflected in her approach to accomplishing whatever she sets out to achieve in her professional life. Recognizing the many needs of others, Dr. Osterberg contributes her time, talent, and compassion to finding solutions for those needs.

It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Dr. Susan Snider Osterberg has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2019.

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