Bruce Tirrell

Bruce  Tirrell

Integrated Labor and Employment Relations B.S. and Human Resources and Employment Relations M.S.

Curriculum Vitae

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I grew up in southern New Jersey as the eighth of nine children and began working in family businesses when I was eight years old. Although I had always excelled academically, by the end of my senior year of high school in 1982 I needed a break from the classroom and chose to work full-time instead. I secured an entry level job as a secretary in the Training and Development department of an Atlantic City casino, thus beginning a career in Human Resources that lasted for over 33 years. I took on many different roles across the HR practice, progressing to management while working in various industries such as financial services, IT education and healthcare. In recent years, I enrolled in a few college courses with the intent of someday getting my degree. It was my hope to eventually “retire” from the corporate world and realize my dream of teaching at the college level, maybe even becoming a full professor.

In 2017, I found myself divorced and no longer fulfilled by my profession. I decided it was the right time for a change and began to pursue my dream of a second career in academia. I was living in Morristown, New Jersey and enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson University full-time and quit work to concentrate on school.

I had visited Penn State University on a special class trip while as high school sophomore, and that visit left an indelible impression. In later years when I pictured myself eventually attending college, I did not consider PSU because I could not relocate from New Jersey but the vision in my mind was always that of Penn State’s campus. Now that relocation was no longer a barrier, PSU became my goal. I took a weekend trip to visit the area and when I arrived on campus I had an immediate feeling of rightness—this was where I was meant to be. I transferred to PSU for my junior year and was then accepted into the BS/MS program for HRER. Upon graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in Organizational/Industrial Psychology.