Born in Milwaukee on May 27, 1951, Szatmary earned a baccalaureate degree from Marquette University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American history from Rutgers University. In 1970-1980, he taught in the History Department at the University of Arizona as an Assistant Professor. Based upon his academic work, he published Shays’ Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection (University of Massachusetts, 1980), which remains in print. He consulted on the Calliope Production of the movie, Shays’ Rebellion, and more recently was featured in a History Channel program about the rebellion and its importance to the formation of the U.S. Constitution.
From 1980 to 1984, Szatmary managed a chain of music stores in Washington and California, helping to grow the business from three stores in Washington to ten stores on the West Coast. Combining his history expertise with his experience in the music business, he wrote Rockin’ In Time: A Social History of Rock and Roll, published by Prentice-Hall, now in its seventh edition. He also wrote A Time to Rock (Schirmer, 1985) and taught classes at the University of Washington and University of Arizona on the same topic. In addition, he has authored more than 300 reviews of music and history books for publications such as Library Journal and contributed to multiple editions of All-Music Guide (Scott Foresman, first published in 1992).
In 1984, Szatmary joined the University of Washington (UW), the nationally ranked public research institution based in Seattle, Washington, in the university's continuing and professional education unit, University of Washington Educational Outreach. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. June 12, 1992. Credited with developing the first certificate program at the UW, he added 60 more certificate programs and helped establish more than 35 degree programs during the next 24 years. Since 1999 , Szatmary has served as Vice Provost of UW Educational Outreach, which includes UW Professional and Continuing Education.
UW Educational Outreach serves as a gateway to the community, granting alternate points of access to the UW for nontraditional students, most of them working adults. Under Szatmary’s leadership, UW Educational Outreach emerged as a national leader in the field of professional education with a series of innovative programs and partnerships. In 2008, UW Educational Outreach served more than 42,000 students with more than 6,000 programs and courses. The organization attracted 81,000 enrollments and posted gross revenues of nearly $70 million.
Szatmary oversees a staff of more than 200 engaged in development and administration of the UW’s evening undergraduate degree completion program; 30 professionally focused master’s and doctoral degrees; and UW summer quarter. He also oversees more than 120 certificate programs in the areas of biotech/biomedical, building construction, business, computing and information technology, education, engineering, health/social work, law and regulation, and the nonprofit/public sector. In addition, UW Educational Outreach administers international programs, community partnerships, online learning, conferences and workshops, programs for youth and K-12 educators, and English language programs (English as a Foreign or Second Language).
Szatmary has been an innovative educational entrepreneur by creating partnerships with other educational institutions, corporations and international organizations. In 2003, he started R1edu.org, a consortium of 34 Research I university's/AAU institutions that provide online learning opportunities. He also initiated OpenUW, a series of 12 free, open source online programs available to the public in partnership with the Learning Network, a Pearson-owned company.
In 2005, Szatmary helped organize Actions, Solutions, Growth: University Partners (ASG). ASG is a partnership of a dozen continuing education leaders at large nonprofit and for-profit universities in North America. The group collaborates on a variety of initiatives, including the development of joint educational programs. Current ASG programs include a certificate program in Biotechnology Project Management with the University of Washington and University of California, San Diego and a certificate program in Decision Making for Climate Change jointly created by the University of Washington, University of California, Irvine, the University of British Columbia and Northwestern University.
Szatmary has forged partnerships between University of Washington Educational Outreach and organizations including the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Pearson/Prentice-Hall Publishing. Notable corporate partnerships include the UW-Boeing relationship.
Szatmary has been instrumental in building a partnership with the United Arab Emirates Academy in Abu Dhabi. Since February 2007, University of Washington Educational Outreach has provided professional certificate programs in the IBDAA program for young job seekers. This partnership marks the first time the University of Washington has established a base abroad to teach foreign nationals in their home country.
Szatmary has served as the principal investigator for more than $5.1 million in grants, allowing UW Educational Outreach to provide online programs in technology and other subject areas.
Based upon his experience and accomplishments during the last 25 years, Szatmary has written articles and been asked to comment about different aspects of online learning and types of partnership and collaboration models.