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Helen T. Suchara Papers

Identifier: WSP002138

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials from 1937 to 2008 and includes awards, newsletters, publications, files, memos, reports and correspondences. Many of these records correspond to several councils and committees such as the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, Wayne County Council for the Arts, the American Peace Corps, Institute on Cultural Awareness, Pacific Cultural Institute, International Institute, Wayne State University Exchange Program, Association for Childhood Education International, Friends of Polish Art, and Women of Wayne.


  • 1937-2008


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English and Polish.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Helen Theresa Suchara was born in Detroit on January 2nd, 1919. Helen earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wayne State University. Her first teaching position in 1941 was at the Michigan State Sanatorium in Howell, Michigan. Helen then pursued her doctorate at Columbia University, and graduated in 1956 with a Doctorate in Teacher Education. While at Columbia University, Helen taught for three years along with teaching at Wheelock College in Boston. The intervening summers were spent teaching at the University of Delaware and the University of Virginia. After graduation, she moved back to Detroit and from 1956 until retirement in the early 1980s, she taught continuously at Wayne State University, where she was awarded a full professorship at the College of Education. From early in her career, election to leadership positions on campus and off campus followed. These leadership positions included the University Council, the Graduate Council, the Association of Childhood Education International, the National Association of Teacher Education, the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, and the Board of Regents of Saginaw Valley State College. During her tenure at Wayne State University, Helen served as Director of the Office of Student Teaching, was a member of the college’s board of visitors, she served on the College Faculty Council and the College Accreditation and Presidential Selection Committees. Helen advised both undergraduate and graduate students, including doctoral candidates. Following retirement from Wayne State University, she served as President of the International Institute and gave nine years of service to the Board of Directors of the Catholic Social Services of Wayne County. Helen wrote numerous publications, many of which appeared in the Association for Teacher Educators’ bulletins and yearbooks, the Association for Childhood Education International monographs and journals, the Wayne State University Graduate Comment and Foreign Languages in Poland. Her travels throughout the United States, Europe and parts of Asia related to teaching assignments, lectures, professional workshops, seminars and conferences. The Association for Childhood Education International study conferences provided opportunities to travel to Washington D.C., twenty states, Europe and Asia. Membership and leadership roles in the Association for Student Teaching, now the Association for Teacher Educators, facilitated travel to twenty-two states and parts of Canada. Research in the teaching of languages and the preparation of teachers for teaching languages was done in Delaware, Michigan, Austria, England, France, West Germany, Italy and Poland. Because of her interest and involvement in exchange programs, she continued to serve on a regional selection committee for the International Exchange Programs of the United States Department of Education and to travel and lecture in that interest. Helen also served two years in the Peace Corps in Poland preparing teachers to teach English in Poland. Among her numerous honors and citations, Helen received the Wayne County Artistic Excellence and Community Commitment Award in November of 1994 and was selected as Member of the International Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2000 Helen received both the National Ladies Auxiliary Woman of the Year Award from the Orchard Lake Schools, and the Wayne State University Distinguished Alumna Award. Helen T. Suchara passed away on July 27th, 2017


1 Linear Feet (1 SB)


Helen T. Suchara was a professor at Wayne State University’s College of Education from 1956 to 1981. During her time as a professor and even after her retirement, Helen served leadership positions for many different councils and committees, including the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, the University Council for Wayne State University, the Association of Childhood Education International, and many more. Helen wrote numerous publications, travelled overseas for teaching assignments, and served in the Peace Corps.


Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection.

Folders are listed chronologically by date.


Materials acquisitioned by the Reuther Library circa the early 2000s.

Related Materials

Wayne State University College of Education Department of General Secondary Education Office of the Chairman Records.


Twenty-two photographs and two cassette tapes are in the Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Katie Tapia-Lynch on August 1, 2019.
Guide to the Helen T. Suchara Papers
Processed by Katie Tapia-Lynch.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA