Lisa Guion Jones earned her doctorate in adult and higher education from North Carolina State University (NC State), where she now serves as professor of Extension Education. She is a highly recognized Cooperative Extension scholar-practitioner, noted for assisting national and international extension educators acquire the skills needed to design, implement, and evaluate educational programs that address the complex and changing needs of their learners. Cooperative Extension (extension) is the world’s largest publicly financed provider of non-formal adult and continuing education. Through her in-depth multi-day faculty development training sessions, consultancies, and presentations at national and international conferences, Jones has influenced the programming practices of extension educators worldwide. Further Jones’ engaging work serves to spark dialogue across the globe regarding research-based best practices for extension adult educators to employ when designing, implementing, and evaluating educational programs. Her award-winning curricula use a train-the-trainer approach to equip extension educators with essential program development and evaluation knowledge, skills, and tools. Jones has received numerous state and national awards for her work in building the capacity of extension educators, including the Excellence in Evaluation Training Award from the American Evaluation Association’s Extension Education Topical Interest Group.
Jones’ passion for strengthening extension program development is driven by her desire that these programs produce ever greater impacts in the lives of individual learners, their families, and their communities. Her commitment to enhancing the research-base and overall effectiveness of extension programs spans beyond the U.S. borders. For example, she has hosted and mentored international visiting extension faculty from Ghana and Cameroon who have incorporated programming processes into their practice, and was program coordinator for the grant-funded Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program, an international faculty exchange, training, and mentorship initiative. Influencing the next generation of extension adult and continuing education scholars and practitioners has also been an integral part of her life’s work. While serving as tenured faculty at NC State and the University of Florida, Jones taught, mentored, and guided national and international undergraduate and graduate students. She also coordinated international study abroad experiences for students. Her legacy is further carried forward through her work with students and extension educators who have made their own contributions to the field.
Through strategic leadership positions within extension, Jones has spearheaded efforts that elevated extension programming to a new level of scholarship, increased overall organizational effectiveness, and helped transform the way entire systems engage in educational programming. She received the Visionary Leadership Award from the Xi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi for her exceptional extension program development content expertise, visionary leadership, creativity, and innovation. By invitation, she has presented enhanced program models, processes, and tools to national audiences of extension program development and evaluation leaders who have adapted some of the resources for use in their states.
Jones has also advanced scholarship in extension adult and continuing education. She has secured more than $2.3 million in external funding to support her work and has published more than 80 refereed journal articles, juried curricula, conference proceedings, abstracts, and peer-reviewed publications, as well as two book chapters. Her articles appear in leading journals that provide extension educators with basic and applied research findings and research-based educational strategies of critical importance to the field. Other examples of her contributions to the field include leading several national extension programming initiatives, holding national office in extension associations, and serving on national extension committees.Jones is among the nation’s top scholars in the generation of knowledge that informs extension practice. As a scholar-practitioner, her work is well known and highly respected by her extension colleagues across the nation and abroad.
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