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Dr. Elizabeth Tisdell

Dr. Elizabeth Tisdell

Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Dr. Elizabeth Tisdell is a leading scholar in adult education. Currently professor of adult education, adult education doctoral program coordinator, and chair of the Division of Health and Professional Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, she previously taught at National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois, and Antioch University in Seattle, Washington. Spanning 25 years, her scholarship and research have opened unique interdisciplinary avenues in adult and continuing education, distinguishing herself through quantitative and qualitative research in adult development and learning, collaborative learning, mentoring, diversity, transformative learning, spirituality and learning, and critical consciousness. Internationally recognized as an authority on the role of spirituality in adult education, she has, more than any other scholar, advanced the field’s understanding of adult learning as a holistic phenomenon involving the mind, body, and spirit. She has explored ontological and developmental aspects of learning and cognition through her research and publications and as the co-editor of Adult Education Quarterly and on the editorial boards of Studies in Continuing Education, Teaching in Higher Education, and The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.  

Primarily a scholar, Tisdell has published nine books and monographs, numerous refereed journal articles, 37 book chapters, and more than 115 refereed conference presentations contributing to enhancing practice among scholars, policy innovators, and practitioners. She focuses intensely on the driving needs of the learner and, in doing so, she has fused the roles of policy-maker, scholar, and practitioner. Her development of a framework for incorporating the role of spirituality and wisdom in the cognitive and emotional life of the adult has contributed to our understanding of adult development and andragogy. 

Tisdell has supervised 36 doctoral dissertations leading to the examination of religious, gerontological, medical and clinical, culture, gender, interracial and inter-religious dialogue, literacy, the humanities, creativity, health, rural perspectives, parenting education, and spiritual aspects of learning and teaching.  Along with her writings, these ground-breaking research initiatives have magnified our understanding of interpersonal dynamics in the teaching/learning fields.  

Tisdell has been the recipient of multiple awards in the field of adult and continuing education, including a faculty award for excellence in research and scholarship from Pennsylvania State, Harrisburg. She is co-author of the latest edition of Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation and is currently piloting a major project in working on faculty development aimed at the improvement of medical education in clinical settings with colleagues at the Medical School, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. She has been a much-in-demand speaker at numerous institutions and is past chair of the Commission of Professors of Adult Education for the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education.

Tisdell exemplifies a sincere commitment to connecting various cultural and social entities for mutual growth and development.