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Dr. Jovita M. Ross-Gordon

Dr. Jovita M. Ross-Gordon

Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Dr. Jovita M. Ross-Gordon, professor in education at Texas State University in San Marcos, is widely cited and internationally known for her scholarship and professional leadership. She has made significant scholarly contributions to the field in the areas of adults in higher education, adult learning disabilities, and multicultural education with a focus on marginalized racial/ethnic groups. In addition, she has served in leadership positions at local, state, and national/international levels and through her work as a professor mentored many emerging scholars. 

Ross-Gordon’s most notable achievements lie in her scholarship. Within the field, she has edited three books and written 19 book chapters. Additionally she has written or co-written 25 articles, 13 conference proceedings, several of which are considered seminal influences in the field. Her edited work, Adult learners in the classroom, has been frequently cited in both adult and higher education literatureHer 1989 monograph Adults with learning disabilities: An overview for the adult educator is one of the earliest scholarly publications to give attention to adults with learning disabilities. Her work in the area of multicultural education has also been extremely influential and highly cited. She brings a critical and humanist perspective to her work that is regarded as foundational to the field. 

In addition to her own writing, she has helped to shape the field’s major publications. Notably, she was co-editor of the 2010 Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education and co-editor of Adult Education Quarterly, a leading research journal. She has also served as co-editor in chief of New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education since 2003, guiding more than 20 issue editors as they developed their thematic volumes. 

As a faculty member at Texas State, Ross-Gordon played a primary role in reconfiguring the master’s program to focus on adult education. She also played a key role in developing and leading the adult education doctoral program, which has achieved national stature. There and at Penn State University, she has served on more than 85 dissertation committees, chairing 40. 

In the area of professional service, she has provided leadership on the Steering Committee of the Adult Education Research Conference, as the chair of the Commission of Professors of Adult Education of the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), and on numerous AAACE committees. 

In recognition of her achievements, she was honored by the Commission of Professors of Adult Education with their Career Achievement Award in 2013. Additionally, she has received the Distinguished Alumni—Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Georgia College of Education, the Froke Outstanding Publication Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education, the 2014 Texas State Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching Excellence, and the research award from the University Continuing Education Association. 

In her nearly 30 years of research and scholarly proceedings, she has raised important questions about nontraditional learners in higher education settings for both researchers and practitioners.