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John Boulmetis

John Boulmetis

Hall of Fame Class of 2023

John Boulmetis is a distinguished adult educator known for his work at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and his contributions to the field through involvement with the American Association for Adult Education (AAACE). At URI, he redesigned the Master of Arts degree in adult education, making it the largest MA program at the university. Over the course of his career, he served as major adviser for more than 300 MA and PhD students and was the principal investigator on projects dealing with industry-based training, adult basic education, experience-based career education, community education, gerontology, vocational education, and human service agencies in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In 1985, he developed a relationship with the U.S. Department of the Navy that led to offering the MA in adult education with a specialization in Education Management and Training Specialist (ETMS) for officers of the Newport Navy Base. In 1987, he was named the Rhode Island Adult Educator of the Year by the Rhode Island Association for Adult Education (RIAACE).

He has published more than 180 articles and reports dealing with adult, vocational, and career education/training. In addition, he has written or co-written three books, including The ABCs of Evaluation: Timeless Techniques for Program and Project Managers, now in its 3rd edition. This much-cited book has had worldwide impact through its step-by-step guidance in effecting changes in evaluation systems in education, workplace training, human services, nursing, and nonprofits.

He has delivered more than sixty keynotes, workshops, and presentations at national and international conferences and meetings on adult learning, vocational curriculum, and training. In addition, he was part of a research project that had a profound impact on the development of competency-based education curriculum in adult education and vocational/career education programs throughout the United States.

Perhaps his greatest accomplishment has been his work with AAACE. In the late 1990s, with AAACE in financial difficulty, Boulmetis assumed the role of president of the association and worked tirelessly to ensure the continuance of that organization. The result of his diligent efforts was the association that continues to this day. Boulmetis’ extraordinary leadership prevented the complete disintegration of what had been the primary adult education association in the United States. In recognition of his achievements, he was honored by AAACE with the President's Award for Exceptional and Innovative Leadership in Adult and Continuing Education.

Boulmetis’ particular strengths lay in program planning and evaluation. He has been a consultant to numerous public and private institutions for the purposes of training, training development, third-party evaluation, and program planning. During his career at URI, he received more than $18 million in grants and contracts from state and national agencies and from such corporations as Texas Instruments, McNeil Consumer Products, and Pizza Hut. A dual citizen of Greece and the United States, his scholarship in evaluation has impacted the practice in both countries. He also has been involved in the development of evaluation frameworks for most of the New England states.

Boulmetis’ scholarly work on evaluation and program development is fundamentally interdisciplinary and as such has been recognized by other fields. He (with his co-authors) received the Best Management Education Paper awarded by the Academy of Management: Management Education and Development Division. As major adviser/professor he supported graduate students from a variety of fields, including adult education, psychology, business, nursing, human development, and English. He has also received several awards from his university, including the Outreach Excellence Award from the Office of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Studies Excellence Award, and the URI Greek Life Alumni Award of Distinction.