Jean Fleming

Jean Fleming

Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Dr. Jean Fleming has played a key role in the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) since 1981. Her involvement in connecting individuals with mutual interests and creating opportunities for professional collaboration at conferences, along with her professional association leadership, has played a notable role in helping adult educators strengthen the visibility and contributions of the field and in bringing awareness to the contributions of adult and continuing education scholars and practitioners in different locations and from different disciplines.

With a research focus on residential adult learning, her graduate teaching focused on program planning and leadership. She also focused on professional associations of the field and, with Alan Knox, co-authored a chapter on the professionalization of adult education in the 2010 Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education. Fleming’s greatest contribution to adult education stems from her work with AAACE, including stabilizing the association’s annual conference, expanding connections with other professional associations and working to bring newcomers from diverse disciplines into the field. Her work as a conference co-chair in 2007 was instrumental in regaining professional recognition for the conference and the potential of the association to support adult and continuing educators. As a result of her work at this conference, she was awarded the 2007 AAACE President’s Appreciation Award.

As conference chair in 2014, she focused on highlighting educational programs and services that both involved and served veterans. The following year, as president of AAACE, she was pivotal in developing several important initiatives, including the transition to a professional management association. Her focus on honoring and preserving the history of the field and the contributions of its leaders, while simultaneously situating the association to effectively and efficiently meet the changing needs of its members, was a hallmark achievement of her tenure.

She was instrumental in leading the initiative to bring together AAACE and the Hall of Fame for two conferences, in 2007 and in 2015. She focused on logistical details, but also on communicating the value of members of each association learning from one another. The conferences created opportunities to highlight and communicate both the history of the field and the contributions of the Hall of Fame members, as well as the current and future directions of the field. She received the AAACE Presidential Award in 2017.

Most recently, Fleming began a second career in healthcare, initially serving in volunteer capacities as a member of the Board of Governors for a local continuing care retirement community, and as a board member for Calvert Hospice before becoming a Registered Nurse in 2013 and serving as a patient advocate at her local community hospital. She was named executive director for Calvert Hospice in 2016. Since then, she has developed a community education program for local residents focused on topics related to preparing for end-of-life care, and a collaborative educational initiative with the local hospital to provide training for healthcare providers focused on both hospice and palliative care. She has overseen the expansion of the hospice's bereavement services, growth of the palliative care program, creation of a multi-faceted development plan, and implementation of multiple initiatives in clinical care. In 2018, Calvert Hospice received the Governor’s Citation for outstanding community service.