Spring Great Expectation Faculty Conference



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The 2016 Great Expectations Spring Faculty Conference featured a keynote speech by Dr. Lisa Guion Jones.

Dr. Lisa Guion Jones has nearly 23 years of experience in higher education. She currently serves as Professor and Assistant Dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. In this role, she provides strategic leadership to Goal 2 of the College’s Strategic Plan, to "exhibit an inclusive and diverse environment where faculty, staff and students can each reach their full potential."

As a transformational leader, Dr. Jones has initiated innovative programs that have increased the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students.

After launching the College’s Diversity Council, Dr. Jones led in the development and implementation of the College’s first strategic plan for diversity. She also spearheaded the implementation of the plan. For example, she collaborated with department heads to offer the Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowships which have resulted in a 50% increase in African-American postdocs. Over the past five years, African-American faculty in CALS increased by 67%. Additionally, she worked with Directors of Graduate Programs to implement the Deans Graduate Research Assistantship Program and other initiatives that increased the minority graduate student population by nearly 60% from 2009-2014. She worked with Undergraduate Coordinators to offer summer institutes for educators/guidance counselors, forge partnerships and agreements with STEM schools, and offer summer science programs for gifted minority middle school students as well as a summer research program for high school students. She will be receiving the 2016 Keeper of The Dream Award from the NC School of Science and Math (NCSSM), a residential STEM high school, in recognition of her program that provides summer and academic year research opportunities to their minority students which led to them receiving scholarships, awards in national competitions, and research poster presentations. NCSSM students in the program enroll into NCSU at significantly higher rates than their counterparts. She also worked with faculty to offer faculty development, mentoring, and networking activities to meet their needs. Dr. Jones developed the Template for Documenting the Scholarship of Engagement that is now part of the University’s official Tenure & Promotion (T&P) Guidelines; shared during faculty orientation, and T&P information sessions.

Dr. Jones revamped the College’s Freshman Transition Course curriculum to focus on academic enrichment, non-cognitive variables for student success, high-impact experiences, and other evidence-based student retention practices. An independent study examined four years of data revealing that students in the course had higher GPAs and retention rates than similar students who did not take the course. She also led a program for students from migrant farmworking backgrounds. Date reveals that the retention and graduation gap for those Latino students in the program is closed. These and other strategic efforts have resulted in Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranking NC State as 9th in the nation for graduating minority undergraduate students in agricultural disciplines in 2014 – a significant increase from being ranked 21st five years ago.

While successfully rising up through the professorial ranks at two top universities, Dr. Jones taught graduate and undergraduate core courses, chaired graduate student committees, and served as academic advisor for undergraduates. She coordinated international study tours for students, led undergraduate research projects, and mentored student scholars. She has secured nearly $5 million in external funding, of which over $1 million was for student scholarships. She has been engaged in fundraising activities with the College’s Development Office and is effective in donor relationship building and gift stewardship of the Bone Scholars Program. She also published 80+ refereed and peer-reviewed publications, wrote two book chapters and has received numerous awards including induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in recognition of outstanding scholarship in her discipline, the Epsilon Sigma Phi’s Visionary Leadership Award, and USDA National Award for Outstanding Collaboration Team. Most recently, she was accepted into the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program for 2015-16. The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in higher education by preparing emerging leaders for senior positions in college/university administration.

After the keynote speech, faculty members went off to various breakout sessions hosted by different groups and departments. The day ended with a post session and social hour.

Publication Date



Otterbein University




Diversity, Inclusion, Education, Faculty, Conference, Otterbein University


Curriculum and Instruction | Higher Education

2016 Great Expectations Spring Faculty Conference: Inclusive Teaching, Diverse Classrooms