Biographical sketch | Stark State College | North Canton, Ohio

Biographical sketch

Para M. Jones, Ph.D.
President, Stark State College

Stark State College President Para M. Jones, Ph.D., is deeply committed to Northeast Ohio students, businesses and communities, as evidenced by her more than 30 years of service at Stark State.

Dr. Jones began her academic career at Stark State and worked in various leadership capacities, from director of marketing to vice president, before being named President of Spartanburg Community College in South Carolina. After three years at Spartanburg, Dr. Jones returned to Stark State College in 2012, where she continues to serve as President.

Prior to academe, she worked in corporate marketing and communications for Roadway Express and as a technical editor for Goodyear Aerospace.

Dr. Jones holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska, an MBA with honors from Ashland University and a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from the University of Mount Union.

Dr. Jones’s passion for the community college mission is driven by her belief that students are best served by affordable, quality education that leads to rewarding careers in our community and region. She is a recipient of the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction and the Phi Theta Kappa Ohio Region Distinguished Presidents Award.

She currently serves or has served on the boards of many state and local boards and professional organizations, including: Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, Executive Committee of Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, Greater Akron Chamber Government Affairs Committee, Elevate Greater Akron Steering Committee, Executive Committee of Stark Economic Development Board (SEDB), Strengthening Stark Governance Committee, Stark and Tuscarawas County Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) Workforce Development Board, Stark Education Partnership, Cleveland Clinic/Akron General’s Community Advisory Council and ConxusNEO.

She also is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Education Council in Washington, DC and serves on TeamNEO’s Business Development Council.


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