Jones Distinguished Professor Program

The Jones Distinguished University Professor Program provides a unique opportunity for a nationally respected scholar to spend a semester or more at Emporia State University. While in residence, the distinguished professor is required to do a policy study of a pertinent issue in education. Through teaching, writing, research, and consulting, the Jones Professor provides leadership in areas of interest to educators across the state and region.



Robert Winkler


Dr. Larry Dixon

Dr. Larry Dixon

Dr. Larry Dixon’s educational experience spans more than 30 years in different capacities within the Geary County USD 275 (Junction City, KS). He has authored three books and wrote and produced a video series on discipline and motivation of students. Dr. Dixon is considered to be an expert in alternative academic and/or behavior programs.

During Dixon’s time at Emporia State University he taught Introduction to Education to future teachers, presented several workshops on motivation and discipline, spoke to the Black Student Union, and attended by invitation to participant in several sorority special programs. Off campus he started a project at Junction City High School and Highland Park High School which encouraged black students in enroll in higher level math and science classes.

Dixon started his career as an assistant principal then principal of Junction City High School, principal of the Kenneth Haugh Alternative School, assistant superintendent and associate superintendent of Geary County USD 275. In USD 275, he developed alternative programs K-12 for students with academic and/or behavior needs outside of the regular school structure, along with building collaborative agreements with outside entities to connect students and families with schools and community. As a tribute to the quality work done by Dr. Dixon the district named the program building the Larry Dixon Center for Innovative Studies.


Dr. Robert McFrazier

Dr. Robert McFrazier

Robert McFrazier, former superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, attained state and national prominence over his 40-year career in education, and is an expert on the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka ruling.

At Emporia State’s Teachers College, McFrazier taught Introduction to Education to future teachers and is a guest lecturer in classes.

McFrazier, who started his career as a teacher in 1967 as a junior high English teacher in Junction City, is active in education policymaking. He retired from the Topeka Public Schools in 2003. That same year he was appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to serve on an education policy team charged with reviewing student achievement, studying cost-efficiency issues and growing education leaders among Kansas teachers and students.


picture - Dr. Richard Lee

Dr. Richard Lee

Dr. Richard Lee examined the concept of the "engaged university" while serving as the Jones Distinguished Professor. He developed a number of grant proposals while at ESU and initiated the university's American Democracy Project.

Lee's involvement in higher education began in 1976. He spent 19 years at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, serving as a professor, associate dean, and Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. Earlier, Lee served as a research design director and assistant professor/lecturer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. Lee earned his bachelor's degree in psychology and early childhood education in 1974, and his master's degree in educational psychology and child development in 1976 - both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was awarded a Ph.D. in clinical child psychology and special education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979.

Following his time at ESU, Lee became the Vice Provost of Educational Outreach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


picture - Keith Geiger



Keith Geiger

Keith Geiger served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Academic Programs, U.S. Department of State from 1997-2001. He attained national prominence during a distinguished 38-year career in education, serving as president of the National Education Association (NEA) for seven years before joining the U.S. Department of State where he oversaw the Fulbright program.

Geiger began his career in education as a high school math and science teacher. Over the years he has worked extensively on projects which support and study the importance of international education. While serving as the JIEE Distinguished Professor, Geiger studied international education exchanges in higher education in Kansas. The published study, "An Overview of International Education at Colleges and Universities in Kansas" was released in Fall 2002.

Geiger, native of Michigan, holds a bachelor's degree from Asbury College in Kentucky and a master's degree from Peabody College in Tennessee. He completed additional graduate work at the University of Michigan.


picture - Dr. Roger S. Pankratz


Dr. Roger S. Pankratz

Dr. Pankratz, a native Kansan, is a professor of teacher education at Western Kentucky University, where he has served as the assistant and associate dean in the College of Education. He has provided leadership for the development of Kentucky's Teacher Internship Program; Kentucky's school reform, where he served as the executive director of the Governor's Council for School Performance Standards; and as the executive director of the Kentucky Institute for Education Research, an independent nonprofit agency created by executive order of the governor to evaluate Kentucky's school reform initiatives. Under his leadership, the institute produced more than 20 statewide studies and annual reviews of research related to the effects of reform programs on students, schools, and educators.

As a Jones Distinguished Professor, Dr. Pankratz conducted a study titled, "Preparation of Teachers for Kansas Schools." The purpose of the study was to assess the perceptions of first- and second-year teachers teaching in Kansas about their preparation to facilitate learning of all students.


picture - Dr. Doris R. Corbett


Dr. Doris R. Corbett

Dr. Corbett is a professor of sport sociology at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and has served as a distinguished visiting professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point and Nanyang Technological University in the Republic of Singapore. Dr. Corbett has served in many leadership positions, including serving as president of the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport and two four-year terms as the president of the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee Sport for All Commission and former president of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Dr. Corbett has authored a variety of articles and chapter publications focusing on ethics and human rights in sport and physical activity, and women in sport.

During her tenure at ESU, Dr. Corbett conducted a study, "Social Impact of Distance Learning on Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Students," that examined the social impact of online, web-based distance learning technology on students enrolled in health, physical education, and recreation courses at the master's degree level, as compared to students in traditional on-campus classroom courses. The goal of the study was to better understand the social and personal implications of this type of instructional technology. 


Previous Jones Distinguished Professors and their studies:

Dr. Robert E. Glennen

"Kansas Regents Honors Academy:  A Follow-Up Study"

Dr. Norene F. Daly

"The Kansas Board of Regents Distinguished Professors Program: A Study"

Dr. Jack Skillett

"Teacher Supply and Demand: The Kansas Experience 1972-1997"

Dr. Arnold J. Moore

"Improving Schools: Quality Indicators Used When Selecting K-12 Teachers"

Dr. D.J. Guzzetta

"Teaching/Research: Faculty Roles, Evaluations, and Rewards in Kansas Regents Universities"

Dr. Natale A. Sicuro

"A Governance Plan of Higher Education in Kansas"

Dr. W. Scott Westerman
Dr. J. T. Sandefur
Dr. John Dunworth
Dr. John King