Para M. Jones, PhD
President, Stark State College
Dr. Para M. Jones is Stark State College’s fourth president. Prior to being named President of Stark State, she was President of Spartanburg Community College in South Carolina. Dr. Jones spent 22 years in various leadership roles at Stark State; she served as vice president for more than 12 years before taking her first community college presidency in SC. Before her academic career, she worked in corporate marketing and communications.
The Canton native’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. With her knowledge of Stark State, the community and local business, Dr. Jones emphasizes the importance of partnerships with local companies, knowing they rely on their local community college to provide skilled graduates.
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.
She is chair of the Stark County P-16 Compact and serves on the boards of Stark Development Board, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stark Education Partnership, Canton Symphony Orchestra, and Stark and Tuscarawas County Workforce Investment Board (WIB). She is a member of the board of MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network) and served on the Ohio Board of Regents' Commercialization and Technology Transfer Task Force. She also serves on the President’s Council of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) and on the national Education Council of The Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
Dr. Jones is the proud recipient of the 2013 Greater Stark County ATHENA Leadership Award.