Clarion University Council of Trustees met July 20 with J.D. Dunbar as chair, her first meeting in that role since being elected to the position. Dunbar, who has been a trustee since 2009, was initially appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell; Governors Corbett and Wolf have reappointed her. Dunbar is in her 29th year as program director of Pennsylvania Rural Urban Leadership Program, based at Penn State, where she also is senior extension director.
Dunbar graduated from Clarion University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and in 1979 with a Master of Science in Communication. She is a candidate (ABD) for a juris doctorate degree from Penn State.
"I chose Clarion (then Clarion State College) 44 years ago," Dunbar said. "Stellar
faculty guided me through two degrees, which have given me robust employment options
my entire life. I was compelled to be a trustee by the late Paul A. Weaver, former
trustee and mayor of Clarion, and trustee Dr. Syed Ali-Zaidi. I am humbled to honor
their legacies as trustees chair."
Dunbar is an international public speaker on leadership and communication. She has been featured in keynotes in five countries and 20 states, most recently to the Ontario Ag Leadership Program while in July 2016 and to the International Leadership Alumni Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, in August 2016. She is a member of the National Speakers Association. She has published articles in various magazines for local government.
She completed a Kellogg fellowship in leadership development at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy in Washington, D.C. She was a principal in hosting the Nuffield International Ag Scholars Conference in Pennsylvania in 2010, which subsequently connected Nuffield to the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership.
Dunbar has earned several distinctions, including: Leadership in Action Award through Penn State Ag Council in 2015; Outstanding International Leadership Director Award through International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership in 2000; and DeBoer Distinguished Teaching Award from Penn State in 1989.
"I am fortunate to follow zenith leadership mentor models of Jim Kifer, outgoing trustee
chair, and Lee James, former chair. The Clarion University Council of Trustees is
a dedicated team. I am lucky to be a member," Dunbar said.
Milissa Bauer, formerly secretary/treasurer of the trustees, is now vice chair, and Kifer is now secretary/treasurer.