Jo Ellen Barnhart
Dr. JoEllen Barnhart possesses a career involving the study and practice of communication, higher education leadership, and teaching. Her PhD in Education and adult learning involves the spiritual and perspective shift of mothers of children with disabilities.
Prior to joining JHU, Dr. Barnhart taught oral communication courses at the University of Maryland College Park full-time where she also served on the President’s Commission on Disability Issues. She has additional teaching experience that spans across 30 years teaching various courses in communication, journalism, writing, and education for Hagerstown Community College, Kaplan, Frostburg State University, Penn State University, and in the doctoral program for University of Phoenix.
Other professional appointments in her career include Associate and Executive Director and Director of Student and Academic Services for University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, Avatar to the Executive Director for NASPA – a national non-profit association located in Washington, DC for student affairs administrators in higher education and Director of Public Information at Hagerstown Community College.
She has experience as a newspaper columnist and a broadcast journalist in radio and television, and as a voice-over talent. She holds a strong affinity for disability justice issues and her advocacy work has yielded many rewards and awards including a citation from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for a decade of service on the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, University of Maryland Faculty Award for President’s Commission on Disability Issues, and Working Mother of the Year award for Working Mother Magazine, in part for her work in creating an inclusive Children’s Learning Center at Hagerstown Community College.
Dr. Barnhart lives in Hagerstown, Maryland. She is the mother of three sons, Michael, Andrew and her bereaved son, Adam, who passed away as a result of complications from muscular dystrophy. She holds an AA degree in Communications from Hagerstown Community College, a BS degree in Mass Communication from Towson University, an MLA from McDaniel College, and PhD in Education from Capella University. She has additional master’s level coursework in Special Education from Frostburg State University.