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Obituary | M. Colleen Jones

Obituary | M. Colleen Jones
M. Colleen Jones, emeritus associate professor of practice in management, passed away June 18, 2024.


Colleen Jones, emeritus associate professor of practice in management, died June 18 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

At the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Jones' teaching focused on leadership, organizational behavior and development, and management communications. Throughout her teaching career, she encouraged students to participate in volunteer projects in the Lincoln community. By tying classroom assignments to practical influence in the community, she showed students how to make positive changes in the world around them.

She created a unique hands-on learning experience called Strive to Thrive Lincoln for students in her Leading People and Projects (MNGT 411) course, in which students awarded $10,000 in grants to Lincoln and Lancaster County nonprofits. Throughout the semester-long course, students learned how to manage all aspects of a grant application process including reviewing proposals, visiting the nonprofits, selecting the winners and awarding the funds. The class project continued after her retirement in 2015 and recently celebrated the allocation of a total of $150,000 to local nonprofits.

"Colleen's work was vital to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the greater Nebraska community. She gave back in so many ways and wanted to empower students to do so as well so they could make an impact on their communities while in college and after graduation," said Kathy Farrell, James, Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business.

Recognizing her servant leadership to the community, the Lincoln Community Foundation honored Jones with the JoAnn Martin Civic Leadership Award in 2023. The award's nominating committee identified nearly 20 unique instances of Jones' formal community leadership service, including volunteer leadership roles with the United Way, Leadership Lincoln, Friendship Home, the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Lied Center for Performing Arts and the Lincoln Community Foundation.

She also served as president of the Melvin W. Jones Foundation after her late husband's death in 1999. The foundation supports mentoring and career counseling for the disadvantaged through scholarship programs. She also established the Jones Scholars Learning Community for students in any major interested in making the most of their first year of college through a focus on leadership, academic excellence and service to others.

Jones' research interests included leadership development, access and advancement of women and people of color in executive positions, cognitive style assessment, teaching and learning systems, and organizational communication issues. Her research was published in the Journal of Management Education and Management Learning.

Awarded the 1999 and 2004 College of Business Distinguished Teaching Award, she was also recognized by the Lincoln YWCA for her accomplishments in education. A certified administrator and consultant for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, she utilized it in her teaching, research and service activities.

She earned her Doctor of Business Administration degree in organizational behavior from the George Washington University School of Business and Public Management, a Master of Business Administration degree in management and finance from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting and quanti­tative analysis from ­the University of Iowa.

Published: June 18, 2024