Joy claims that she's been trying her whole life to prove that her parents pinned her with the right name. Her background is an eclectic blend that incorporates time served in industry, as a Communication Manager for the General Electric Company; time served in the community, as an Executive Director for the Clarion, Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce; and a stint in private business, as an Advertising Manager for Paul Weaver Jewelers. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of RULE, the Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program, based at Penn State, and has held that position for 24 years. Her Penn State title is Senior Extension Associate. She has completed all her coursework and comprehensive exams towards a Penn State Ph.D. in Speech Communication. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts in English from Clarion University, followed by a Master of Science in Communication from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. 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. She recently served as a keynote speaker for the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programmes launching, “Mad for Plaid.” She is a member of the National Speakers Association and Penn Writers.
The “Outstanding International Leadership Award” was presented to J.D. in the Fall of 2000 by the International Association of Programs for Ag Leadership, citing her, “buoyant spirit,” and, “far sighted vision for leaders at the edge of a new century.”
Of all her roles, J.D.’s favorite is that of teacher; she received the DeBoer Distinguished Teaching Award from Penn State in 1989. She has also team taught the rural sociology class, “Leadership For Social Change,” and participated in team teaching an extension education course, “Problem Solving in International Agriculture.”
She was a lead advocate in the Rural Leadership Training Act, legislation signed by the Governor in 1992, which mandates a statewide rural leadership development program and establishes an appropriation through the legislature. She frequently lectures to various leadership, governmental, and agricultural groups around the world. Past lecture stints include: Australian Rural Leadership Program; Ontario Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program; International Leadership Alumni Association; International Speech Communication Association; Nuffield International, Scottish Enterprise, Alabama LEADERS; Auburn’s Alabama Community Leadership Conferences; International Association for Programs for Agricultural Leadership (IAPAL); Arkansas LEAD-AR Program; Florida Wedgworth Leadership Program; Regional Vision: Leadership for Northwestern Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Executives (PCCE); Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS); Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB); County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP); State Grange; Leadership Cumberland; Leadership Westmoreland; Leadership Erie; Pennsylvania Rural Health Conference; and the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
Governor Corbett appointed JD as a Clarion University Council of Trustee in 2013; she passed Senate confirmation and was subsequently elected Vice Chair. JD was appointed in 2009 to the Clarion University Council of Trustees by Governor Rendell, including Senate confirmation. She was appointed to a second term to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Affairs and serves as quarterly feature writer for the Pennsylvania Borough News magazine. She earned a citation from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in 2010 for her work in the planning committee of Nuffield Scholars International Conference, which PA hosted. She received three legislative citations in 2007, one from the PA General Assembly, the PA Senate, and a commendation from the US Congress.
An avid runner, JD has completed twenty half marathons and six full marathons: the United States Marine Corps Marathon (2x), the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon (2x), the Harrisburg Marathon, and the Chicago Marathon. She is currently cross training by weight lifting. She lives in an Amish built home called the Happy Valley Villa.