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AAACE 2017 DOL Bios
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Director at Large Position

Lori Risley Ed.D., MSN, RN


The world is rapidly changing around us. We must be ready for tomorrow, today. Lifelong Learning and collaborations continue to be key components in shaping tomorrow.  Up until now we have mainly serviced the preparation of graduate students [Master’s & Doctoral] for professionally serving the constituencies of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE). Now, there are an increasing number of undergraduate [Associate & Bachelor] and non-formal [Certificate & Vocational] programs preparing practitioners.  It is vital, now more than ever, that we recognize and include both practitioners and scholars - a rich collaboration of diverse learning and working together to create a better tomorrow.  This is what I envision for AAACE.   This vision creates a long-term destination for our organization and provides us with a "Roadmap" for succeeding together.




My vision for AAACE serves as a ROADMAP for guiding every aspect of our organization by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue contributing to human fulfillment and positive social change.

  • People: Create a lifelong learning environment where people are inspired to positively change the world.
  • Inclusive: Foster an environment welcoming to all level of practitioners and scholars; today's learner is tomorrow’s practitioner and/or scholar.
  • Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of rich knowledge and abilities allowing for adult growth and development.
  • Partners: Nurture a network of committed practitioners and scholars; together we create mutual, enduring best practices.
  • Responsive: Recognize and respond to the ever changing and often challenging needs of the members and constituencies we serve.
  • Productivity: Be a highly dedicated, effective, lean, and forward-thinking organization.

Statement of Background

Lori M. Risley started her career as a Registered Nurse before following her passion into adult education.  Her interest in lifelong learning and passion for helping others reach their learning goals evolved over the course of her own nontraditional journey in higher education.  As a thirty-something single mom she started an Associate of Nursing Program never dreaming her journey would lead to Doctoral studies, faculty appointments in Nursing and Adult Education, research-including the practice of adult learning, specifically practicing and identifying  trust in the learning environment both face-to-face and online and in higher education, specifically portfolios for college credit. 

Her commitment to lifelong learning at any level allows her to be an advocate for practitioners and scholars alike.  Her firm belief that practice drives research and research informs practice is a model she exhibits in her duties at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) where she is the coordinator of the Masters of Adult and Higher Education Program and responsible for the Prior Learning Portfolios for College Credit initiative.  Both roles inform her practice and scholarship. In her time at UCO she has presented with and mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students introducing them to multiple professional organizations, conferences and scholars while encouraging them to explore their interest in the practice and or scholarship within the field.

Click here to view Lori's vita.

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