Dr. Don Finn has been elected to serve as President of the board of directors for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) for the 2019-2021 term beginning on July 1. His previous COABE service includes a term as President Elect, Secretary to the Board and Region 2 Representative.
Don has been an adult educator since 1992 and currently serves associate professor of education specializing in adult education, professional development, curriculum and instruction, and leadership at the Regent University School of Education (SOE). Don has served in a number of leadership positions at Regent University including SOE Dean (2015-2018), chair and vice chair of the university curriculum committee (2007-2015), and chairman of the SOE doctoral and curriculum & Instruction programs. Prior to joining the Regent faculty, Don participated in and led several initiatives on various projects through the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University between 1999 and 2006.
Dr. Finn has served in various leadership capacities in the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education (VAACE) for 16 years including treasurer, long-term planning chair, conference chair, and president (2009-2012). As president, he made great strides to build bridges and strengthen relationships and partnerships between VAACE and state and national organizations and groups.
Don began his education career as a middle and high school social studies teacher in Montgomery County Virginia in 1991. His adult education career began in October 1992 as an adult night high school teacher in Montgomery County. Inspired by his work with adult learners, Don pursued and earned his Master of Science degree with a focus on adult learning from Radford University in 1998 and his Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis on adult education and organizational development from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005.
Finn was awarded Virginia’s Outstanding Adult Education Leadership Award in 2013 and the VAACE President’s Award for Service in 2014. In 2010, Don was voted Regent University’s School of Education Faculty Member of the Year by his students and colleagues. He has been an independent adult education consultant and has provided professional development for various adult education associations and learning organizations nationally. He has served as a steering committee member for The Center for Research in Adult Learning (a project of the CCCU), as an article reviewer for a national higher education publication, and as a consultant with an international textbook publisher. Don has published numerous book chapters and articles on the topic of adult learning and has presented at state, regional, national, and international adult education conferences and meetings.
During his term, Dr. Finn looks forward to leading the board through a strategic planning process with an aim toward refining COABE’s mission to advocate and educate about the positive impact of adult education plays in our communities and the positive ways that adult education impacts our society and economy. Don will also prioritize the building of partnerships and forming alliances with like-minded groups to help effectively serve the needs of adult learners and those who instruct them on a national scale.
He and his wife Laurie Ann have been married since 1990 and reside in Virginia Beach, VA and have 3 adult children, two of whom are married. Don and Laurie Ann serve together as volunteers at an equine therapy center in their community working directly with adults and children with disabilities and have served in various church and community leadership roles.