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Barbara Mullins Nelson holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education and a certificate in Human Resource Development from Florida State University. She teaches online graduate level courses in adult learning, adult and community education, and global and comparative issues in leadership. Her research focuses on non-formal education and experiential learning among culturally diverse people.

Prior to graduate studies Dr. Mullins Nelson worked as an educator and trainer in community agencies including the American Red Cross, the YWCA, and 4-H youth programs. These experiences inspired her to pursue graduate studies in adult and community education.

Dr. Mullins Nelson has lived and worked in The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and Ghana, West Africa. While in Trinidad, she developed curriculum materials for 4-H youth programs to build entrepreneurial skills among youth. In Ghana, she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Ghana's Institute of Adult Education where she taught graduate courses and conducted research on adult learning. She also organized Ghanaian students to build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Dr. Mullins Nelson has published widely, often with her doctoral students, in journals including International Journal for Lifelong Education, Journal of Professional Studies, Adult Learning, National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) Quarterly, Journal of Black Studies, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, Journal of Adult Development and Research and Practice in Social Science.

As a faculty member in Higher and Adult Education at the University of Memphis, she developed a portfolio assessment model that was adopted for graduate students completing their M.S. in Leadership. She pioneered online teaching in her department and initiated efforts to move the M.S. degree in Leadership to an online format which launched fall 2009.

Dr. Mullins Nelson has been recognized by colleagues at the University of Memphis with several awards including "Honor an Educator" (Kappa Delta Pi), Distinguished Faculty Award (University College), Alma Bucouvaz Urban Service Award (University College) and the Ellery Crader Professor of Education Award (College of Education).


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Last Updated: 8/23/14