Brown, DiMascio, Foley, and Molnar-Main Elected to National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI)

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The National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) is pleased to announce its 2018 class of members.

Jerry Elijah Brown, William DiMascio, Dolores Foley and Stacy Molnar-Main were elected during the institute’s annual meeting in Dayton, Ohio, on December 4, 2014.

“Jerry Brown, Bill DiMascio, Dolores Foley and Stacy Molnar-Main bring to NIFI vision, commitment and broad experience with citizens and communities,” said NIFI president William Muse.

Jerry Elijah Brown is a longtime leader in journalism education. Until 2007, he was dean of the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Montana. Before that, he was a journalism faculty member at Auburn University for 20 years, the last 7 as head of the department.

Brown received his BA in journalism from Auburn in 1967, an MA in creative writing from Hollins College in 1968 and a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University in 1974. He spent a postdoctoral year studying American autobiography at Dartmouth College. From 1976-79, he edited a weekly newspaper near Roanoke, Virginia, an experience he describes as "the perfect preparation for teaching real-world journalism in an academic setting." He wrote a critical biography of the Southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. in 1990 and was co-author of an award-winning book, The Federal Road: Through Georgia, the Creek Nation, and Alabama, in 1989.

The youngest of 14 children, he was raised on a farm in Clarke County, Alabama. He and his wife, Libby, a retired high school librarian, have two adult daughters, Brooks and Lindsay. He retired from the J-school in 2009 and lives in North Carolina. He also published a book, Alabama's Mitcham Wars, in 2011.

William DiMascio is former executive director of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, a private, nonprofit organization that has been advocating for the humane treatment of prisoners since 1787. He took over that position in 1998. Earlier, as an independent consultant, his work included communications strategy development for the State-Centered Project of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Before opening his consulting practice, DiMascio was a journalist; he held posts as executive editor of the Cleveland Press and bureau chief for the Associated Press in Nashville, Tennessee, and, later, Columbus, Ohio. He also served as an army officer in Vietnam. A native of Philadelphia, he received an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a master's degree from Neumann College.

Dolores Foley is chair and associate professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii. She received her PhD from the School of Public Administration, University of Southern California in 1989. Her research and consulting areas focus on community planning, citizen participation and governance of nonprofit and community organizations. She teaches courses on community planning, social policy and collaborative problem solving. She has published articles on organization change, collaboration and social issues. She has produced reports, evaluations and studies for governmental and community organizations. Much of her work is with governmental and community organizations in developing organizational and individual capacities. She has developed and conducted leadership, facilitation and communication workshops.

She has developed and conducted leadership, facilitation and communication workshops.

She has been active in numerous community efforts including Ke Ala Hoku, Benchmarking for Hawaii, He Au Papaolelo (A Time for Dialogue), Ka Poe Hale o Waianae project, the Honolulu Civic Entrepreneur Initiative and the Hawaii Democracy Forum. She served as a trustee of the State of Hawaii Public Employees Health Fund and on the boards of the Hawaii Community Services Council, Kokua and the Organization of Women Leaders. She received the Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching award for faculty service to the community in 2000. She is the coordinator of the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center’s Community Programs and the Hawaii National Issues Forums.

Stacie Molnar-Main is an educational consultant whose work focuses on strengthening schools and communities through practices that support social-emotional learning, civic learning and school-community partnerships. Her clients include individual schools and school districts, government institutions, nonprofits and foundations that have an interest in addressing the complex issues that affect education and youth development.

Molnar-Main has used NIF materials with teachers and community groups for more than ten years. She also regularly uses deliberation in her work as a consultant. A 2014 white paper she authored, "Bullying Prevention and Restorative Practices in Schools: Considerations for Practitioners and Policymakers," is the product of such an effort.  

Molnar-Main received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in 2012. Her dissertation was a multiple case study of civic learning leadership in middle schools facing pressure to perform on high-stakes tests. She holds professional certifications in K-12 school leadership, school psychology and school counseling.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

About the National Issues Forums Institute

Based in Dayton, Ohio, the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves to promote public deliberation and coordinate the activities of the National Issues Forums network. Its activities include publishing the issue guides and other materials used by local forums groups; encouraging collaboration among forum sponsors; and sharing information about current activities of the network. The institute has a distinguished group of 16 directors and officers drawn from diverse fields, including government, academia, education and journalism. Many NIFI directors also have extensive experience in neighborhood and civic organizations, libraries and religious organizations.

For more information about the National Issues Forums Institute and National Issues Forums, visit the NIFI website,, or use the contact information below.

William V. Muse, President

National Issues Forums Institute

100 Commons Road

Dayton, Ohio 45459