Tonette S. Rocco is a Professor of Adult Education and Human Resource Development in the Department of Educational Policy Studies. She serves as graduate program leader for the master’s in Adult Education and Human Resource Development and the doctorate in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. She served as the director of the Office of Academic Writing and Publication Support in the former College of Education for five years.
Dr. Rocco graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Master of Science in Labor & Human Resources, a Master’s in Education, and a PhD in Adult Education & Human Resource Development. She earned all four degrees after returning to complete her undergraduate degree as a nontraditional student who was also a single mother. She worked for The Ohio State University for the Center of Special Needs Populations, in Columbus, Ohio, and in Lima, Ohio, as coordinator of welfare to work, and school to work programs.
She is one of only 25 Houle Scholars from the U.S., a member of the 2016 class of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, 2016 Outstanding HRD Scholar and recipient of more than 35 awards for scholarship, mentoring, and service. Dr. Rocco has published eleven books receiving the 2009 University Continuing Education Association Frandson Book Award for Challenging the Parameters of Adult Education: John Ohliger and the Quest for Social Democracy (with Grace, Jossey-Bass, 2009) and an honorable mention for the 2017 Phillip E. Frandson Award for Literature in the Field of Professional, Continuing, and/or Online Education for Disrupting adult and community education: Teaching, learning, and working in the periphery (with Mizzi and Shore, SUNY Press, 2016). Two books earned the Forward Award by the Academy of Human Resource Development — the Handbook of HRD (with Chalofsky and Morris; Wiley, 2014) and the Routledge Companion to HRD (with Poell and Roth; Routledge, 2014). She is co-editor of the 2020 Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education (Rocco, Smith, Mizzi, Merriweather, and Hawley; Stylus, 2020) making her the only person to have co-edited a handbook for the field of HRD and a handbook for the field of adult and continuing education. Her bestselling book is the Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing (with Tim Hatcher, Jossey-Bass, 2011).
She is Editor-in-Chief of New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, and serves on a dozen editorial boards such as Human Resource Development Review, Human Resource Development Quarterly, Human Resource Development International, European Journal of Training and Development, Journal of Transformative Education, and Adult Education Quarterly. She is a founding board member for the Journal of Mixed Methods Research; Dialogues in Social Justice: An Adult Education Journal; Journal of Global Education and Research; New Directions in Adult and Continuing Education; and Nursing & Health Sciences Research Journal.
She has over 300 publications in journals, books, and proceedings on continuing professional education, equity and privilege (specifically in terms of race/critical race theory, sexual minorities/LGBT, disability, and age), employability/career development, fostering student research and professional writing, and qualitative methods. Twenty three articles, chapters, and conference papers have won awards. Many of these publications are with students and beginning scholars. Dr. Rocco has received the FIU TOP Scholars recognition twice (Notable Awards/Honors; Award Winning Publications), CASE Award for research twice, and the University Excellence in Mentorship Award, and the LGBTQA Faculty Member of the Year Award. She participates in the AHRD Faculty Mentoring Partner program, served as a Panther Life Mentor, a mentor with Educate Tomorrow, and the LGBTQ Mentoring program. She is still in contact with her mentees through these programs and also mentors informally (not through a program) scholars and scholar practitioners nationally and internationally.