Dr. Jack (John P.) Kristofco was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where he attended Benedictine High School. He earned a B.A. in English from John Carroll University, an M.A. in English from Cleveland State University, an Ed.S. in educational administration from Wright State University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration (with a cognate in rhetoric and composition) from The Ohio State University. From 1972 to 1981 he was a member of the Army Reserves, completing his service with the rank of Captain.
Jack began his professional career as the Assistant to the Director of the Communications Learning Center at the Metro Campus of Cuyahoga Community College. From there he went to Clark State Community College in Springfield, Ohio. In his twenty years there, he was a faculty member, division chairperson, and Associate Dean. In 1995 he was named the “Administrator of the Year” by the Ohio Association of two-Year Colleges. From 1991 to 1997, he was an adjunct professor in the graduate program in educational administration at Wright State University in Dayton.
In 1997 Jack was appointed Dean of the University of Akron Wayne College. In his fourteen years in that position, the College accomplished a number of significant undertakings, among them: the establishment of the twenty-year campus plan, the Library-Learning Center construction/renovation project, the adaptive re-use/restoration of the Barnett-Hoover Farmhouse, the creation of the Holmes County Higher Education Center in Millersburg, the construction of the Student Life Building, two successful ten-year re-accreditations from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the establishment of the Wayne College Writing Awards and the annual Writers Workshop. While Dean, Jack continued to teach one class per semester, something that he has continued to do since he retired in 2011.
An active writer, Dr. Kristofco has had over 400 poems and fifteen short stories published in over a hundred national publications. In 2002 he was awarded the Chaffin Prize for Fiction from Eastern Kentucky University. He has published two collections of poetry, “A Box of Stones” and “Apparitions,” and he has been nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize (recognition for work appearing in literary magazines). He is currently working on a new collection of poems, a book of short stories, and two longer pieces of fiction.
Jack and his wife, Kathy, live in Highland Heights (east side suburb of Cleveland, “just twenty minutes from everywhere”). They have three children and nine grandchildren and a schedule that makes them wonder how they ever got anything done before they both retired.
Professor of English Emeritus