John J. K. “Jay” Cole
Jay Cole is a native of Fairmont and a 1994 graduate of both WVU and the Honors College.
Jay graduated with bachelor’s degrees in political science and history, and was named WVU’s 13th Truman Scholar, the nation’s most prestigious award for students committed to careers in public service. Jay proceeded to The Ohio State University, where he earned a master’s degree in higher education and public policy. From there, Jay earned his PhD in higher education and public policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Jay’s career in public policy and education have spanned nearly two decades and several states.
While at The Ohio State University, Jay was awarded a 1995-1996 Foreign Language and Areas Studies Fellowship from the Department of Education. At Michigan, Jay was a Spencer Foundation Fellow for doctoral study. In 2005, he served as an International Leader delegate to the European Union Visitors program, and subsequently took a post in 2007 as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences.
From 2008-2009, Jay served as interim Chief of Staff under WVU interim president C. Peter Magrath. Jay continues his commitment to WVU’s future as Chief of Staff for Dr. Jim Clements, WVU’s 23rd president.
Jay is married to Dr. Lisa DeFrank-Cole, director of the Leadership Studies Department and of the ASPIRE Office.