John H. Hollifield Jr., associate director of the Center for Social Organization of Schools, called by some the "Dean of Dissemination" in educational research, died of cancer at his home on Feb. 3. He was 59.
For nearly three decades, Hollifield was the chief editor and directed the dissemination of research for CSOS, where he was responsible for editing about 500 reports written by scores of researchers in several centers funded at CSOS. He has been recognized for his skills in helping researchers turn scientific writing into information that can be used in practice and policy.
Over the years, Hollifield wrote and published the newsletters for the research centers at CSOS. The articles in his newsletters, considered masterful modes of communication, "translated" complex and often technical data analyses into clear and readable summaries. With such translations, research became more useful in practice. Hollifield developed and disseminated curricula for use in cooperative learning classrooms nationwide and presented information at many conferences and workshops on education research and development.
According to Jim McPartland, director of CSOS, "You could always count on John to review research critically, clarify the implications and identify positive directions for applying results in policy and in practice. His skills were crucial for developing clear, research-based approaches to school improvement.
Hollifield was a co-founding editor of the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk and the author of numerous publications in education. He received an award from the National Education Knowledge Industry Association for excellence in education, and the American Association of School Administrators also cited him for his leadership in the field of education research and dissemination.
At a recent award ceremony, his colleagues spoke in one voice of their tremendous admiration of and friendship for Hollifield, and of their gratitude for his skills that added quality and clarity to their research. As a tribute to the reports and publications that he edited and produced, CSOS dedicated a new John H. Hollifield Library and Conference Room in his honor.
After graduating from the University of Maryland in 1964, Hollifield worked as a senior editor at Prentice Hall in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., then at the Bendix Corp. in Towson, Md. He became editor and public information director at CSOS in 1970, assistant director in 1976 and associate director and director of dissemination in 1985. He received his master's degree from Hopkins in 1978.
Services were held on Feb. 6 at Our Lady of Hope Church in Dundalk, where he lived. Contributions in his name may be sent to the Wellness Center, Baltimore, 901 Dulaney Valley Rd., Suite 710, Towson, Md. 21204.