John H. Hollifield Jr., 59, Hopkins official and editor


John Henry Hollifield Jr., associate director of the Center for Social Organization of Schools at the Johns Hopkins University and its chief editor for nearly three decades, died of cancer Tuesday at his home in Dundalk. He was 59.

Mr. Hollifield was responsible for editing nearly 500 reports written by scores of researchers. He was recognized for his skills in turning scientific writing into clear and readable prose that could be used by policy-makers. Colleagues called him the "dean of dissemination."

Mr. Hollifield also wrote and published newsletters for the center and the research organizations under its umbrella.

He was an authority on "cooperative learning" and spoke about it at numerous conferences and workshops.

He was a co-founding editor of the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk and an author in numerous publications. In November, Mr. Hollifield received an award for excellence in education from the National Education Knowledge Industry Association, and he won an education leadership award from the American Association of School Administrators.

"John's skills were crucial for developing clear, research-based approaches to school improvement," said Jim McPartland, director of the Hopkins center.

Mr. Hollifield was born in Churchland, N.C. His family moved to Dundalk when he was 5 years old, and both parents worked at the Sparrows Point plant of Bethlehem Steel Corp.

He graduated from Dundalk High School in 1957 and from the University of Maryland with a degree in English in 1964.

He was an editor at Prentice Hall, an Englewood Cliffs, N.J., textbook publisher, and worked at Bendix Corp. in Towson before joining the Hopkins research center in 1970.

He received his master's degree in the science of education from Hopkins in 1978.

While attending Dundalk Junior High School, Mr. Hollifield met Shirley Anne Bradley, whom he married in 1961.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at noon today at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church, 7945 N. Boundary Road in Dundalk.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Hollifield is survived by two sons, David C. Hollifield and Robert J. Hollifield, both of Baltimore; his parents, John H. and Mabel L. Hollifield of Bakersville, N.C.; a brother, Joseph G. Hollifield of Baltimore; a sister, Mildred H. Parker of Red Hill, N.C.; and a grandson.

Memorials donations may be sent to the Wellness Center, Dulaney Center II, 901 Dulaney Valley Road, Suite 710, Towson 21204.

Pub Date: 2/06/99

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