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Peter Jonas

About Peter Jonas

It's easy to make fun of Peter Jonas. So go ahead, laugh at him, everyone else does. Peter is a professor of research and chairperson of the doctoral leadership department at Cardinal Stritch University and has become well-known for his wise-cracking comments and lectures on humor. Beneath the humor is a message: If you get people laughing, you can enhance learning. The professor has written three books (two of them that were any good) in support of his research on humor: Laughing and Learning: An Alternative to Shut-up and Listen (2009) and Secrets of Connecting Leadership and Learning to Humor (2004).

Peter has been at Cardinal Stritch University for more than 25 years teaching research, statistics, and leadership. He has a keen interest in technology and has made more than 100 presentations across the country talking about humor, research, leadership, and technology. In addition, Peter has also been actively involved in consulting and writing; authoring more than 40 books, manuals, and articles in professional periodicals. Ultimately, Peter attempts to integrate teaching, scholarship, service, and humor into his leadership philosophy.

  • Jonas, P. M. (2009). Laughing and Learning: An Alternative to Shut Up and Listen. Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield.
  • Jonas, P. M. (2004). Secrets of Connecting Leadership and Learning with Humor. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Education, Inc.
  • Jonas, P. M., & Green, J., Jr. (1997). Outcomes Assessment in Higher Education Linked with Strategic Planning and Budgeting. (2nd edition) Shawnee Mission, KS: Strategic Planning/Management Associates, Inc.
Articles (Most Recent)
  • Jonas, P. M. (Spring 2008). Educating the Whole Child through Humor. WASCD Highlighter. Winter 2007-2008, 11-16.
  • Jonas, P. M. (Spring 2005). Using Technology to Connect Leadership, Learning and Humor. Best Practices Conference in Technology. Available at
  • Jonas, P., M., & Popovics, A. (Feb. 2005) Implementing an Enrollment Management Organization: Getting Beyond an Enrollment Management Division at a Small College or University. [Electronic version]. SEM Source, 5-8.
  • Jonas, P. M., Hertzer, K., & Weimer, D. (Sept. 2001). Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional (adult education) Undergraduate Business Programs. Instructional Psychology, 28(3), 161-170.
  • Jonas, P. M., & Popovics, A. J. (Fall 2000). Beyond the Enrollment Management Division: The Enrollment Management Organization. College and University, 76(2), 3-8.
Keynote Addresses
  • Sept. 2010: Keynote for St. Jude School, Wauwatosa, WI: “Using the ‘Brain’ in Parenting and Learning."
  • Aug. 2010: Keynote for Opening Day of School in Mequon-Thiensville School District: “Leadership, Learning, and Making Through a Another Year”.
  • Aug. 2010: Keynote for Opening Day of School in East Troy School District: “Laughing and Learning Your Way Through the School Year.”
  • March 2010: Keynote speaker for Gyro Club, Milwaukee, WI: “International Service and its Impact on Learning.”
  • Feb. 2010: Keynote presentation for NESI, Milwaukee, WI: “Leadership and Learning within an Organization.”
  • Jan. 2010: Keynote speaker at Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), Madison, WI: “Differentiated Leadership.”
  • Nov. 2009: Keynote presentation for Nonpublic Educational Services Inc., Milwaukee, WI: “Laughing and Learning: An Alternative to Shut up and Listen.”
  • Aug. 2009: Keynote speaker for Cedarburg School District’s Opening Ceremony for the academic school year, “Laughing and Learning."
  • Aug. 2009: Keynote speaker for Kettle Moraine School District’s 2009 Teach Technology Conference, “Using Technology and Humor to be Funny and Successful."
  • July 2009: Keynote speaker for American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), Tucson, AZ: “The Use of Humor to Help Technology: Or is This Really an Oxymoron?”
  • June 2009: Keynote speaker for Milwaukee Public School District Administrators and Teachers, Annual Professional Development Seminar, Milwaukee, WI: “Using Humor in a New Era of Learning".
  • Laughing and Learning
  • Videagogy
  • Assessment
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Communication
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Strategic Planning
  • Servant Leadership
  • What Do Leaders Do?
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Presentations that Engage, Inform, and Inspire
  • Building Powerful Teams
  • Building Trust
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Conducting Effective Research
  • Technology
  • Teaching SMART Goals
Book Testimonials

"Laughing and Learning is in touch with how the brain naturally learns. Referencing relevant research and providing practical examples of how humor promotes learning, the author describes educational practices that support physiological wellness, productive social-emotional relationships, and the disposition to be creative and curious.”
Dr. Michael Dickmann, CoAuthor
Mindful Leadership and Leading with the Brain in Mind


"Dale Carnegie wrote that 'people rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.' Laughing and Learning is a great example of how learning does not have to be a chore for teachers or students, but can be fun, and engaging. It just takes a little practice, but the rewards are worth the efforts. Peter Jonas has provided all classroom educators with powerful new instructional strategies that can be used in a variety of situations."
Dr. Robert Marzano, Author & Pres.
Marzano and Associates


"Peter Jonas, author of Secrets of Connecting Leadership and Learning with Humor, has done it again with Laughing and Learning. Using research, theory, and a practical step-by-sep guide, he demonstrates how learning can be maximized with a light hear, good humor, and carefully selected strategies."
Dr. Nancy Blair, Prof. & CoAuthor
Mindful Leadership and Leading with the Brain in Mind