Professor Emeritus Jon Ebeling, who taught political science for more than 30 years, died on July 25. He was 83 years old.
Born September 23, 1938 in Queens, New York, he grew up in Southern California and after graduating from Santa Monica High School in 1956, he worked for Hughes Aircraft for a few years before taking classes at Santa Monica College. He graduated from San José State College in 1962 with a BA in history and joined the Peace Corps, spending two years in rural Ethiopia teaching high school and working on various projects.
When Ebeling returned to the United States in 1964, he enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles and completed his master’s degree in African history. He returned to Ethiopia for two years to work as a Peace Corps staff member before moving to Pennsylvania to complete a doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh, eventually earning his doctorate in economic and social development in 1974.
Ebeling was hired as a faculty member at Chico State in 1971, teaching statistics and other courses in undergraduate and graduate programs in the political science department.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science Irv Schiffman recalls that when Ebeling arrived on campus, he immediately enhanced the department’s course offerings in graduate and undergraduate programs. It has also played a vital role in the public administration curriculum, particularly with its important and popular public finance courses.
“Jon’s students have benefited greatly from his teaching and guidance and many of them have told me so personally. Indeed, former students visited him long after his retirement to let him know how much he had contributed to their lives and careers,” he said. “Jon encouraged his students to participate in government service and the importance of giving back to his community.”
Now retired after many years working in local government, George “Scott” Tandy (MPA, 1973) still credits Ebeling for his career path. It all started during his first class with him in the fall of 1971, where he inspired Tandy with stories from East Africa and his feelings on the value of public service, and continued decades later. when Tandy asked her for advice before an interview for a chef. administrator role.
“In retrospect, having him as a teacher changed the course of my thinking and was a stepping stone to my own career in county government,” Tandy said. “He taught me the importance of relationships and the value of an internship to gain hands-on experience. It has been a great pleasure for me to reconnect with him over the past few years.
After Ebeling founded the Regional and Economic Sciences society, he and his wife, retired economics professor Frederica Shockley, worked as consultants for state and local government.
Ebeling retired from Chico State in 1998 but continued to teach for over a decade. For several semesters, he taught the terminal economics graduation course, Economics 495, as well as a statistics course in the recreation administration program.
Outside of the classroom, Ebeling enjoyed swimming, biking in Bidwell Park, traveling the world, and being actively involved in local and national politics. He was also a talented photographer, a lifelong hobby he shared with Frederica. Their beautiful landscape photographs were exhibited in their homes and could be seen at the monthly meetings of the Chico Camera Club.
He is survived by his wife Frederica. No benefits are provided.
Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Public Administration Program of the Department of Political Science.
The University flag will be lowered on Tuesday, August 16 in his memory.