For 43 years Dr. Joy Koesten and her husband Stewart have called Johnson County home. Her relationship with Johnson County Community College stretches back almost as far. Higher education has been at the center of Joy’s professional life for over two and a half decades.


As a stay-at-home mom, Joy took courses at Johnson County Community College to complete her teaching certification, and re-entered the workforce as a substitute teacher in the Blue Valley and Olathe school districts. A few years later, she returned to JCCC as a trainer and consultant for local businesses, as part of the JCCC Business and Industry Institute. After earning her masters degree at the University of Kansas, Joy joined the faculty at JCCC as an part-time adjunct faculty member while working on her doctorate in Communication Studies. She continued to teach part time at JCCC through 2016.

After obtaining her doctorate in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, Dr. Koesten served as a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Communication at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., as an assistant research professor in the Department of Family Medicine at University of Kansas Medical Center, and as assistant dean of the graduate school at the University of Kansas. Dr. Koesten's research focused on family communication, interpersonal communication, and health. She has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and presentations. Her full record of professional and community service can be found here, on her CV.

“JCCC is very important to me, having served on its Foundation board as President as well as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for over 20 years. Joy has the intellect and practical experience to serve as a Trustee and most important, to work as a team member with the other Trustees.”

- Stewart Stein, campaign treasurer

Years later, JCCC was instrumental in laying a career foundation for one of Joy's children, who wasn’t ready to go right into college after high school. Instead, she received training for her massage therapy license from JCCC. For 16 years she used that education to support herself and her family as she pursued further goals, eventually going back to school to earn her doctorate. She is currently an assistant professor at a university in Tennessee.

In addition to her life in academia, Joy served in the Kansas Legislature, and, along with her husband, founded Aspyre Wealth Partners in 1996. Their successful firm provides fee-only financial planning and wealth management services.


Joy has served the community in a variety of other ways over the years, most notably as a trained advocate and educator for the Kansas National Alliance on Mental Illness, and as a trained advocate and board member of the Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). In 2019, Joy and Stewart launched a campaign to fund an Endowed Professorship in Developmental and Behavioral Health at Children's Mercy Hospital supporting research in adolescent depression and suicide prevention. She currently serves as an appointed member of the Johnson County Charter Commission and as a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee.

“I enthusiastically endorse Joy Koesten as a candidate for JCCC Board of Trustees. Joy's educational and professional background, combined with her years of outstanding community service in Johnson County, uniquely qualify her to serve as a Trustee of the College and as a valued asset to the Board.”

- Carol Sader, former state legislator and Trustee

Johnson County Community College offers an affordable, high-quality education. Joy understands the value education brings to our residents throughout their lifespan, as well as the value of our educated workforce to the businesses of our region. As a member of the JCCC Board of Trustees, she will work to uphold our long standing tradition of supporting world-class higher education.