- Juris Doctor, University of Wisconsin Law School
- Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Communication, Bowling Green State University
Jonas started teaching in 1965 and has experience teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, primarily in the areas of interpersonal and organizational communication, semantics, conflict resolution, persuasion, and public speaking. He has also taught business, agricultural, and criminal law; criminal procedure and evidence; psychology and the law; juvenile justice; and interviewing/interrogation at the undergraduate level.
Currently Jonas is retired and teaches for the criminal justice online programs and occasionally teaches organizational communication in the short term on campus at UW-Platteville.
Licensed as an attorney in Wisconsin since 1982, he closed his practice in 2002 to return to teaching as an adjunct senior lecturer. A certified mediator in both caucus and conference format, he mediated more than 100 cases over the last five years of his practice, primarily in court-ordered mediation in family law and civil cases.
Jonas grew up on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin, attended a one-room rural school, and taught high school English in Walworth and Burlington, Wisconsin. He has been married since 1967 to Patricia Petersen, now a retired high school English teacher and adjunct professor in the English department; together they have two grown sons, George Wendlin, a mechanical engineer/patent attorney in San Francisco area with SunPower Corporation, and Victor Petersen, also a mechanical engineer and lawyer but in private patent law practice with Faegre & Benson.
He enjoys hunting and fishing with his sons, traveling to and working in China, cooking, and attending musical and theatrical performances with his wife. His interests are quite varied, from learning about antique US tractors to learning more about Eastern philosophy to learning Chinese at an advanced age.
Important additions to the Jonas family are Sophia Patricia Jonas, born in 2000, who initially allowed him to add the title "Grappa" to his name. Sophie was joined by a brother, Henry Thomas, in 2003. Madeline Lauren Jonas joined them in 2005, and she called him “Grampa China” while he was ending the three-year tour of duty for UW-Platteville as the on-site coordinator programs in Wuhan, China. Her brother, Cooper Oliver Jonas, joined them in 2008.