The College is pleased to announce the appointment of Erica N. Johnson, Ph.D., as our first director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). Johnson will oversee initiatives to ensure Wilson is welcoming to and supportive of all its constituents. “Wilson College has a rich history of empowering marginalized groups,” Johnson said, “as evidenced in the founding of the institution [to educate women], and the commitment to this new position just builds on that legacy of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Wilson President Wesley R. Fugate, Ph.D., has made expanding access to a liberal arts education to people from all backgrounds a cornerstone of his presidency. The new position and Johnson’s appointment come directly out of his “President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” This commission identified areas where the College could improve in terms of inclusion and recommended hiring a director to oversee and promote such programs and initiatives.
Johnson comes to us from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, where she was the Assistant Director of the Center for Inclusion and Advocacy and served on the President’s Task for Transformative/High Impact Learning, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Access and Equity subcommittee, and the Interfaith Strategic Committee.
Dean of Students Mary Beth Williams said, “I am thrilled to bring in someone with such a wealth of knowledge and experience. She has great energy, and I look forward to the programs and initiatives she will implement across campus to positively impact our students, faculty, and staff.”
Johnson added, “I am so excited to be joining the Wilson family and having the opportunity to work with students and the entire campus community. I look forward to advancing work and conversations around justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout campus.”
Johnson received her doctorate in educational policy studies and evaluation in higher education from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky. Her dissertation was titled, “Lifting As We Climb: Experiences of Black Diversity Officers at Three Predominantly White Institutions in Kentucky.” She also has a master’s in education from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky., and a bachelor’s in psychology from Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky.
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