Marcus L. Johnson has joined the Virginia Tech School of Education as a professor of educational psychology and as associate director of the school’s Office of Educational Research and Outreach.

For the past 11 years, Johnson was a member of the School of Education faculty at the University of Cincinnati, where he was recently promoted to full professor.

“Dr. Johnson brings tremendous experience in teaching, research, faculty development, and external grant funding to the role of associate director,” said Kristin Gehsmann, director of the Virginia Tech School of Education. “He will help us amplify the outstanding work already underway in the school, connect with our stakeholders, and grow our research program. He will also advance our efforts to put innovation, diversity, equity, and transdisciplinary research at the fore.”

Johnson has a considerable record of publication and a strong record of external funding. During his tenure at the University of Cincinnati, he served as support faculty on a $6.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant focused on research and leadership for early childhood special education, as well as co-principal investigator on a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation aimed at investigating underrepresented high school students’ engagement and motivations for STEM majors and careers.

“Key to my vision for the Office of Educational Research and Outreach is growing and diversifying faculty members’ and students’ conceptualizations of what the office can do to help advance educational research and scholarly pursuits,” Johnson said. “This not only includes being central in managing grants for empirical research, but also extends to engaging in outreach efforts that support scholarly infrastructure, being a thought partner in developing innovative research, and supporting efforts and activities that help faculty and students pursue new and perhaps nontraditional avenues for grants and scholarship.”

Johnson earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Prior to his work in higher education, he taught high school science, and he continues to prioritize students’ learning.

“We’re thrilled to have Dr. Johnson join our faculty,” said Brett Jones, program leader of the Educational Psychology Program in the School of Education. “His expertise will contribute significantly to the range of experiences we can offer our students.”

Johnson serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals and holds elected offices in the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. He is the lead author of the American Psychological Association’s Division 15 Educational Psychology statement on racism. In 2019, Johnson received the University of Cincinnati’s Exemplary Service Award for his many contributions to his university, school, discipline, and the greater K–12 educational community.

“I look forward to learning more about faculty and student research, being a Hokie, and being among talented peers in the School of Education,” Johnson said. “I’m also looking forward to contributing to the school’s commitment to rigorous research, teaching excellence, and meaningful outreach. The work of the school’s faculty helps to improve the human condition, and I am proud to be joining this community.”

The Virginia Tech School of Education is a global catalyst for individual and social transformation through education, applied research, and advocacy. With 20 degree and certificate programs, the school offers students a range of pathway to serve the greater good. To learn more, visit the school’s website, or find the school on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn

Written by Sharon Stidham