James Johnson Advocates for Equality With the Next Leaders Fellowship

With his passion for inclusivity, Director of Educational Technology James Johnson, PhD, is paving the way for equality at Saint Mary’s by entering a prestigious fellowship program sponsored by The Next Leaders Fellowship (NLF). The NLF framework  highlights authentic solidarity and support of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and promotes their growth within higher education’s information technology community. The fellowship’s goal is to advocate and highlight these individuals in a historically white-dominated field to share learning and in turn, to bring about change on their campuses.  

“This way, we can get together and learn from mentors in the field of higher education IT,” said Johnson. “But, at the same time, we learn from each other and share stories. It’s looking at the shared experiences…various perspectives bring value to the field of information technology.” 

Johnson, who has more than 15 years of top performance in Educational Technology, is excited to earn this fellowship. “I get to be amongst mentors and peers from across the nation, so I’m really excited, especially knowing how competitive the fellowship is and the benefit it gives the participants.” 

“The NLF is a great opportunity for mentorship and interaction with other colleagues from underrepresented groups. It’s an opportunity to move forward in this field of higher education IT,” Johnson added. The fellowship is a year-long commitment and will help Johnson make connections with peers from around the country. 

Whether he’s working on projects to get students’ preferred names and pronouns into the system at the College, or something more institutional, Johnson is a huge supporter of inclusivity as it pertains to helping students. 

A strong advocate for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, he has been incorporating such ideologies and ideas into the work he does at Saint Mary’s. “I’ve been doing DEI work for a long time. I’ve conducted research utilizing Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Black Feminist Thought (BFT). I love the work. I’ve worked with our last chief of diversity officer on a couple of initiatives. I’m also part of NADOHE, the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education.” Johnson has also worked on the Zoom policy, focused on making sure every student has equitable access to Zoom. 

Saint Mary’s College of California congratulates Dr. Johnson on earning this Next Leaders Fellowship and looks forward to the change he brings to campus. Read more about EdTech here.