MSHE Alumni Spotlight: Brianna Johnson

MSHE Alumni Spotlight: Brianna Johnson

By Chris Neary

brianna-johnson_msheadlines.jpgBrianna Johnson (MS’13) serves as the Program Manager for The Ohio Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP) housed in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University. The following is an excerpt from our conversation with Brianna, click here to read the complete interview with MSHE Graduate Assistant Cristian Ventura.

Cristian Ventura: Can you tell me about your role as a Program Manager in the Ohio Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program?

Brianna Johnson (she/her): What I do as Program manager is serve as the liaison between the other nine institutions, the Alliance, and the Ohio State University, which is the lead institution. We have ten institutions total — six four-year universities and four two-year colleges that are community colleges/technical colleges, all of which make up the Alliance. The Alliance has a National Science Foundation supported program, so the Ohio State University manages the grant to make sure that the funds get dispersed to each of the institutions, ensuring that they can administer the same program on their campuses for their particular populations. What I do is communicate with each of the program coordinators at each institution to support them as they are putting on program for their students.

Ventura: What do you find challenging about your position?

Johnson: The major challenge is finding individualized ways to support each of the ten institutions with ten different organizational contexts, policies, and student populations. Making sure that they are all supported and have the resources they need, not just financial but informational and other types of support, is one challenge that I have overcome with bi-monthly meetings for program coordinators to come together and share ideas. They share about overcoming certain challenges they are overcoming, what ideas they have for certain programming obligations, how they track their data, and I help them to bring Together all the expertise from across the Alliance.

Ventura: How are you, in either your current role or otherwise, addressing issues or furthering the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field of higher education?

Johnson: In addition to increasing diversity, we instead really focus on promoting inclusion by providing professional development workshops for our faculty and staff who work with our students. I design and lead those workshops to talk about topics like culturally responsive mentoring and the support system needed. I also have my own research program that examines diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, where I focus on understanding the policies and practices that are advanced within a university’s organizational contexts.

Contact Us

MS in Higher Education Administration and Policy Program

1800 Sherman Avenue, Suite 7300
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-7526