It’s always nice to be appreciated for doing what you love, says Dr. Joanna Johnson, Senior Lecturer of English, who was recently honored for her work in the classroom and on the UT Arlington campus.
In August, Johnson was awarded the UT System Board of Reagents Outstanding Teaching Award. She was one of a handful of UT Arlington professors to win a UT System honor.
“She backs up her enthusiasm in the classroom with ways to help students improve their thinking and writing,” said Dr. Wendy Faris, Chair of the Department of English. “She’s really gifted in figuring out what students need. She teaches a lot of courses that not everybody teaches, and students like that a lot.”
Johnson’s classes include Argumentative Writing, Children’s Literature, Young Adult Literature, and Creative Writing from picture books through Young Adult literature. “Teaching doesn’t have to be about the one subject in the classroom,” she said.
But it isn’t only Johnson’s enthusiastic involvement with students in the classroom that garnered attention for the UT teaching award. She’s also very active on campus.
“I want my students to be in their university, not just at it,” Johnson said. She encourages her students “to be an active participant in their own education and not a passive bystander.”
Johnson received her master’s and Ph.D. at UT Arlington. As a professor, Johnson volunteers outside of the classroom with freshman groups like FLOC; has been a fraternity advisor; presents on academic etiquette at student leadership retreats; and is involved with many other student activities.
“Dr. Johnson is not only enthusiastic and helpful with students in the classroom, but also outside,” Faris said. “She’s been very involved in freshman interest groups and mentor groups.”
Teachers across the University of Texas System’s nine academic institutions are eligible for the UT System Board of Reagents Outstanding Teaching Award. The award acknowledges and rewards teachers for outstanding undergraduate performance and innovation.
Last year, Johnson won the UT Arlington Provost Award.
[Story by Amanda Enriquez, COLA Communications]