Leslie Johnson hired in Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Leslie Johnson, a social psychologist, has joined the full-time faculty of the Behavioral Sciences department.

“Dr. Johnson is the first social psychologist to join the full-time faculty at JSC,” said Professor of Behavioral Sciences, Gina Mireault, co-chair of the Behavioral Sciences department and chair of the search committee that hired Johnson.

“As a social psychologist, Dr. Johnson is trained in the quantitative tradition of research psychologists,” Mireault said. “Social psychology represents one of the broadest and richest areas within the field, and is credited for some of the most well-known studies in psychology… she will enhance the presence of social science research both in the psychology curriculum and through her own work on stigma.”

Johnson said that she believes her expertise as a social psychologist can help students expand their social-psychological horizons in the classroom as well as in a research environment.

“I hope to expand students’ perspectives on psychology, themselves, and the world in which we live through classroom and research experiences,” Johnson said. “I am always looking for student research collaborators and I would love for students to reach out to me to learn more about the work that I do and the opportunities that might be available for them to get involved.”

In addition to the opportunities Johnson herself can offer students, she is excited to be teaching in an institution that she feels is clearly student centered.

“I am thrilled to be at an institution that invests so thoroughly in student success,” Johnson said. “The resources available to students at JSC are outstanding and I am excited to be part of that tradition. As a former resident of Vermont, I am also happy to be back ‘home’ and feel very fortunate to have found a position that I feel will draw upon my strengths as an educator and researcher.”

Having come from Finlandia University in Michigan, Johnson said she is happy to be working now in a close-knit community, noting that the atmosphere of connection between teachers and students here drew her to JSC.

“The community here is rich and warm,” Johnson said. “Upon arrival here, I immediately felt welcomed by administrators, faculty, staff, and students. JSC truly has that something special that one only finds in Vermont… More than anything, I hope to become a meaningful member of the JSC community.”

According to faculty and students, Johnson is already on the right track.

“During her interview process, students were unanimously pleased with her teaching and research presentations, and were vocal about hoping she would be chosen to join our faculty,” Mireault said. “We are truly happy to have her here.”

The excitement is clearly mutual, and Johnson said she is already comfortable in her new professorial role.

“I am too excited to be nervous,” Johnson said. “There are so many things I would like to do and so many opportunities to explore here at JSC that any nervous energy I might feel is the result of the anticipation of possibility.”

Currently, Johnson is teaching only undergraduate courses. This semester, she is teaching Social Psychology as well as two sections of Introduction to Psychology.