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Johnson, Matthew

Professor and Program Director



Dr. Matt Johnson is a professor of higher education at Central Michigan University and serves as the program director for the Master’s in Higher Education Administration program. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland in college student personnel. His research focuses on the intersections of leadership, democratic engagement, and social justice. Prior to his appointment at Central Michigan University, Matthew served as a visiting assistant professor at Miami University, and before that, he taught Navy and Marine company officers for the US Naval Academy as part of the Navy LEAD program at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Johnson’s scholarship focuses on how colleges can foster students’ capacities for engaging in a diverse democracy, particularly conversations about and across differences and social perspective-taking. Dr. Johnson serves a project consultant for the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership and is a board member for the National Issues Forum. He has published over 45 journal articles and book chapters, including publications in the Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, and Journal of Leadership Education. He serves as an associate editor of the Journal of College & Character and is an editorial board member for Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors.

More about Matthew Johnson

Johnson, M. R., & Dattilo, S., & Williams, S. (2022). Everybody talks? The evolution of political talk among recent college graduates. Journal of College Student Development, 63(3), 283-299. doi:10.1353/csd.2022.0024.

Johnson, M. R., Schuneman, M., & McClure, S. (2022). Comparing the effects of COVID-19 on fraternity & sorority members and unaffiliated college students. Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, 17(1), 17-30.

Williams, S. R., Johnson, M. R., Ampaw, F., Benjamin, L S., Hinton, Q., Kolek, E., Hornak, A., & Wehrman, E. (2022). Measuring social perspective taking via two different pretest approaches: Does it matter? The Journal of College and Character, 23(3), 227-237. DOI: 10.1080/2194587X.2022.2087681

Williams, S., Johnson, M. R., Kolek, E. A., Hornak, A. M., Ampaw, F., & Gardner, K. (2021). Using inclusion assistants within a residential curriculum to improve the experiences and success of students with underrepresented identities. Journal of College and University Student Housing, 47(2), 45-61.

Johnson, M. R., & Soria, K. (Eds.) (2020). Evidence-based practices to strengthen leadership development. New Directions for Student Leadership, no. 168.

Ph.D., College Student Personnel, 2012, University of Maryland;

M.S. in College Student Personnel, Miami University, 2006;

B.B.A. in Marketing, Saginaw Valley State University, 2003

My research centers on the intersections of leadership, democratic engagement, and social justice. I am interested in how college students develop necessary capacities for democratic engagement with a particular emphasis on the role of collegiate experiences in building those capacities. I utilize both advanced qualitative and quantitative methods.

Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE);

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)

Courses Taught

EDL216: Race in Higher Education;

EDL700: Advanced Administrative Research Design;

EDL757: Student Development Theory;

EDL800: Qualitative Research Design