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Erica N. Johnson Joins DCEG in the Role of DEIA Resource Specialist

, by Maura Kate Costello, M.A.

Headshot of Erica N. Johnson, Ph.D., M.A. [C]

In September 2022, Erica N. Johnson, Ph.D., M.A. (C), joined DCEG as Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility (DEIA) Resource Specialist. In this role, she will serve as the primary resource for developing DCEG’s organizational strategy for DEIA and cross-cultural initiatives. Dr. Johnson will ensure diverse pools of candidates are considered for scientific positions at all levels; monitor and report on division-wide DEIA initiatives; and collaborate with other NIH and NCI Offices to implement and enhance programs within DCEG.   

Prior to joining DCEG, Dr. Johnson was most recently the inaugural Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where she collaborated with human resources to provide training to staff, faculty, and administration; worked closely with student affinity groups and the student government association on campus programming initiatives. She held a similar role at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where she served on the President’s Task for Transformative/High Impact Learning; the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Access and Equity subcommittee; and the Interfaith Strategic Committee. In addition to higher education, Dr. Johnson has worked with justice-involved individuals with addictions as both a supervisor and volunteer.   

Dr. Johnson's vision is to move beyond a conception of diversity based on inclusion of people from different backgrounds present in the workplace. Instead, she wants to help DCEG create an inclusive culture where everyone feels appreciated, valued, respected, and treated fairly. This concept of belonging is critical to sustaining equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workplace.  

In reflection upon her first weeks, Dr. Johnson said, “I am fortunate that conversations have already begun about this work and that there is an interest in making our Division one that not only has diversity, but also inclusion and belonging, the goals of diversity.” 

Dr. Johnson received her Ph.D. in educational policy studies and evaluation in higher education from the University of Kentucky, Lexington. Her dissertation was titled, “Lifting as We Climb: Experiences of Black Diversity Officers at Three Predominantly White Institutions in Kentucky.” She earned her M.A. in education from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, and her B.A. in psychology from Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky. 

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