An associate professor of social work in the College of Community and Public Service, Dr. Johnson has been a member of the Grand Valley State University faculty since 1993. He spent over 15 years in professional practice prior to his career in academia, and has extensive international experience providing social work and establishing community-based programs in countries including Belarus, Armenia, Albania, and China.
His students commend him for encouraging them to be critical thinkers who strive to make a difference, and for reinforcing the importance of treating clients as equals despite their challenges, race, or cultural backgrounds. They have stated that his enthusiasm, realistic approach, and use of personal examples brought their subject material to life.
Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in counseling psychology from Columbia Pacific University, a master of social work from GVSU, and a doctorate in sociology from Western Michigan University.
He has authored and edited numerous books, articles and papers on varied topics in the social work field and is a frequent lecturer and workshop presenter. Johnson was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach at the University of Tirana in Albania for the 1998-99 and 2000-01 academic years, and a Civic Education Project-Teaching Award in 1998-99. He is a Certified Social Worker with the State of Michigan and won GVSU's Pew Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003.
Johnson lives with his wife Cheryl in Hopkins, MI.