Monica Johnstone, PhD

Title: Director of CLAS Communications and Advancement

Office: B-4-232 MAK

Phone: 616-331-8125

Fax: 616-331-3675


Monica Johnstone, PhD


  • CLAS website administration
  • Promotion of CLAS faculty, staff, and student achievements and events
  • CLAS alumni relations
  • CLAS liaison to University Development and Institutional Marketing
  • Staffing for CLAS Faculty Council
  • Assist the Dean with CLAS Student Advisory Committee
  • Assist the Dean with CLAS Alumni Board and Emeritus Committee
  • CLAS Acts TT faculty newsletter editor
  • The CLAS Teacher AFF, VIS and PT faculty newsletter editor
  • Quadrennial Report and annual report editor
  • Occasional teaching  (Teach Together)
  • Tailored distribution of news clips and grant announcements
  • GVSU Retirees Committee
  • Shakespeare Festival Committee
  • CLAS on the Green golf outing advisory committee
  • Fostering Laker Success Mentor, Inclusion Advocate, ODK, Vet Net Ally, University Leadership seminar 2013
  • Graduate Faculty, English, approved April 2017
  • Tasks as assigned by the Dean

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With a background spanning academe, development and industry, Monica brings a broad perspective to the college's communications, both internal and external. Her mission is to produce expanded offerings on the website, targeted publications, and improvements to communications with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of CLAS.

Monica was the recipient of the Levi Strauss Scholarship, the Charles Mills Gayle Fellowship, and a graduate teaching award and worked for the UC Berkeley Foundation during a major capital campaign.  She is a member of the Prytanean Society, the oldest collegiate women's honorary society in the United States.

After receiving her PhD in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley, Monica taught writing and public speaking at Loyola College in Baltimore and at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand. Monica is the author of several publications including refereed articles, travel writing, short fiction,  OpEd pieces,  annual reports and  book reviews. She has given speeches in four countries.

For 11 years, she worked for a national industry association in Sydney, Australia as speechwriter, editor-in-chief, webmaster, events planner, and systems administrator. She also served for three years on an elected board for a 1,000-member arts guild.

Her textile works frequently appear in a juried exhibitions such as ArtPrize, AQS, and Fiber577 and in collections including the GVSU permanent collection.  Her 80" by 80" work Roman Glass appeared in the August-November 2016 exhibition Circular Abstractions at the Muskegon Museum of Art and is touring to venues such as Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center (NY)Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Westmoreland Museum of American Art (PA). Another work, Patina: Ancient Amphora was  part of the international touring exhibition A Matter of Time.  In 2016, her work Red Shift received the National Association of Certified Quilt Judges Award of Merit.

Monica is an approved Graduate Faculty member, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a mentor in Fostering Laker Success, an Inclusion Advocate, has undergone QPR training, was the recipient of the 2016 Service to Community PRIDE Award, the 2015 CLAS Administrative and Professional Service Award, and the GVSU 2010 Administrative Professional Commitment to Diversity Award.  At GVSU, she  has taught ENG 340 Studies in Drama, WRT 350 Business Communication, COM 202 Critical Interpretation, and  COM 201 Speech.

In fall 2016 she became a Laker Mom.

Recent Talks

"Leading a Double Life" at the Allendale Quilters Guild, March 27, 2018

"Leaving Confrontation Behind—Lobbying Skills for an Inclusive Future", Leadership Summit 2018

"Tribute to Lynn Nakada", University of California at Berkeley, January 2018

"Introduction of Fred Antczak", Intro to keynote at National Association of Communication Centers, April 21, 2017

"Quilters Under Cover", behind the scenes look at Circular Abstraction Exhibition, Muskegon Museum of Art, September 22, 2016

"In Praise of a Glorious and Impossible Job", farewell reception of Mary Schutten, May 2015

"Musings on Leadership in the University" keynote at the AP Luncheon, April 16, 2015

"Seeking the Next Level", Metro Detroit Quilt Guild 2014

"Journey to the Year of Quilting Dangerously", Macomb County Quilt Guild April  2014

"How We Really Come to Change Our Public Mind? Some Surprising Case Studies in Persuasion", Leadership Summit 2012

Teach Together

Page last modified August 31, 2018