Kelli Lyon Johnson

M.A. Foreign Languages and Literatures/French, 1996
Ph.D. English, 2003

Kelli Lyon Johnson

Dr. Kelli Johnson began developing a reputation for excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship as a student at NIU while claiming her Master’s degree in French (1996) and Ph.D. in English (2003).

In the Department of English, Dr. Johnson assisted in both composition and literature courses and in interdisciplinary courses in Women’s Studies. Professor Amy Levin, Director of Women’s Studies, notes that her teaching “garnered high praise,” that she has “distinguished herself in public service,” and that she “exemplifies the best qualities we wish to see in our graduates.”

Dr. Johnson began her professional career at Miami University of Ohio in 2003 as an Assistant Professor of English where she quickly achieved tenure and promotion. She served as Acting Director of the Latin American Studies program for a year. She was recently promoted to Associate Professor and is currently Associate Dean of the Hamilton campus and the University’s Director of the Center for Civic Engagement.

At Miami University, Dr. Johnson has taught courses such as American Women Writers; Native American Literature; Appalachian Literature; Latino/ a Literature and the Americas; and Gender and Genre. Developing and teaching such courses reflects her commitment to an inclusive curriculum in which women and minorities literature is included and all students learn about diversity.

Her contributions to the university, the college, and the department, include service on committees such as: Campus Concerns Committee; Diversity Committee; Assessment Fellow, Office of Liberal Education; Regional Campus Curriculum Coordinating Council; and Strategic Enrollment Team. She has served on the Appalachian Studies Committee since 2007. As Professor Philip Eubanks, Chair of the Department of English, says, Dr. Johnson’s institution clearly recognizes her “intelligence and substance.”

Her commitment to service extends to the community, as well. For example, Dr. Johnson currently serves on the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton; the Lane Public Library, and the Community Action Council, Butler County United Way.

Dr. Johnson is a productive writer with two published books, Julia Alvarez: Writing a New Place on the Map and Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women’s Theater and seven book chapters or journal articles. Her strong writing is also in demand from multiple journals and she is currently working on several essays on literature and human rights. Her current book project is titled Words to Save the World: Narrating Human Rights.

Dr. Diana Swanson says, “Dr. Johnson’s career exemplifies our college’s values of rigorous scholarship, engaged and challenging teaching, and community service.”