Amy Johnson named new director of the Elon Core Curriculum
Johnson, an assistant professor of history, moves into the role of director after teaching COR 110 and Core Capstone Seminars, as well as being tapped as Common Reading coordinator in 2015.
Amy Johnson, assistant professor of history, has been named the next director of the Elon Core Curriculum and will begin a four-year term in the new role on June 1.
During the next five months, Johnson will be observing and assisting Jeffrey Coker, associate professor of biology, who has served as director of the Elon Core Curriculum for the past six years. As director, Johnson will be responsible for recruiting faculty for courses within the curriculum such as COR 110 The Global Experience and Core Capstone Seminars, organizing six Core Forums each year, serving on wide range of advisory committees, collaborating with colleagues leading the residential campus initiative and other campus initiatives, and assessing the Elon Core Curriculum.
As a professor, Johnson has specialized in the study of slavery with a particular emphasis on early colonial Jamaica, and has delivered presentations in her field at regional, national, and international conferences. Her work has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies, the Journal of Caribbean History, and LIMINA: A Journal of Cultural and Historical Studies.
Johnson has already been deeply involved with the Elon Core Curriculum, teaching both COR 110 and upper-level Core Capstone Seminars. She was among the first faculty members to pilot residentially linked COR 110 classes and was an early participant in the Core Capstone initiative that transformed the seminars into integrative, interdisciplinary experiences for all Elon students. In 2015, Johnson moved into an important leadership role as the Common Reading coordinator for the Core Curriculum, tasked with coordinating events including the common reading author’s campus visit and faculty development around the common reading.
Johnson said it's "an honor and a privilege" to be selected as the next Core Curriculum director, noting that her work with the curriculum during the past has allowed her to gain a broader view of the university and its student body while being involved in something that's a bedrock of an Elon education.
"Every student has to pass through the general studies Core Curriculum at the university, and to me, it's the heart of liberal arts studies," Johnson said. "It's the heart of what we're going to deliver to our students."
As the first coordinator of Elon’s Poverty and Social Justice minor, Johnson collaborated with a team of faculty on a Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning grant to develop interdisciplinary curricula for the program and, as a regional leader with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, she has led work programs to prepare students for the consortium’s summer internship program. On campus, Johnson has given generously of her time and expertise as she has served on the advisory boards of several interdisciplinary programs and remained active in the service-learning community.
Johnson earned her bachelor's degree in history and Spanish from Tufts University and her master's and doctoral degrees in history from Duke University. She also holds a certificate in African and African-American Studies from Duke.
Coker will cap six years of leadership and service as director of the Elon Core Curriculum when Johnson steps into the role on June 1. During his time as director, he led the transition from General Studies to Core Curriculum including revisions to the First Year Foundations, implementation of the new Core Curriculum mission and goals, and the creation of prefixes for Global Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies. He was instrumental in implementing residentially linked COR 110 and ENG 110 sections and other important campus initiatives, such as Elon’s “Are You Ready” website for incoming first year students.
Additional Core Curriculum enhancements have included Core Capstone experiences, the COR 110 forum series, Common Reading programs and programmatic assessment.