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Royel Johnson

Penn State University

Dr. Royel M. Johnson is on the faculty in the Department of Education Policy Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is also Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education. Dr. Johnson is a nationally recognized scholar, whose interdisciplinary research addresses issues of educational access, racial equity, and student success. His work has an unapologetic focus on racially/ethnically minoritized and other institutionally marginalized populations including young people with foster care experience and justice-involved youth. Dr. Johnson maintains a highly active program of research with over 40 academic publications, in addition to three forthcoming books/monographs. Moreover, he is principal investigator (PI), or Co-PI, on grants and contracts exceeding $5.1 million. He has delivered over 100 talks, lectures, and workshops for various stakeholders, instantiating his commitment to connecting research to policy and practice to improve the material conditions of underserved populations. For his early-career accomplishments, he received the 2020 Distinguished Young Alumni Award from the University of Illinois; ACPA—College Student Educators International’s 2020 Emerging Scholar Award; and the 2021 Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award, recognizing “exemplary leadership” in Penn State’s College of Education. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Ed.M. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs, with a cognate in Race and Social Policy from Ohio State.