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Jarrel T. Johnson

Assistant Professor | Higher Education


Dr. Johnson investigates issues of college student identities and higher education leadership and change across various institutional contexts. Currently, Dr. Johnson’s research agenda focuses on how institutional stakeholders (e.g., senior leadership, student affairs administrators, and faculty) at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) facilitate organizational change that is inclusive of queer and trans* students by employing higher education change and Black queer theory frameworks. Previously, Dr. Johnson served in student affairs practitioner roles leading programs and services aimed at increasing college access and success outcomes for at-promise students (e.g., students of color, first-generation college students, and/or low socioeconomic status students). Dr. Johnson aims to conduct transformative, and community engaged research on the lived experiences of Black queer and trans* students attending HBCUs in hopes that it will inform future higher education research, theory, practice, and policy. Equally important, Dr.  Johnson is inspired by the privilege to teach and learn from and alongside the next generation of higher education scholars and practitioners.

Areas of Expertise

Leadership / Policy


  • Johnson, J.T. (forthcoming) A Manifesto for Queer and Trans* Student Inclusion at HBCUs. In Johnson, J.M., Mobley, S., Njoku, N., Patton, LD (Eds.), Embracing Queer Students’ Diverse Identities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: A Primer for Presidents, Administrators, and Faculty. Rutgers University Press.
  • Johnson, J.T. (2021) The category is transformational inclusion: A conceptual framework for (re)imaging the inclusion of Black queer and trans* student attending HBCUs. In G. Crosby, K. White, M. Chanay, A. Hilton (Eds.), Reimaging Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Survival Beyond 2021. Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Johnson, J.T. (2020, November) The HBCU is queer: (Re)Imagining campus programming for inclusive Black liberation. Workshop presented at the Human Rights Campaign’s National HBCU Leadership Summit, Virtual Conference.
  • Johnson, J.T, Stone, B.D., Gwebu, K., Waddell, S.B., & Burt, B.A. (2019, May) Black and in graduate school: Exploring the scholar identity development of Black men. Research paper presented at the annual meeting of the Korean Association for Multicultural Education, Seoul, South Korea.
  • Johnson, J.T. (2018, October) Conceptualizing Black gay and bisexual males’ identities at HBCUs. Presented at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education (ICBME), Ireland.

Honors & Awards

  • Dissertation Fellow, National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, 08/2020
  • Asa G. Hillard III and Barbara A. Sizemore Fellow, American Educational Research Association, 04/2019
  • Presidential Scholar, Iowa State University, 08/2017