LaToya Johnson, Ph.D., uses her degree to impact the lives of students through her role as assistant professor and academic program coordinator
LaToya Johnson received her Ph.D. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education in 2020 from Texas Tech University. Johnson was recently awarded South Carolina State University (SCSU) Professor of the Year. She is an assistant professor and academic program coordinator for the Family and Consumer Sciences Business/Multidisciplinary program at SCSU.
In her current role, Johnson teaches courses, advises students, serves on college and university committees, and researches various topics related to Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE). She is also responsible for program development and assessment, in addition to improving growth and retention within the program. Johnson said working with her students is her favorite part of her job.
"It's nice to see when the student 'gets it' when they make a connection between what they are learning in my class to what's going on in their personal life and in the real world," Johnson said. "I really like the fact that what I teach is related to issues going on in society in real-time. As society changes, so do my topics and teaching strategies."
During her time in the FCSE doctoral program, Johnson conducted research and training with experts in the field. Students in the Family and Consumer Sciences Education graduate program also receive a professional foundation that can be used at all levels of education. Johnson said this program prepared her to know the great responsibility of working in higher education as a faculty member.
"Every class that I took within my program has been implemented in some way in my current role at South Carolina State University," Johnson said. "I feel that I'm a better educator when it comes to promoting critical thinking in my students, assessing programs, and being a contributing member in the realm of academia."
After meeting with the faculty, staff, and current students, Johnson said she knew this program would help her advance her career. As the only Family and Consumer Sciences Education Ph.D. program in the nation, the degree aims to provide students with a support system inside and outside the classroom. Johnson said she grew as an individual and professional by completing this program.
"The faculty is top-notch and they truly want you to be successful. In addition, they are true experts in their respective fields," Johnson said. "I was able to take advantage of so many opportunities that I know I would not have gotten at any other university."