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Out professor named NU school dean
2020-06-12

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E. Patrick Johnson has been named dean of Northwestern University's School of Communication, Interim Provost Kathleen Hagerty announced.

Johnson—the Carlos Montezuma Professor of African American Studies and Performance Studies at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication ( SoC )—joined Northwestern 20 years ago and has served in several leadership roles over those decades.

A first-generation college student, Johnson was the first African American from his hometown to receive a doctorate, the first African American to be hired and tenured in the Department of Performance Studies and the first to be given a named professorship in the School of Communication.

"I am truly honored and humbled to be selected as the next dean of the School of Communication. I stand on the shoulders of my grandmother and my mother, neither of whom ever stepped foot on a university campus except to celebrate my graduations and accomplishments, but from whom I learned how to be a committed scholar, artist and advocate for social justice," Johnson said in a statement. "As I step into this new role, I carry their tenacity and determination with me.

Johnson—who has written books such as Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women is in the LGBTQ Nonfiction—also is among an esteemed group of individuals named as the newest class of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


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