College of Education faculty member cited as Emerging Scholar

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Royel M. Johnson, assistant professor of higher education within the Department of Education Policy Studies in the Penn State College of Education, has been selected as an Emerging Scholar Designee by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), a comprehensive student affairs organization that engages students for a lifetime of learning and discovery. He will receive the award at the ACPA20 convention that will be held March 2-5, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Royel M. Johnson Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

The Emerging Scholars Program “supports, encourages and honors early-career individuals who are emerging as contributors to student affairs and higher education scholarship and who are pursuing research initiatives congruent with the mission, interests and strategic goals of ACPA.”

“I am deeply honored to be selected for this award,” said Johnson. “And I am excited to be a part of an outstanding cohort of emerging scholars committed to advancing equity in higher education and student affairs.”

As an Emerging Scholar Designee, Johnson has been awarded a $3,000 grant to support his research on the college adjustment and transition experiences of students with criminal records. “This work is part of broader program of research focused on identifying institutional barriers to college access and success for our most underserved students,” Johnson said.

Additionally, as part of the terms of the award, he has agreed to support the Journal of College Student Development (the flagship student affairs journal) as a reviewer; will collaborate with a senior scholar on an ACPA convention session; and will co-author a commissioned white paper/policy paper on a contemporary issue of concern to the profession.

“As an Emerging Scholar, I will have an opportunity to increase my involvement in the association through progressively responsible leadership and service," Johnson said.

As a scholar, Johnson engages in interdisciplinary research related to educational access, equity, and student success; and the intersections between race, education and social policy. He frequently speaks at colleges/universities, professional conferences and leadership academies on issues related to college student engagement and sense of belonging; race-conscious student success practices; and diversity, equity and inclusion, among other topics, across a wide-range of disciplines and areas in higher education.

Last Updated April 15, 2021