N.C. A&T’s Ward-Johnson Named to National Humanities Alliance Board of Directors

By Markita C. Rowe / 06/02/2023 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 2, 2023) – Frances Ward-Johnson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), a nationwide coalition of organizations advocating for the humanities on campuses, in communities and on Capitol Hill.

Founded in 1981, NHA is supported by more than 260 organizations, including colleges, universities, libraries, museums, cultural organizations, state humanities councils, and scholarly, professional and higher education associations. It is the only U.S. organization that brings together the humanities community as a whole.

“I am incredibly honored to serve on the National Humanities Alliance board of directors,” said Ward-Johnson. “I look forward to continuing to advocate for the humanities and advancing the mission of NHA.”

Ward-Johnson joins the board as the only representative from a historically Black college or university. She has more than 30 years of experience in higher education and has served on numerous boards, including most recently ArtsGreensboro, a community-supported organization that is the largest public and private alliance dedicated to sustaining the Triad arts economy.  

As CAHSS dean, Ward-Johnson provides oversight for six academic departments: English, criminal justice, history and political science, journalism and mass communication, liberal studies, and visual and performing arts. She leads the college’s mission to be responsive to change by preparing students for a global workforce through providing high quality academic programs, scholarly research and services that are innovative and interdisciplinary.

Under Ward-Johnson’s leadership, CAHSS has received more than $2.5 million in grant awards related to the humanities and she is committed to showing the importance of the impact of the humanities on higher education. In addition, she has led the university’s development of a Center of Excellence for Social Justice focused on eliminating social justice inequities.

As a member of the NHA board of directors, Ward-Johnson will meet throughout the year with leaders of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Modern Language Association, the American Historical Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American Universities, and other organizations and universities. Their goal will be to spread the word about the insights, cross-cultural understanding, wisdom and compassion gained by supporting the humanities.

Before joining N.C. A&T, Ward-Johnson served in various leadership roles and as a tenured faculty member at Elon University for 15 years, including as a Faculty Fellow for Leadership in the provost’s office, where she championed the institution’s commitment to leadership education. She co-led study abroad programs to Barbados and Greece and taught a domestic study away course for many years where she guided leadership fellows on a tour of the Deep South to study civil rights and leadership.  

Before her tenure at Elon, Ward-Johnson was a faculty member in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at A&T. Prior to that, she served as the internal and external communications manager for the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the world's top providers of leadership development and executive education, headquartered in Greensboro. 

Ward-Johnson is an honors graduate of A&T where she earned a B.A. in English and M.A. in English and African American literature. She holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a graduate of the Institute of Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University.

Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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