Dr. Diane Johnson Talks Politics

Dr. Diane Johnson, associate professor of politics, is one of the professors who ensures the continued excellence of the College’s History, Politics, and Global Studies Department. While she now instructs students on American and comparative politics, she began her professional career with an interest in history. 

“I did my B.A. and first M.A. in history, but was always more interested in political history. As I progressed in my twenties, I became increasingly engaged in politics, so I switched to political science for my Ph.D. and changed my main regional emphasis from Europe to Latin America,” she explains. 

Her current research focus is mass media and political communication, and issues related to democratization, with a specialization in the politics of Latin America. She regularly conducts field research in Argentina and Uruguay, and has presented this research at conferences throughout the United States and Canada. 

For Dr. Johnson, the best aspect of working at The Valley is the students: “The size of the student body is big enough to make things interesting, but small enough to allow faculty to work closely with students, and to see them mature and develop over four years.”

Dr. Johnson encourages students to consider politics as part of everyone’s life, every day—it’s not just about elections, or issues that seem irrelevant to people in their late teens and early twenties, but involved in all types of organizations. Therefore, it is vital that citizens in a democracy are well-informed and knowledgeable about politics—and what better way to do that than study politics?

“Politics is a great major because it places so much emphasis on the kinds of skills and competencies that employers consistently say they seek: critical thinking, written and oral communication, information literacy, and problem-solving,” outlines Dr. Johnson.

When not in the classroom, Dr. Johnson can be found running or bicycling, or reading the latest detective novel. She also enjoys traveling around the world, and has an interest in home renovations, and has owned two “fixer-upper” houses in the past.