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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Avra Johnson

Page address:

Associate Professor

Dr. Avra Johnson

Department of Government   

Minnesota State University Mankato

Morris Hall 221C

Contact information:

Phone: (507) 389-6937 (Office)

             (507) 389-2721


Academic Degrees

Ph.D.  Public Policy, Indiana University, 2001, Bloomington, Indiana

M.A. Government, Texas Woman University, 1990, Denton, Texas

B.S. Political Science, University of Houston, 1978, Houston, Texas

Academic Positions

Associate Professor, 2006-Present. Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN

  • Assistant Professor, 2001-2005
  • Graduate Director, 2004-2006
  • Chaired 10 Student Alternative Paper Papers

Lecturer, Fall, 1996-2001. Texas Woman University, Denton, TX

Adjunct Professor, Spring, 1996. Texas Woman University, Denton, TX

Professional Positions

Interim Assistant Vice President for Planning, Research and Assessment, Minnesota State Univeristy, Mankato, Minnesota, (2006-Present)

Project Manager for National Survey of Engagement (NSSE) and Noel-Levitz, Minnesota State University, Mankato, (2007-Present)

Summary of responsibilities included performing and supervising programs and services that result in continuing improvement of the university and demonstrate that the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission and decision-making.

¨      Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
¨      Broad range planning and strategic planning
¨      Assessment and accountability studies
¨      Accreditation support for the Higher Learning Commission
¨      Support Enrollment Management
¨      Environmental scanning for recruitment and retention
¨      Training and support services for college and department program reviews, planning and analysis
¨      Support innovative data management systems
¨      Institutional research for state and federal reporting
¨      Other survey research as required
¨      Serve as facilitator and/or liaison to various committees and task forces
¨      Serve on the President’s Cabinet
¨      Serve on all executive meet & confer committees/institutional wide committees
Research AssistantResearch Assisant, 1992-1995. Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN
Program FacilitatorProgram Facilitator, 199-1992. Institute for the Study of Development Disabilities, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Associate InstructorAssociate Instructor,1991-1992. Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant,1989-1990. Texas Women University, Denton, TX
Student-TeacherStudent-Teacher,1989. Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Carrollton, TX


Fellowships and Awards

¨      Pathfinder Award Recipient (January 2011)
¨      Luoma Academy for Leadership and Development (08/2006)
¨      Participant, Minnesota Academy for Leadership and Development (08/2005)
¨      Wye Fellow Program, The Aspen Institute Wye Faculty Seminar (07/2005)
¨      Research Reassignment (Spring 2004)
¨      Gamma Sigma Alpha Professor of the Year Award Nominee (2002)
¨      Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher for the College of Arts and Sciences, (2000-2001)
¨      McNair Faculty Mentor
¨      Pioneer for Diversity Faculty Award (Fall 1998 and Spring 1999)
¨      Who’s Who Among America Teachers (1998-2000) (multiple recipient)
¨      Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities (1990)
¨      American Political Science Association Minority Scholarship (1990)
¨      Phi Alpha Theta (1989)
¨      Pi Sigma Alpha (1988)



¨      Mankato, MN, YWCA Board Member
¨      Mankato, MN, YWCA Board Member – President (2009-2010)
¨      Minnesota Council for Quality Board of Evaluators (Present)
¨      ASPA Minnesota Planning Committee (2004-2005)
¨      IFO Executive Committee (2005-2006)
¨      Program Review & Assessment, Chair (2005-2006)
¨      IFO Multicultural Issues Committee (state) (2004-2005) (2005-2006)
¨      CSBS Research Committee, Chair (2005-2006)
¨      CSBS Dean Search Ad Hoc Committee (2005-2006)
¨      Political Science Curriculum Committee (2004-2005) (2005-2006)
¨      Advisory Council for Ethnic Graduate Organization
¨      Diversity Education Enhancement Workshops Committee
¨      CSBS Research Committee, Co-chair (2003-2004) (2004-2005)
¨      University Program Review & Assessment Faculty Sub-Meet and Confer (2003-2004) (2004-2005)
¨      Political Science & Ethnic Studies Ad Hoc Search Committees
¨      McNair Scholars Advisory Committee (2003-2004)
¨      Bremer Grant Work Group (2003-2004)
¨      Minnesota State Mankato Assessment Committee (Gen Ed #9)
¨      College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Committee (2002-2003)
¨      Women Studies Search Committee (Spring 2003)
¨      Department Personnel Committee (2002-2003) and (2003-2004)
¨      MNSU McNair Scholar Grant Committee (Fall 2002)
¨      Department Curriculum Committee (2001-2002)
¨      Law Enforcement Search Committee (2001-2002)
¨      Library & Media Services Committee, Chair (2000-2001)
¨      Neighborhood Advisory Commission, Carrollton, Texas
¨      State Employee Charitable Contribution Steering Committee
¨      Theses and Professional Paper Committees of Graduate Students (1998-2001)
¨      Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
¨      Department Special Event Committee Chair
¨      Library and Media Services, Texas Woman University
¨      Black History Planning Committee, Texas Woman University
¨      State Employee Charitable Contribution Committee, Texas Woman University
¨      Sociology Faculty Search Committee
¨      Training Committee, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
¨      Minority Vendor Fair, United Way of Central Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana
¨      Working Group on Citizen Participation, City of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana

 Consulting Experience

¨      Minnesota Council for Quaility Site Visit
¨      Trainer for Trainers of Diversity Training Trainers Workshops
¨      City of Indianapolis Department of Planning
o   Near Westside Neighborhood Plan
o   Southeast Neighborhood Plan (Fountain Square-Fletcher Place)
¨      Near Westside Neighborhood Planning Strategy (Annie Casey) Indianapolis, Indiana
o   Indianapolis CDCs Taskforce on Affordable Housing
o   Newton County Sheriff, Newton, Indiana

Technical Training

¨      Minnesota Council for Quality Evaluator Training (2007, 2008 & 2009)
¨      Baldrige Goes to College Training (October, 2006)
¨      SCUP Planning Institute (Planning I, II & III)
¨      Desire2Learn On-line training (October 2005)
¨      NASPAA Site Visitor Training, ICMA 91st Annual Conference (September 26, 2005)
¨      Understanding and Dismantling Racism: Introductory Anti-Racism Training and Orientation to Anti-Racist Organizing, Inter Faculty Organization (January 27, 2005) Designing and Implementing A Diversity Initiative, National Multicultural Institute (Fall Conference 2004)
¨      Facilitation Skills Workshop (April 13, 2004)
¨      SPSS Windows Statistical Training Workshop (September 1998 and February 1999)
¨      Community Economic Development Training, Indiana Legal Services Support Center (ILSSC) and the National Economic Development and Law Center (NEDLC), Indianapolis, IN (September 18, 1993)
¨      Consolidated Plan Training, HUD, Indianapolis, IN (October 31-November 2, 1994)
¨      Board Member Training, Martindale-Brightwood CDC, Indianapolis, IN (Fall 1994)


 Related Teaching Experience

•U S National Government                             •Seminar in Public Policy (Fall 2003)
•Texas Government                                        •Urban Politics/Policy (Spring 2004)
•Public Administration                                   •Neighborhood/Community Development
•Seminar: Public Administration                    •State Politics/Policy
•Political Participation                                    •Program Evaluation
•Public Policy Analysis                                   •Budget and Fiscal Management
•Government Contracting                               •African American Politics
•Nonprofit Management                                 •Collective Bargaining (Spring 2003)


Fields of Specialization

•Primary Field:           Public Policy
•Secondary Fields:   American Politics, Urban Affairs
                •Research:                 Fiscal Crisis in State Government, Community and Neighborhood 
                                                     Development, especially focusing on Community Development     



Swindell, David, Sue Crawford, and Avra J. Johnson, Citizen Participation in an Era of Reinventing Government, Research in Public Administration (Fall 1998).
Booker, Queen Esther, and Avra J. Johnson, Study in Implementing a Neural Network Model to Assess Unauthorized Attempts to a County Hospital Computer Systems, presented at the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines
Conference (IABPAD), Dallas, TX (May 23-26, 2005) Conference Proceedings. (re-submitted for journal publication)
Granberg-Rademacker, J. Scott, Jeffrey Bumgarner, Avra J. Johnson, Do School Violence Policies Matter? An Empirical Analysis of Four Approaches to Reduce School Violence. Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice (Spring 2007). 

Technical Reports


Johnson, Avra J., An Evaluation of Early Childhood Program, Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities (1992)
Swindell, David, Thomas Cooke, and Avra J. Johnson, Transportation Needs Assessment for the Near Westside Area: Indianapolis, IN, Center for Urban Policy and the Environment (1993)
Crawford, Sue, Avra J. Johnson, and David Swindell with Lydia Amerson, Roger B. Parks, and David M. Robb, Turning Toward Neighborhoods: A Preliminary Report, Center for Urban Policy and the Environment (1994), Publication
                No. 94-U31.
Amerson, Lydia, Sue E. S. Crawford, Avra J. Johnson, Roger B. Parks, David M. Robb, David Swindell, Turning Toward Neighborhood: Progress Report, Center for Urban Policy and the Environment.



Booker, Queen Esther and Avra J. Johnson, Study in Implementing a Neural Network Model to Assess Unauthorized Attempts to A County Hospital Computer Systems, presented at the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines Conference (IABPAD), Dallas, TX (May 23-26, 2005)
Granberg-Rademacker, Scott, Avra J. Johnson, and Jacob Helton, Jockeying
for Volunteers in a Second-Class Minnesota Metro-Area presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, IL (April 2005)
Johnson, Avra J., Navigating Your Path to Leadership in Public Management,
                presented at the UMANT Nuts & Bolts 2004 Program, University of Texas,          
                Dallas, Dallas, TX (January 30, 2004)
Johnson, Avra J., Racial/Ethnic Politics in St. Paul: The Emergence of
Hmong Political Participation, presented at NAES Conference, Phoenix, AZ
(April 4-6, 2003)
Johnson, Avra J., Tripartisanship and Rebudgeting: Minnesota Budget Crisis, presented at ASPA District IV Midwest Regional Conference, Omaha, NE (October 24-26, 2002)
Johnson, Avra J., Comparative Analysis of Community Development Corporations in Indianapolis and their Structures and Activities, presented at 2002 Annual Community Development Society Conference, Cleveland, MS (July 20-24, 2002)
Johnson, Avra J., Community Development and Immigration: An Exploratory Study, presented at 2002 Annual Meeting of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, Vancouver, Canada (April 4-6, 2002)
Parks, Roger B., Avra J. Johnson, and David Robb, Lydia Amerson, Sue E. S. Crawford, and David Swindell, Neighborhood Empowerment: Can It Happen? Does It Matter, presented at 1996 Annual Meetings of the Urban Affairs Association, New York, NY (March 13-16, 1996)
Parks, Roger B., Lydia Amerson, Avra J. Johnson, David Robb, Sue E. S. Crawford, and David Swindell, Neighborhood Empowerment: Can It Happen? Does It Matter?, presented at 1995 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago Hilton and Towers (August 31-September 3, 1995)
Johnson, Avra J., David Swindell, and Sue E. S. Crawford, Grantsmanship and Citizenship: Lessons from the Near Westside, presented at the 25th Urban Affairs Association in Portland, OR (May 3-6, 1995)
Johnson, Avra J., Moving Beyond Housing: The Inclusion of Social and Economic Development, presented at the Near North Development Corporation Board Meeting, Indianapolis, IN (March 28, 1995)
Johnson, Avra J., Views from the Neighborhoods: Church Involvement in Community Development, presented at the Butler University Symposium on Black Churches: Community Development and Public Policy, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, (October 18, 1994)
Johnson, Avra J. and Roger B. Parks, Executive Leadership and the Provision of Housing: Who is Providing Affordable Housing in Indianapolis?, presented at the 1994 Annual Meeting of Urban Affairs Association in New Orleans, LA (March 3-5, 1994)
Johnson, Avra J., Community Development Corporations in Indianapolis: A Comparative Analysis, presented at the 23rd Urban Affairs Association in Indianapolis, IN, (April 22, 1993)
Crawford, Sue E. S., Gina L. Davis, Richard C.K. Hung, Avra J. Johnson, Roger B. Parks, Thomas A.P. Sinclair, and David Swindell, Neighborhoods and Local Organizations in Indianapolis: Speculation and Hypotheses, presented at the 1992 Annual Meeting of Political Science Association in Chicago, IL, (September 4, 1992)
Johnson, Avra J., Race, Class, and Presidential Voting in Congressional Districts, presented at the 1992 Indiana Political Science Association in Bloomington, IN, (April 24, 1992)

Professional Affiliations


¨      American Society for Public Administration
¨      International City/County Management Association
¨      Minnesota American Society for Public Administration 
¨      Minnesota Council for Quality
¨      Society for College and University Planning
¨      Association for Institutional Research
¨      Baldrige National Quality Program
¨      Association for Budgeting and Financial Management