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Andrea Johnson, Ph.D.

February 2022

Andrea JohnsonSpelman alumna Andrea Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer and information sciences, is a researcher who has gotten much joy from seeing people experience technology and innovation. By always pushing to ask the hard "why" questions and thinking about consumers' needs and goals, she strives to ensure products and experiences positively impact people's lives. In 2021, she received an award to join the Consortium for Enabling Technologies and Innovation. In this collaboration, Dr. Johnson has been able to continue her research developing and evaluating curricula that assesses and improves students' computational thinking skills as it pertains to preparation for future technical careers.

What excites you most about being a Research Day quad chair this year? How do you plan to make a difference?

I am excited to engage with students and faculty again with a sense of returning to normalcy. Discussions about research will remind us that while our world is in turmoil, we are still engaged and participating in the making the world a better place. My hope is that my participation will add ways to highlight interdisciplinary work and opportunities for students to better understand why college and developing in their crafts is more important than ever.

What are your research interests and what projects are you working on now?

My research interests will always align with how people engage with technology and how we can use technology to innovate on the human experience. My current research projects are focused on improving students' instructional experience in the computing education space. Understanding how we instruct students today helps us better prepare them for the careers of tomorrow.

Why is it important for Spelman students to participate in Research Day? What advantage does it give them over their peers?

Participating in Research Day is important because in my opinion college is all about the science of learning. Research Day highlights students efforts toward developing that expertise but also gives them the opportunity to present their work, building personal and professional confidence as well as networking among their peers and faculty. Participation gives students an advantage because it helps polish/build their portfolios and helps them build networks that can last well beyond their time at Spelman. Exposure to research also helps them begin to think about different opportunities beyond traditional industry careers.

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