susan johnson
Susan
Johnson
Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Education, Associate Professor
Hirt 300

Susan D. Johnson, Ph.D. is the chair of the Department of Education at Mercyhurst University. She specializes in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders and emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth. Her scholarly interests include instructional design and development of pedagogical best practices for students with severe disabilities.

Dr. Johnson’s primary teaching areas are in Low Incidence Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Family/Community Relationships in Education. Previous to teaching at Mercyhurst, Dr. Johnson spent 15 years in NY and VA working as a public school and private agency speech/language therapist and special education teacher. She has been at Mercyhurst since 2010.

EDUCATION:

Gannon University                                          
Ph.D., Organizational Learning & Leadership
Dissertation title: “A Phenomenological Study of Pre-service Teacher Perceptions of Children in Poverty and Families who are Poor”    

St. Bonaventure University                                                       
M.S. Ed., Special Education
Thesis:  “Facilitating and Increasing Turn-taking Skills in Children with Autism Using Neurotypical Peers as Models for Communication”

State University of New York at Fredonia                  
B.S. Ed., Speech Pathology and Audiology

COURSES:

Undergraduate

ECSP 305 Family & Community Relationships in Education
ESPE 101 Psychology of Diverse Learners
ESPE 305 Low Incidence Disabilities: Effective Instructional Practices
ESPE 306 Low Incidence Disabilities: Clinical Experience
ESPE 307 High Incidence Disabilities: Instructional Practices
ESPE 308 High Incidence Disabilities: Field Experience 

Graduate

EDSP 540 Introduction to Autism
EDSP 521 Psychology of Diverse Learners 7-12 (online instruction)
EDSP 522 Inclusive Practices 7-12 (online instruction)

RECENT NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS:

17th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education                                                
2019
Honolulu, Hawaii
Presentation title: “A Phenomenological Study of Pre-service Teacher Perceptions of Children in Poverty and Families who are Poor”

BRIDGES 2018 Partners for Connections in Education                                                      
2018
Cape May, NJ
Presentation title: Transforming the Field of Special Education Through the Redesign of the Pre-Service Teacher Early Clinical Experience

16th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education                                              
2018
Honolulu, Hawaii
Presentation title: Poverty Perceptions of Pre-Service Teachers Before and After an International Service Learning Outreach 

2017 Pennsylvania Association of College and Teacher Educators                                                                           
2017
46th Annual Teacher Education Assembly
Harrisburg, PA
Presentation title: Teaching Out of the Box and Out of the Classroom:  Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Reaching Individuals who are Culturally Diverse through Meaningful Service Learning Opportunities
Research poster title: Poverty Perceptions of Pre-Service Teachers Before and After an International Service Learning Outreach

BRIDGES 2017 Partners for Connections in Education                                                                 
2017
Cape May, NJ
Presentation title: Mercyhurst University & Erie's Public Schools: Multiple Partnerships with Maximum Impact
Co-presenter: Dr. Leanne Roberts

44th Annual Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Psychology Conference                                                          2016
Gannon University, Erie PA
Mooney-Ryan, M., Johnson, S., and Weaver M.T.
Paper title: The Effects of Music on the Direct Measures of Impulsivity in Adolescent Males with Severe Behavior and Emotional Disturbances

2016 Pennsylvania Association of College and Teacher Educators                                                                                
2016
45th Annual Teacher Education Assembly
Harrisburg, PA
Presentation title: Developing Pre-Service Teachers’ Capacity for Collaborative Leadership: Peer-to-Peer Feedback in Clinical Placements

VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference                                                     
2016
Department of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts    
Pittsburgh, PA
Presentation title: Gaining Access through Arts Integration: Literacy Instructions for Students with Severe Disabilities
Student co-presenters: Katherine Brittner, Kaleigh Ruggerio, Elizabeth Stuehr, Kelsey Wilson, Jacob Washabaugh

Athens Institute for Education and Research                                              
2016
18th Annual International Conference on Education
Athens, Greece
Presentation title: Developing Pre-Service Teachers’ Capacity for Collaborative Leadership: Peer-to-Peer Coaching in Clinical Experiences 

Council for Exceptional Children-Teacher Education Division National Conference                                                
2015
Tempe, AZ
Presentation title: Preparing "Digital Natives" to use Digital Gamification to Increase Opportunities to Respond

Association for Behavior Analysis International 41st Annual Convention                                               
2015 
San Antonio, Texas
Poster title: A Parametric Evaluation of Backup Reinforcer Class Size

GRANT AWARDS/PROPOSALS RELATED TO RESEARCH 

Federal Awarding Agency: U.S. Department of Education
21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Cohort 10 (2019-2024)
Mercyhurst Early Learning Innovation Academy (MELIA)
Award: $3,000,000
Role: Primary Investigator

Federal Awarding Agency: U.S. Department of Education
21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Cohort 10 (2019-2024)
Carpe Diem Academy 
Award: $2,000,000
Role: Grant Writer