Jessi Johnson

Fulbright-King's College London Award

Jessi never thought she would leave the sunshine of Los Angeles – but the privilege of a PhD had her packing winter coats for London! For 12 years, Jessi was a Professor of writing, law & social justice, and inclusive education. Her research on anti-oppression and student collaboration has been presented at international conferences; her policy recommendations for inclusive hiring practices are in use at universities; and she was the chair of her department’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee. In 2022, she was named a USC Master Teacher. She was also a tutor and anti-bias consultant for the Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Youth Center.  

Jessi is a first-generation student who experienced systemic exclusion, academic gatekeeping, and imposter phenomenon; and she works hard to ensure her students have much more empowering experiences. With the Fulbright community, she hopes to define education justice as a public health and global sustainability issue. Her Education Policy PhD is trying to answer an important question: how can equitable grading practices help narrow the “academic achievement gap” in higher education?  

If you run into Jessi at a party, she’s the one talking about the dramatic history of the Graham cracker, anime, or rock climbing. Her favorite human is her partner Kenny. She is grateful to the community that champions her on this journey. And despite the snow (something very confusing to an Angeleno), she is thrilled to build a home in London.