Getting to Know Professor Clint Johnson

Professor Clint JohnsonProfessor Clint Johnson began his journey with Webster University as an adjunct professor in Fall 2022, teaching Psychology of Adjustment.

He is now in his second semester as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Johnson loves his students and the faculty. One of the first things he attached outside of his office was a sign saying, “My Happy Place.”

Johnson spent a large amount of his adult life in jobs that required him to conceal various parts of himself. Webster University is not only the first place where he feels he does not have to hide parts of his identity, but also those parts are celebrated and encouraged. Johnson’s favorite thing to do is to be in the classroom with his students. He does not approach the classroom as the “teacher,” but rather as part of the group. He enjoys letting his students guide the journey through the semester.

“I enjoy watching our students learn and grow during my time with them. I feel so honored and humbled to be part of our students’ academic and personal adventures,” Johnson said.

In addition to teaching, Johnson also enjoys collaborating with his undergraduate research assistants in their independent research, focusing on LGBTQIA individuals, both youth and adult. Last semester he and his undergraduate research assistants established GLITTER (Gender and Sexuality Lab Investigating Trends, Theories and Empirical Research).

This semester, GLITTER is running several new projects including adults’ ability to encode and use gender neutral pronouns, children’s preference for gendered online videogame play, childhood predictors to adolescent substance abuse among LGBTQIA individuals, and the association between cultural adherence, internalized homophobia and internalized transphobia among second generation Asian-American LGTQIA individuals. According to Johnson these areas of psychological research are extremely understudied, especially in childhood.

As a developmental psychologist and queer individual, it has always been very important to Johnson to pursue avenues that better the lives of LGBTQIA2+ individuals. Perhaps even closer to his heart is finding ways to help gender and sexual minority youth not only survive, but flourish.

Science suggests creating a greater understanding of minority children helps all children in the process. This research is not only important, but extremely timely. Johnson stated with the current polarized political climate and various anti-LGBTQIA legislation being introduced and passed around the country, the need for greater amounts of scientifically sound work is more important than ever. He hopes his work in this area will help shape a brighter future for both LGBTQIA and non-LGBTQIA youth.

“I love being part of the Webster family. Since my first semester here, I have always felt like I was home. My family is part of the Webster Groves/Shrewsbury community, so being able to continue my journey here at Webster is such a gift.

“Our university and Webster Groves are such special places, full of diverse people and points of view. I remember when our family was looking at homes with our realtor. As we drove down Big Bend Boulevard our realtor pointed to Webster University and mentioned that Webster was a great liberal arts college. I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be perfect if I could work there someday.’ And now, five years later, yes. It is perfect that I am part of the Webster University family,” Johnson said.

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