Senior Lecturer of Communication and Graphic Design & Digital Education Coordinator
School of Communication & Media
Sarah Johnson began her public relations and marketing career while working in the nonprofit sector. With more than nine years of professional experience, she developed comprehensive public relations campaigns, marketing plans, and graphic design pieces for the following industries: healthcare, publishing, community outreach, and higher education. In 2011, Ms. Johnson transitioned her career toward teaching so that she could share these essential graphic communication skills with the next generation of public relations practitioners. Ms. Johnson currently teaches graphic communication courses in the School of Communication & Media at Kennesaw State University. Her lectures include Magazine Media (PR 4605), Brand Identity Design-Special Topics (PR 4415), Digital Publication Design (PR 4405), and Visual Communication (COM 2033). She was recognized in 2019 for "Excellence in Teaching" by the School of Communication and Media. Ms. Johnson teaches a variety of workshops on Adobe InDesign and Photoshop as well as "best practices" in graphic design and building effective infographics. In 2019, she created and launched the Kennesaw Creative Hub, which serves as a resource for KSU faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The hub explores cutting-edge digital literacy tools that help users excel as innovators, industry-leading problem solvers, content creators, and researchers.
Ms. Johnson has a bachelor's degree in communication (public relations) and a minor in marketing from Kennesaw State University. She went on to earn a master's degree in professional writing (concentration in applied writing and support area in composition and rhetoric), also from KSU. During graduate school, Ms. Johnson studied the connection between drafting (the written word) and designing (print and digital materials) and their effectiveness in terms of audience understanding and action. Her personal teaching pedagogy focuses on providing students with a historical understanding of visual and graphic communication, access to the latest research, and an opportunity to use industry-leading technology so they feel confident in their skill set upon graduation. Currently, she is studying how digital literacy is used by universities to advance student success initiatives.
Selected by Adobe Systems as an Adobe Education Leader each year since 2019, Ms. Johnson is an Adobe Certified Associate (Print and Digital Design). She has the privilege of speaking at regional and national conferences about effective graphic design, infographics, and digital literacy. Most recently, she spoke at the International Adobe Education Summit about teaching project-based learning and graphic communication. In 2017, she completed a course on effective news design through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at The University of Texas at Austin.
When Ms. Johnson is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jason and their three children. She also enjoys traveling, bike riding, reading, and cheering on the KSU Owls at home games.
You can learn more about Ms. Johnson's teaching and academic interests by visiting http://design2communicate.weebly.com.