Dr. Chris Johnson, is the associate dean and an associate professor of economics in the Coggin College of Business. While his current position as associate dean keeps him busy with administrative duties, Johnson has taught many courses for the college including business and economic statistics, intermediate microeconomics, urban economics, race and gender in the American economy, and the economics of poverty. At the graduate level, he has taught introduction to economic analysis and making decisions with data. Johnson earned his B.S. and his Ph.D., both in economics, from the University of Alabama.
Much of his research focuses on the analysis of poverty, its measurement, its relationship to macroeconomic changes, and its impact on various demographic subgroups. He is currently finishing research that extends earlier work on the relationship between economic growth and poverty. This extension examines more closely the relationship at the county and metropolitan levels and uses spatial econometric techniques that account for the spillover effects that economic growth/decline in certain counties/metropolitan areas have on surrounding areas.
Get to Know Dr. Chris Johnson
What's the most rewarding academic experience you've had at UNF?
For several years, I had the opportunity to work with a team of students on a Transformational Learning Opportunity (TLO), where we created an organic garden at Clara White Mission, to complement their Culinary Training Program. That garden was a gateway of sorts for the Clara White Mission to develop its White Harvest Farm initiative that now brings fresh produce to an underserved area of town. The project also allowed me a special mentoring opportunity with a student, Derrick Robinson, who was at the time an undergraduate in the economics program. Derrick has since earned his doctorate in economics, was a visiting professor here at UNF during the 2015-2016 academic year and is now a program director in the state of California university system. Knowing that I had an impact in helping to shape his career path is most rewarding.
Who has been the biggest role model in your life?
Without question, my mother, Clara Johnson, has been my greatest role model. My father passed away when I was 5 months old, leaving my mother a widow with seven children to raise. I grew up in a very economically challenged environment but my mother, a very intelligent, wise and industrious woman, always persevered. From her, I learned how to be resourceful, how to maximize my opportunities, how to be grateful, how to treat others with respect and dignity and how to have an unshakeable faith. She provided me with a solid foundation to which many others have added, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for her.
What advice would you give a student who is graduating?
Finding a job is good, but finding your calling is more rewarding.
What is your personal philosophy?
Love your neighbor as yourself.
If the world were silent for 20 seconds and all ears were turned to you, what would you say?
I would offer the following words from theologian John Wesley, the founder of Methodism: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”