Andrea Johnson

Curriculum Vita

Degree & Year in the Program

First Year PhD Student


Regina Werum and Kristen Olson

Areas of Specialization

Inequalities within the field of education; specifically race, gender and geographic inequalities; Inequalities within primary, secondary and higher educational institutions. 

About me

After completing my Masters in Sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this past year, I am excited to pursue my PhD here as well. I earned a BA in Business at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska and took a circuitous route to the field of sociology. After working for multiple educational nonprofits across the country, including City Year New Hampshire and Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta, I developed a passion for identifying and remedying educational inequalities. I chose the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an innovative institution in which to blend my interests in social justice and the social sciences.

This past summer (2018) I conducted research with the Nebraska Department of Education. This study enabled the NDE to understand what resources schools and school types are currently using, how schools can better utilize their networks (e.g. duplicate “like” schools and school practices) and help the NDE implement resources to schools more strategically. The previous summer (2017) I conducted research with Dr. Regina Werum on a project funded by the National Science Foundation. The primary goal of this study was to determine the extent to which higher education institutions influence the enrollment, persistence and completion of women in STEM majors, specifically in computer science and engineering.

I feel passionately about empowering the next generation of future sociologists, both within and outside of the classroom. For instance, I have attended the 2017 and 2018 NUSS (Nebraska Undergraduate Sociology Symposium) conference as a graduate representative to help encourage budding sociologists. I am also currently serving as the NASGS (Nebraska Association of Sociology Graduate Students) Vice President.

Nebraska is my home state, and I have enjoyed returning home to continue my studies. The university's sociology program is outstanding, both inside and outside of the classroom. I believe the key to Nebraska's excellence is the high expectations it has of its students coupled with the ingrained support networks of faculty and fellow graduate students. I have also appreciated the holistic educational approach the university provides: we are encouraged to collaborate within and outside our department, are given weekly opportunities to meet with sociologists across the United States, and we are given tools in which to succeed in both academic and non-academic contexts. And the school spirit is contagious! Go Huskers!

In my free time I enjoy volunteering with Launch Leadership (an educational nonprofit that works with middle school and high school students), reading for my book club, and finding new adventures that Lincoln has to offer – the most recent being axe-throwing and skydiving. 

Courses Taught

Recitation instructor for five sections of SOCI 101 (Introduction to Sociology) (Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019)