Dean Johnson Named Michigan Professor of the Year
By Jennifer Donovan | Published
Dean Johnson, the James and Delores Trethewey Associate Professor in Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics, has been named Professor of the Year by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan (PCSUM). Johnson shares the honor with professors from Michigan State, Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State Universities.
“Dean Johnson has demonstrated his outstanding teaching ability over the years to many students through the Applied Portfolio Management Program, which he designed and directs,” said Darrell Radson, dean of the School of Business and Economics. “We are very proud that his abilities have also been recognized by higher education leaders and professors across our state.”
The four Michigan Professors of the Year were judged on student learning, interactions with graduates, experiential learning, academic advising, undergraduate research opportunities, and scholarship on teaching and learning.
“It is great to be recognized with this honor, especially since it is presented for teaching and guiding students,” Johnson said. “I know that our Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) also had a lot to do with it, and a lot of people have helped me with APMP over the years.”
In the APMP, students invest real money in the stock market. Their portfolio now totals more than $1.3 million. They have won the RISE (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) national investment competition three times.
In nominating Johnson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Max Seel was effusive over the business professor's record of advising, teaching, scholarship and devotion to his students.
“Johnson,” he said, “has a genuine concern and compassion for each individual student.” His devotion to his students was revealed when he began the APMP program, Seel said.
“APMP was the result of a single, new, untenured professor who took the risk to expend enormous amounts of time to secure the required resources necessary,” Seel said, noting that Johnson had “established an Advisory Board of investment professionals” and “secured the physical space, furniture, computers to house the program; acquired the actual money for the students to manage; built relationships with guest speakers; located internships; and many other necessary, ongoing activities.”
The APMP students are now housed in the new LSGI Trading Room, with Bloomberg trading platform, thanks to Johnson’s leadership and alumnus Joe Dancy.
Johnson has previously won the Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award twice--only the third professor in the history of the University so honored. He is a member of the Michigan Tech Teaching Academy (which recognizes teaching excellence), and has been honored with the James and Delores Trethewey APMP Professorship.
Johnson himself once said, “When I walk into the classroom, I have an hour to make a difference in the lives of those students. . . . I try to find out where they’re from and what career goals they have. Once you develop a personal relationship, it becomes much easier to push, push, push them to learn and study because they realize I truly have their best interest at heart.”
Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.