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Dr. Johnston focuses on individualized feedback that identifies specific skills and actionable tasks that help students develop and grow as writers.

Jacquelyn Johnston, Ph.D., is a university professor and published researcher. Dr. Johnston has helped hundreds of undergraduate students refine their writing skills and develop as academic researchers in the social and natural sciences. 

Born in Memphis, TN, Dr. Johnston was raised primarily in Santiago, Chile. She also lived in Caracas, Venezuela, and Seoul, South Korea. She returned to the United States for the final two years of high school near Boston, where she began the intimidating task of applying to universities as a first-generation student without many years of experience writing in English. After gaining acceptance at several top-tier universities, she attended Barnard College, Columbia University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004. 

After working in domestic animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation hospitals for over a decade, she decided to pursue advanced degrees. She earned:

  • Master of Business Administration from Florida International University in 2014

  • Master of Science in Veterinary Forensics from the University of Florida in 2017

  • Ph.D. in Global & Sociocultural Studies with a specialization in Cultural Geography from Florida International University in 2021

Dr. Johnston remains grounded in her commitment to helping other first-generation and English as a second-language students. She remembers the frustrations she experienced in high school as teachers would simply say her writing was "AWK," the shorthand so many old-school teachers use to indicate "awkward writing." This kind of feedback is not only discouraging; it is ineffective and inefficient. Dr. Johnston feels that feedback like "AWK" reveals more about the lack of that teacher's ability to help students develop writing skills than it reveals about the skills of the student. 

In 2016, Dr. Johnston began teaching first-year writing and rhetoric and completed pedagogical training geared toward helping develop college writers coming into the university through an admission pathway geared to help select first-generation students from under-represented backgrounds. In the years since, she has created a unique approach to help students from all types of backgrounds develop research and writing skills. 

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