Julia Johnson Headshot
  • Educational Development

Julia Johnson

Assistant Director, Educational Development

How Can I Help

I'm here to help you incorporate active learning into your teaching, especially for those large STEM courses. I specialize in Team Based Learning, the use of classroom-based polling, and the facilitation of productive small group work. I love brainstorming ways to help instructors approach course design in novel and inclusive ways to build classrooms that support student innovation and learning.


Julia Johnson, PhD, joined the Center for Teaching and Learning in September 2017 as Assistant Director of Educational Development. Julia earned her PhD in Chemistry with a Certificate in College Teaching from Duke University in May 2017.

As an Assistant Director, Julia collaborates with her colleagues at the Center for Teaching and Learning to develop, implement, and evaluate programming for graduate students, postdoctoral appointees, and faculty, including the WU-CIRTL program for future faculty in STEM. This program has been developed in coordination with the 43-institution CIRTL network, with support from the National Science Foundation and the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. The mission of CIRTL (the Center for Integrating Research, Teaching, and Learning) is to improve undergraduate STEM education by training future faculty in evidence-based teaching. Julia develops and facilitates the STEM Pedagogies workshops–an advanced-level workshop series open to graduate students and postdocs in STEM.

In addition to this advanced-level workshop series, Julia also works closely with Denise Leonard with Center for Teaching and Learning colleagues to develop and run the Foundations in Teaching workshop series, designed for graduate students who are teaching for the first time at Washington University.

Julia has developed Exploring Practices in the Classroom (EPIC) Learning Community a program to engage graduate students who are early in their careers at Washington University. The focus of EPIC is to foster an interdisciplinary community of students interested in learning about and discussing pedagogy. The pilot of EPIC began in Spring of 2018. EPIC is supported through the CIRTL network.

Julia meets and consults with graduate students, postdoctoral appointees, and faculty from engineering, mathematics, physics, earth and planetary sciences, and chemistry on Center for Teaching and Learning professional-development programs and teaching in the classroom.

Julia is the lead pedagogical consultant for faculty who are interested in using polling software (including the Washington University supported iClicker system) in their teaching. Through this work she trains faculty members in both technology and pedagogy to encourage the use of clickers to promote active learning and student engagement.

At Duke University, Julia’s research focus was on studying protein thermodynamic stabilities to identify protein biomarkers of aging and Parkinson’s disease in mice. Previously as a graduate student and teaching assistant, Julia worked closely with a team of instructors to evaluate, update and teach chemistry in active learning classrooms.

Julia has extensive experience in utilizing Team-Based Learning (TBL) to teach general chemistry and biophysical chemistry. Julia also has experience advocating for, promoting, and supporting women and minorities in STEM fields through her tenure as the co-president of Duke’s graduate Women in Science and Engineering organization (WiSE).