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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Student life administrator taking talents to international university

Amid a recent push by students to create a more inclusive and safe campus for everyone, the UW-Madison community will bid farewell to an administrator who led these initiatives.

Assistant Dean of Students Joshua Moon Johnson has accepted the position of Dean of Student Affairs at American University of Malta. There, he will oversee student life—specifically orientation, financial aid and enrollment—as well as career services and several other areas.

Johnson started his time at UW-Madison in 2014 as director of the Multicultural Student Center. He worked to develop the university’s relationship with alumni, and also oversaw International Student Services. He assumed the role as chair of the Hate and Bias Response Team in the midst of repeated anti-semitic incidents and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Being the MSC director at the time when Black Lives Matter nationwide was really rising up, when UW students were begin able to really challenge the institution, challenge their fellow students, and challenge the state to really do better at providing services to students of color, I’ve been honored … to work beside those students,” Johnson said. “Hopefully I’ve been able to individually empower and support some of these students who were on the frontline doing really hard work.”

Johnson also helped students to propose the idea for a Black Cultural Center, which will open in the Red Gym in May. Additionally, he was involved with creating the new diversity training program Our Wisconsin, which he said he hopes to install a model of at AUM.

He will serve as the first dean of students at the new university, which will have a small student population of mostly international students. Since Malta is a very Catholic country, Johnson said he plans to spend much of his time ensuring students attending AUM from around the world have “the ability to interact within a different culture.”

“If we have every new student talking about social justice and service, that’s going to become normal for that campus culture,” Johnson said. “Hopefully by starting a brand new school we get to set the tone for what it means to be a part of AUM.”

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