Student Voices! Curriculum Studies Ed.D. Student – Karlee Johnson


Karlee Johnson is the LLC Department Assistant and a doctoral student in the Curriculum Studies program. She began working at the College of Education in December of 2013 as the Program Assistant for the EdD Program. She greatly enjoyed supporting students and faculty in this role and was grateful to continue this work when she transitioned to her current role as LLC Department Assistant in the fall of 2014. Prior to joining the College of Education, she worked as a student worker in DePaul’s Office of Global Engagement.

Karlee completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Spanish at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2008. From there, she spent a year in Santiago, Chile, where she taught English courses. Following her time in Santiago, she spent a brief summer in Buenos Aires as an intern at the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, a non-profit organization devoted to abolishing human rights violations both in South America and across the globe.

She moved to Chicago in late 2009 and began a master’s degree program in International Studies at DePaul shortly thereafter. She began the Curriculum Studies doctoral program in January 2015, and she just completed her final courses this past spring. Her dissertation focuses on Critical Whiteness Studies in higher education. She is grateful for all of the guidance and support that she has received from the EdD faculty. She is also excited to present a paper at this year’s American Education Studies Association (AESA) Meeting, which takes place in Pittsburgh this fall.

In an effort to connect her academic pursuits to related activism, Karlee has recently joined the Chicago chapter of the group Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), which describes itself as “part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially just society.” She is a member of the Training Committee, which aims to provide spaces for people to learn and reflect about individual and institutional racism, and ultimately, to take action alongside a multi-racial coalition against white supremacy.

In her spare time, Karlee loves to travel. She has visited Mexico City, one of her favorite destinations, twice this past year. She also enjoys spending time with her husband in their Ravenswood neighborhood, riding her bike along the lakefront, visiting her parents and grandmother in North Dakota, and reading as much as she can!


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