Johnson Appointed First Faculty Fellow for Supreme Court of Missouri
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 21, 2010 – Dr. Mary Virginia Moore Johnson, professor of business law at Southeast Missouri State University, has been appointed as the first faculty fellow for the Supreme Court of Missouri.
Johnson will serve in this role while on sabbatical leave from the University. Her services to the Supreme Court of Missouri will begin Aug. 15 and end May 15, 2011.
As a faculty fellow, Johnson will develop, implement and assess a state-wide Faculty Fellowship program for the Court to be instituted upon the completion of her appointment. She also will act as a consultant to the Coordinating Commission for Judicial Education, which is responsible for setting policy for judicial branch education. In her role as Faculty Fellow, she also will develop and coordinate a statewide judicial public outreach program. This will include creating, compiling and disseminating presentation materials and training judicial speakers.
In addition, Johnson will collaborate with The Missouri Bar to develop an education curriculum about Missouri's judicial system for educators in Missouri working with students from elementary school through law school. She also plans to organize state-wide events for Constitution Day in September and Law Day in May 2011. Finally, she will research assessment tools to be used to evaluate the successes and challenges of the newly created Faculty Fellowship program and to make recommendations for future improvements.
"My colleagues at the Supreme Court and I are elated about the opportunity for Professor Johnson to dedicate her sabbatical to partner with us to develop a civic education curriculum for all Missouri judges to utilize in educating students and teachers from grades five through college level,” said Supreme Court Judge Mary Russell. "This project is sorely needed because most citizens lack knowledge about this important topic.
"Professor Johnson's generous and imaginative offer to serve a faculty fellowship with our Court has sparked excitement among my colleagues,” Russell said. "We were all impressed with her skills, vision, and organization. In addition to her congenial personality and her legal and education background, Professor Johnson brings a commitment to public service.”
Johnson is uniquely qualified to be the first faculty fellow due to her academic and professional achievements. She holds a juris doctor degree from Washburn University School of Law and a master of business administration degree from Missouri State University. Johnson has been admitted to practice law in the state of Missouri and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, The Missouri Bar and the Cape Girardeau Bar. She has attended 209 hours of continuing legal education seminars, including 70 hours as speaker. She is an active member of three Missouri Bar committees and participates in the National Association of Women Judges Conference.
Academically, Johnson has been teaching at Southeast for 13 years. She was granted post-professorial merit in 2009 with an "Outstanding” rating in all three areas of teaching, research and service. She was named Educator of the Year by the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and has won numerous academic awards.
Johnson has also chaired the Missouri Training and Employment Council (MTEC) strategic planning committee and served on the Executive Board of Education Committees.
"My faculty fellowship is of great value to the University, college, department, students and my discipline of law,” Johnson said. "Developing a close relationship between the University and the judiciary will have a positive effect on students who will be able to observe court proceedings on campus, to have judges visit their classes to interact with them, and to learn more about the judicial branch of government. My connections with judges throughout the state could open more doors for more internships in law, enhancing opportunities for experiential learning. I hope this experience will enhance my teaching capacities and greatly contribute to my teaching effectiveness in the law classes I teach at Southeast.”