FLORENCE – Christopher Dyer Johnson of Florence has been selected the J. Lorin Mason Distinguished Professor for the 2011-12 year at Francis Marion University.
Announced at a campus banquet April 19, this award has been given since the 1975-76 school year and is based upon a faculty member’s contributions to teaching, professional service and scholarly activities.
The award, named in honor of a former chairman of the FMU Board of Trustees, is the highest honor to be bestowed upon a faculty member. It will be presented at FMU’s spring commencement Saturday, May 5. The award carries a cash prize. As a result of his selection, Johnson will be the Francis Marion University nominee for the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award competition next fall.
“As one of FMU’s most prolific professors, Chris is widely recognized as an extraordinary teacher and researcher,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “For the past 16 years, his students have held him in high regard as a caring and compassionate teacher and advisor, and his colleagues have respected his scholarship and leadership. He is richly deserving of this recognition.”
Johnson received the B.A. in English from Villanova University and the M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware. Johnson joined the FMU faculty in 1996 as the chair of English, Modern Languages and Philosophy. Previously, he worked at Missouri Valley College as the dean of arts and humanities.
Johnson's research interests are principally in the area of eighteenth-century fiction. New Contexts for Eighteenth-Century British Fiction, “Hearts Resolved and Hands”: Essays in Honor of Jerry C. Beasley and a critical edition of Sarah Fielding's "The Lives of Cleopatra and Octavia" are among his most noted published work. He has also published a number of articles and conference papers on various literary topics and composition pedagogy.
During his tenure, Johnson has taught a wide range of courses, including English Composition, British Literature Before 1785, Shakespeare, and English Neoclassicism. In addition, his professional affiliations include his service as a member of the S.C. State Employee Grievance Committee, vice president of the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and President of the S.C. Association of Departments of English, to name a few.
In 2011, Johnson was presented the Shared Governance Award, sponsored by the FMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. This award is given to a faculty member who demonstrates commitment to the principles of shared governance between the faculty, administration and the board of trustees.