My name is Patrick Johnson and I am currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) and the inaugural Easton Graduate Teaching Fellow in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa.

Hi, I’m Patrick.
Nice to meet you.

I am a Ph.D. candidate and the inaugural Easton Graduate Teaching Fellow in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, whose work centers on finding a pathway toward more just and equitable futures in journalism and media practice. My time as a high school teacher and journalism advisor helped shape my desire to be a voice for the voiceless in my teaching, service, and research. Because of my years in the classroom, I bring a transformative pragmatist approach to my work.

The crux of my scholarly life is education and pedagogy, both in the traditional sense (as a teacher and as a researcher) and in the professional community (examining journalism practice and professionalization). But how I interrogate education questions is non-traditional. I come at my questions through discussions and critical analysis of the people, places, things, and ideas that education and professionalization teach and train future media professionals not to be like: the deviants. I, therefore, focus my time on what lies outside or at the margins of the bright-line boundaries journalism and media choose to build.

My work with graduate students and LGBTQ advocacy are also core to my personal mission and identity. I am a diligent and tireless champion of better systems that promote mental health, prioritize thoughtful relationship-centered experiences, and position grace and gratitude as avenues of growth and success. In my daily interactions and practice, one can expect this to be a North Star.

I am an award-winning scholar with publications published, accepted, and in revision in top journals (i.e., Digital JournalismMedia and CommunicationJournal of Media Literacy EducationJournal of Media Ethics) across journalism and media studies. This includes top paper awards at AEJMC’s annual conference and being named the graduate student researcher of the year at the University of Iowa. I participate in both traditional and public scholarship and have a rich and engaging history of teaching and learning.

When I’m not being a teacher/scholar

In my free time, I probably can be found reading random works of narrative nonfiction, watching way too many horror films (or rewatching countless Disney or 90s/00s teen movies), being inundated with the news, making fun of and commenting about politics, consuming far too much pop culture on social media, getting way too involved in college football and basketball, and bouncing around and singing to whatever song ends up playing on my Apple Music (which usually is a healthy dose of today’s top hits, 90s/00s hits, grunge, classic rock, heavy metal, and show tunes). 

What I’m doing currently

Inaugural Easton Graduate Teaching Fellow | School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Graduate Instructor | School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Digital Studio Fellow | Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio
(Summer 2022)

Research Affiliate | Trusting News

Research Affiliate | Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Team | Mapping Impactful Media Literacy Practices Project

Additional Iowa Experiences

Research Assistant | School of Journalism and Mass Communication
(Summer 2021

Public Humanities Fellow | Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
(Summer 2021)

Additional Teaching Experiences

English and Media Teacher & Media Adviser | Antioch Community High School

Adjunct Professor of Journalism and Media Studies | Marquette University

Additional Relevant Professional Experiences

Ethics Research Intern | Storyfit: AI for the Entertainment Industry
(Winter 2020)

Director, Summer Journalism Workshop | Kettle Moraine Press Association

Instructor, Urban Journalism Workshop | Diederich College of Communication


Top Student Paper Second Place Moeller Student Paper Competition • 2021
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
Mass Communication and Society Division

John F. Murray Outstanding Doctoral Student – Research 2022
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Iowa

Top Student Paper 2021
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
LGBTQ Interest Group

Hugh Vollrath Ross Scholarship 2021
Graduate College
University of Iowa

Outstanding Graduate Student 2013
Diederich College of Communication
Marquette University


Ph.D. | Mass Communication, in progress
The University of Iowa, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Advisor: Dr. Melissa Tully, Associate Professor of Journalism

MA | Communication, May 2013
Marquette University, Diederich College of Communication
Thesis: The Impurity Truth: How Popular Media Taught Millennial Males to Get Laid and “Do It” as Early as Possible
Advisor: Dr. Bonnie Brennen, Professor Emerita and Nieman Professor of Journalism

BS | Secondary Education and Journalism, June 2011
Marquette University, College of Education


University of Iowa
Melissa Tully, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Brian Ekdale, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Rachel Young, Ph.D., MPH, Associate Professor
Cristina Tilly, J.D., Professor of Law

Kajsa Dalrymple, Ph.D., Senior Communications Manager Usona Institute
Srividya “Srivi” Ramasubramanian, Ph.D., Syracuse University, Newhouse Professor
Stephanie Craft, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Professor
Paul Mihalidis, Ph.D., Emerson University, Professor
Ana Garner, Ph.D., Marquette University, Professor, Journalism Dept. Head
Bonnie Brennen, Ph.D., Marquette University, Professor Emerita
Daradirek “Gee” Ekachai, Ph.D., Marquette University, Associate Professor Emerita
Karen Slattery, Ph.D., Marquette University, Professor Emerita

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