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Shari L. Johnson

LEO Intermittent Lecturer

Shari L. Johnson

Shari Lynn Johnson is both a social worker and an anthropologist by educational training. Both of her graduate experiences were completed at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she was born and lived for nearly 50 years. After a nearly 10-year career as a professional social worker working solely with older adults in health care settings, she stumbled into her first taste of teaching when she was asked to present a substitute guest lecture for one of her mentors and former professors. After co-teaching a course with her the following semester, there was no turning back! During her time in Michigan, Johnson developed and taught a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate social work courses, primarily in Queer studies, diversity, race and social justice, and aging at the U-M, Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University. She also developed and taught cultural anthropology courses and social work continuing education/professional development workshops at Washtenaw Community College. In addition to her teaching experiences, Johnson has also held several positions in faculty development and student affairs in higher education. In 2016, she accepted a position at the Simmons University School of Social Work in Boston, Massachusetts, where she was the inaugural faculty lead for the racism course for their online MSW program. While rewarding and impactful, her nearly five years in Massachusetts were pivotal in confirming her need to shift her teaching energies from a focus on course content to the heart of social work education: field education, also known as our "signature pedagogy." In August 2020, Johnson landed at the University of St. Thomas’ School of Social Work Graduate Field Department in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she will bring her professional content expertise around race and critical self-reflection to our practicum experiences. She also holds an additional appointment as the coordinator for DEI efforts and initiatives for the Morrison Family College of Health, under which the School of Social Work rests. While in Minnesota, she will also continue to teach race-focused courses as an adjunct instructor at several institutions across the United States.

Research Interests/Focus

Robinson-Lynk's current research interests include methods and strategies for increasing student of color participation in community service-learning, in addition to international aging, feminist gerontology, feminist anthropology and issues of diversity and cultural competence/humility, especially around TBGLQ (Transgender, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Queer) studies.


Year Degree   School
2009 MA Linguistic Anthropology Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
1993 MSW Interpersonal Practice Wayne State University, Detroit
1990 BSSW Interpersonal Practice University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

Robinson-Lynk, S. L. (2015). On being rooted in the classroom: Top three teaching tips from 'The Barefoot Professor'. Quick Hits for Adjunct Faculty and Lecturers: Successful Strategies from Award-Winning Teachers.

Robinson-Lynk, S. L. (2009). [Review of the book Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importers, a Haitian Anthropologist & Self-Making in Jamaica (ethnography), by G. A. Ulysse.]. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 14.

Robinson-Lynk, S. L. (2008). [Review of the book Erzulie's skirt, by A. Lara.]. VOICES: e-Journal for Association for Feminist Anthropologists.

Smith-Barusch, A. (2008). Vulnerable Populations, Discrimination and Oppression; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Individuals. In Robinson-Lynk, S. L. (Ed). Foundations of Social Policy: Social Justice in Human Perspective (3rd ed.). 10.

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