Olivia A Johnson
Olivia is a doctoral candidate in the Education Policy and Planning program in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. She earned a B.A. in English from Denison University, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Florida State University, and an M.Ed. from UT Austin in Education Policy and Planning. Prior to her tenure at UT Austin, Olivia spent several years teaching at the college-level in Florida and came to Austin by way of Phoenix, AZ, where she taught 8th grade Reading and Writing at Morris K. Udall Escuela de Bellas Artes.
During her M.Ed. at UT Austin, Olivia held an internship at the Texas House of Representatives, learning as much as possible about the various intersections between policy and politics. In 2016, she assisted Dr. Angela Valenzuela in conducting research that was presented as testimony for the plaintiffs in the Arce v. Douglas ethnic studies case out of Arizona.
For her doctoral work, she has been awarded a Graduate School Recruitment Fellowship, a Texas New Scholars Fellowship, and a Thomas Michael Fellowship. She has presented her research on caring educational policy at the 2019 AERA Conference in Toronto, and is slated to present at both the 2020 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in Champaign-Urbana, IL, and the 7th Annual Cultural Studies in Education Conference in Austin, TX. Olivia is also a 2020 David Clark Scholar, a UCEA-sponsored scholarship awarded for the promise of her dissertation.
Olivia's dissertation focuses on exploring the role of care ethics for high school principals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and how care informs pandemic policy meaning-making in Texas. Her general research interests include care theory, policy interpretation, qualitative research methods, the impact of socioeconomic stratification on schooling, and the role/meaning of district education policy.