Gralon Johnson, Ph.D., a University Innovation Alliance Fellow at Iowa State University, will deliver the keynote speech for the Founders and Honors Awards Convocation at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.


The free, public event will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Kenneth L. Johnson Sr. Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Complex.


“The convocation recognizes the academic achievement of students on the annual honor roll, salutes students who will receive scholarships for the next academic year, and provides an opportunity to reflect on Dr. Joseph Carter Corbin’s lasting imprint on the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff,” according to a news release.


The convocation is a continuation of the UAPB Founders Celebration. Details: www.uapb.edu/founders .


“Dr. Johnson’s position as UIA fellow gives him the opportunity to work collaboratively with senior leadership to design and implement comprehensive student success initiatives to support persistence and completion outcomes for underrepresented student populations (i.e., first generation and low-income students and students of color),” according to the release.


In this role, Johnson is also a liasion between Iowa State and the additional 10 UIA-member institutions to develop, scale, and share innovative solutions.


Prior to joining Iowa State, he served as special assistant to the president for strategic initiatives at Alcorn State University. Johnson’s experience in higher education administration also includes multicultural student affairs, summer bridge/First-Year Experience (FYE) programs and academic support programs.


“His scholarly focus involves the role of the family and home environment on the college decision-making processes of students of color. His award-winning doctoral dissertation examined the family-related factors that contribute to attitudes toward higher education among first-year, African-American, undergraduate men,” according to the release.


“Additionally, Dr. Johnson has co-authored book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles that have explored the relationship among race, rearing and socialization for students of color. He has presented his scholarship during invited addresses and at national conferences such as the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE),” according to the release.


A native of St. Louis, Missouri, he was president of the UAPB Student Government Association during the 2008-2009 school year.


Johnson received a Ph.D. in Human Ecology (with a concentration in Applied Family Science) from Kansas State University, a Master of Public Service degree from the University of Arkansas’ William J. Clinton School of Public Service and a Bachelor of Science degree in human development and family studies from UAPB.