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Service Statement

I have been actively involved in several community organizations in my field including VR Austin, Global Game Jam, International Game Developers Association, Women in Games International, and the Higher Education Video Game Alliance.

In my role at the University of Texas, I also devote a portion of my time to service to the department, school, college, and university at large. Some of this service overlaps with my community commitments. In 2019 I worked to create a partnership between my department (Arts and Entertainment Technologies) and the local VR Austin organization, to collaborate on the annual VR Jam.

I worked with building maintenance and security, IT, and the admin staff to coordinate hosting the jam on campus. In exchange, our students received free tickets to participate in the jam, resulting in the jammers being a diverse mix of students intermingling with professionals in the industry. In 2020 I continued the partnership with VR Austin to host an online jam and virtual showcase.

My commitment to the department resulted in my appointment this year as Assistant Department Chair. I am now charged with approving Independent Studies and substitution petitions, maintaining the honors program, and assisting with coordination of our diversity initiatives.

In my 3 years at the University of Texas I’ve served on numerous committees, most notably a number of search committees which included the Department Chair Search and the College Dean Search, as well as several faculty and staff searches. I am also a co-facilitator of the Faculty Search Training Workshops which prepare faculty for the search process, with particular focus on diverse hiring practices and avoiding implicit bias in the review process.

My most impactful contribution to my department was the creation of our Honors Program which I now run. In my first year at UT I attended an event hosted by our College Dean where he talked about an initiative in the college to support departments in creating honors degree paths for their majors.

I was inspired, and spent the next several months spearheading an honors proposal for my department. I pitched to several faculty and the department chair, made revisions, and met with advisors and administrators in the college to ensure the proposal would adhere to university policy as well as aligning with the vision of the college.

Eventually my proposal went up for a vote in the full faculty body and passed into degree legislation. Our students can now graduate with Special Honors in Arts and Entertainment Technologies. I serve as the Faculty Honors Advisor, admitting new honors students to the program and approving graduates who complete the honors requirements.


Global Game Austin Jam Showcase 2021

Volunteer Work

Organization Membership

Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies

Assistant Department Chair, 2020-present

Review and approve Independent Studies and petitions, coordinate diversity initiatives, oversee certificate programs.

Curriculum Committee (chair), 2019-present

Organize committee meetings and agendas, lead activities such as the Foundations redesign, propose degree plan changes and course flags, solicit input and feedback from full faculty.

Faculty Search, Immersive Media, SP 2020

Reviewed applications and interviewed candidates for a new faculty position in Immersive Media.

Faculty Search, Creative Coding, 2018-2019

Reviewed applications and interviewed candidates for the existing Creative Coding faculty position.

Coordinator for Creative Coding, 2018-2019

Worked with faculty to redesign Foundations of Creative Coding, which is the only technical foundations course required of all AET majors. Onboarded adjunct lecturers to run the course with the new curriculum.

Faculty Search, Department Chair, 2019-2020

Reviewed applications and interviewed candidates for the role of Department Chair to replace our retiring chair.

Admissions Committee, FA 2019

Worked with admissions coordinator and other committee members to revise department admissions expectations for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

Honors Advisor, 2019-present

Spearheaded the creation of the Special Honors in AET degree path, admit new honors students, approve graduates with honors, and advise students on research topics and course selections.

Local TV Interview, 2019

Represented my department in an interview with a local TV news station.

School of Design and Creative Technologies

Staff Search, SDCT Admissions Coordinator

Reviewed applications and interviewed candidates for a new staff position as an Admissions Coordinator.

Faculty Search, Interaction Designer, 2018-2019

Served on a search for the Design Department. Reviewed applications and interviewed candidates for a new faculty position in Interaction Design.

Executive Committee, 2019-present

Elected to serve on the SDCT EC, which reviews cases for tenure and promotion as well as annual Faculty Activity Reviews and Comprehensive Periodic Reviews.

SDCT Extension Programs, 2018-present

Collaborate with SDCTx on the planning and implementation of Summer Design Institutes offering programs for high school students.

College of Fine Arts

Dean Search, CoFA Dean, SP 2020-present

Reviewed applications and interviewed candidates for the role of Dean of the College of Fine Arts, to replace our retiring Dean.

Fine Arts Diversity Council, FA 2020-present

Collaborate with other departments across the college to coordinate efforts of diversity and inclusion.

Kendra Scott Lounge Committee

Coordinating space usage and reservation process for the shared space on the first floor of the Doty Fine Arts building.

Leadership Retreat, SP 2020

Participated in a 2-day leadership event which focused on reimagining the vision and mission for the College of Fine Arts.

University of Texas

Co-Facilitator and Presenter, Implicit Bias Training for Faculty Searches, 2019-present

Presentation of rules and procedures for Faculty Searches, with special emphasis on implicit bias and the importance of improving diversity of candidate pools.

Game Steering Committee, 2018-2019

Cross-departmental collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Radio, Television, and Film on game-related course offerings and student opportunties.

EGaDS Workshops, 2018-2019

Hosted workshops for the Student Organization EGaDS (Electronic Game Developers Society).

Bridging Disciplines Faculty Panel and Digital Arts and Media Subpanel, 2018-present

Cross-departmental collaboration offering creative projects and internship opportunities to seniors.

Art Institute of Austin

Open House Workshops and Panels, 2016-2018

Hosted workshops and spoke on panels during open house activities for prospective and incoming students.

Community Engagement Task Force, 2017

Worked to identify and implement opportunities to engage with local companies and organizations.

©2020 MJ Johns. All Rights Reserved.