Michelle Johnston, Ph.D.
On July 23, 2018, Dr. Michelle Johnston became the sixth president of the College of Coastal Georgia. Her top priorities for the College are improving student success, relentlessly pursuing excellence in all academic and student development programs, and ensuring access through affordability efforts and partnerships within the community. Her mantra of “every student, every time” emphasizes the care and attention that the College’s faculty and staff provide, without exception, and that is a hallmark of a Coastal Georgia education. Given the importance of the affordability, quality, and accessibility agenda, she is committed to growing enrollment and expanding philanthropic support for scholarships, endowments, special projects, and the annual fund.
Dr. Johnston previously served as the president of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College. Her 25-year career in higher education has included service as a faculty member and senior administrator at University of Montevallo, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Mississippi State University, and Wood College.
Dr. Johnston holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree in piano performance from Louisiana State University, a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University, and a Post Doctorate in Marketing and Management from the University of Florida.
In 2014, Dr. Johnston was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense to the Marine Corps University Board, where she serves as the Chair. She also serves on the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia Board. She has been a leader at state and national levels with regard to campus sexual assault response and prevention, including invitations by the Obama and Trump administrations for meetings at the White House and with the U.S. Secretary of Education. Dr. Johnston is a member of the Executive Roundtable, Women’s Edition, sponsored by the Institute for Executive Women. She is active as a presenter and spokesperson in local, state, regional, national, and international settings.