Staff Chat: Mary Johnson, Learning Technology Specialist

As a learning technology specialist on Brenau’s Information Technology team, Mary Johnson’s area of expertise is ever-changing.

Johnson started at Brenau in 2009 as a fieldwork assistant in the School of Occupational Therapy, keeping up with contracts and student records sent to fieldwork sites. “It was actually a lot of fun,” she said.

Two years later, she transferred to IT and became the campus administrator for Canvas.

“I’m the primary support person for that and all the other tools built onto that product,” Johnson explained. “Canvas is our online learning system available to any instructor that teaches a class here at Brenau and all the students in those classes.”

Mary Johnson, learning technology specialist. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Mary Johnson, learning technology specialist. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Johnson is a Gainesville native and Brenau graduate, and she worked for the City of Gainesville doing geographic information system (GIS) mapping before coming to work at her alma mater.

“It’s kind of an interesting story,” she said. “I was working there right as the economy took such a bad hit. When they downsized, I was able to move here because I was familiar with databases, and they wanted me to organize that sort of thing for the OT department.”

Johnson said her favorite part of her work is the variety and social aspect.

“I like the constant interaction with our students and our faculty,” she said. “You get to talk to somebody different just about every day.”

She has been married to her husband, Paul, for 17 years. They have two daughters: Kendyl, a junior at North Hall High School, and Koley, a third-grader at Mount Vernon.

“They are loads of fun to keep up with and chase around,” Johnson said.